As the world’s most multiethnic nation, we have not yet become fully comfortable with that condition as Trump’s MAGA GOP keep proving as he keeps using his hate of minorities and attacks on our democracy to gain him a plausible chance for a 2nd term.
The traditional melting pot theory is not progressing as projected and the demographics are already determining political outcomes. That is terrifying the GOP’s right wing.
In short, more than ever we need ways of bringing us together, not fear mongering to generate distrust of our treasured institutions.
Trump has exploited the fears of some whites about their being replaced by minorities. He has embraced and completely won over the religious rights of people seeking laws to impose Christianity as our national religion. He has managed to pack our Supreme Court with religious ideologues, likely for decades.
Trump amazingly keeps a substantial lead in polls to be the GOP Presidential nominee at its July 15-18 2024 convention despite his multiple legal problems which so far have boosted his popularity.
Keenly aware and watching news about the no negative reactions to his multiple criminal charges, I wrote a column based around NY Times’ David Brooks’ column of date assessment of Biden.
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) October 17, 2023
A long time GOP moderate, Brooks has followed Biden’s career for years. He favors Biden for 2024 as he tells us in a recent OP ED you can read in full below.
As I’ve thought about Biden’s chances in 2024, I find myself deeply conscious of all the disadvantages that he and the Democrats have as they try to retain power, and preparing for what that could bring. But I also find myself arriving foursquare at the conclusion that rejecting the president now would be, in the first place, a mistake. He offers the most plausible route toward winning the working- and middle-class groups the Democrats need, the most plausible route toward building a broad-based majority party.
Read Brooks’ full column here.
"The bracing reality is that Trump’s cynicism and fury match the national mood more than Biden’s faithful optimism." https://t.co/tc5HdqBY1q
— Dan Fastenberg (@DanFastenberg) October 6, 2023
Comments on my 10/13 column’s contention that Biden now or in the future might emerge as a philosopher king got favorable comments from several readers, but one of my old friends sent me a different message.
He had read Brooks’ Op Ed views (That Biden could be a tough boss), but his comments on Biden incorrectly assumes Trump is his candidate.
Here is his exact initial email:
Well, he may have been a tough boss, but was also a consummate liar, dishonest, weak, and as it would late turn out, corrupt, as well as being consistently wrong on the analysis of foreign policy issues. He’s also, wealthy, and now we’re beginning to discover how and why.
I responded to my friend as follows:
Thanks for your comments on my October 13th opinion piece entitled “Is Joe Biden An Unappreciated Philosopher King?”
My column as you know features the opinions of David Brooks, the longtime moderate Republican columnist at the NY Times.
Rather than compare who is the better liar, Biden, or Trump, I strongly suggest you read the “Tyranny of the Minority” as it covers the predicament into which Trump has put our democracy thanks to the weakness of proper GOP protests about his behavior.
Grateful for this careful, close review of the nuances of our book in the @washingtonpost
Why is American democracy on the brink?https://t.co/OjacAJNAep
— Daniel Ziblatt (@dziblatt) October 11, 2023
The authors argue on page 119 and support their statement with cogent examples that there are “three basic principles that democratic parties must follow: they must always accept the results of fair elections, win or lose; they must unambiguously reject the use of violence to gain or to hold onto power; and they must break ties to antidemocratic extremists.” You can learn from this book, which 74% of its reviewers on Amazon give 5 stars, how the Trump MAGA GOP has fared.
The Washington Post’s book review identified the book’s main point that Trump’s GOP critics were saying they were very dismayed by Trump’s behavior in their public comments while not standing up to his improper conduct. The GOP Senate had two chances and chose to send America into a political maelstrom. Many House Republicans voiced dismay at his behavior but such pretenses didn’t keep them from voting his way.
Here is a highlight from what the Post review reports the authors say about the Trump crowd:
“Levitsky and Ziblatt call “a pre-democratic era” but that now, as they argue, allow “partisan minorities to routinely thwart majorities.” The authors, whose previous book, “How Democracies Die,” stood out among the alarm-sounders of the last decade, aren’t the first to point out the dangerous obsolescence of these obstacles to democratic reform, but they write with terrifying clarity about how the forces of the right have co-opted the enshrined rules to exert their tyranny.
Americans, the authors write, like to view the Constitution as a “carefully crafted blueprint for a well-functioning republic,” one that serves as a hedge against the mob while prioritizing self-government and civil liberties. Admirable, but a lot of it is really a cobbling of “second-best solutions,” Levitsky and Ziblatt remind us. A mob is more than superior numbers, anyway; a small mob can swarm in a way that disguises its antimajoritarian nature, working stealthily within the lines.
Levitsky and Ziblatt call this small mob “semi-loyal democrats,” borrowing from the German sociologist Juan Linz. Its members — the accomplices to “democracy’s assassins” — are “mainstream politicians, often in suits and ties, who ostensibly play by the rules and indeed even thrive under them,” they write. “They never engage in visibly antidemocratic acts. So when democracies die, their fingerprints are rarely found on the murder weapon.
But make no mistake: semi-loyal politicians play a vital, if hidden, role in democratic collapse.” At another, less sensitized time, we might have called these accomplices “the good Nazis.”
Put the Post review again here for you to read.
My friend who commented on my OP ED has always been a well-informed, thinking Republican, a published scholar, and a sophisticated observer of current events.
This is his reply to my response to his initial email, after extending his good wishes to my wife and me, came as no surprise. Read it here:
We (he and his wife) are exceedingly frustrated with the performance of the Republican Party, especially because it is digging its own grave with its support of Trump. But we’re not giving up, we’re too old.
My friend’s second answer greatly encouraged me as clearly the GOP of which I was once a partisan has changed completely under Trump into a dangerous attacker of our democracy. People like my friend can perhaps cause its resurrection, which foremost needs to have its restoration led by people of integrity. Barry Goldwater wasn’t for everyone, but he and his Senate colleagues knew how to deal with Nixon. As many know, he was very open in his opinions, and liberal in the sense that he and his wife, Peggy, were vigorously pro-choice.
We have always been a nation which has had a large flow of immigrants, something neither party had for many years challenged or unfortunately in decades had not passed legislation to allow the increasing numbers of immigrants enter by a manageable fair legal process.
Now that and other urgent legislation including approval of our annual budget needs to happen, but the US House of Representatives right now can’t even govern let alone undertake any complex contentious issues!
The Trump GOP brandishes criticism without being willing to work on finding real immigration reform or restoration of access to abortion choice, two of the issues which will dominate the 2024 race.
This is an excellent summary explanation, and worth the few minutes to watch it address a vital question: Is Donald Trump a Fascist? | Robert Reich’s answer should trouble every freedom loving American!https://t.co/0p2yja72gp via @YouTube
— John W. Dean (@JohnWDean) August 9, 2023
Biden vs Trump may not happen as even Donald’s most ardent admirers may find his legal tangles are making him unelectable, despite his effective of his claims of victimhood and innocence.
Selecting another GOP candidate if Trump is too toxic will be highly controversial. Biden should win a 2nd term, by default, but the polls showing them even could in fact be accurate. A Trump win is unthinkable.
While my friend will not vote for Biden, perhaps he will consider doing his patriotic best by not voting in November next year if the GOP candidate is Trump.
To finish let me compare my friend’s opinion of Biden with most of the responsible media’s view of Trump.
Many have named Trump as a world class liar, as a racist without peer, as a burgeoning Nazi, as a seeker of power using standard dictators’ formulas and as a uniquely, insidiously effective user of propaganda to promulgate his nihilistic messages.
Trump if nominated has a real chance to win.
That possibility keeps me on edge!
“What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”: https://t.co/fHuh0CG6JD
“We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”: https://t.co/TA4j7cp1tE
“From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”: https://t.co/lkC2t3E1A9 pic.twitter.com/bQsL2mLBcO
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) November 1, 2021
Biden leads Trump in general election polling, but GOP leads Dems on the issues
‘Tyranny of the Minority’ writers say Constitution not strong enough to protect democracy
Is Donald Trump a Fascist? | Robert Reich
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