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A political party vs. extremism, is NOT politics
Principled liberals + principled conservatives wanted... urgently
Are you a Republican, a Democrat or an American?
I’m beyond frustrated with American politics and probably not for the reason everyone thinks. Today I will tell you why I believe our current political environment is a national security threat and I will use my home state of Texas as the example. What I say about Texas below, is little different across the country and bears careful examination by all voters. The following will upset a great many people, so if you’re easily triggered by your political identity, you may as well click on a different link now. If you continue, please read carefully and to the very end. For the record, I consider myself an Eisenhower Republican. Translated into 2022 language, this makes me so moderate that neither side claims me.
I’m not taking sides here because there can be no “side” when analyzing the combat between a political party and an extremist movement. A vote for a group of demonstrated extremism is as un-American as it gets. If principled conservatives controlled their party, it would be a political contest and I would not be commenting. But because my profession includes decades of dealing with, analyzing and developing programs against extremism, I have a different view. That view, in my opinion, must now be expressed publicly due to its threat to our nation. Someone must say these things out loud, despite the expectation of being vilified here in Texas, and beyond. I willingly accept such vilification, if it helps people put their morals and true American values before their political identity.
From the Merriam Webster Dictionary:
Definition of politics
1a: the art or science of government
Definition of extremism
1: the quality or state of being extreme
2: advocacy of extreme measures or views, radical
BLUF, an old military expression/ acronym meaning, “bottom line up front.”
Despite the age-old jokes about politics being a combat sport in Texas, it is actually still politics, not, no-holds-barred combat, or was until the Trump era. Like all contests, there are rules. Those rules are, ours and the US Constitution. Those rules are built on the values ensconced in our brilliant founding documents or in other words, actual American values for the management of our Democratic Republic. Political parties, in order to be actual parties, must adhere to those values or risk being redefined as un-American extremists.
Today’s Republican Party of Texas must, based on their past 6 years of behavior, be redefined as un-American and based on my professional experience, defined as “extremist.” This doesn’t mean that there are not still millions of principled conservatives in Texas, because there absolutely are. It’s just that they literally have no say in their party. Any R vote is a vote for extremism when those in control follow extremist ideology. There are also those within the Democratic Party that have also lost their American values, but they have limited say in their party. Texas Republicans have exclusively controlled Texas for the past 27 years but still run for office, fearmongering about how bad democrats have made Texas. This should be a WTH moment. It utterly fails the common-sense test.
Frankly, as a child of a life-long Democratic dad and a life-long Republican mom who both voted across party lines when it was the best decision, I don’t get voting R or D simply because it’s part of my identity. Regardless of religious beliefs or other, we are all taught to, “do the right thing.” Backing extremism, often based on conspiracy theories, is NOT doing the right thing.
Why is the Texas Republican Party platform extremist?
1. Let’s begin with election denial as part of the TX Republican platform. A political party deals with reality, not conspiracy theories.
1. 2020 Election: We believe that the 2020 election violated Articles 1 and 2 of the US Constitution, that various secretaries of state illegally circumvented their state legislatures in conducting their elections in multiple ways, including by allowing ballots to be received after November 3, 2020. We believe that substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas significantly affected the results in five key states in favor of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential Election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States. We strongly urge all Republicans to work to ensure election integrity and to show up to vote in November of 2022, bring your friends and family, volunteer for your local Republicans, and overwhelm any possible fraud
– Texas Republican Platform 2022
“The law, a near-total ban on abortions, includes several provisions that experts say tilt the scale toward plaintiffs, including protecting serial plaintiffs who could file dozens or hundreds of cases, incentivizing civilians to sue with a $10,000 cash reward if successful and removing defendants’ ability to recoup their legal fees. If survivors of rape become pregnant and seek an abortion, those procedures could become the object of lawsuits.”
- Texas Tribune
SEPT. 10, 2021
Nothing is more anti-American than the assault on voting rights… let me repeat that, nothing is more anti-American than the assault on voting rights. This is even more heinous when the excuse is “voter fraud” which is nearly non-existent anywhere in the country, Texas included. Our indicted felon, Attorney General, Ken Seditious Paxton spent $2.2 million of taxpayer money and found but 3 cases. Still, our extremist legislature increased his budget. “Election integrity” legislation in Texas is literally a taxpayer funded political stunt. It’s a solution, seeking an answer.
The legislation is part of a broader Republican push to make changes to voting laws in a state with already restrictive rules. It echoes national efforts by Republicans in state legislatures across the country — largely built on claims of widespread voter fraud for which there is little to no evidence — to rework voting rules after voters of color helped flip key states to Democratic control.
- Texas Tribune
April 9th, 2021
4. The assault on public education:
31. Prayer, Bible, and Ten Commandments in Schools: We support prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments being returned to our schools, courthouses, and other government buildings.
– Texas Republican Platform 2022
d. Book bans as a political stunt. For a “party” always whining about “free speech” here they are restricting such. The current administration in Austin has banned more books than any other state in our Union, despite the fact that they were the party who has controlled this curriculum for the past 27… exclusively.
I’m the son of generations of public educators, am married to a recently retired TX public school teacher and am the father of, father-in-law of, and cousin to dozens of professional educators. I could go on endlessly about the assault on public education, but your attention may be wearing thin. Onward
6. Secession: Seriously??? What can be less American than secession?
I will wrap up this short list of examples of extremism, so as not to wear y’all out. I do wish to leave everyone with the following summation:
US and Texas values are based on both the US and Texas constitution. The reason that the current TX Republicans party is extremist is simply because, they assault those principles. The other problem is the severe lack of integrity. There’s a saying here in TX that I’ll have to amend slightly in order to be polite: “don’t spit on my boots and tell me it’s raining.”
Because I do deep research from credible sources, I’m fed up with Greg Abbott and company spitting on my boots. A simple use of fact-check sources like PolitiFact, factcheck.dot org or any other of the reputable sites will tell you that today’s TX Republican party does little but spit on our boots, claiming rain. I’m not saying that the opposition is entirely honest either. It’s the curse of politics that somehow, American voters tolerate dishonesty with their “side” but not from the other. If Texans are okay with rampant corruption, dishonesty and anti-American values, I can do nothing more. I do though refuse to participate in anything that violates my own ethical standards, including at the polls.
Though this has been about Texas, this scene is replayed all across our nation and is the very reason that it’s a threat to our national security. There is no security when:
- Our values are assaulted
- Our rights are limited
- Our state and nation is divided
- Half of our voters are more aligned with their political identity that our national/state values
- And… the extremist movement, masquerading as a political party is operating on lies and conspiracy theories rather than reality.
A healthy democracy requires informed debate between principled voters with opposing views, based on truth, integrity, science and knowledge. That is how the best solutions are acquired. Anyone limiting any of this is undermining our states and our nation at large. This applies to all parties. America will only recover when “principled conservatives” can debate “principled liberals.” At the moment, this isn’t politics. It’s “politics vs. extremism.”
National Security Council, The White House U.S. Department of State Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of the Director of National Intelligence U.S. Department of Homeland Security Homeland Security Today Magazine United States Department of Defense Asia-Pacific Security Innovation Forum and COE NATO NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) UK Ministry of Defence The Associated Press Reuters BBC News The New York Times The Wall Street Journal The Washington Post San Antonio Express-News Houston Chronicle The Dallas Morning News Austin American-Statesman El Paso Times Columbus Dispatch The Kansas City Star Chicago Tribune Media Group The Denver Post
The Seattle Times Los Angeles Times
The San Diego Union-Tribune Narrative Strategies
Information Professionals Association
Doowan Lee USSOCOM Joint Special Operations University Alan Malcher MA The Texas Tribune The Lincoln Project