Imagine rooting for a pathogen to win because more dead people — even if they’re you — equals “winning” though “winning what” isn’t exactly clear. Why does “owning the libs” mean so much to right wingers, conservatives and Trumpanistas? Why does it mean more than life itself? Is being a raging asshole really that satisfying or is sharing power democratically simply beyond the pale? Apparently that’s a yes to both. I can’t imagine myself walking in lock step with a bunch of other Jewish people while we all shout “White people will not replace us!” the way white supremacists did at Charlottesville shouting about how Jews would not replace them. Replace them? Doing what? Being them? What does that mean? How little do you think of yourself that abstract humans can step in and disappear you so easily? Who the hell even “thinks” like this?
Oh, right… Republicans, Trumpublicans, Trumpanistas and right wingers in general. They never seem to operate from a place of optimism or hope. They don’t view the future expectantly. Rather, they see the future as a place to fear: “beyond here there be dragons!” Those dragons are Black and brown people. Women with political power and the will to use it. LGBTQ people who are simply trying to find a little peace inside their heads, inside their body chemistry. And then there’s the biggest dragon of all: shared political power. That’s like water to the Wicked Witch Of The West. Sharing political power would melt conservatives. Well, it would melt their political power into virtually nothing because, here in America, that conservatism is driven by white hegemony.
What do Republicans — self-avowed “conservatives” — want to “conserve” if not white hegemony? Anything less would, eventually, lead to the very diversity conservatives fear. The conservative game plan therefore is to stretch out that “eventually” for as long a period as possible. If they can — by screwing democracy — turn that “eventually” into “never”? Well, why wouldn’t a conservative choose that — considering the alternative? I’m just saying — the conservative position here isn’t hard to see or hard to understand. If we put ourselves in their shoes and see the world through their terrified eyes, we’d get it. We’d get what they feel, why they feel and how they feel.
That doesn’t mean we’d agree with their feelings however. That’s the problem, ya see. Conservatives are running entirely off their feelings and never about facts. And the one feeling driving the whole crazy shit show is fear. Conservativism is the uber lizard brain on fire. All it can think of is “stop what’s happening by whatever means possible”. “What’s happening” is forward progress.
What’s happening is fairness. What’s happening is America finally starting to live up to its full potential. The white, Christian, land-and-human-owning men who wrote up America’s founding documents had a great idea. That doesn’t mean they executed that great idea correctly. They didn’t. For starters, they didn’t really mean “All men are created equal”, they only meant white, Christian, land-owning men just like them were “equal”. In “Jeopardy”, that would count as an incomplete answer. You lose. America nearly did because white, Christian, land-owning men are not what makes America exceptional. “E Pluribus Unum” makes America exceptional. Out of many, one. THAT is the engine for American greatness. Progressivism fuels that engine because progressivism recognizes that the more Americans participate in this, the greatest experiment ever in human self government, the better the experiment gets.
Conservatism believes the exact opposite to be true: that the less Americans participate, the better. What they mean is “the more that THEY are the ONLY Americans participating in American democracy, the better”.
Spoiler alert: that ain’t how democracy works. It’s how authoritarianism and facism work.
Why do Republicans all stand on the wrong side of history? Because history, in the end, is made up of human progress. As much as conservative white Americans want to believe that THEY are the entire point of democracy, they’re not. Democracy is the point of democracy and the more democracy, the better. We know from experience how skewed democracy (the Electoral College for example or the structure of the US Senate) skews elections away from the will of the majority and toward a willful minority. In fact, we’ve gotten to see all the myriad ways conservatives have built brakes into the system — not because they want to make democracy better but because they want to make democracy less efficient. Less democratic.
If Republicans could, they’d end the American experiment right here, right now. They have zero interest in being a democratic republic if that means they have no control over it; to them, having a hundred percent control is the only alternative to having less than a hundred percent. It’s all v nothing and they want all.
Those are the stakes. That’s why Republicans are willing to stand alongside a pathogen if the pathogen will help get them what they want: permanent minority rule. By the same token, Republicans are willing to stand alongside treason and traitors to get what they want. That’s what made Vladimir Putin’s bet on the GOP such a sure thing. He understood how craven and corrupt they all were. He understood how hook them all so deeply they’d do whatever he told them to. He understood that he could have them betray America in the open — without America really questioning them. Example: we need to know what promises the “Prostrate Eight” — Senators Richard Shelby (AL.), Steve Daines (MT), John Hoeven (ND), John Neely Kennedy (LA), Jerry Moran (KS.), John Thune (SD) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), plus Rep. Kay Granger (TX.) made over dinner in Moscow July 4, 2018. While the rest of America celebrated our independence from outside interference, what were these traitors promising their Russian masters between the ice cold vodka shots and the caviar?
The GOP isn’t just standing on the wrong side of history. They’re standing on the wrong side of justice. On the wrong side of patriotism. On the wrong side of human decency. On the wrong side of logic and even their own self-interest. On the wrong side of literally everything.