Monday, November 7, 2016

Thoughts for a Dark Time

I voted weeks ago.

There was no way the GOP could say anything that would convince me to vote for its candidate, not after the embarrassment, subversion, and outright criminality that brought that candidate to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.  Further, given the threats his thuggish supporters were making to intimidate voters so that they could steal the election for themselves, I saw no reason not to vote early.  Why deal with idiots when I don’t have to?

The irony, of course, is that stealing the election is precisely what they accuse my side of doing.  Over the last decade or two, I have found that looking at their accusations provides an uncannily accurate guide to what the GOP itself is actually doing.  Remember when they nominated a draft-dodging chicken-hawk who somehow managed to go AWOL from the Texas National Guard and ran him against a genuine combat veteran by impugning that veteran’s war record?  Remember how much they have whined about this election being rigged while at the same time enacting laws to suppress the vote of minorities, college students, and anyone not statistically likely to vote for the GOP? 

I do.

They’ve even bragged about that last point.  Just today, in fact, the North Carolina GOP put out a press release highlighting the success of what a Federal judge ruled was “insane” Jim-Crow-style racial restrictions on voting.  “This sounds like something that was put together in 1901,” said the judge, and he is absolutely correct.

But that’s what a party does when it understands that it cannot win a free and fair election.  They rig the game.  And then they scream about how it's the other side doing it.  It's tell-tale, for those who care to notice.

Four years ago, in what remains the most popular post ever on this blog, I went into some detail about why I would not be voting for any Republican candidates for the foreseeable future.  I did have some thought about revisiting that post for this election, just in case anything had changed.

But two things kept me from doing so.

First, nothing had changed.

I have a file of several hundred news articles, studies, surveys, and direct quotes – that’s called “evidence,” boys and girls, and even if it is an unpopular thing to bring up in today’s post-factual political environment some of us are just old-fashioned that way – that detail exactly how the GOP remains an existential threat to the survival of the American republic.

It remains a fiscal nightmare, perfectly willing to spend tax money but utterly incapable of overcoming the simple greed that animates their platform to chip in for anything themselves.  Nobody who believes in fiscal responsibility can possibly vote GOP.

It remains the party working hard to weaken the military.  They have rejected every single veterans’ bill offered in the last eight years, because that would make them have to reach into their own pockets to help the people they falsely praise.  They have worked hard to undermine national security, treaties, and allies.  Their conduct has, on occasion, approached uncomfortably close to treason, a word I do not use lightly.  Nobody who supports a strong military or values the security of the United States in a troubled world can possibly vote GOP.

It remains the party of community destruction, diligently working to turn Americans against each other by playing on fear, ignorance, and bigotry.  I will not be afraid.  I’m a goddamned American.  These colors do not run.  Nobody who values communities can possibly vote GOP.

It remains the party committed to the subjugation of women, to the creation of a blasphemous Dominionist theocracy erected on the ruins of American constitutional law, and to the destruction of public education.  It has intensified its attacks on democracy through gerrymandering, vote suppression, intimidation, and outright fraud.  It continues to assault the separation of powers, and it justifies the deliberate sabotage of the American government.  This, for example, is the group that refuses to do anything about the vacancy on the Supreme Court despite clear Constitutional requirements that it do so.  Nobody who values the survival of the republic can possibly vote GOP.

Don’t you hate it when people sucking on the taxpayer’s tit do no work?  Let the Senate know!

So nothing has changed.  Nothing was going to change.  And those who saw nothing wrong with that in 2012 weren’t going to be convinced by anything I wrote in 2016.

Second, they nominated the most grotesquely unqualified candidate for higher office ever put forward by a supposedly major party in American history.  This is a phenomenal achievement, in a way, given the parade of charlatans, boobs, halfwits, and mediocrities that have been foisted off on the American people for their judgment.  It’s not an achievement to be proud of, but it is an achievement nonetheless.

There are simply no words left to describe the Abomination Unto The Founders that is Donald Trump. 

He is a bloviating con artist who has proven utterly incapable of telling the truth about, well, anything – his factual accuracy rating from Politifact (a nonpartisan, Pulitzer-prize-winning source) was 9%, last time I checked.  Hillary came in around 50%, which is about average – that’s where Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders all were.  That’s where Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Mitt Romney were too.  It’s higher than Ben Carson and Scott Walker, because those two are a drain on humanity, but overall 50% is the bipartisan norm for politicians.  Not the Donald.

He is a sexual predator with a court date in December for raping a child, and a petty racketeer with a November court date for fraud.  He is a serial bankrupt who has managed to take a fortune and make it worth 1/3 of what it would be worth if he had just left it alone in an index fund.  He makes cheating small businesses part of his basic strategy. 

He is so mentally unstable that his handlers finally had to take away his Twitter account.  Seriously – is this guy 12 or something?  As Barack Obama said, “If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes.”  Anyone who can be baited with a tweet does not have the maturity to be president.

He has set new standards of bigotry, which is hard to do in a country whose wealth was founded on slavery.  He has mocked the disabled, bragged about sexual assault, and made racism his calling card.  He has been endorsed by the KKK and by every major neo-Nazi organization in America, and one imagines such folk can recognize their own.

The fact that his supporters think this is perfectly fine is just another reason why nobody should ever forgive the Republican Party for bringing this pus-oozing sore on the ass of the American body politic into the mainstream.

He has worked diligently to weaken America’s strategic interests around the globe, praising dictators, alienating allies, and undermining the military.  I doubt he’s actually on Vladimir Putin’s payroll because Putin’s not that stupid, but he certainly is a willing stooge – what the Russians call a “useful idiot.” 

He has refused to release his tax returns, in violation of decades of tradition of American transparency.

He has yet to put forward a coherent idea or platform.  And the one they saddled him with at the Republican convention?  Don't make me laugh.  How can anyone take seriously a party that declares, in its platform, that pornography is a national crisis and then nominates for president a man who has appeared in a porn flick and whose wife has naked pictures all over the internet?  I don't criticize Donald or Melania for that, by the way - they're grown-ass adults and can do what they want with their bodies as long as I don't have to think about it too much - but the sheer blind hypocrisy is gut-wrenching.

And yet with all that, he remains their candidate, and 40% of America will vote for him.  That may even be enough for him to win.  If that doesn’t make you weep for the future of the American republic, you’re not thinking clearly.

Seriously – anyone likely to vote for that level of destruction isn’t going to be convinced by anything I write.

Tomorrow it will all be over.

And then the next crisis will start.  Because if, as every responsible poll and statistician says, Clinton wins, the GOP will go into full toddler-level meltdown and do everything in its power to destroy functional government in the United States.  They may succeed.  They mostly already have.  It's not that big of a step to finish the job, really.

And if the Donald is declared the winner?

All bets are off.


Lee I said...

No words.

David said...

Oh, I got plenty of words. Most of them I can only use in very specific contexts.

Lee I said...

I've shared them with the resident cats.

David said...

Sometimes they're the most appreciative audience. :)

LucyInDisguise said...

And so, Corporate America has bought & paid for the government, handed title to the Republican Clown Car, and given the keys to the Clown in Chief.

Is there, by any chance in Hell or on Earth, any way that the actual Electors will act as a fire wall and save us from ourselves?

Thor guide us - seems everyone else is out to lunch ...

at least for now ...


David said...

While I would say that it is at least theoretically possible that the Electoral College will function as the Founders intended - to rebuke a misguided and passionate (not a complimentary word in 1787) Many and overrule their choice of a corrupt demagogue - as a practical matter I cannot even conceive of the consequences of that. The Sturmtrumpers were publicly declaring that they would resort to violence if their candidate lost normally, and I doubt that their professed idolatrous worship of the Founders extends to any actual understanding of the Founders so for their candidate to lose in a way that hasn't made sense to Americans since 1820 would probably spark open warfare.

Of course, people like me are just expected to accept the fact that for the second time in 16 years the candidate who got the most votes is not actually going to be president. Funny how that that works. It's okay for them to ignore the Founders, but if I try to use modern standards I'll just be targeted.