Let me begin this rant with the declaration that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. My official party affiliation on my voter registration is “Decline to State.” When I was affiliated with a party some twenty five years ago, it was with the Libertarians. As an outsider, don’t attempt to paint me as some sort of partisan agent. I have friends on both sides of the aisle and wish to keep it that way.
The title of this piece could easily be considered controversial. It’s inflammatory and confrontational. But I believe that I can lay out a case that asserts this call to action as an actually necessity. It sounds corny but there’s really no better way to put it: the future of our democracy is in peril.
The reason why the National Republican Party has to go is because of their ever-tighter embrace of a total disregard for the law. I’m going to begin by going back about fifty years to the Nixon administration. We all know what happened there. Many aides and members of his cabinet wound up going to prison for their roles in planning and then covering up the burglary at the Watergate Hotel. Nixon himself avoided jail by being pardoned by the next Republican President, Gerald Ford. While many have agreed that Ford did the right thing and spared the nation the continuation of an embarrassment. (I too agree.) However, it did set a bad precedent. The message to future Republicans was this: with enough consolidation of power and less bungling, you can break the law with impunity.
The next Republican President that I’d like to consider was Reagan. Americans – especially Republicans – are in love with him. However, he was by no means a peach. His administration also wound up sending a number of aides to jail for the Iran-Contra plot and cover-up. His administration’s innovation was the appointment of critics to head agencies so they may destroy them from within. Rather than debate the purpose and validity of an agency such as the Department of Education in Congress in front of the public where all can fairly hear and decide, the Reagan administration brought in an opponent to run the agency into the ground. This effort largely failed due to too much support of the agency by the appointees and Congress.
The rise of Republican Newt Gingrich was another low for American politics. Gingrich changed politics for the worse through childish tantrums of being unwilling to compromise with opponents. At all. He shut the government down – twice – and made toxic politics the norm. His blueprint of scorched earth is still alive and well today.
Unsatisfied with the power that they already had, Republicans in 2010 conspired to take control of state legislatures and Congress itself through gerrymandering of districts throughout the nation. The nation is still unwinding the damage done to fairness.
George W. Bush brought the country to yet another low. He took the practice of appointing departments heads to another level. Instead of installing competent opponents of agencies, he nominated unqualified people to leadership positions to destroy government either through malice, mismanagement or ineptitude. A good example of the result was the disastrous response to hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Then there’s the pair of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. History will judge these two harshly I can imagine.
Looking backward at what the Republican Party used to stand for, I don’t recognize it today. What do they stand for now? The answer seems to be little beyond what they can get for themselves. As I write this, we’re about three months from election day. The list of schemes, scams and corruption is already legion. What other tricks will be deployed before the election? God knows. This essay is but a small taste of the crap that Republicans have pulled on our country. One could easily write several books detailing everything that they’ve done. Is this upcoming election important? That seems to be the consensus. We’ll see what happens!