While I like to consider myself middle of the road in politics my pet saying about political parties is: “I’d consider being a Republican if they gave me a reason”. I made that up. But it’s so true. I mean I’d love to think I was in the ‘Party of Lincoln’ (well I think that would be good — but I always wondered if we could not have avoided the Civil War by diplomacy and some compromise — although how does one compromise on slavery? But I think more than slavery was involved, although it all came back to an economy and social order based on slavery).
I digress and get off the point I wanted to make.
The current Republican Party is reprehensible because it is so cynical or maybe chicken-hearted that it sticks with Donald Trump even though the man puts shame on the United States every day. His boorish behavior and unimaginable ignorance (they say he prefers not to read), and the silly mind games he plays, even with his own supporters, make him a colossal train wreck.
But the party puts up with him (even though it is apparent they are appalled) because they are so cynical that they just think well if they can hold onto their own offices and if they can push through tax cuts for the rich and cut support for the poor — well they can tough it out.
No I could not be a Republican.
Yes, I could criticize the Democratic Party, especially for their abandonment of the working class and their own cynical cozying up to the rich but they are not the focus of my disgust at the moment — except that they failed to ignite their base and let Trump win. I think they forgot who their base is.
Unless you’ve tuned out of the news and the tawdry daily details of Trump’s middle-of-the-night or early-morning tweets, I don’t need to remind you that his latest (at least as of this writing) is another thing about women and blood. He seems obsessed about that. You recall that back during the campaign when a Fox lady media personality tried to interrogate him instead of using the Fox-preferred kid gloves when it comes to Republicans or people of Trump’s ilk, he implied (most people thought) that she was having that time of the month (he talked of blood). In his latest, he went after a critical female media type (from MSNBC) and claimed he would not have anything to do with her at his Mira Lago Resort because she was bleeding from a face lift and he also claimed she had a low I.Q. Not that in the name of everything decent and common manners and decorum it makes any difference, but both women are obviously highly intelligent, much more so than Trump. (And we don’t even know if that second lady was bleeding — he does make up his own fake news, like putting himself on the cover of a fake Time Magazine — but I won’t bother with that.)
Even if you don’t like the people Trump does not like or who he criticizes, hopefully you would not talk of them in public that way, especially if you held an important public position. And think, our children see and hear the example of the President of the United States.
(Also Trump alternately praises and tears down the same people — he is just a dangerous act or someone who is totally off balance — no it is not strategy — even if at times it can be or seem successful. I mean, unfortunately, some people can be intimidated or so cynical that they go along with his antics because in the end they think that there might be something in it for them and they can leave Trump behind once everyone turns on him.)
No the Republican Party should be ashamed.
The GOP turned on Nixon. It should turn on Trump. Then and only then, it could redeem itself.
But the Democrats cannot be smug. They need some cleaning up of the act themselves. If nothing else the party has let itself get stale. It does have a fairly vociferous left wing (well not as loud as a few months ago), but I continue to think the majority of the electorate will not go way left, although I have read young voters who have no memory of the Cold War have little qualms about leftist politics. They likely have little knowledge of the history of leftist movements that resulted in authoritarianism and a loss of freedom or far right movements that resulted in the same thing.
One does not have to support a political party, and we only have two really (the others don’t count in our brand of federalism). But it is the political parties who move legislation and come up with candidates.
What we really probably need is a parliamentary system where a variety of parties can compete and gain power by forcing coalitions to form a government. But that is not going to happen or at least not anytime soon — we have no historical understanding of such a system.
But again, I wish the Republicans would get back their dignity and quit kowtowing to Trump or turning a blind eye to his outrages on civil society.
Here’s something, they could run someone against him in 2020, or better yet begin impeachment proceedings or take the 25th Amendment path on the grounds of mental incompetence (I realize that the second two options are almost impossible at this juncture).