Monday, October 25, 2021

Questioning the GOP Long View

As any reader of my blog knows, I am a lifelong Democrat.  I support the majority of the party's agenda, from tackling climate change by reducing our greenhouse emissions, to rebuilding the purchasing power of the middle class through reducing the cost of child care and education to providing dental and vision care to our seniors, to protecting the voting rights of all Americans through creating a national voting day holiday to addressing the gerrymandering of our districts which guarantee far too many public servants an easy path to reelection, to rebuilding our national infrastructure, among just a few of the main goals of the current administration.  

Yet, I also know the importance of having a strong 2nd political party (if not a third one if that makes sense) to provide give and take among our elected representatives to fashion the best policies and laws to promote both our continued freedoms and the understanding that we can only move forward together, by cooperating, as opposed to our out of control partisanship. 

That being said, what exactly, is the long term view of the current GOP which is clearly under the thumb of one person, the former president?

For instance, the GOP in conjunction with the evangelical arm of its party, has had a clear goal of reversing Roe vs Wade since its inception.  A long term goal which, perhaps within the next year, will be realized. There were many moving parts which have brought us to this point, not the least being the purposeful manipulation of the Senate rules which enabled an open position on the Supreme Court be held that way for 8 months, purportedly because a presidential election was nearing, which resulted in the confirmation of a right leaning justice, only to have a 2nd justice rushed through the confirmation process within just a few weeks of the 2020 presidential election.  Nothing illegal, mind you, just a bit hypocritical.  But the point is that the GOP had a plan, and worked tirelessly for almost 50 years to accomplish it.  

What is the current long view?

While I know that there are some people who believe that the Covid-19 pandemic is a hoax, most people have come around to the view that the current pandemic is real, as over 700,000 Americans have died (more of our fellow citizens than any other event in our history, including both World Wars, the Spanish flu, and, depending on your source, the Civil War), and that we should continue to engage in various mitigation measures, from vaccines to masks. I say most people because almost 220 million dose have been distributed in America, resulting in almost 2/3 of all Americans being vaccinated, which includes the population of children under 12 who are just beginning to be eligible.  And people are still wearing masks, even some who are vaccinated, as I see when I am out shopping in my neighborhood.

Yet, the vast majority of those against masks and the vaccines identify themselves as Republican. There are still many US House Republican representatives who not only actively fight any mask or vaccine mandate, but also promote conspiracy theories about masks and vaccines, deliberately telling their constituents not to follow proven mitigation measures.  In other words, they are encouraging their rank and file voters to take an unnecessary chance with their very lives, which is contributing to the death and long term sickness of those same voters.  What is the long term view of that kind of plan?  

Then there is the recent desire by some GOP controlled states to mandate pregnancy.  Now, let's not kid ourselves, those laws are meant to force those with the least political clout in these "red" states, minorities and other people of color, to have babies, because we all know that the those with means, upper middle class and above, will still get their abortions, with little or no worry of repercussions.  Perhaps I will be proven wrong, but I am not anticipating a bevy of law suits being filed against rich white people who travel out of state or send their kids out of state for an abortion.  Which means that the GOP party in these states is forcing the voters who may lean left, to have babies.  Babies who will one day vote.  What is the long term view of that plan?  

And, of course, there is Donald Trump, a candidate who turned a GOP controlled Congress and White House in 2020, to a Democratic controlled Congress (albeit the slimmest of margins in the senate) and White House in 2024.  Only 4 years, yet a complete reversal of power. I would think that loss like that would inspire the rethinking of a leader, but instead the GOP has bought into the lie that the former president did not lose the 2020 election, despite, not just the fact that there is no solid evidence of mass voter fraud, but that in court, various promoters of this lie have admitted that either, they made it up, or they heard it on the internet, so it must be true. 

First, if the basis of your platform is that elections are no longer free and fair, how do you walk that back should you actually win a presidential election?  How does any elected GOP representative currently serving in Congress continue to stoke the false accusations of election fraud, yet claim their personal victory in the last election, or any election, is legitimate?  I remember laughing out loud when I heard a GOP Senator question the results of the presidential election, but, when asked about her victory, said that fraud wasn't a problem in her state.  Right, it only exists in states that vote for the other party.  How is that a long term plan to gain the votes of the independents of our country, or even those Dems that might occasionally vote for candidates across the aisle? 

And, second, most critically, Donald Trump is 75 years old.  He will only be a viable candidate for, at most, a decade, and that assumes he changes his diet.  He is not the future of the party, just like Joe Biden is not the future of the Democratic party.  However, Biden will willingly support some future candidate, just as all current former Democratic presidents have done.  Donald Trump only supports Donald Trump.  He has indicated many, many times that he will not support any GOP candidate that doesn't kiss his ring, just as he has disparaged every former GOP presidential candidate, both winners and losers, who are still alive. Not to mention his own vice president who he was willing to sacrifice, literally, so he could still be president.

What is the long term plan when he is gone?  I know there are some candidates, such as Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Ron Desantis, etc, who think they can inherit the MAGA crowd, but, as I have said in past posts, Donald Trump, for all his psychopathic traits, has mobilized the GOP base like no one else in recent political history, and Cruz, Hawley, Desantis, etc are no Donald Trump.  

Perhaps then, knowing all this, is makes sense that their play is suppressing the vote as we are seeing emanating from state houses all across America.  But even then, eventually, you have to actually gain the trust of the American people, don't you?  Remember, the current growth of our population is mostly a result of non-white people.  Just like 100 years ago when the WASP population of America feared the influx of immigrants from Europe, who claimed that America's blue blood heritage would be contaminated by the culture and religion and bloodlines of the Jews, Waps, Micks, Krauts, Poles, etc from across the ocean, it didn't take long for both parties to embrace various portions of these very same people to increase their voter roles.  How does creating obstacles to voting, especially, via gerrymandering and rules which disproportionately target minorities, going to woo those same people to vote GOP, as they become a larger proportion of the voting electorate?  Again, what is the long term view?

Perhaps, in 20 years, it will be obvious to me that those running the GOP knew all along what they were doing, and I will have to eat crow.  Or, perhaps by 2040, the GOP will have altered its path and adopted some viable long term plan.  Or maybe it just won't exist out of necessity of needing to change its name so as to create a hard separation from that future party and the GOP of today.  Only time will tell, but it certainly escapes me to discern any long term view of a party that encourages its followers to engage in unsafe actions, forces those who vote the other party to have babies, and has tethered its wagon to one man, an old man, at that.  

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