What’s Up GOP?
The GOP is in charge of the House, the Senate, the Presidency and the Supreme Court. It has control of the governorships and the state legislatures in over 30 states. What is it doing with all this awesome power to make our nation a better place to live, work and raise a family? What is it doing to make the world a better place for all who live on this planet?
At the moment, I’m reading Grant by Ron Chernow, the author of Hamilton as well. In Grant, an Army Captain is forced out of the Army for drunkenness, and afterwards he serially fails as businessman and farmer. After the start of the Civil War, he returns to the army, becomes a colonel, starts to win battles, becomes a General, and against all odds rises to command the Union Armies and eventually beats General Lee and ends the Civil War. Along this journey, he became a staunch supporter and defender of the freed slaves now becoming citizens. I’m just at the point where Andrew Johnson has vetoed the Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment, and his vetoes have been over-ridden by Republicans in the House and the Senate. We are not yet at the point where he is impeached, but not convicted. And a short time later Grant will be elected President and begin to enforce the Civil Rights Act in the South. I’m only half way through the story of Ulysses S. Grant.
So here we are, over 150 years later. Does the GOP still stand for Civil Rights for every American? What are its views on Americans and immigrants with darker skin tones? In the Presidential vote, it is becoming the party of older white males. Is that where it wants to be? It is becoming the party of protectionism for the sunset industries. Is that where it wants to be? It is becoming the party of abiding anger about changes and evolution in the workplace, in religion, in mores, in industry, in culture, in schools. Does it want to be the party of anger for the past or of hope for the future? Is it the party of Reagan’s “shining city on the hill, or the opportunity society of Kemp or the dystopian and dyspeptic visions of Donald Trump? Why is it tolerating a Presidency trafficking in big lies and obvious racial hatred? Does it really want to be captive to its hardest right partisans in Congress?
There should be sharp debate in the party about its views on immigration, civil rights, freedom of the press, free trade, climate change, global warning, level playing fields, coverage for every American, economic opportunity for those less fortunate, and basic civility. The voices are muted; sometimes it's a Senator Collins or McCain, Flake or Corker, Governor Kasich or Governor Sandoval. Many are heading for the exits, leaving office, leaving politics when this should be the time when they could achieve so much.
So for those of you with a conscience, stand up to the forces that are polluting your party, the airwaves, the nation and ultimately the world.
January 22, 2018