Countering the GOP Strategy of Trying to Destroy People’s Faith in Democracy: Instead of Losing Faith, Gain Strength by Staying Engaged

Dan Rather said on 9/10: “It’s almost as if some politicians have decided it’s in their political self-interest for the pandemic to continue to rage.” Almost?

 

On 9/9, Greg Sargent wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post titled: “How the GOP will exploit Covid to win power and what Democrats can do about it.” I was going to write an article such as this but Sargent saved me the trouble. If you can, please read it. He went on to say, “Here’s a midterm message for you: Judging by the GOP’s continuing slide into extremist and destructive behavior in the face of a surging covid-19, electing more Republicans to positions of responsibility right now would likely mean more economic malaise, sickness, misery and death.” And Democrats are possibly, finally ready to call the GOP strategy what it is.

 

The GOP strategy for “winning” the next election must have become clear to many of us months ago. Going back about 18 months, to shortly after we realized the seriousness of COVID-19 and the nation had shut down, it became clear that DT and the GOP were more invested in saving their political power than saving our lives. They  downplayed or outright lied about the virus, lied about cures, sacrificed workers, children, seniors and people of color to get them back to work and back to schools even when the conditions were unsafe.

 

DT’s main strategy while he was unfortunately in office was shock doctrine material⎼ create enough fear, confusion, and violence, make conditions so bad that people will accept what the wannabee dictator wants. The GOP traumatized the nation for their own political purposes.

 

And now, they are adapting the same strategy. GOP governors, like Ron DeSantis in Florida, are still lying about masks, trying to outlaw mask mandates in schools and cities in their state. He has pushed false cures and undermined the national effort to get people vaccinated, despite being vaccinated himself, by understating the reality of COVID cases in Florida.

 

For most of the summer, Florida led the nation in COVID cases, especially in children. In fact, during that time Florida had one fifth of all the COVID cases in the U. S. Basically, it seems DeSantis has been creating obstacles to healthy practices. As Dan Rather asked, is he doing this so people get sick? Seems so to me.  And then he attacks President Biden for not living up to his promise to put an end to the ravages of the pandemic.

 

In fact, the GOP fight against almost any attempts by Democrats to make the situation in this country better, including fighting COVID relief, or legislation most Americans want and that all would benefit from ⎼ or especially when those measures are most popular.

 

Their actions are de-stabilizing the nation and creating chaos and fear. If we hadn’t already gone through four years of DT, no one would believe, I wouldn’t have believed, they were doing this to get people to think that not only Democrats can’t help them, but democracy itself can’t work.

 

And since the January 6th attack on our nation and the lies about it, and years of them doing more to take away voting rights than facilitate voting, to undermine the voice of the people instead of promoting it, to not just suppress the vote but control how the vote is counted (or if), ending democracy seems exactly what the GOP are invested in.

 

So, I recommend we all take care of ourselves, yet also read Greg Sargent’s opinion piece, stay engaged, directly name the GOP strategy for what it is, and do whatever we can, no matter how little, to counter the disinformation and attempts to destroy what’s left of democracy in this nation — and get people fired up to vote when the midterm elections come around.

 

There are many historical periods and events that we should never forget. DT’s ineptitude and the way he and his GOP enablers malignantly sacrificed millions to the coronavirus and threatened the very existence of a democratic government, all in a desperate attempt to seize absolute power, is surely right up there on that list.

 

**The Good Men Project syndicated this blog.

 

End the Shocks and Remove the Presidency of Hate: Hopefully, an Administration of Justice, Rationality and Democracy is Coming

I am almost disappointed in the impeachment. Almost. Although there is great hope⎼ ten GOP did vote to impeach DT and President-elect Joe Biden will (hopefully) be inaugurated next week. But DT is still in office, and 197 Republicans, all but 4 of the rest of the GOP in the House, voted against impeachment.

 

Despite being attacked by a mob intent on violence and vengeance against fellow Congress members, and intent on stopping the operation of the Congress to which they belonged, many GOP remained silent or even tried to deny or cover-up DT’s role in the violence.

 

Some claimed impeachment would make matters worse, totally ignoring the deleterious effect of the continued lies about stealing an election and the incitements to further violence by DT and other members of their own party.  A few, like Rep Matt Gaetz of Florida, tried to equate the Black Lives Matter protests and the Capitol assault, equate protests over the murder of African-Americans with a deadly attack on the government of the U. S.. The lies and racism supported by these GOP was an assault in itself.

 

Washington Post Columnist Greg Sargent wrote that the GOP claims that impeachment would further divide us is part of an attempt to obscure their guilt, and blame the violence not on the people, like DT, who fueled and directed it, but to a generalized divisiveness. It’s not a generalized anything, but one side, DT’s side, declaring civil war against everyone and anyone who opposes his efforts to steal power for himself.

 

Such statements by the GOP during the impeachment debate followed a week of lies, distortions, and blatant efforts to cover-up DT’s culpability. It began by trying to claim, crazy as it sounds now, that it was members of a non-existent group of Anti-fascists who assaulted the capitol dressed as DT’s supporters. It continued with the Department of Defense creating an official timeline for the public that expurgated all of the actions and incitements by the President and other GOP.

 

The January 6th Assault on the Capitol was the latest in a long line of deliberate shocks administered by the DT administration. The Assault on the Capitol⎼ it sounds like a movie title. From the beginning of his run for office until now, DT has done everything he could to attack democracy, the rule of law, our humanity, our trust in others, our lives, and our hope for the future.

 

He started back in 2015 with racist attacks on President Obama, falsely claiming that if he had lost the 2016 election, it was due to Democrats committing voter fraud, while simultaneously calling for Russia to interfere in the election. He continued to ignore or lie about the threat of COVID while thousands died daily. He made a phone call on 1/02 to threaten a public official into manufacturing votes for him, and later urged on an actual assault on the Capitol building and the Congresspeople meeting in that building.

 

This wasn’t the first time he called for violence. Last year, for example, his comments contributed to attacks on the Michigan statehouse and an attempted kidnapping of the Governor. And he continues to cite malignant, irresponsible falsehoods, deny that he badly lost an election, deny that the only large-scale fraud was committed by him, deny any culpability in violence. According to the Washington Post and other news media, intelligence agencies, Governors, at this moment Right-wing and White Nationalist groups are planning ongoing attacks and a possible disruption of the inauguration all based on the alternate reality DT created for his followers to preserve his power.

 

Is he deliberately trying to use the Shock Doctrine, using “the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks” to force his way on the American public? Or is he simply shouting, tweeting who he is and spreading his diseased mind?

 

In an article called “What the Science of Addiction Tells Us About Trump,” the author, James Kimmel Jr. describes how the brain of someone who carries a long-term grievance or who desires revenge is like the brain of someone locked into an addiction. Harboring a grievance, defined as a perceived wrong or injustice, real or imagined, activates the same neural circuitry as taking a narcotic.

 

And this revenge addiction can be easily spread. In the case of DT, we have a politics of grievance meant to manipulate feelings of hurt and humiliation into an addiction to hate and a blindness towards the truth, just like a heroin addict might not see the reality of what the drug is doing to them. Kimmel says DT primes our brains for revenge. He is addicted to being aggrieved and blaming others.

 

Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate are not only attempting to hold onto power but are also addictions that undermine or destroy community. They make everyone feel threatened, not only those the hate is aimed at, but those who allow it and those who hold to it.

 

I don’t know if DT is deliberately applying increasing shocks to the citizens of this country (or the world) or it is just his malignant, addicted and demented sense of self-importance, but for the health and well-being of all of us, he must be removed from office and his agenda of hate ended. The assaults, and the lies and crimes that incited it, must be investigated and prosecuted not for revenge but to discourage further violence and place justice and the rights and well-being of “we the people” first.

 

We need an inauguration of hope. We need to do all we can to pressure more of the GOP to speak honestly about the election (and COVID), put democracy first, and treat the new Biden Administration as people⎼ if not as partners, then at least not as enemies. We need to pressure 17 GOP Senators to join with Democrats, to remember their oaths, and complete the impeachment.  To protect our voting system and prevent future DT’s. To protect us from the virus, rescue the economy from the super-rich, end institutional racism, and create a more democratic nation.

 

This post was syndicated by the Good Men Project.