Disclaimer: For clarity and context, the author of the essay below was raised Republican. His grandfather was a career higher-up in the Republican Party. It was and still is “the family political party”. He himself has been a lifelong Independent. He has never been a Democrat or a Republican. He’s voted for both sides intermittently depending on geographic location and what the vote was about.
Anyone who lacks basic knowledge of current affairs in the United States enough to ask you why the once-sufficient Republican Party is now so despised here in the U.S., and a laughing stock everywhere else, save the article linked below and forward it to them. The headline sums it up well enough. [DeSantis signs bill to defund Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs at Florida’s public colleges. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law Monday barring the state’s colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and limiting how race can be discussed in many courses.]
Of course, you could also just google any one of the hundreds of elected Republicans current or former on any given day, especially the former president, and find equally damning & infuriating evidence of the lost and dangerous party and its followers.
This of course does not equate to the Democratic Party being “good”. People often make that mistake. It just makes them “better”. Truth be told, you’d be hard pressed to not be Independent at this point, though the Dems are doing fine at the moment in terms of performance and at the very least being aligned with the basic views of at least half the American people and most of the world.
But at a time like this, when the very system itself and the government it creates is so awash in greed, corruption and ineptitude on both sides, Independent makes sense. It’s the only intelligent option for a people long overdue for an actual solution to the broken system that was once envisioned to serve them.
With that said, Independent or not, anyone not disturbed by and terrified of the collection of criminals and crackpots who have no place to go in American politics but the Republican Party now should be viewed questionably.
They’ll give you plenty of excuses why they don’t see the insanity taking place all around them by these lunatics and thieves…. And that, right there, is enough to question anyone’s intelligence or sanity. They’ll say they don’t see the ignorance, corruption, greed, bigotry, duplicity, deceit, or stupidity in Republicanism ….. Love them or not, there’s something terribly wrong with this person.
Or they’ll acknowledge some of it and claim to be terribly distraught about it, and then say “but it’s better than the alternative” (meaning the Dems), which in itself is absolutely terrifying. You don’t choose a racist homophobic lying stealing uncompassionate heartless criminal to care for your kids because you disagree with a few ideas of the well-educated, responsible and compassionate babysitter down the block.
I have plenty of Republican friends. When I question how they can still support such a sewer pit of the worst humanity has to offer, the answers I’m given are: 1. “I was raised Republican.” These r the types who believe politics is no different than American football. They want their team to win. They feel bad when it doesn’t. 2. It’s the money. I.E. “I don’t want to pay more taxes. I want to stop all those entitlement programs.” (we’ll get to this — and indeed it’s the only reason there still is a Republican Party considering how far it’s fallen. But the wealthy 1% don’t need a government for anything except military protection from foreign invaders. So they care not who’s in office except for one issue: taxes. So they alone (including the corporations) donate the majority of the money to the party knowing full well they’re voluntarily in bed with the unwashed uneducated masses from the slave states but they don’t care, as long as their taxes stay low, or their company gets the write offs or exemptions or laws changed that they requested. If they cause a civil war ala January 6th or something worse through their irresponsibly keeping republicans in office, they’ll be on the first plane out of here. But it won’t be a plane. It’ll be a private jet. Theirs. This is how the wealthy inadvertently cooperate with and support millions of people they’d never agree with on anything, never associate with or even talk to. Because they don’t talk to or associate with them. They just know the Republican Party needs them or they can’t win and hence has absolutely no morals scruples or values. So they know they can get whatever they want out of said party. Their own personal views are liberal and intelligent. But they secretly or even publicly support the Repubs for financial reasons only, having almost zero allegiance to any country, especially not this one. They’ve transcended nationality due to financial status. 3. They’re religious and they think homosexuality or abortion is sinful. 4. They “care about the kids” and think LGBTQ is all harmful to kids. Many of them equate LGBTQ with pedophilia automatically. 5. They say they don’t see anything wrong with the current state of republicanism or those serving under its banner. They either really don’t see Desantis, Santos, Geatz, Taylor-Greene, Cruz, Trump, et al., or they do see them and actually agree with them. Besides the soulless wealthy who support current republicans knowing they’re destroying the country, this group is by far the most dangerous. It’s the same group we’ve been fighting since before, during and after the civil war. These are the real life Slave-Staters we’ve been battling since before the founding, who now choose to call themselves red-staters to deflect who they really are, but who they are comes through loud and clear every damn day, as it just did with this new law Desantis passed. If it ain’t white straight christian and born in the USA, they don’t like it. To them, that’s what republicanism and “the good old days” means. 6. They want to be tough on crime, as if democrats don’t. This is thinly veiled racism. 7. They care about keeping their guns and their second amendment. Meaning, no matter how many mass gun murders there are in the country, no matter how many die, they don’t care, until one of theirs gets killed. They will continue to overlook both the global record breaking gun violence in the US and the the fact that it’s only the republicans who participate in the soulless and criminal NRA bribery that takes place (they call it “lobbying” so as not to call it bribery). 8. They “care about the border and immigration”. Ask them where their family came from before they got to America. They’ll smile wide and happily recall their family’s own immigration story. But that doesn’t matter to them now. They’re here now. Besides, everyone in their family allegedly came in legally. And this may be true. But what’s really at the heart of the passionate anger against illegal immigration since it’s only Hispanic South Americans who are trying to get in? And why can’t the government on either side set up a few giant Ellis Island like immigration centers at the Mexican border to expedite the process? Why is the answer more walls and a big NO?
9. They’ll start recounting a variety of different conspiracy theories only aimed at democrats, like Pizzagate. The problem with this view, as aligned as many of us might be with it, is that there are just as many conspiracies about the American government involving the Republicans, as any decent theorist will tell you. Both parties are filled with conspiracy rumors that would make anyone shudder. The assassinations of the five most prominent leaders in the United States in the 1960s is just one example. Most American conspiracies transcend political party and speak to a more ominous conclusion about the government itself. 10. They want to “make America strong again” globally and militarily and “keep it safe”. These are what we call the Hawks. They want a stronger more aggressive foreign policy, more money spent on weapons of war and what they wrongly call “defense spending”. They want to be tougher on communism. Yet there is so much wrong with this viewpoint… Briefly… Traditionally sure the Republican Party once upon a time represented the Hawks. Both the Reagan and the Cheney-Bush White Houses illustrated this. But both the Clinton and Obama administrations changed that narrative. Both White Houses were notoriously brutal in regards to their foreign policy and American exceptionalism speak and practices. Both ran rampant around the world doing whatever they thought was best for the United States and attacked or killed whoever got in the way. Democrats could no longer be called patsies or soft. America itself became a Hawk with no difference between the parties. Until Donald Trump appeared. He said he was Republican. But he cozied up to communist Russia as if it were a democracy. He gleefully danced like a child to impress the Saudi family, one of the most barbaric and monstrous groups of fascists in human history. In regards to China or North Korea he made intelligent observations like “I think he really likes me”. This was no hawk. This was no dove. This was a buzzard.
You certainly don’t choose a political party because you were raised that way (even though most do), or because “that’s your family’s team” and “you want your team to win”. Those days are over unfortunately. For all of us.
As much as we long for the old days when we had at least two teams to choose between in governance in America (which in an of itself is a tragic aspect of American governance. It’s damn close to authoritarianism, 370 million people having only two choices to pick between regarding who controls every aspect of their lives from the local all the way to national level) we don’t now, have two teams that is. We’ve only got one viable political party in America, and another disaster of an organization whose sole concern at this time is its survival — knowing full well the mess it’s in and how harmful, divisive and dangerous it is to the country it ostensibly is supposed to serve (the recent FOX News revelations being just one example of this).
Republicanism no longer looks or acts like a political party, but instead more like a collection pit of the worst types of human beings the world has to offer. Civility, respectability, decency, nobility, honor, truthfulness are all gone. Relics from a past very few even remember. The likes of Eisenhower or William F. Buckley or even Ronald Reagan, with all his administration’s crimes and misconduct notwithstanding, wouldn’t be caught dead being associated with the Republican Party of today. Truth is, they wouldn’t even recognize it.
The looks on the faces of all the traditional, long serving Republican civil servants on the stage during the first few debates of 2015 said it all. They can best be summed up by humored, entertained, shock and horror whenever Donald Trump spoke. They literally would trade smirks with each other because the man was so lacking in knowledge, education, experience and so ill-prepared to lead. He thought he was on a game show or another reality show. And perhaps he was.
But as poll after poll started coming in, the reality set in. The looks of being humored and entertained disappeared. Left only with shock and horror. Americans were coming out of the woodwork who were definitely not republicans. Yet they were calling themselves republicans. And choosing to support this clownish and corrupt mess of a manchild. Completely disowning the basic principles of republicanism, once the party of the rich and refined. Now they were seriously considering someone who notoriously had gold toilet seats in his home, beyond nouveau riche wannabe. This was white trash with a sudden influx of cash on hand but never bothered to get the training in protocol and etiquette that usually goes along with it.
One by one we witnessed traditional republicanism vanish before our eyes as each potential candidate succumbed to the reality that they didn’t stand a chance against this sloppy, uncouth newcomer. And what his eventual election win did was open the floodgates of the Republican Party to allow anybody and everybody in without heart soul or brain.
The Paul Ryans of the party left quickly. Others like McCain or Romney stayed and tried to hold things together as best as they could. But they all experienced the same thing. The complete disillusion and devolution of a once very proud and modestly adequate political party.
Very quickly in, the American people began to see things it never had before. Republicans running people over and killing them. Republicans kidnapping governors or congress people, republicans proudly admitting they were white supremacists and the president gleefully condoning it. Trump administration members or those associated with him started piling up in jails and prisons as it became more and more clear how deeply entrenched he and his friends were in crime and criminal behavior. World leaders mocked and laughed at him. At us. How could it get any worse was the thought that kept occurring to most Americans, day after grueling day. And then it did.
In a flash of a moment, on January 6th, it all became tearfully clear just how dangerous he was and just how irresponsible and deadly the Republican Party was and still is. Those of us alive and old enough to understand what we saw at the time will never forget that day.
The problem? The Republican Party never changed. For a moment it appeared they were going to. Members like McCarthy and Pence and even McConnell implied in their speech and actions that they’d had enough. Then like all power hungry cowards, they caved and back pedaled and started to tow the part line again. Good little doggies.
Republicans don’t have any better alternative to even run for office. For any office. The party has been destroyed. Anyone decent or respectable wouldn’t dare get near them; they’ll stay in the private sector.
This leaves the United States left with no real choices for its governance. The democrats offer intelligence decency and respectability, sure. But viewpoints and platforms many may not necessarily agree with. The other side, the Republican side is all barbarians at the gate now, drooling and growling, wild eyed and rabid, hungry for self aggrandizement and power and money. The George Santoses and Donald Trumps of the world.
Romney/Ryan seems like a dream from centuries ago. But who’s left to vote for them now anyway? Those republicans are gone. They’ve switched sides. These new republicans…. One begins to wonder how this could possibly have a happy ending for the United States or the world at large.
In the next installment we will attempt to explore how this happened.