The Republican Party Has Gone Dangerously Off The Rails

7-20-21
   It’s really scary how off the rails so much of the Republican Party has become.
   Think about it. Really think about what’s going on.
   The Republican party in many ways is now controlled by one person, Donald Trump. That in itself undermines democracy and what democracy is supposed to be about. What makes it even worse in this case is how twisted, disturbed, and authoritarian Trump’s outrageous behavior is. He lies on a colossal scale which is made even more dangerous by the way his blind followers go right along with with these lies without question. They let him get away with it, which in turn encourages his terrible behavior even more.
   Let’s look at one example: the 2020 election. This election was free and fair. There was no widespread fraud. Every single state, including those run by Republican officials, certified the election because it was free and fair. International observers from multiple countries were present monitoring the election, and they stated the election was free and fair. There were Republican, Democrat, and Independent observers in all the ballot counting rooms in every state. Add to all this the fact that Trump and his people went to court over 60 times trying to push their outrageous false claims of widespread fraud and lost. And many of the judges who ruled against Trump had been appointed by Republicans themselves. The reason Trump and his people lost over 60 court cases in connection to the election is because they have no case. They have no evidence that would stand up in a court of law. It is very clear that Trump lost the election fair and square. But Trump doesn’t like to lose and wants power, so he has continued making his false, dangerous claims about the election even though they are flat out lies. And despite the fact that his claims are totally false, his followers blindly go along with them spreading these dangerous falsehoods.  And we all saw how on January 6th, all these false claims about the election led to a mob of extremist Trump supporters assaulting United States Capitol Building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying this free and fair election. And yet despite all this, Trump and his supporters continue pushing their dangerous, undemocratic false claims about the election.
   This brings us to Republicans in elected positions, the majority of whom are bowing to Trump’s authoritarian leadership over the party. Some of these officials are blind followers of Trump themselves while others secretly may not like Trump but continue to bow to him because they are afraid of losing future primary elections. In other words, this latter group is putting their own desire for political power over American democracy. In Washington DC, only a few Congressional Republicans are willing to speak out against Trump.
   This state of affairs is quite scary and truly is dangerous to our democracy. We need to be aware of what is happening and stand up for our democratic values and speak out against authoritarianism in all its forms. We need to put pressure on more Republicans to break away from Trump’s extremist, undemocratic authoritarianism. And in future elections, we need to vote in people who stand for true democracy. Considering how much of the Republican Party is currently under the sway of Trump, in the next few elections, we need to vote in Democrats as much as possible in order to ensure our democracy endures. And I say this as an Independent (I’m not a Democrat). Right now, with so much of the Republican Party following an authoritarian leader, which is what Trump is, the Republican Party cannot be trusted with majority control over the government.

What Happened to Civil Debate, Open-mindedness, the Ability to Compromise, and Getting Things Done in US Politics?

7-9-21
   You know what, democracy can be messy. It sure can. When you look at history, there are plenty of examples of that. A democracy is made up of plethora of different people and viewpoints so that everyone’s not going to agree on everything. There will be disagreements. Political parties push their agendas and vie for more power. At times, arguments can get passionate and quite heated. Again, if you look at the past, there are plenty of examples. The problem these days is that divisions and severe partisanship have gotten dangerously extreme.
   If you look back at the 1980s and 1990s in Washington DC politics, sure, there were plenty of disagreements and battles in Congress. But there was also compromise and bipartisanship as well. Republicans and Democrats in Congress could sit down and hash out compromises to get things done. Senator Ted Kennedy for example was very liberal and quite passionate about his views, yet he could also sit down with Republicans and hammer out a deal to get legislation passed. While neither side got everything they wanted, in the end, they would get legislation passed for the good of the American people. Sure, it wasn’t perfect. But they were able to get things done much better than today.
   Even before Donald Trump took office, political divisions were getting pretty severe, and then when Trump took office, they got much worse since he made a point to encourage and exacerbate divisiveness. We’re seeing political extremes who don’t want to compromise, and while both parties have been guilty of this lately, the Republicans have gotten much worse about it. A disturbing example of this is the statement by Texas Republican Chip Roy when he said that he would “oppose almost everything that Congress does.” He clearly means that he intends to try to stop any significant legislation that is proposed by the Democratic majority in large part to try to increase the chances of Republicans gaining seats in the 2022 midterm elections. And Roy is not the only one guilty of this. Mitch McConnell for some years now has been going out of his way to obstruct and stop legislation proposed by Democrats in his obsession to try to gain and hold a Republican majority in the Senate. Since he is the Republican leader in the Senate, he is essentially trying to gain and hold as much power as he can in that chamber.
   It seems that too many people in Congress are showing more loyalty to their party than to the United States Constitution and the American people as a whole. And in the Republicans’ case, too many are bowing to the authoritarian style whims and demands of Donald Trump as well. This goes against what Democracy is supposed to be about.
   I’m not one of those people that glorifies the old days so to speak. While I think history is fascinating, it is important to be honest about the past and try to understand the good, the bad and the in-between. But one thing I will say is that we need to regain the ability to talk to one another, to listen to one another, to be open minded, to compromise, and to get things done. Both Democrats and Republicans need to do better in this regard. Furthermore, in the Republican Party’s case, they need to separate themselves from Donald Trump and his dangerously authoritarian tendencies and lies. Democracy frequently requires compromise because of the diversity of society. Everyone needs to remember that it’s more important to stand up for the United States Constitution, the American people, and Democracy than be blindly loyal and follow a particular political party or individual. Too many people these days are essentially being more loyal to their political party (and in many Republicans’ case, to Donald Trump) than to the United States Constitution. This trend is not only disturbing, it’s dangerous because history is full of examples of things like this and how they can lead to authoritarianism and dictatorship.
  

Majority of DC Republicans Continue Opposing a Congressional Investigation of the Jan 6th Events

7-1-21
   Well, the dangerous dark path that the Republican Party is going down appears to be continuing which is frankly scary for our democracy.
   Now let’s get one thing perfectly clear here: the 2020 election was free and fair. Donald Trump lost. There was no widespread fraud. Every single state, including those run by Republicans, certified the election because it was fair. They were Republican, Democrat, and Independent observers in all the ballot counting rooms. They were international observers from multiple countries monitoring the election as well. The FBI and even William Barr, Donald Trump’s Attorney General during that time, found no evidence of widespread fraud. Add to that how the Trump campaign lost over 60 court cases where they were making their baseless claims about the election, and it is abundantly clear that the election was free and fair.
   Yet Donald Trump and numerous other Republicans spread false allegations and flat out lies about the 2020 election. And we all saw, along with the entire world, how extremist Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol Building on January 6th in an effort to try to stop Congress from certifying the election. The events that day were horrendous, cost human lives, and went against the very essence of our democratic values.
   It is clear that the United States Congress must investigate what happened on January 6th in order to understand what occurred, how it occurred, and why it occurred so that hopefully it will never happen again. A bipartisan 9/11 style Commission is clearly the preference, but Republicans disgracefully killed that idea. As a result, Speaker the House Nancy Pelosi was left with the options of doing nothing or putting together a select committee. She has decided to do the latter, and of course the Republicans are attacking this. They had their chance of a bipartisan Commission which is what most Americans wanted, but it is the Republicans who killed that possibility. So it is beyond hypocritical for them to attack the select committee. The select committee is better than nothing at all.
   The fact that the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to oppose investigating January 6th reveals how dark and dangerous a path the Republican Party is venturing down. In the history of this nation, we have never seen anything like what happened on January 6th. If you’d told people hypothetically 20 or 30 years ago that Americans might storm the US Capitol Building to try to prevent an election from being certified, the vast majority wouldn’t believe you. And if you then added that a political party would oppose Congress’s investigating the event, people would be dumbfounded in shock. Yet here we are. The majority of the Republican Party in DC is opposing any real Congressional investigation into one of the most important events in modern history. Only a handful of Republicans in Congress have shown any courage in wanting to get the bottom of the January 6th events. Republican Representative Liz Cheney is one of those few and has agreed to be a part of the select committee. While I may disagree with her on many policy issues, I have great respect for her courage in joining the committee. It’s sad and dangerous that so many other Republicans won’t show her bravery too. Instead, they seem to either actively support the terrible lies being spread by Trump and others or they choose to stay silent. But the thing is, there are times when partisan politics should be laid aside and doing what’s best for the country should take precedence. This is one of those times, and Liz Cheney is one of the few Republicans who is rising to the occasion. The vast majority of others are not. Instead, they are going along with Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and lies about the election.
   These are disturbingly scary times indeed.
   It reminds us how fragile democracy is and how we must stay vigilant and defend it because those who may try to undermine it, or even destroy it, can come from the outside or from within.
   In this case, they have come from within.

Republicans’ Killing A Bipartisan Congressional Jan 6th Commission Undermines US Democracy

5-18-21
   Well, the Republicans did it. They killed any hope that a bipartisan Congressional Commission will investigate the January 6th assault on the United States Capitol Building.
   Think about that. What happened on January 6th has never happened before in American history. We’ve never had an angry mob of American citizens storm the Capitol Building like that with the intent of interfering with a legitimate national election. What occurred on that day was of major significance, and as such, a bipartisan Congressional Commission is not only recommended, frankly, it’s essential to make it clear to the entire world that US Democracy will continue to stand and thrive into the future.
   But instead, Republicans killed any hopes of a Commission.
   The fact that the Republicans did this is beyond disturbing and sickening. It’s dangerous. There are times when issues arise which are so vitally important that partisan politics should be put aside. Frankly, it should be a no-brainer that a bipartisan Commission is entirely in order here.  And the proposed Commission would have been based on the 9/11 Commission with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats on it and both sides having subpoena power. Democrats also agreed to the Republican demand that the Commission wrap up by the end of 2021 so that it didn’t push into midterm elections.
   What is going on?
   In my opinion, it’s a symptom of the dangerous path the Republican Party has been going down of late. Most Republicans are bowing to Donald Trump’s whims and demands no matter how outrageous or incorrect those demands may be. Some may be doing this because they’re true believers while others may be doing it out of fear, fear that Donald Trump will speak out against them so that they may lose their future reelections, and many Republicans are especially worried about the midterm elections. They appear to be putting party loyalty and a tendency to blindly follow an authoritarian wannabe, Donald Trump, over standing up for American Democracy and the United States Constitution.
   It’s obvious why Trump doesn’t want a January 6th Commission. Trump’s outrageous rhetoric and lies about the election clearly instigated the mob who then stormed the US Capitol Building. So Trump is afraid that he’s going to be made to look bad by a Commission, and there are other Republicans who fear that as well because they were parroting Donald Trump’s lies too.
   But it’s also extremely troubling the way there are Republicans such as Mitch McConnell who, while they may have laid the blame on Trump immediately after the January 6th events, have since changed their tune so that they no longer appear to hold Trump responsible to any significant degree. Many Republicans started downplaying the assault with one even referring to the mob as “tourists.” Tourists?! Are you kidding me?! They literally assaulted the United States Capitol Building on live TV. The entire world saw it happen! Those were not tourists.
   This is so dangerous to our democracy. We have a major political party, the Republicans, that is bowing to the disturbing will of one person, Donald Trump, despite the fact that that person has been spreading outrageous rhetoric and flat out lies. Instead of learning about what happened in a bipartisan way for the good of country, the majority of the Republican Party want to sweep the Jan 6th assault under the rug because of Trump’s outrageous demands and the Republicans’ desire to try to gain more power in the midterm elections. This further undermines American democracy.
   People need to open their eyes about what is going on these days because our democratic values are under threat. Remember the Republican Senators and Representatives who voted against the January 6th Commission and vote them out of office when they come up for reelection. Speak out against them. Make your voices heard.
   Demand democracy!
   Democracy is precious and should not be taken for granted. We must all stay vigilant to ensure our democratic values survive and thrive into the future.
  

Donald Trump And Those Blindly Following Him Are Endangering American Democracy

5-10-21
   I’m deeply disturbed by how Republicans these days have become so extreme in the way so many are following Donald Trump with an almost cult-like zeal. It’s to the point where our democracy is being seriously threatened in the near and long-term future, particularly if this trend continues.
   Donald Trump lied more than any other modern American president, and his outrageous false claims and lies about the election incited the January 6th riot and insurrection at the US Capitol Building. These facts are clear. Donald Trump lost the election fair and square, yet he continues to make outrageously false allegations and claims trying to say he won. He lost. There were international observers overseeing the election. Every single state, including those run by Republicans, certified the election. Ballot counting rooms had Republican, Democrat, and Independent observers overseeing the process and present to deal with issues. In addition to all this, Trump and his people went to court making their false claims about the election and lost over 60 times. And many of the judges who ruled against them were Republicans themselves.
   And here we are with Trump out of office yet still controlling the Republican Party. It is clear that he is expecting and demanding Republicans, especially those in elected offices, to bow to his will and obey his instructions. If an elected official doesn’t do this, then Trump will lash out at them and turn his followers against them. He appears to be demanding that Republicans go along with his outrageous lies about the election and that if elected Republicans want to get anywhere politically in the party, they have to espouse these lies as well. We’re seeing this with the way Republicans are turning on Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney. These two have stood up to Trump with regards to his false claims about the election, and they’re being torn viciously apart by the Republican Party as a result.
   The cult like control Trump is holding over the Republican Party is beyond disturbing and is truly endangering our democracy. Having one person who is no longer in an elected position holding such authoritarian style control over a major political party goes against what democracy is supposed to be about. In addition to this, Trump is convincing many Republicans not to trust United States elections if the person they voted for doesn’t win.
   This situation is extremely dangerous to the future of our democracy. More people in the Republican Party need to speak out against Trump’s horrible, dangerous lies and stand up for the United States Constitution and the American people instead. Will this happen? Right now, the verdict is still out on that which is scary.

A Number Of Congressional Republicans Are Threatening US Democracy

1-2-21:
   In a few days, January 6th, Congress is due to certify the 2020 Presidential election. Normally, this is a simple formality, but this time, it has become much more complicated.
   There was no widespread fraud in this election. As with all elections, there were a few isolated problems here and there (which is normal), but nothing systematic or widespread and nothing that would change the outcome of the election. State government officials (both Democrat and Republican) have certified the election. There were Democratic, Republican, and Independent observers in all the ballot counting rooms.  There were even International Observers from multiple countries monitoring the election as well. The conclusion from all these people is that it was a free and fair election.
   Joe Biden won, and Donald Trump lost, fair and square.
   But dangerously and pathetically, Trump is making totally baseless accusations of fraud that he has no evidence for. He has lost lawsuit after lawsuit because he has no evidence.  It’s clear that his claims of fraud are completely false and self-serving, yet he continues spewing out this utter nonsense, apparently for his own twisted reasons.
   Trump will not steal this election as he is apparently trying to do. Joe Biden will be inaugurated January 20th.
   But it is extremely disturbing how numerous Congressional Republicans are going along with Trump’s disgusting, unAmerican behavior. Some are threatening to object to Congressional certification of the election despite the fact that the election was free and fair. This terrible, cowardly behavior is undermining our democracy.
   And you know what: History is going to treat the actions of Trump and those going along with him very, very harshly. And they will deserve the harsh treatment because they are going against (and even trying to overturn) the will of the American people who have already spoken by voting.
   Think about it. The actions of Trump and those going along with him are threatening the very foundation of our country, Democracy.
   We must never forget what is happening.
   We must never forget that elected officials are knowingly and willfully hurting our democratic way of life.
   We must remember who these individuals are and vote them out of office when they come up for reelection themselves.
   And we must all strive to do better in the future in upholding and defending our democracy.

2021 Is Here

1-1-21
   It’s a new year!  The twisted, tortuous, brutal year of 2020 has finally drawn to a close which is a huge relief to people around the world.
   While we all hope that 2021 will be better than 2020, the reality is that it will take time.
   In the United States, COVID case numbers are scarily high with death tolls often reaching over 3000 in a 24 hour period. Many experts expect January to get particularly bad with a surge upon a surge occurring as the effects of people, who disregarded medical experts’ pleas to avoid big holiday gatherings, are felt.
   In addition to the COVID situation, Trump and his people are undermining American democracy with outrageously false claims about the election. While Trump’s attempts to steal the election away from the American people will fail, it appears he is going to try to hold as much power over the Republican Party, after he leaves office, as he can get away with. This is disturbing to say the least. Even though he will no longer be an elected official, he will likely try to control what Republicans (who are in elected positions) do by threatening to turn his followers against them. This is a form of authoritarianism that is dangerous and damaging to democracy.
   Thus, 2021 will not be a walk in the park. But hopefully, it’ll get better. Perhaps with time, some of the Republicans who have been going along with Trump’s outrageousness (even when they know he’s in the wrong) will finally grow a spine and turn away from him, but time will tell if that actually happens. Hopefully, the COVID vaccination program will pick up steam so that the majority of the population can get vaccinated as soon as possible, that way we can start reaching herd immunity. With herd immunity, we can begin getting life back to a more reasonable, enjoyable state.
   So, hang in there. People need to listen to medical experts and work together in combating COVID-19. We must stand up for our democratic values. People need to stop enabling Trump’s abhorrent, unAmerican behavior and recognize that the election was fair and that Trump legitimately lost. It’s time to put the toxic divisions and hate of the Trump years behind us and strive to help one another and work together in creating a better future.