Not Your Father’s Republican Party
If you are a devout follower of the MAGA Cult, a QAnon believer, or (horrors😱) both, you’re not going to like this article. Rather than waste your time calling it “fake news”, making personal attacks rather than rational counter arguments, and painting ideological opponents with decades old, xenophobic tropes, I suggest that:
- The MAGA Cultists apply some (probably much-needed) lip balm and go back to your efforts at overthrowing the Constitution of the United States;
- The QAnon Believers consider that what you’re being told may be covering up the real conspiracy. Try thinking outside the box (aka planet / dimension / temporal era). You can start by looking into Majestic 12. Remember “The Truth is Out There”;
- The MAGA Cultists who believe in the QAnon conspiracies, need to hurry back to the group. I heard that your leaders are serving Kool-Aid.
About the Header Image …
The image at the top of this article was posted on Twitter by the group that calls itself “The Lincoln Project“. The preceding link goes to the Wikipedia page that describes the project. For those not interested in reading the whole article, here’s the first paragraph:
The Lincoln Project is an American political action committee (PAC) formed in late 2019 by former and current Republicans. During the 2020 presidential election, it aimed to prevent the re-election of Donald Trump and defeat all Republicans in close races running for re-election in the United States Senate. In April 2020, the committee endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Some who still believe in the traditional values of the Republican party have retained their registration. They hope to eventually reset the party’s direction. This article is not about them. They are my father’s Republican party … and his father’s … and his son’s.
Since Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment and likely conviction, there have been 9 Presidents of the United States.
- Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, but created a program for the repatriation of Vietnam deserters and those who avoided the draft by leaving the country.
- Jimmy Carter pardoned the deserters and draft dodgers. His director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bert Lance, resigned under a cloud of allegations. In the investigation of Lance, Carter became the first sitting President to testify under oath.
- Shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election Iran released American hostages that they had held for more than a year. His administration’s “War on Drugs” somehow managed to focus on users more than suppliers and poor people more than rich people. The mishandling of the AIDS epidemic would not be surpassed for 38 years. “Reaganomics” introduced and tried to implement “trickle-down” economics that says the gains produced by a drastic reduction of taxes on Corporations and the rich will trickle down to the rest of the economy. Guess what! Those savings do not trickle down. Most of them stay with those at the top.
- During his campaign, George H.W. Bush said, “Read my lips: no new taxes”. As President, he signed a tax bill into law. This was less a lie than a careless statement. He forgot, as most of us do, that it is Congress that makes laws; not the President. Rather than risk a Congressional override of his veto of an even larger tax law, Bush negotiated with Congress for a law with smaller increases.
- Bill Clinton lied to Congress about an affair with a White House intern and was impeached for that lie. He was not convicted. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his Republican colleagues introduced the trick of threatening to allow the government to shut down rather than increase the debt limit unless their demands were met.
- The administration of George W. Bush expanded the war in Afghanistan into Iraq saying that Saddam Heusen had “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. No WMDs nor the ability to make them were ever found.
- Barack Obama said of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”. That was not true. Like many of us, he neglected the “Patient Protection” part of the law’s name. Some existing health care coverage plans did not meet the law’s minimum requirements. If you had one of those, you could not keep it. (Of course, your inadequate plan probably wasn’t doing you any good.)
- Donald Trump did not corrupt the Republican Party single-handedly. He was encouraged and supported by extreme right politicians and media personalities. They showed him the rot that had been festering in the Republican Party for decades. He realized that he could exploit that rot for his own purposes. Trump is a skilled confidence artist. He used that skill to woo party leaders, right-wing extremists, and rank and file Republicans who were looking for both saviors and scapegoats. He showed them that they didn’t have to pretend anymore. He proved that bare-faced lying no longer mattered. He showed them that working against the Peoples interests no longer mattered. He showed them that “there’s a sucker born every minute” and “you can fool some of the people all of the time“. The leaders of the Republican Party heard this. The smarter ones said, “Thank you. We’ll use that”. Many of the rest joined the suckers and fools to become MAGA Cultists. Those who continued to believe in traditional Republican values were shunned.
Because he first ignored the COVID-19 pandemic, then called it “fake news”, ignored medical experts, and spread crackpot “cures”, an estimated 180,000 to 200,000 of our families, friends, and acquaintances, who might have been saved, are dead. The totally unsupported claims of election fraud fueled the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol and continues to fuel an insurrection dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
- It’s a bit early to evaluate Joe Biden’s administration. Most Presidents get in trouble during the second half of their first term or in their second term. Biden has been President fewer than two years. He is one of the most experienced persons in the Federal government. He was a Senator for 36 years and the Vice President for 8 years before taking on the responsibility of President. He is being blamed for things that he either didn’t do or didn’t cause. The didn’t do is raise taxes on the middle class. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has suggested that Inflation Reduction Act might increase taxes for some middle class people, but those increases are likely to be erased (and then some) by tax credits for energy efficiency, savings on prescriptions, etc. He definitely did not cause U.S. and World-Wide inflation.
Who Can We Blame for Inflation?
Who can we blame for inflation? We can blame all of us, everywhere. The main cause of the inflation that is hitting the whole world is the COVID-19 pandemic. All countries on Earth were forced to shut down or drastically reduced production and production for almost two years. Discretionary spending stopped. Those who could worked from home. We were earning money with few places to spend it … and a lot of us were going more than a little stir crazy. Then came the vaccines that have changed the pandemic disease into an endemic disease. As quickly as the pandemic shut down the world, the vaccines opened it … at least in the richer countries. People anxious to “live again” with a larger than usual amount of discretionary funds created demands that the greatly reduced production and distribution systems could not quickly supply.
We can blame Russia too. Putin added to the problem by disrupting food sources and distribution when he attacked Ukraine … a major producer of the World’s grain supply. Recently, OPEC+ exacerbated the problem by cutting back on oil production in order to increase prices (and their profits). They have artificially inflated the price of oil … and, in the process, provided Russia with additional funds for attacking Ukraine. Not surprisingly, oil companies are reporting massive profits. It would seem that the limited supply of petroleum is not hurting them. Rather than fill their coffers with inflated prices, they and their stock holders might consider reducing the cost of their products. Because distribution relies on diesel fuel, food prices get an extra boost.
Looking at the List
Let’s take a deeper look at the items in the Lincoln Project’s list.
- Cuts to Social Security and Medicare
Cuts to Social Security and Medicare are only the beginning. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) called for putting all government programs up for a vote every 5 years. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that the programs should be up for renewal annually. Some candidates have called for privatizing these programs or ending them completely. I don’t know about most retirees, but I know I need these “entitlements“. You’re damned right we’re entitled to them. We put money into those funds for our whole working careers.
- Loss of civil liberties
They’ve started with women’s rights to make their own health and reproductive decisions without government interference. What’s next … banning contraceptive, eliminating same sex and/or interracial marriage, forcing people whose physical gender doesn’t match their spiritual/psychological gender just to “live with it”?
- Rise in extremist violence
The January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol was just the beginning. Now, we’re seeing masked and armed thugs at ballot drop-boxes in Arizona. We’re hearing MAGA-Republican candidates at all levels of government denying the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. They are as much as promising a “call to arms” if they do not win their own election races. If the “Big Lie” had even the tiniest bit of truth, they should be able to prove it with evidence. Every recount has shown evidence that 2020 was one of our most secure elections ever. Every legal effort has failed or been thrown out of the courts … often by Republican-appointed judges.
- No aid to Ukraine, a victory for Putin
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has warned that “Republicans will not write a ‘blank check’ for Ukraine if they win back the House. Some of the more extreme, QAnon-leaning, MAGA-Republicans would eliminate all funding for Ukraine. So long as the Ukrainians fight to protect their freedom against a Putin’s oppression, we must support them. There is no price too great to protect self-determination from authoritarianism wherever the threat occurs.
- Hunter Biden all day, every day
Who cares? A parent is not forever responsible for the mistakes of his or her adult children. A child is not forever responsible for any mistakes his or her parents may have made. Any efforts to get others to believe the contrary is just a smoke screen to cover one’s own failings.
The Country Needs your Vote!
In a recent campaign rally, Republican candidate for governor, Tim Michaels said, “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I’m elected governor.” Someone should tell him that saying “the quiet part” out loud is not smart. You’re probably being recorded. The terrifying thing is that Michaels is not alone. The MAGA-Republicans are so intent on maintaining their control and so out of touch with the mainstream electorate that they’re more than willing to “rig the game”. They have given up on democracy. If they can solidify their majorities in state legislatures, governorships, and secretaries of state, they can maintain the form of free elections while stripping them of all substance. This midterm election could be one of the last two or three or four election cycles that spell the end of the experiment in democracy that began 246 years ago.
How important is this election? Rachel Maddow explained it better than I can.
The Choice is Yours … and Yours … and Yours … and Yours … and Mine
So there you have it.
- IF we want protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.,
- IF we want to protect the right of women to make their healthcare decisions, the rights of LGBTQ+ people, and other civil liberties without government interference,
- IF we want to avoid society plagued by ever increasing violence,
- IF we support the right of all countries to protect their freedom and national boundaries from encroachment by their neighbors,|
- IF we want Congress to actually work for the People rather than their own lust for power,
WE must make our choices known by the time the polls close on Tuesday, November 8th.
Be careful when you vote. It’s estimated that 60% of us will have an election denier on our ballots. Those are the MAGA-Cultists who want to turn future elections into meaningless exercises. It is they who want to overthrow our Constitution and our Rule of Law. Don’t forget the “down ballot” candidates. In most states, the Secretary of State is in charge of making sure that elections are secure and accurately counted. State Legislators make voting laws and draw voting districts. Governors sign and administer laws. County, town, and district officials can ban books and whitewash history.
The MAGA-Republicans are not as powerful as they think they are … at least, not yet. Not all Republicans have fallen for the MAGA Cult and/or QAnon lies. There are fewer registered Republicans than Democrats. Independent voters outnumber Democrats. Many, if not most, first-time voters have registered Independent. I already voted by mail several weeks ago. I guess that means …
… the Choice is Yours … and Yours … and Yours … and Yours, and ….
I became eligible to vote in 1966. (Voting age was 21 back then. The 26th Amendment was in the future.) U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War had escalated during the administrations of Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The idea of going to a jungle on the other side of the world to kill or be killed … or both … was not very appealing. Making the common mistake of single-issue voting, I registered as a Republican. Eisenhower was a Republican. Life was OK during his 8 years. He pushed for the construction of the Interstate Highway system. He warned us about the Military-Industrial Complex. Nixon created the EPA and signed the law that created OSHA. His administration backed us out of Vietnam. When the Watergate scandal broke, we learned that our President was, in fact, a crook … and a liar. Sometime during the Ford administration, I stopped being a Republican. I don’t recall if I was ever registered as a Democrat. If so, it wasn’t for long. I soon registered as an Independent and have never looked back.
We can thank both the Trump and Biden administrations for this. The Trump administration provided the resources for developing and testing the vaccines, The Biden administration made them available to the U.S. public without cost to the individual.
To his credit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared the idea of these proposed sunset laws on Social Security and Medicare to be dead on arrival.