Dear Democracy: The GOP Just Ain’t That “In To” You

It sucks having to be the one to break the bad news. Democracy is so good-hearted. It wants the best for the most people. To make that happen, democracy wants everyone to have a voice (one person, one vote!) and if the majority of us want to be governed a certain way, then by voting that way, we make it happen. That’s the theory of how democracy works… alas, not everyone who claims they’re part of this democratic republic is genuinely faithful to it or to the relationships with others democracy requires. That is a very big part of being democratic – having relationships with Americans who are different from us. The stronger and healthier those bonds are, the better. While the rest of us thought the Republicans were just bad at relationships (and democracy in general), it turns out they’re more than just “bad” at it. They’re deceitful, dishonest and downright despicable!

It turns out The Republican Party has been cheating on American democracy for years now! And they’ve brought home all kinds of nasty diseases with which they’ve infected us.

Where did this come from? Were Republicans always like this?

No, actually. Historian Heather Cox Richardson tells the story of the Republican Party in her excellent “To Make Men Free: A History Of The Republican Party”, she describes how the Republican Party rose from the ashes of the Whigs, coalescing around ideas we’d identify today as being Democratic: equal rights for all people – black and white – public education, a more equal distribution of wealth. Lincoln’s election as the first Republican President triggered the Confederacy’s creation as all the strongly Democratic Southern states seceded. The people filling the Democratic Party of the 1860’s are today’s staunchest Republicans; the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have literally switched sides.

The “modern” Republican Party IS the Confederacy risen from the grave.

Like the Confederacy, the Republican Party is now officially The White Man’s Party through and through. Our growing diversity and that diversity’s political voice scares the crap out of them. They have no interest in sharing power (or money) with anyone not white (and already filthy, stinking rich). They want the rest of us to work as cheaply as possible (for literal slave wages; if they could bring slavery itself back, they wold) and live short, hard lives that connect our bank accounts to theirs. The last thing on earth they want for us is political power. That’s why the GOP does everything it can to limit democracy rather than expand the franchise.

And that’s because when none of the electorate wants to buy the ideas the Republican Party is selling . That’s the whole point of gerrymandering: the politicians get to choose their voters rather than the other way around. If you can slice and dice the opposition into easily crushable pockets of resistance (the smaller the better), it makes puling off minority rule so much easier. Divide and conquer!

Ah, but the same “Divide and Conquer” strategy that brings that first blush of success also will bite huge chunks from the Divider And Conqueror’s ass. Being fascists, the Republicans believe America will get swept up in its power grab – either convinced of its “rightness” or cowed by its armed might. They have visions of Nuremburg rallies in their heads. Nuremburg Trials will await them instead.

The Right Wing Money (the Kochs & Mercers) declared war on our democracy as the Reagan Revolution disappeared in our rear view mirror. They saw demographic oblivion ahead as a diversifying America took more and more political power from white people. Having zero interest in sharing power, the Right Wing Money set its focus on destroying our democracy from within and their main weapons would be local elections and the federal judiciary. They saw that if they controlled enough state houses and the federal judiciary, they could undermine every last bit of our representative form of government and keep themselves in power maybe even forever.

While the Kochs would have preferred to seize power with more normal presidential candidates than Donald Trump – who the Republican Party KNEW was owned outright by Russia (“There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!”) – it turns out beggars can’t be choosers and neither can traitors. The Kochs and the Mercers aren’t dummies. They know exactly who they’re crawling into bed with. They know why. And they knew when they hitched their wagons to Trump that they were hitching it to Vladimir Putin’s Russia as well.

They knew they were betraying America. Between the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and various other entities it operates on the downlow, “The Koch industry operates as a Trojan horse operation trying to destroy good institutions and they have pretty much the same views as the Russians”.

We all grow up believing that America is a flawed compact between its two political parties. We The People see the Democrats and Republicans as “mom and dad” in the front seat – arguing as one of them drives and the other backseat drives and navigates (albeit poorly). We sit in the actual backseat, hoping like hell mom ‘n dad don’t drive the whole family off a cliff they’re so freakin’ distracted. But, so far, we always get to our destination more or less in one piece. It’s only slowly dawning on us how different this road trip is from every other road trip.

We The People are going to have to claw our way into the front seat ourselves and grab hold of the steering wheel.

This time, mom & dad are locked in a death struggle for control of the car. The Republicans literally want to drive us over a cliff. The Democrats in Congress and the White House are actively engaged with trying to stop them. But, will that be enough?

The shocker is how far gone the Republican Party had become before the Democrats awoke to it. Our news media still struggles to see the Republicans for who and what they are: cynical, jaded and corrupt beyond redemption. Our issues with Republicans transcends our capacity to fix them in large part because the Republicans’ issue with the rest of America is so deep-seated and venal.

I hate to break it to every democracy-loving American: the Republican Party just ain’t “in to” us the way they should be. It’s not us.

It’s them.

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