How the GOP Plans to Win Without the People’s Support
by Willem Frankfort
As the dark, rolling miasma of impeachment and possible removal from office approaches our dear leader, Donald Trump, the Republican majority in the Senate has proven a reliable shield.
To a staunch anti-Trumpist like myself, it can be difficult to understand how a party which used to be defined by religious values and general familial wholesomeness can tolerate such behavior from a president. The same people who used to think I’m destined for hell for smoking a joint now defend an adulterer, a fraud, a grabber of random vaginas, an alleged daughter fondler.
It seems the depths to which men like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell will not sink are yet to be discovered. Even open admissions of felony offenses don’t seem to be enough to pull them from the proverbial orange teat. As if specifically to drive this point home, all 196 House Republicans voted against the recent resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against the president.
What drives this devotional behavior? Why would Republicans risk the death of their whole political party to support this monumental douche? Why has their evangelical base abandoned their core values to support this movement?
Let’s face it, Agent Orange would not have survived the bevy of scandals that pock mark his presidency like a raging case of smallpox, if not for a serious defense from his fellow Republicans. They must have an endgame for when Trump inevitably leaves office. If he isn’t voted out or removed, the man lives on Big Macs and buckets of fried chicken. One day Donald Trump won’t be president anymore. That is a fact. To his Republican allies, Trumpism isn’t about Donald Trump. It’s a cynical attempt to maintain relevance.
The most obvious motive here is to stack the courts from the bottom, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Trump has personally nominated 157 judges since he took office, and the Senate confirmed every one of them. McConnell’s despicable obstruction of the appointment of Merrick Garland in the last year of the Obama administration really drives this point home.
The name of the GOP game is to flood the system with conservative judges. Judges that will interpret the law with a conservative eye for the next forty years. Judges to undermine abortion rights, uphold gerrymandered districts, and oppress marginalized populations.To this end, they will let Trump burn the whole executive branch to the ground. I am far from the first to point this out. Yet even with such an obvious answer to the question at hand, it seems as if there is something more sinister at play here.
Since those carefree days of the Nixon era, when the Southern Strategy was first manifested, Republicans have relied on a white majority in fear of losing their economic prosperity. In the decades following Watergate, shifting demographics have made the GOP increasingly dependent on race baiting, gerrymandering, and voter suppression to maintain majority control in American politics. The GOP has successfully branded themselves in such a way that working class, white, Midwestern and Southern Americans equate their own success with that of the party. In the past this was more than enough to maintain a stranglehold on American politics and promote their usual pro-corporate agenda.
Yet America is changing. The future will inevitably include more female voices, more openness to cultural exchange, more social programs, and more melanin. Everyone has seen Census figures indicating that white people will no longer be a majority in this country by 2040.
The younger generations no longer fear cultural diversity, or even the dreaded S-word. I’m referring of course, to Socialism. Merely accusing someone of socialist leanings was enough to kill a candidacy back in the 1980s. Now a socialist is one of three frontrunners for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.
You think you’ve known fear? You’ve never been a rich pasty old white man confronting the possibility of poor people being able to see a doctor. The prospect of actually paying their taxes has them shaking in their boots! Poor dears.
To hear the average Trump supporter, America is under constant threat of becoming Soviet Russia. Not even going to point out the irony there. To that end, they will abandon any and all moral and ethical precepts. They really think that if we educate people, give out some free food, and provide medicine, the next inevitable step is a gulag.
They believe these things absolutely and without equivocation, even after it’s explained that these programs exist elsewhere. I’ve seen the arguments in long, drawn out flame wars on the battlefields of Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit; always the same rhetoric. Does the Republican leadership believe their own bullshit? I doubt we will ever get one to tell the truth and find out for sure.
So with social attitudes and demographics shifting out of the GOP’s favor, the only way to keep their grip is through the courts. Every voter ID law or redrawn district magnifies the influence of conservative politics and maintains a strong legislative presence. This is why an April CBS poll indicates 65% support nationwide for marijuana legalization, yet the federal ban remains in place. This is why a Midwestern vote is worth 320% of my East Coast vote. This is why there is a busload of Republican legislators and pundits lined up to defend every single Presidential fuck-up. It is yet to be determined whether Trump represents new life for an increasingly irrelevant ideology, or the GOP death rattle.
I, for one, am rooting for the latter.