America will not be great as long as Donald Trump is President. The country is certainly greater, however, now that Donald Trump has been impeached. The Democrats upheld the dignity of the House of Representatives and protected the United States by stamping the “Scarlet I” on a profoundly corrupt and corrosive president. By extension, it soiled his party of lemmings and quislings that have brought American democracy to the brink of collapse.
This was the third impeachment of a president in 231 years and a win for the rule of law. But the victory came at a steep, depressing price. We had to witness the lawlessness and lunacy of the modern Republican Party on full display. The GOP poses an existential threat to our nation and promises to destabilize the entire world if it continues on its current trajectory.
It didn’t have to be this way.
After Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s crushing defeat to Barak Obama in 2012, the GOP performed an exhaustive “autopsy” to figure out the next steps for the party. The recommendations included passing immigration reform, making the GOP more inclusive for minorities, become LGBT friendly, no longer pandering to billionaires and a plea to leave the stifling conservative media echo chamber.
Instead of heeding this call, before changing demographics made the Republican Party obsolete, the GOP instead opted to declare war on democracy. In lieu of updating their retrograde platform, they decided to destabilize America and delegitimize institutions. They would act belligerent and in bad faith, while abandoning the bedrock idea of free and fair elections.
The GOP represents a shrinking slice of America and can only win by scaring their base into maximum turnout and illegitimately suppressing the votes of minorities. This began with extreme gerrymandering and outright voter suppression, including the purging of voter rolls and closing election sites in minority neighborhoods. It escalated into GOP legislatures in North Carolina and Wisconsin stripping newly elected Democratic governors of some of their power. And now, the mask is off, with the party not even pretending to care about democracy and bowing down at the altar of King Donald I. A deranged and damaged authoritarian they have deemed above the law.
Having thrown the 2012 autopsy in the trash, the GOP doubled down on angry evangelical voters from rural America and turned one of our two parties into a pathological white identity movement, fueled by grievances and conspiracy theories. These voters are kept in a constant state of fear and agitation through party media, such as FOX News, Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart. Sadly, the effect of this unAmerican strategy on America’s future was never considered.
The Republican Party’s toxic impact on American politics was evident in yesterday’s hearings. Trump was impeached because he demanded that Ukraine publicly announce an investigation of his political rival Joe Biden, to taint him prior to the upcoming presidential election. No normal political party would accept this attack on our country’s democracy.
Yet, the Republican Party not only tolerated it, they defended Trump’s behavior with glee, while bashing those who tried to hold him accountable. They cynically portrayed the Democrats attempt at checks and balances as a “coup” by those who hate Trump and the 63 million Americans that he represents. The use of dangerous and demagogic rhetoric was disgraceful and all but inviting a deranged gunman or militia to commit future acts of terrorism. But at least we will get their thoughts and prayers if such a nightmare scenario occurs.
The facts in the impeachment case were clear and unforgiving. So, GOP fabulists created an illogical fictional narrative to forgive the president’s unethical and illegal behavior. In doing so, they aided and abetted Russia, a geopolitical foe, undermined the fledgling democracy of Ukraine, sabotaged fair and free elections and disgraced the reputation of the U.S. in the eyes of the world. It was a shameless display of partisanship above patriotism in the service of power over principle.
We need two functioning political parties in this country. Historically, dangerous behavior isn’t limited to the right or left. So, you need the competing parties to serve as checks and balances. Unfortunately, the Republicans have checked out of the democratic experiment and often seem mentally unbalanced. If you disagree, please read Trump’s bizarre six-page screed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the eve of impeachment.
Modern Republicans peddle wacky conspiracy theories, parrot Russian propaganda and have replaced serious arguments with sarcasm and screaming. They have devolved into delusional and demagogic tribalism, where the team trumps the truth. Speaking of Trump and truth, as of Dec. 10, Trump had made 15,413 false or misleading claims, according to the Fact Checker’s database.
Ironically, the GOP is branded as the party of “family values” and the guardian of religion. Yet, they have thrown our nation into a dystopian partisan meat grinder in the service of defending the biggest liar in the history of the presidency. For a party that pretends to defend the family, what message does supporting Trump teach their children?
The disgraceful dishonesty during last night’s impeachment hearing hit a new low when Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) claimed that the Democrats were playing the race card by “screaming ‘kids in cages.’” In fact, kids were separated from their parents at the border and put in cages like wild animals. But, once again, Republicans expect their obsequious Ditto Heads to not trust their own eyes and ears, and instead take the fake words of false prophets like Rep. Chip Roy as the gospel.
For all their machismo, screaming and swagger, Republicans cower like sheep when Dear Leader Donald threatens them with a nasty Tweet. They act more like submissive members of the Politburo, than people of conscience who are members of a free Congress.
History will show that the Democrats upheld the rule of law, while the Republicans were lawless and don’t play by the rules. The current situation where one party has abandoned democracy is unsustainable. Republicans must be thoroughly defeated or the America that we know and love will cease to exist. Donald Trump is simply the tip of this ugly iceberg.
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