October 29th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
First of all, consider for a moment that you are considering whether to hire someone to work at your company, or any company, and watch this short video:
— Win America Back…PAC (@WinAmrcaBackPAC) October 28, 2020
I’ll come back to that video at the end of this article. First, though, we need an overview of what is happening in America today.
Our system of governance is being warped — massively — by minority rule of the majority of Americans. If you like Republican policies, go ahead and try to get other people to like them. Also, figure out first what they actually are. Under Trump, many conservative Republican values and policies have been tossed out the window, and the Republican Party Platform, which is supposed to show what the party cares about and where it’s headed, has been deleted and replaced with “just support Donald Trump.” It’s chilling, to be honest, and I don’t even like most of the stuff that would be in the Republican Party Platform.
But here’s the issue: the United States mostly does not support Republican policy priorities. Which is why you have people like Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham constantly lying about what they’re doing and what they’re trying to do. Whether we’re talking about clean energy, climate change, health care, insurance companies, gun reform, education, women’s rights, or several other issues, the American public heavily agrees with Democrats (in theory) on these topics. Furthermore, most Americans do not vote for Republicans — not for president and not to run the House or Senate.
Somehow, though, Republican Party leaders have found ways to cheat the system — or, in some cases, the system was just set up in a crappy way. As a result, we have a president who lost the popular vote by ~3 million American votes; we have a president who is definitely going to lose the popular vote again but may barely find a way to hold onto power; we have a Senate that is controlled by politicians who got far, far fewer votes than the Senators in the minority; and we have a Supreme Court that has 6 of the 9 Justices appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote.
Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the last seven elections yet will have appointed six of the nine Supreme Court justices. This is not democracy.
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) October 27, 2020
This election, everyone knows that Trump is not going to win the popular vote. So, there’s a massive effort underway in the
Republican Trump Party to make it difficult to vote, make it easy to disqualify ballots, encourage intimidation of people if they don’t pledge their loyalty to Trump.
The Republican Party has lost massively on policy matters, and it has also lost on politics. It has even lost on politics and policy to such an extent that despite a system heavily biased in their favor, a system that makes a North Dakotan’s vote several times more influential than a Californian’s vote, that the party has resorted to:
- taking away places to vote
- taking away places to drop off a mail-in ballot
- slowing down the mail in an election in which Democrats are more likely to vote by mail, particularly in states that require that a ballot arrive before the end of Election Day
- not allowing mail-in voting in some places despite the pandemic
- requiring that people wait for hours upon hours in lines in order to vote
- trying to make more people ineligible to vote
In this chilling video from Chris Hayes, he highlights these efforts in ways that I cannot, and probably more eloquently:
No, we do not have a direct democracy. However, we do have a representative democracy and we are supposed to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
As Republicans have shifted further and further and further to the right, and as right-wing policies have been revealed to be unhelpful — or even harmful — to most Americans, Republicans have been getting fewer and fewer votes. Instead of shifting their policies — at least on some topics or to some extent — and instead of trying to appeal better to more Americans, the Republican Party has decided to act stubborn, put blinders on, and look for ways to cheat. I should rephrase that. The party doesn’t just look for ways to cheat. It cheats.
Interestingly, the Republican Party has been so broken in recent years that someone from outside the party who has several characteristics and policy preferences starkly in contrast with conservative ideology, someone who was completely unfit for the job of president of the United States, came in and took over the party. The party has gotten so far from any notable values or useful ideals, while hoodwinking much of its voting base, that it elected the worst president in US history in just about every regard.
Watch that video at the top again. Consider what job Donald Trump would actually be hired for with that resume. Consider the fact that American banks decided years ago to stop loaning Donald Trump money because he didn’t pay them back and his companies had a strong likelihood of going bankrupt. Consider whether you would hire someone for a position of great power and influence who was approximately $1 billion in debt (almost certainly to rulers and oligarchs in foreign dictatorships and kingdoms), who had a long history of fraud and money laundering, who had been accused of sexual assault 26 times, who struggled to put complete or coherent sentences together in the job interview, whose top former staff and close colleagues were convicted of felonies and sitting in prison, and who constantly talked about himself no matter what topic came up.
Conservatives have long been afraid of Hollywood’s influence on politics. Ironically, “conservatives” elected a man who seemed to fail at every business venture except “reality TV” entertainment and branding/licensing of his name.
Conservatives have long been afraid of national debt piling up, yet are supporting the president who cratered national to a level twice as bad as the doldrums of the Great Recession via totally extreme tax cuts for billionaires and corporations, enormous military spending, as well as a disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Conservatives have long preached Christian values, yet are behind a person who took babies and children away from their parents with no plan to keep track of where they went in order to reunite them one day (with the specific point of being so cruel that people will not seek asylum in the United States), who is on his third wife and has clearly cheated on all of them (including paying off a porn star to the tune of $130,000 just before the last presidential election so that she wouldn’t talk about borking her soon after his 3rd wife had a child with him), who talks in hateful and bullying ways every day about people, who will seemingly do anything for more money and more power, and who doesn’t seem to know anything about The Bible or the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The irony and hypocrisy are so absurd that I’d give this movie a Rotten Tomatoes score of 0% if it was a movie.
Our democracy is broken. The Republican Party has been destroyed, but rather than try to move toward policies and politics that Americans support, it has chosen to let a con man call all the shots while trying to cripple, demolish, and drown the fundamentals of a functioning US democracy.
There is only one good solution right now. More people than ever before need to get to their voting locations (easy to find with a quick search on this cool new tool called Google) and together create a huge blue wave.
By the way, many Republicans are saying the same thing. Here’s a superb, illuminating conversation with 3 former top Republicans, truly top-notch patriots and political leaders whose policy preferences I mostly don’t agree with but who know that US democracy is in total tatters, perhaps in its most fragile place since perhaps the Civil War:
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