Sometimes, elections aren’t about what you think they’re about. We know damned well what Election 2022 is about – “Democracy: Do Or Die”. While that’s not literally on the ballot, it might as well be. The thing is, “Democracy: Do Or Die” didn’t premier in this election. It’s played in American elections since 2016 – the one where Donald Trump and the Republican Party may have, with Russia’s assistance, literally flipped the election’s outcome (much more investigation needed). Russia impacted everything in the Trump White House. Putin’s own stated goal was to undermine America starting with our democracy. Judging by Republican behavior, they see American Putinism as their goal. Putinism = Criminal Corruption + Insane Religiosity + Violent Nationalism. The only thing stopping them from having their way is our fragile democracy. For Republicans, Election 2022 is step one in a two-step process. That’s why Republicans put democracy on the ballot.
Whether or not democracy wins or loses, the GOP’s goal is deliver the coup de grace (such as it is) in 2024. That’s when – regardless of how any American votes – the Republican Party means to end the democratic experiment completely. They don’t intend to take “no” for an answer. That’s how rapists are. Rape is a power play and the GOP will end its days as democracy’s power-mad rapist.
“Putin Pays Trump – Swear To God!”
Broken record time. The Republican Party knew even before they nominated Trump that giving Trump presidential power would be treacherous. On June 25, 2016 – a month before the GOP formally nominated Trump – current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy attended a meeting about Putin’s attempts to subvert Ukraine’s burgeoning democracy. He left that meeting in order to attend a GOP leadership meeting. Upon entering meeting number two, McCarthy said something strange (based on what he’d learned at meeting number one)! He said “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!”
This truly was a defining moment. It deserves far, far more scrutiny and consideration than it’s gotten. One member of the GOP’s leadership tells all the others that he suspects Vladimir Putin has literally compromised their presidential candidate. That IS what McCarthy was saying (and, no, he was not joking – that bullshit explanation deserves to be laughed out of any room it plays in). The man the Republican Party was about to nominate to be POTUS would pose a grave national security threat should he win.
Now consider who would want such a thing to happen. Certainly Vlad Putin! But anyone in that meeting of GOP leaders? Who there could possibly want to give Putin and Russia that much leverage? That’s what’s playing beneath the surface here – a question of loyalty. To America and to America’s democracy.
Diversity – America’s “Secret Sauce”
Democracy sets America apart, not its whiteness. And America’s diversity sets it apart as much as does its democracy. In fact, American democracy is what lured diversity to it – and then diversity enriched and further empowered America’s democracy. That’s the true nature of American Exceptionalism – our diversity. We are a nation made up of all the other nations. It’s our secret sauce. And it bugs the crap out of some white people.
The Right Wing money (the Koch network especially) went full-on, trickle-down libertarian. If every libertarian could fellate themselves, that’s absolutely what they would do 24/7/365. Regardless of how good, bad or indifferent it was, they’d insist it was great. Right wing money walks around thinking they have God on their side. That justifies anything they do in their minds – and it means they don’t owe anyone an explanation.
God works in mysterious ways apparently.
White people took it for granted that they’d always call the shots in America. That’s really originalism’s goal – to use the fact that white men wrote America’s founding documents to insist that America still live in the founders’ 18th century world. Over time, America’s white founders adjusted their definition of “white”. That allowed Italians, Irish and some Eastern Europeans to punch their white cards.
It sucks losing anything. Losing power sucks especially. At some point, as the right wing money sobered up following the Reagan Feeding Frenzy, the money saw demographic annihilation in its future. Diversity was going to destroy Right Wing hegemony. The Right Wing was having none of it.
If Republicans could win elections on the strength of their ideas, they’d do it. They used to. But, now, no one outside their circle wants what they’re selling. Why would they? That’s what triggered Republican treachery.
In a way, Republicans saw their own “Do Or Die” moment. Theirs conflicted with democracy. And, so, from the Republican vantage point, democracy had to go.
Democracy itself may not be on any ballot – not the word anyway. But, in every other way, shape or form, this election’s about nothing else.