This is going to be one of my occasional political posts. I don’t like doing them, nor do I consider them the primary purpose of this blog. But sometimes you have to do things you don’t like, because not doing them is worse. Those who just won’t or can’t deal or are burned out on the whole mess are at this point invited not to read further. You have been warned.
This is about Joe Biden, and the flack he’s been taking for saying that “We need the Republican Party.” Small wonder about the flack, and he’s dead wrong, of course. We do not need today’s Republican Party, and by “we” I mean the USA. This democracy cannot afford today’s Republican Party. The Republican Party as it currently exists needs to be burned to the ground and rendered irrelevant for at least a generation. Probably more. I say this as someone who was an Independent and damn proud of it until this very year, when I bit the bullet and officially changed my party affiliation to Democrat. That doesn’t mean I’m a big fan of the Democrats. It just means I don’t want anyone to mistake me for someone who approves of racism and fascism, and as a primary voter now I at least get a say in which candidates go forward. It’s not much, but it’s something.
Now then, back to Joe Biden. As I said, he was wrong…but not completely wrong and I think I understand where he was coming from. I may not be as old as Joe, but I do remember a time when the Republican Party had an important role, which was as sort of a minority party forming a Loyal Opposition. They were usually wrong-headed, but not always and they weren’t, as now, insane. I would even vote for them now and again. They were the differing opinion against which more progressive ideas were tested. Conservative, in the more original meaning of the term. Some were even liberal-leaning on cultural issues. That was what is needed–the Republican Party as it existed about fifty years ago. Before Lee Atwater (google him if you want a real horror story). Before the so-called Southern Strategy. When Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law he was reputed to have said something along the lines of “We have just lost the South for a generation.”
Maybe he said it, maybe he didn’t. Either way, Lyndon didn’t know the half of it.
In its wake the GOP learned they could win votes and elections by playing to people’s fears, not their hopes, and they’ve been doing it ever since. More, they elected people who actually believed the nonsense they were spouting. To hell with science and to hell with facts. Brown people were the enemy, and so was anyone who didn’t look like them, though in the beginning they were more subtle about it. Now they’re not. Trump isn’t the disease, he’s the symptom, and the logical expression of where the GOP was already headed. They’re now a party only concerned with the keeping and application of power by any means necessary, and both the country and democracy be damned. By now they honestly believe they have a right to rule, not govern, and anything they do to achieve that is perfectly fine. (Do you really think #MoscowMitch is holding up all those Election Security bills just to annoy the Democrats?)
I miss the GOP that wasn’t insane and power-mad. Maybe Joe does too, but that kind of wishful thinking is not helpful. So long as their current strategies work, they’re not coming back. The best we can hope for is the complete and utter destruction of their shambling remnants as a political force for a long time to come.
If we don’t get that, we can kiss our democracy good bye.
P.S. This is our current reality and not open for debate. Don’t even try, because I don’t have the time to waste. Unfollow or unfriend as you feel necessary. Sorry to see you go, but your choice. I’ve made mine.