Trump and his new Republican Party have abdicated any semblance of morality in favor of their own hubris and given the Democrats a path to victory.
By David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, February 4, 2020
The Republicans’ incomprehensible defense of Trump in the face of overwhelming evidence of his Constitutional transgressions, not to mention his clear lack of any moral compass, has given Democrats a unique opportunity to recapture the moral authority of the nation and take back control from those who would choose power over principles.
The Moral Majority, founded in 1979 by Baptist minister Jerry Falwell Sr., was a prominent American political organization associated with the Christian right and Republican Party. It played a key role in the mobilization of conservative Christians as a political force and particularly in Republican presidential victories throughout the 1980s. This was before they all started getting caught cheating on their taxes and wives and started going to jail for drugs or transporting minors across state lines.
The last few years have been an astounding time in American history, as Republicans have abandoned nearly every principle and ideology they ever clung to over the last century. The Trump Republican Party, one remade in his own image, have taken to running up the deficit to dizzying heights, blocking free trade, penalizing the working-class, and attacking the free press. They defend an immoral huckster who has no shame, believes himself to be his own god, fucks porn stars without remorse, flaunts tradition, mocks decorum, rejects the Constitution, seems incapable of telling the truth, believes he is above the law, and is consumed by his own hubris.
“This is a war for the soul of America.”
By definition, ethics are beliefs, so if you have poor ethics, you have low standards. Your morals, on the other hand, represent your behavior. If you have poor morals, you behave badly. Trump is everything your grandmother warned you about when it came to those with poor morals; one who lacked either the will to behave according to a high ethical standard, or who simply didn’t possess any ethical standard in the first place.
The fact that Trump has no ethical standard, and therefore behaves immorally, should come as a shock to no one, but the fact that he has convinced an entire political party to join him as he destroys any vestige of decorum, normalcy, kindness, empathy, grace or class, is beyond the pale in light of what was once considered the American ideal.
Donald Trump is a showman, a charlatan, a snake-oil salesman and a conman. There is no denying this, because he has nothing of value to sell, and his every changing sales pitch is always full of misdirection, half-truths and bald-faced lies. His product is a combination of imagination, hopes and fears, all wrapped in a package designed to make you feel good about yourself by blaming someone else for your misfortune. He’s an old-fashioned huckster, and he’s not been unsuccessful at selling a large portion of America his brand of snake oil.
The problem is, he’s also the President of the United States with a bully-pulpit fit for the world’s largest bully, and he’s been very effective at using it to bypass the media which would normally act as a gatekeeper to separate fact from fiction and to dispel spurious claims and naked artifice in a properly functioning, democratic society.
Republicans effectively blocked the impeachment of President Trump, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t suffer the consequences of his actions, even if they themselves have shielded him from the pain of his actions. They will be the ones to pay the price.
The Trump Republican Party is nothing if not loyal to President Trump, but while they may follow in his footsteps in spirit, the other Republicans, specifically those running for office, are not the Dear Leader and are therefore vulnerable to attacks concerning character, values, corruption and ideology.
The word hubris is derived from the Greek word hybris, which means presumption against the gods. In ancient Greek literature, hubris was exemplified as extreme pride and arrogance shown by a character, which ultimately brought about his downfall. Hubris was typically a flaw in the personality of a character who enjoyed a powerful position; as a result of which, he overestimates his capabilities to such an extent that he loses contact with reality. A character suffering from hubris tries to cross normal human limits, and violates moral codes. Generally, the Greek idea of hubris was that a character in an authoritative position becomes so proud of what he believes are exceptional qualities, that he forms a delusion that he is equal to gods, and eventually he tries to defy the gods and his fate, invariably with terrible results.
Narcissus, a figure from Greek mythology, fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. His name lives on today in psychoanalysis where narcissism refers to the personality disorder of excessive self-admiration. Aristotle believed that people who indulged in crimes such as sexual misconduct and the mistreatment of others, were trying to fulfill a basic desire to make themselves feel superior to others.
“Hubris consists in doing and saying things that cause shame to the victim, simply for the pleasure of it.” said Aristotle. “Young men and the rich are hubristic because they think they are better than other people.”
The arrogance of the Republican Party, their unwavering confidence, and unabashed hubris, is, in fact, their Achilles heel. This is where they are vulnerable.
The Democratic Party is the only remaining vestige of a party that still at least claims to believe in a functioning free press. That privacy is something to be protected, both from the state as well as from corporate greed. That personal liberties are not negotiable, even in an age of terror. That empathy and compassion are not what make America weak, but what make American strong. That love and kindness, tolerance and acceptance are the best parts of us.
America should not be a country that refuses to help our neighbors. America should not be a country that separates families. America should not be a country that persecutes its own people. American should not be a country that denies its own citizens basic human rights. American should not be a country of greed. America should not be an oligarchy, dictatorship or theocracy.
If America is to realize the dream of becoming that city on the hill, we need to find the strength to claw our way back up from the grave that Trump and his gang of miscreants have dug for us, and back to a place of moral and democratic authority.
Because this is a war for the soul of America.
Our battle plan must be one of attrition, for it can be nearly impossible to break through the conservative media bubble that exists to protect Trump and the Republican Party, so fighting them head on is a losing battle. But attack we must, and it must be relentless, stealthy and strategic.
Because of the mass hallucination that is Trump’s base of support, where each group sees a hero that represents them even where none exists, attacking him is a mistake, because his followers see Trump as an extension of themselves. If he is wrong, then they too must be wrong. If he is evil, they too must be evil. If he is ignorant, they too must be ignorant. That is too much for them to bear.
No, in order to win, we must cut the legs out from under him. Not criticizing his base, or even Trump himself, but attacking those who support and prop him up. The Republican Party.
Every Republican who runs for office and gives cover to this administration’s corruption must be called to account on a personal level. It doesn’t matter what they think Trump did or didn’t do. How do they square his actions with their own values? Do they share his vanity, narcissism, dishonesty, racism, misogyny and moral failures? Take them one at a time. Ask them, not what they think of Trump, but do they think that’s okay for them to do.
They wanted to acquit this President of high crimes and misdemeanors? Then they must carry the weight of those crimes all the way to election day. All of his crimes, not just the ones in the articles, but all of his crimes and transgressions against the American people.
Then we can take them one by one, in order to sow doubt, feed distrust, cater to fear, and ultimately make people question their individual resolve, and divide the party.
In Judo, a master wastes no energy in a fight, but uses their opponent’s strength and power against them, causing them to become unbalanced, and ultimately letting their opponent fall of their own accord.
This is the way to fight the Republicans. To let them collapse under the weight of their own hubris, simply by shining a light on their hypocrisy. To use their pride and arrogance to seal their own fate.
Pride cometh before the fall.