Republicans Doom the Republic
Throughout my long adult life, I have never considered myself a political ideologue. Rather, I like to think of myself as a pragmatist: whatever works best for the most people, while showing compassion for those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. But it has become abundantly clear that, in general, the Democratic Party stands for these principles while today’s Republican Party eschews them.
And the GOP does that while proclaiming that it is the party of family values, high morals, patriotism, fiscal responsibility in government, and concern for humanity. Those claims are screaming hypocrisy from the rooftops. And it is these contradictions in the GOP leadership and the party’s followers that are tearing our country apart and plunging it into a downward spiral.
To be sure, not all conservatives are content with what’s happening. Some are appalled. They are the ones who identify with that ideology out of a sincere belief in the values it upholds, including personal responsibility, protection of traditions, a strong embrace of capitalism and abhorrence of big government, individual freedom, a strong national defense, patriotism, and a free-market economy.
Worship of false idols
But the Republican Party for decades has shown itself to value two things above all else: power and money. Pursuit of those related golden calves has taken precedence over all of the declared values.
Why else has the GOP leadership fallen in line behind the election of the pedophilic Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate? They need him to help ram into law their regressive legislation, including a tax overhaul bill that is thoroughly condemned by nonpartisan analysts and economists across the board as the worst ever brought up for a vote. This is legislation that makes the ultrarich richer, eventually raises taxes on the middle class to make them poorer, causes 13 million Americans to go without health insurance, forces cuts in social programs, and harms our economy. Only one Republican senator, the retiring Jeff Flake of Arizona, voted against the tax bill that will greatly harm everyone who isn’t wealthy and mostly benefit the richest 1 percent. All of the other 51 GOP senators chose to side with their corporate donors and with their ideology in voting for the bill.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake
Besides supporting Moore, who also has flouted the U.S. Constitution, these same members of Congress support a president who has bragged about his sexual indiscretions.What has Vice President Mike Pence, the supposedly devout evangelical, had to say about all this? Not a word, of course. He knew about Donald Trump’s abusive treatment of women, his financial corruption, and his pathological lying before agreeing to be part of the team.
Vice President Mike Pence
Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership in Congress, along with many rank-and-file members, successfully pressured two of its members who’ve sexually transgressed, Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken, to resign. And their misdeeds were far less egregious than those of Moore and Trump, who has bragged about them.
U.S. Rep. John Conyers
What was that about morals and family values? The big H stinks to high heaven and burns with a bright red flame for all to see.
GOP becomes unmoored
U.S. Sen. Al Franken
But it isn’t just the Republicans in Congress who enable this morally bankrupt behavior. They wouldn’t be there without the voters who elected them. And who are these voters? A big percentage of them are evangelicals, whose perspective is so deplorably askew that these politicians’ support for prayer in the schools and opposition to acceptance of people with unconventional sexual preferences, to people of faiths outside the Judeo-Christian fold, and to abortion supersede the politicians’ flouting of the most basic tenets of Christianity.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller
Then there’s the matter of patriotism. Doesn’t that include defending against attempts by our adversary Russia to interfere in our election? Apparently not, in the view of the Republican Congress, a growing part of which is seeking to discredit highly revered Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of attempts to obstruct justice by Trump and his band of thugs, and of collusion with Russia. As Mueller uncovers more evidence, the malfeasance among members of the Trump circle gets ever closer to implicating the president himself, and Republicans are fearful that the American public will demand action.
Tyrant in chief
That is the scariest aspect of this Congress. President Trump has clearly demonstrated his wish to become a dictator, employing the tactics used by autocrats worldwide: attacking anyone who opposes or disagrees with him, lying about everything that doesn’t cast him in a favorable light and increase his power, and most important, trying to quash the press.
Thomas Jefferson said that if he had to choose between government and a free press, he would choose the press. Without it, seekers of power and wealth escape scrutiny, and democracy disappears. The specter of a tyrannical form of government looms ever larger, as our democratic form of government erodes.
That is why virtually all of the mainstream conservative media voices in this country have joined their liberal and neutral pundits in sounding the alarm. People such as George Will, Kathleen Parker, Michael Gerson, David Frum, David Brooks, even right winger Mona Charen and, to a lesser extent, Charles Krauthammer – all are in accord with the likes of Tom Friedman, Paul Krugman, E.J. Dionne, Leonard Pitts and Maureen Dowd in their excoriation of Trump, especially, and the Republican Congress.
The republic’s salvation lies in the hope that those who put Donald Trump in the White House, and who installed the GOP members of Congress, come to their senses and realize that those politicians are working against their best interests, both economically and socially. The outcome of next November’s election will be telling for the future viability of our democracy and leadership in the world.
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