When, oh when, did America legitimize CHEATING as a way “to win”?
Take this to the bank and prepare to get filthy, stinking rich: if anyone other than white, Christian, male Republicans tried to pull off what the Republicans were pulling off well before Donald Trump took them over but even more wolfishly ever since – they would be doing hard time in a federal prison already. If Republicans were anything other than rich white guys, we would not have given them a single one of the second, third, fourth ad infinitum “second chances” we still give Republicans. We would absolutely have put our foot down long ago and probably atop one of their more vulnerable body parts.
But, as we know, rich, Christian white men walk around America with a special dispensation that allows them and their corruption to run amok while the rest of us scratch our heads with growing unease. The GOP isn’t expressing a “political opinion” or even a “point of view”. They’re expressing the willful desire to end the greatest experiment in human self government ever because 1) they’re unwilling to share power with the rest of us and 2) they never intended, ever, to share power with the rest of us.
Take the Electoral College out of the presidential race equation and Donald Trump would never have stood a chance. Russia, for its part, would never have bothered backing Trump to begin with because the popular vote math simply was never going to be there. Russia, having studied us endlessly, understands just fine that the Electoral College (like the structure of the Senate) isn’t intended to empower the majority, it’s meant to get in the majority’s way especially when the majority’s needs conflict with corruption’s. If there’s one thing Vlad Putin gets on a cellular level, it’s corruption. He sees it writ large across conservatism. Example – why are there two Dakotas? Were there too many Dakotans for one Dakota? I bet it’s the same reason lightly populated Idaho, Wyoming and Montana are all individual states whose small, mostly white populations get the exact same amount of Senatorial representation as large, diverse urban population states like California.
Think of it: each South or North Dakotan (population a shade under 885,000 and 762,000 respectively) gets the same amount of representation in the Senate as 39.5 million Californians. That gives the North or South Dakotan’s rural concerns far more political weight than an Angleno has. Far, FAR more political weight. That’s why America feels so out of whack. The rabid, white minority have been pushing the rest of us around forever, changing the rules on the fly as needed to keep the act going. Their corruption and cynicism permeate everything. And, now that they’ve decided to throw in the towel on democracy and go balls to the wall toward authoritarianism?
The GOP has a deep, fundamental problem: they’ve always been more into corruption than they ever were into democracy. Corruption pays better apparently. And, as Donald Trump and his Republican pals keep reminding us, once you head down the road to corruption? There’s no going back. Our founders cut a deal with slavery. They cut a deal with evil. Funny thing about evil is, whatever deal you cut with it? YOU did all the compromising, not evil. Evil never compromises, least of all with silly-assed humans who think you can “cut a deal” with an evil as evil as slavery.
Let’s not forget: the modern GOP flowed from Nixon’s “southern strategy” wherein he flipped the Dixiecrats (which wasn’t hard), officially turning them from Democrats to Republicans. While all the overt racists flocked to George Wallace, the more “polite” racists flocked to Nixon. In the end, they ALL ended up Republicans. The GOP coalesced into the culture warrior Newt Gingrich set upon the rest of us. That guy had and has zero interest in negotiating with anyone (least of all the left). To bullies like Newt, the rule of law is useful when it’s useful and entirely disposable the rest of the time.
The point of the exercise is a wall between America’s diverse majority and any kind of meaningful political power. The right has, at best, played “democracy kabuki” when necessary but their ultimate goal has always been permanent minority rule.
No one in the majority, of course, is going to vote for ignorant, racist, bigoted thugs to rule them permanently. No one is going to vote for the ideas that come from such people – were they to have ideas. Fortunately, beyond permanent minority rule, they don’t have any ideas. That’s where cheating to win comes in. With cheating to win, you never have to gamble on voters liking you or your ideas. Instead, you pretty much guarantee yourself a win just because YOU like you (and any ideas if you have them).
When, I’d like to know, did our news media decide that cheating to win wasn’t verboten? When did it become “just another way to win” instead of “the thing that would absolutely disqualify your win if you dared try it”? Imagine for a moment if our news media stopped treating cheating as a strategy and started treating it like a terrible character flaw that we so don’t want it in our leaders that we’ve actually outlawed it. Imagine if we treated cheating like corruption instead of like a “choice” one always has. Imagine if we prosecuted cheaters and cheating because we grasped just how terrible cheaters and cheating are for both our political and physical systems.
How can letting a cheater get away with cheating ever turn out well for the cheated upon? Cheaters don’t put away their cheating jones. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Just knowing that we tolerate a certain amount of corruption and cheating among certain people undermines our democracy’s integrity. But then, when you couldn’t care less about integrity, maybe democracy’s not really your thing.