The Decline of the American Democratic Republic

 

The Republican Party is very rapidly devolving from a shameless bribe-taking pack of old money hucksters to a full on violent fascist mob of angry racists.

Let’s reel it back a bit.

There was a time in American history, if you can believe it, that the Republicans were the good guys.  It was the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower.  It was the Party that freed the slaves, preserved the Union, broke up the Monopolies, and sustained the most prosperous era in the Nation’s history for more than 30 years.  And although the initial prospect of taxing the mega wealthy and spreading that wealth around to the American public was put in place by Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, it was strengthened and maintained by Eisenhower.  It was Kennedy, also a Democrat, that lowered the tax on the mega wealthy from 90% to 68%, and that trend of shifting the tax burden from the rich to the poor slowly continued through Johnson, Nixon, and Carter until Ronald Reagan, the conservative demi-god himself, dropped it from 52% to 33%.  Somewhere along that timeline, from Eisenhower to Reagan, the Republican Party did a complete about face from the Party of the American people to the Party of the rich.

But that was then.  Ever since Richard Nixon’s miserable and stained Presidency the Republican Party has been seen by most as the representatives of everything evil and backwards.  They have uniformly been on the wrong side of history starting with the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  Since then their track record of being wrong about what is best for the country has been close to 100%.  In the span of 50 years they have slowly diminished their constituency from the majority of American citizens to the fringe elements of gun-loving “Christian” extremists, the mega rich that hate paying taxes, and a handful of errant fools with a little bit of money that think they’ve pulled themselves up from their boot straps and have earned everything they they have through sheer determination and the sweat of their brow while everyone less fortunate than them is a lazy moocher that just wants a free handout.

And while that neo-classical style of Republican is vile and shameful, comparing it to what it has degenerated to in the last few months is like comparing an overflowing toilet at a party to the River Thames at the height of the Bubonic Plague.  Whatever ideology the Republican Party has been falsely clinging to for the last 35 years has gone out the window, except it’s more like it got sucked out of a hull breach of a vessel in deep space.

In the span of less than one week we’ve seen a Republican Congressional candidate beat up a reporter (captured on video) and still win his election while simultaneously having his criminal charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor by the sheriff that contributed heavily to his campaign, a standing Republican Congressman threaten to shoot a rival Democratic Congressman on record on the House Floor, and yet another Republican Congressman openly suggest that the GOP hire a private militia to defend themselves from “leftists”.  And that is just in the last few days.  The last few months have been a relentless onslaught of madness so crazy and so massive that it not only boggles the mind, but has also reduced what would in saner times have been truly massive news stories to little more than laughable sidebars.

We have gotten to the point where the term “conservative” has lost its meaning completely and has been usurped wholly by the fascist mob of the “alt-right” which is nothing more than a slightly more digestible description of white supremacists.  And even though I never agreed with the conservative ideology I truly mourn its passing, because until now it at least had a foothold in civil discourse and was a position that had merit and was worth considering.

Sadly that is no longer the case.  Right now the term “conservative” has ties with the terms “traitor” and “fascist”, and that is something none of us should be proud of.

There is a core fundamental ethos of being American, and it is rooted in the ideology of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And while it is not perfect that ideology has been the motivating force of Patriotism since its establishment, and it has endured through a revolt against the most powerful empire in the world, through a divisive and bloody Civil War, through the era of the Gilded Age where political corruption had reached it’s greatest heights until now, through two massive World Wars, and through a rise and decline of American prosperity. People have laid down their lives to preserve that ideology. It has endured through all of that, and if it fails now, in the face of stupidity and blatant criminal action by the hand and mouth of Donald Trump and his gang of racist idiots…. if we let that happen, then we will be known throughout history, if there is a history, as the ones that failed so wholly and so miserably to defend the Republic against the most obvious and most incompetent threat ever to have been so brazen as to openly attack the First Amendment on its face. We will be remembered as a generation of cowards and fools if we are even remembered at all and we will deserve exactly what we get.

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