Republicans are acquiescing to Trump’s lawless political gamesmanship and morally bankrupt ambition and it’s going to bring the whole house down upon us unless we act now.
By David Todd McCarty | Thursday, October 24, 2019
It’s time to start thinking about how to destroy the Republican Party.
I’m sorry it’s come to that, and while everyone is looking for how to find common ground and some way to convince the three people who don’t have a strong opinion about Trump to vote for some half-baked moderate Democrat, we are losing the country.
It’s time to think about restoring some semblance of order and normalcy to America; not out of a desire to gain political power, or even as a means of changing public policy for the better—although we will need to get there eventually—but for the sheer survival of our flailing democracy.
I believe that strength in America, at least when it comes to our current system of government, depends on a strong two-party system where no one has all the control over the long haul. Both parties share power, and compromise is necessary. I don’t think it would be healthy to have Democrats running amuck for long periods of time, no more than I believe having a Republican oligarchy is good for us. We need the push and pull of political ideology.
The problem is, Republicans fucked it up.
They really did. It started with wanting to arrest as much power and control as they could, and it started in the Sixties with the Civil Rights Act. White Republicans came up with a strategy to use white racism to take over the South from the Democratic Party. They developed another strategy to engage white evangelical Christians with the single issue of abortion, a non-issue in the Christian community up until then. The Moral Majority was a way to combat the power of Black Church leaders in America to organize and influence large blocks of black voters, with a new system to influence white Christian voters. Then Reagan began the war on drugs and created the prison industrial complex while instituting an arms race with the Soviet Union. Finally, Clinton capitulated after his impeachment and agreed to a crime bill that haunts us to this day. Clinton’s Presidency was the first sign of the Democrats abandoning the working class and people of color in lieu of college-educated, suburban white voters, and moving towards the center. It wasn’t long after that the Republicans began pulling the center to the right. They perfected gerrymandering, while working on a long term strategy to elect friendly judges, and then they convinced the Supreme Court to allow them to sell themselves to the highest bidder. After that it was game over. Corporations could buy elections, and Republicans could stay in power even though they didn’t have the votes. They launched their own propaganda network where they could fabricate any story, no matter how insane and convince their followers that they were the only arbiters of truth, justice and the American way.
Joseph P. Overton exerted enormous influence from 1992 to 2003 as a researcher and author for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He developed a theory that has been called The Overton Window, which is “a model for understanding how ideas in society change over time and influence politics. The core concept is that politicians are limited in what policy ideas they can support — they generally only pursue policies that are widely accepted throughout society as legitimate policy options. These policies lie inside the Overton Window. Other policy ideas exist, but politicians risk losing popular support if they champion these ideas. These policies lie outside the Overton Window.”
The idea behind this politically is that there is a window of publicly acceptable ideas, and the two sides fight over where the center is, by working the edges. When one side succeed, it pulls the center to their side. Think of it as a tug-of-war with that little ribbon in the middle moving back and forth with the movement of the rope.
We typically break up political activity in America between our two main parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. Although the parties have changed over time, and have even switched ideologies once, they have always been seen as Conservatives or Liberals.
Traditionally, conservatives tended to believe that government should be small, operating mainly at the state or local level, favoring minimal government interference in the economy and preferring private sector-based solutions to problems; “social conservatives” believe that government should uphold traditional morality, and therefore should impose restrictions on contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage.
Liberalism has changed over time, but modern-day liberals tend to believe that government should intervene in the economy and provide a broad range of social services to ensure well-being and equality across society; Liberals usually believe that the government should not regulate private sexual or social behaviors, and believe in pluralism and multiculturalism.
There was a time when we had moderate members of both parties that while they might side with one side or the other generally, they might also share similar beliefs across the aisle with the opposition. The famous example is the fiscal conservative that is socially liberal. They don’t exist anymore, if they ever did, but it was a nice thought. No new taxes but you can screw whoever you want.
Today we have a large population that doesn’t want to identify with either party. They call themselves independents, but really there is no such thing in the American political process. There is no independent party. There is merely unaffiliated registered voters. You are one or other other or you have no party.
A lot of people will tell you they lean libertarian which basically means they think the government is corrupt and everyone should get to do whatever they want, unless you disagree with what they want to do and then they feel like they should be able to shoot you, which really isn’t a political ideology accepted in most parts of the world.
So our Overton Window has changed pretty drastically over the last few decades, with the country moving progressively to the Right. Democrats felt they needed to moderate their positions to be competitive in elections as racial tensions, automation, geographic shifts in population and globalization caused massive shifts in the political landscape, even as the Republicans pushed harder and harder to the right to combat urbanization with patriotism and fear.
Eventually the window shifted to the extent that Eisenhower, a popular Republican President, who would have been characterized as a radical Leftist for his expansion of social security, and a 91 marginal tax rate during his eight years as President. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent Army troops to enforce federal court orders which integrated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. His largest program was the Interstate Highway System. He promoted the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act. His two terms saw widespread economic prosperity except for a minor recession in 1958. In his farewell address to the nation, he expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers.
The reason Republicans and Democrats switched political ideologies was purely a racist response to the racial integration of America. That said, the idea that Republicans today are deficit hawks or fiscally conservative given their ridiculous tax cuts and soaring debt under Trump, is laughable.
The idea that they’re strong on law and order when they attack our own intelligence services to further political goals tells you where they stand. The only law and order they’re interested in is funding police forces that bring a steady stream of inmates into the private prison industry.
They have defended a President who accepted foreign assistance to win an election and they have stood by silently as another foreign power has regularly attacked our national elections.
They elected a blow-hard reality television star that if you’d asked them prior, would have said he represented the opposite of moral authority and Presidential dignity, and for all their kneeling and praying, Trump is arguably the first openly atheist President in the history of America.
Lying, cheating, stealing are all perfectly okay in today’s Republican Party and they have lost all shame about doing it in open.
The President claimed that millions of illegal immigrants have voted fraudulently which is the only reason he didn’t win the popular vote, which he lost by more than 3 million votes. But then we found out the only real fraud was from good old fashioned ballot stuffing by a Republican huckster, and one Trump supporter who tried to vote twice.
The Republican Party is done. Maybe not this cycle. Maybe not this election. But they have no more moral compass, no ideological platform other than greed and hate, and nothing to promise other than revenge and fear. We need them to die as a political anomoly and a threat to democracy.
Democrats need to save the country, then we need to help the Republicans rebuild.