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When extremism is on the ballot, America loses
Today's Republican party is extremist, not conservative
One of today’s headlines in the Associated Press, triggered me to write about it today. If you are a true, “principled conservative” you won’t like what I have to say but above all else, you need to hear it, for our nation’s sake.
My standard disclaimer: I despise big money political parties and see them as an affront to our founders’ dreams, for our “great experiment.” I was raised by a principled, lifelong Democrat father and a lifelong, Republican mother. Both crossed party lines at the ballot box when the facts demanded it. They discussed those issues openly and from a well-informed point of view. I consider myself an, “Eisenhower Republican” which today makes me so “middle-of-the-road” that I am not terribly welcome in either party. This suits me just fine.
I do not comment publicly on politics. It’s family tradition, which I adhere to scrupulously. Although many will see today’s post as, “political,” it is not. Today’s post is about the failure of most of Americans, right or left to define today’s Republican party as an extremist organization. Yes, media fails horribly at this as well. Extremism was and still is, a core expertise of mine and something I spent my time working on directly, while deployed in combat zones, often yearly.
Extremism as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Definition of extremism
1: the quality or state of being extreme
2: advocacy of extreme measures or views: RADICALISM
Political Party definition from the folks at Merriam-Webster:
: a group of persons organized for the purpose of directing the policies of a government
Since mid-2015, with the onset of a serious Trump candidacy for president, the Republican party has rapidly descended into extremism. Yes, there are extremists on both sides of the aisle but on the left, the more extreme have little voice within the party. On the right side of the aisle, extremism dominates the party. Hence, it is simply now an extremist movement, in denial about true American values, laws and traditions.
Why do I say this and what are some examples?
(As a Texan, I often use my home state as an example, for obvious reasons)
Well, let’s start with election denial.
1. Election denial
a. A full sixty percent of American voters will have an election denier on their ballot in Nov. Election denial is a Trump conspiracy theory fully embraced by the dominant wing of the party. Here in TX, like most so-called, “red states” election denial is an official party of the Republican platform.
b. There are a variety of reasons that election denial or more commonly known as the “big lie,” is a conspiracy theory. The only reason that matters, is that the Rs (Republican party) has this as their foundation in the upcoming Mid-terms. Any party that operates on the premise of a myth/ conspiracy theory is not dealing with reality. How would any voter trust someone, regardless of party if they believed exclusively in fantasy, myths and conspiracy theories? You cannot solve our nations problems unless you deal with reality.
c. Trump’s conspiracy theories have infected the entire R party since 2015, claiming alternate truth. Again, fantasy is no place to solve real problems.
d. Election denial, like all other conspiracy theories erode our democratic republic.
2. Anti-American initiatives:
a. Banning and burning books are extremism and are exemplary of anti-American values, by default. Oddly, it’s the trump crowd that whines incessantly about censorship that is doing the banning and burning. Apparently, they really don’t care about the 1st Amendment after all. Book bans and burns are a literal assault on the first amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Since most book burns and bans are based on religious underpinnings, these bans/ burns violate the first amendment of multiple levels.
b. Book-burning and book-banning
i. Texas, like the other red states are increasingly embracing book banning and some, like Texas and Tennessee book burning.
c. For the record, all across America, the same school districts and libraries run for decades by the right, are the ones who originally approved the books they now ban for largely religious and political reasons.
a. The obsession for guns is anti-American in the extreme and the existing R opinion has attempted to translate guns and the equivalent of being patriotic. What utter nonsense.
b. There is nothing wrong with responsible Americans owning most guns, provided that they are well-trained and can pass universal background checks. The Rs, like my congressman Tony Gonzales refuse to even listen to these points.
i. Let’s not forget that the NRA funneled millions of Russian dollars into R campaigns and especially, millions into trump’s campaign. The US R party is compromised (kompromat in Russian) by Russian money acceptance. Putin uses this leverage to get acquiescence from the R party on a variety of issues, most prominently, sanctions relief.
4. Religion in schools
a. Texas is one of those states who approve of and advocate for school vouchers. These vouchers rob constitutionally decreed, free public education of funding. Private schools would allow religious instruction with tax-payer dollars. This could hardly be more of an affront to the US Constitution’s, first amendment. New laws passed that require, “In God we trust” in every public school, erodes the constitutional separation between, “Church and State.”
a. Putin is a top tier, human rights violation, including actual and cultural genocide against the Ukrainian people. Why is the right tolerant of and often supportive of Putin?
b. Putin’s genocide against our allies and fellow advocates of democracy, Ukraine.
c. Here in TX, R support for Putin is a roller coaster of sorts. The one point that stands out is that R Texans, who still support Trump never have a really bad opinion of Putin. Their support comes and goes for Putin’s immorality but so long as trump gives them a thumbs up, they will not criticize Putin. My congressman, Tony Gonzales, TX 23 wouldn’t even say the word Russia for the majority of his term and never once condemned Putin, until the GOP gave him the go-ahead. Governor Abbott, like other high-profile TX Rs, has scrubbed his social media to erase all support for trump regarding Russia.
6. Voting rights
a. Part of the activity surrounding the conspiracy theory of election denial, is that across the nation, Republican states are desperate to suppress or deny constitutionally guaranteed voting rights. Nothing could be more un-American. If this doesn’t convey extremism attitudes towards our national values, nothing will convince you. Evidence of voter fraud is nearly non-existent. Supporting laws that restrict voting rights is supporting a “solution, looking for a problem.” In most cases, the handful of voter fraud crimes pertain to Republicans, not the opposition.
b. Again, using Texas as an example, our new voting laws passed by an extremist Republican legislature is better defined, as Jim Crow, 2.0. Radical Gerrymandering has also significantly marginalized people of color. This in a state with an exceptionally high Hispanic population, is the antithesis of democracy, harkening back to Confederacy systems of the pre and immediately post-Civil War era.
What I have so far presented, very clearly demonstrates that the current GOP, is extremist, not a political party. The actual party is held hostage by the extremist, Trump wing. There is no other way to see an alleged political party that dines on a steady diet of conspiracy theories, dishonesty and anti-American values. To make things worse, their agenda is not only extremist but attempts to refine true patriotism with an anti-American agenda. Supporting our adversaries, curtailing our constitutional rights in voting, education, religion in government etc. are anti-constitutional issues. Advocacy for such is by definition, extremist and anti-American.
Yes, today’s TAT post beats up the current GOP. That beating is well-deserved, and my beating has been exclusively factual. I have zero issues with opposing parties arguing passionately for their legitimate American point of view but, draw a hard line at arguing extremism vs. principled liberalism.
America is designed for those passionate to argue their point of view, fairly. It’s what makes us Americans. Since Trump and to some extent, the Newt Gingrich era, the right has become extremist dominated. This doesn’t mean the right is all extremist. It’s just that the “nuts are running the asylum.” There are millions of truly principled conservatives, just like my mom was. It’s their voice that has been silenced, by their own party. Until the principled conservatives regain control of their party, they have no voice and worse… if they still vote Republican, are empowering the extremists, not their political or national values.
Our nation has several very serious problems to address. Well-informed debate from opposing sides normally delivers a better result. Principles arguing against conspiracy theories delivers the destruction of our values and our democratic republic. Someone must stand up and tell the truth.
I wish the mainstream media would stop calling extremism, conservatism. This only prolongs our time in the swamp of right-wing extremism. Yes, we’ve had the opposite as well, during my youth. That should have been enough to ward off the current opposite with the right but… so far, it hasn’t. Only being honest with ourselves and each other can we wade out of this swamp together, as principled Americans. If we continue to allow extremists a say in our government, we all get what we deserve.
America, please do better. Be honest, courageous with your voices and above all, embrace, not redefine American values. We are at our best when principled parties and candidates argue with truth, integrity and reality, not when extremists challenge a political party.