The Republican Party, Now the Trump Party, Has Gone Virally Dangerous

By Donald A. Collins | 27 November 2020
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

On Thanksgiving Day my wife and I spent in Fauci fashion just the two of us and felt we had much to be thankful for, but I guess for both of us the outcome of the Presidential election was high on our list of things to be thankful for.

In October I wrote an op ed entitled, “Rename the Republican Party?” which you can read in full here.

We couldn’t know how Trump would behave when he lost by nearly 6 million votes, but his refusal to cede when the votes were counted and re-counted is historic misbehavior. The lying Trump continues to do about election fraud makes the Nixon coverup of the Watergate break in seem almost ineptly naïve.

The fact that for many years that party had lost its way is well documented by a 10/23/18 piece by Terry Gross of National Public Radio, entitled “Republican Voter Suppression Efforts Are Targeting Minorities”.

You can read the entire piece here but its initial paragraphs spell out its misbehavior:

Since the 2010 elections, 24 states have implemented new restrictions on voting. Alabama now requires a photo ID to cast a ballot. Other states such as Ohio and Georgia have enacted “use it or lose it” laws, which strike voters from registration rolls if they have not participated in an election within a prescribed period of time.

Mother Jones journalist Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot, says that many of the restrictions are part of a broader Republican strategy to tighten access to the ballot — an effort that was bolstered in 2013 by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder ruling.

“[That] decision,” Berman explains, “said that those states with the longest histories of discrimination no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government.”

As a result, Berman says, “You’re seeing a national effort by the Republican Party to try to restrict voting rights, and it’s playing out in states all across the country.”

Many of the new voting restrictions are occurring in states like Georgia, North Dakota and Kansas, which have critical races in the 2018 midterms. Berman says that it’s still unclear what the impact of the restrictions will be on the upcoming elections, but he remains hopeful that the tide might be shifting on voter restrictions.

Berman points out that an amendment to Florida’s 2018 ballot would restore voting rights to more than 1 million former felons who are currently disenfranchised in the state.

My opinion about the main motivation of those 70 plus million Trump voters is fear. They are also anti-immigrant and clearly in favor of Trump’s overt racism. Those are not pleasant facts but they are obviously true. Naturally when these voters are confronted with those charges most of them will not admit such motivations, but such a block presents our democracy with serious problems for the future.

Question. How will Trump affect the Georgia senate races which will decide if Mitch McConnell keeps his job as Majority Leader?

A Thanksgiving day 11/26 Washington Post article posits how keenly those Trump voters feel about the failure of their Republican officials to verify and support Trump on his untrue claims of voter fraud. You can read the piece here, but these paragraphs demonstrate the intensity.

Sen. David Perdue was encouraging a crowd at a gun club south of Atlanta to support him and fellow Republican Kelly Loeffler in their bids for Georgia’s Senate seats, which he called the only thing standing between America and “a radical socialist agenda.”

But five minutes into the senator’s speech, a man interrupted.

“What are you doing to help Donald Trump and this fraud case?” the man screamed, as one woman said “Amen” and the crowd applauded. “What are you doing to stop what’s been going on here and this election fraud?”

The Republican candidates in Georgia’s dual Senate runoff campaign are navigating a highly unusual political labyrinth — caught in the middle of an intraparty war that has erupted since President Trump narrowly lost the state to President-elect Joe Biden and has turned his fire on the Republican leadership there.

The infighting now threatens to turn off the very Republican voters Perdue and Loeffler need to stave off challenges from their Democratic rivals, Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly, and falsely, accused Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans, of presiding over a fraudulent election. Trump has pushed the baseless claim that the Dominion Voting Systems machines used in Georgia were rigged as part of a global conspiracy, and Perdue and Loeffler have called for Raffensperger’s resignation.

But therein lies the conundrum: Perdue and Loeffler are traveling the state pleading with Republican voters to turn out on Jan. 5 — effectively asking Trump supporters to put their faith in the same voting system their president claims was manipulated to engineer his defeat.

The present top leaders of the party of Lincoln now frankly disgust me. What a tragedy. McConnell if remaining Majority Leader likely will little cooperate with Biden. And now with a packed Supreme Court we are going to see attacks on issues of vital importance be sidetracked or ignored as the deep divisions created by the lying and manipulation history of the Republican leadership has gained enough hegemony to delay progress at a very unpropitious time.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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