You may have heard we are having competing Republican events in my hometown of Myrtle Beach this weekend. I’m worried we’re missing the big picture.

The concept of a democracy is beautifully simple.

To win an election, you must get more votes — a majority.

Nationally, there aren’t enough conservative Republicans to win an election, nor enough moderate Republicans. In fact, in most places, when you add those groups together, there still aren’t enough. The same is true for progressive and moderate Democrats. For either side to win, it must also get support from the independents in the middle. And the number of independents is growing, repulsed by extreme views on both sides.

To win elections, Republicans, conservative and moderate, must organize, unite and invite others into our tent.

We must run not on allegiance to one man but on our ideas: less government, lower taxes, more freedom. It should be easy. Our ideas are better than theirs, and we’ve proven it. Just look at the economy pre-COVID. We must inspire. We must win hearts.

Instead, we hold competing events, hurl insults, call each other crazies and RINOs, foment conflict and division. As the great communicator, Ronald Reagan, used to say, “the person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20% traitor.”

The consequence of failure is severe. Democrats control the House, the Senate and the presidency. They are rushing to alter the fabric of our country. If they are successful in their proposed explosion of the entitlement state, we can expect higher taxes, even bigger government, a smaller economy, fewer jobs and less freedom.

So my Republican friends, my plea to you is this: enough with the bickering, enough with the conspiracy theories, enough with the grudges. If we don’t change course, we are doomed to failure. The future of our country depends on us.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., represents the 7th Congressional District

Read the Op-Ed in the Post and Courier here.