I Wish Them Luck, But I Think That Train Has Left the Station
OK, I Feel Sad But Vindicated
For over two years now, I have been in the chorus singing that the Republican party we all once new was dead. That real conservatives needed to face the facts and build something new.
This week 100 prominent Republicans said pretty much the same thing. They seem a bit divided on strategy but have laid out two basic options. More on that in a moment. And by the way, even if you are a dedicated Democrat, you should care how this all turns out. So much is at stake, and at real risk.
How and When Did This Happen?
The Republican party has been ill, sick on the inside, for a long time. It played with racist and other negative elements far too long, and increasingly over time. Trump was not a one-off phenomenon – he was the predictable outcome of what the party wrought.
Regan’s talk of welfare queens and states’ rights. Bush and Lee Atwater build ugly and divisive campaign ads. Jesse Helms made a career based on hate and blaming “the others” for the problems of poor whites. And so it went.
Then, a few years ago, several things came together to metastasize. Rush Limbaugh and talk radio polluted the air and the consciousness of many. This was followed by social media, to this day more of an ill for the world than a bonus.
The tea party rose up and the supposed leaders of the Republicans welcomed them. They thought they could control them.
The so-called Freedom Caucus was created in Congress, making a home base for language and thought that would have impressed George Orwell. The old line Republicans thought they could control them, too.
Then Trump popped up and the underbelly found daylight – and a voice. By now, the old guard knew they had lost control, but they still fancied they could moderate things. Perhaps Trump would even moderate and grow into his responsibilities. We saw how that turned out.
The Latest Chapter
Now most of the politicians who still carry the Republican label have chucked it all in the name of staying in power. It is the only value they have left, the only thing they stand for. They kiss the ring of a man who never got above 50% in the polls, who lost the White House by 7 million votes, and who lost both Houses of Congress on his watch. A man who is clearly emotionally and intellectually damaged. But, hey – he has a base and a lot of money, so there we go.
What used to be the Republican party is now something of a cult with an addition to power. The language is Kafkaesque. Hundreds of them voted not to certify the largest, cleanest, most transparent election in our history. And voted to do so the same night insurrectionists struck our capitol.
Almost all of them refused to impeach a clearly guilty president, not once but twice. All this with the full knowledge that what they are doing puts everything – everything – at risk.
People like Cruz, Cawthorn, and Hawley are of the character that you would not hire them for a menial job and certainly would not want your sister to date one of them. McConnell and McCarthy are truly men without souls. They are all moral and intellectual disgraces. But they are now the Republican party.
So, What About This New Movement?
There are some impressive names in this new bunch declaring war on Trumpism. Many of whom I would have expected and hoped to see doing this years ago. Many others should join their ranks. The handful of moderate Republicans left should be loudly joining their ranks, right now. Otherwise, they continue to follow McConnell and McCarthy with their votes.
If that proves to be the case, they are no better than those we discussed earlier. It is past time to say “tsk, tsk” to the media and then turn right around and vote with what has become the Republican party.
We are out of time and patience. Make a decision and take a stand.
The Republican party is hemorrhaging members, but they have grip on many legislatures and other key elective positions. They are on the road to extinction but have time and power to abuse in stealing elections, right now and through the coming years. Unless genuine conservatives stop them.
The optimists in this group appear to be moving toward challenging Trump candidates from within the Republican party, hoping a string of victories will re-empower the moderates and pull the party back towards the center. I wish them luck but I find that most unlikely at this point. They are trying to resuscitate a cadaver.
Others recognize it is time for a new start. That is a hard, long road in American politics, but I think the timing and chemistry is right this time. If they boldly set out to do just that, I think a lot of people will be surprised how quickly they could grow.
Heck, I might even send them a few bucks. This needs to get done.
Watch closely. The next 6 months or so will tell us much about America’s future. Let’s see who has the courage and tenacity for the long, true fight.
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