Democracy vs. GOP Malpractice: The Fight of the Century

          The contrasts between Biden and the Trump/GOP administration couldn’t be clearer. In 170 days, Democrats have passed Covid-19 relief, vaccinated 65% of the population, brought unemployment down, kept the stock markets happy, created jobs, rebuilt important alliances, and partially restored America’s standing in the world.

Meanwhile, Republicans have tried to block every effort Biden has made. McConnell announced his “Dr. NO” strategy early on— the same strategy the GOP employed against President Obama. It had dire consequences for the country then and it will now. The GOP seems happy to see Biden fail even if that means disaster for the country. They only want to cling to power…

It is time for serious citizen to take stock.

The GOP constantly tricks voters through pure and hypocritical projection: Trump’s rally in Florida was a stark example. He claimed that Democrats were spreading “disinformation.” He elaborated on how disinformation worked—he basically said, ‘You repeat a lie over and over until people believe it.’ The fact that Biden won the last election is not a lie—Trump’s constant repetition of the “big lie” that he did, is. His words prove he knows exactly what he is doing.

This same notion of lie, repetition, and projection underlie the other talking points Republicans now lean on as they head for mid-term elections. These bizarrely weak reeds are “critical race theory,” “cancel culture,” and “election security.” They are all pure distraction.

As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as “critical race theory.” The phrase is just a GOP ploy to suggest the existence of a sinister ideology that misinforms ordinary Americans about racism. There is no theory here- just the commonsensical notion that we should teach the facts about historical, systemic racism in our country so that the average citizen can understand why people of color (rightfully) feel so disenfranchised. The GOP effort to defeat this trend is the real cancel culture. 

Likewise, GOP efforts to suppress the vote by increasing all kinds of new restrictions (even though there was no evidence of serious voter fraud) are the real effort to cancel differing points of view. The GOP’s unrestricted use of the filibuster to maintain minority rule in the face of Democratic majorities is just more of the dangerous GOP cancel culture. For the GOP, election security simply means the ability to cancel the real will of the voters—it is the last recourse of a party that can’t really persuade most people anymore because they have no real ideas of worth to offer. The filibuster rule basically allows the minority to “cancel” even any debate on certain topics by the majority- cancel culture with a vengeance. The Filibuster was meant to prolong debate—not prevent it. The GOP has turned that idea on its head.

Nothing shows how badly GOP “thought” has been turned upside down than Tucker Carlsen’s recent exhortation. For years he has railed against government “intrusion” on American freedoms. Last week he proposed putting cameras inside every classroom in the country to make sure teachers don’t talk about critical race theory. Wow. Talk about “Big Brother!” Yet he defends the right of right-wing nuts to spew hate speech. (And never mind what the cameras in the Capitol Building on Jan 6th saw).

It is notable how many former thought leaders of the GOP have turned their back on the GOP as it exists today: Bill Kristol, David Brooks, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Steve Smith, Nicole Wallace, Michael Steel, Charlie Sykes, etc. Others, like Liz Cheney, John Boehner, John McCain, and Jeff Flake have spoken up and have also been promptly canceled.

Most serious political analysts consider the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol to be the most serious threat to democracy in a century. The GOP closed ranks against a serious bipartisan investigation. Only two Republicans voted for it.

All this should come as no surprise. GOP “theorist” Grover Norquist once said that the US government should be starved until he could “drown it in the bathtub.” That is the attitude that has led to Trump’s attempt to cancel the results of the last election. Hardly what the founding fathers had in mind. They sought a more perfect union—not a lot of malcontents running amok.

GOP efforts to cancel debate—and the vote itself—are the real issue. For me, it is no longer about any partisan position: it is just about whether you believe in Democracy anymore. Since Biden’s election, the GOP have proposed about 880 new laws –all meant to make voting more difficult. This should tell any patriot all they need to know about the GOP’s attitude toward real democracy.  

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