The Party of Straight,
When I visit my 90 year old mother, who watches the news regularly and is a dyed-in-the-wool left wing unionist, she often rails about Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It usually goes something like this: “I thought that Nixon was the worst but then we got Reagan. And I figured it couldn’t get worse than that but then we got that first Bush --- and then his idiot son. But now, now we’ve got this guy. This is the worst.” Granted, that is far from objective commentary and it comes from someone who lived through --- and still reveres --- FDR. The fact is, however, that this actually may be the worst --- and not just Donald J. Trump. The entire Republican Party is proving itself to be the Party of Straight, White Supremacist, Male Predators, modeling themselves after the Chief Executive. It’s as if Goethe sat down and recast his play with Mephistopheles making his bargain with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. “Yes, you can have your majority in the House and Senate. And through my earthly agent, Putin, you will gain the White House. In return, you must openly refute your morals, no longer call yourself the “party of family values,” denounce your opposition to the deficit and debt, openly embrace white supremacy, and allow male predators to gain positions of power, flagrantly ignoring all evidence of their transgressions to the contrary.” Mitch and Paul were happy to shake the Devil’s hand and we are now living with the results.
I’ve mentioned before, but have to bring it up again, the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 when the Boston lawyer Joseph Welch had finally reached his limit in dealing with the demagogue, Joe McCarthy. At that point, Mr. Welch said the following:
Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency? (bold, mine)
That is the point I, like my mother, have reached. We need only look at a some quotes from Republicans not named Trump that were issued this week. Regarding this sham of a tax bill’s expansion of the estate tax (another gift to the top 1%), Grassley said:
I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.
Read that quote again. “Spending every darn penny they have, . . . on booze or women or movies.” Really? In case you have missed the last half century and the Republican Party’s development of carefully articulated “coded” language let me “translate” what that statement means. It refers to Ronald Reagan’s (mythical) “welfare queens” and all those other layabout, no good people of color who leech off the Federal Government and somehow don’t manage to save the millions they’re reaping from that same Government to benefit from the Estate Tax. Forget Grassley’s back pedaling about “family farms” (80 families with farms will benefit from the Estate Tax break) and he was taken “out of context” (the classic fall back position). These guys can’t help themselves. Give them a microphone and they’ll trip right over it.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was on the Senate floor explaining why the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPs) was no longer being funded (taking basic insurance away from at least 9 million children). According to Hatch (now, please remember to look for the “coded” language in this statement):
I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger – and expect the federal government to do everything. Unfortunately the liberal philosophy has created millions of people that way, who believe everything they ever are or hope to be depends upon the federal government rather than the opportunities that this great country grants them.
If you want to read a sterling example of White Privilege, that quote is pretty good --- and appropriately coming from the very Senior Senator from Utah (2% Black population, 13.8% Latino, 82% WHITE). You can go back to 1619 to begin reading descriptions of African-Americans as “people who won’t help themselves” (remember that’s why they needed to be slaves!). And it has been that damn “liberal philosophy” which has discouraged those same minorities from taking advantage of “the opportunities that this great country grants them.” Which, of course, makes them “ungrateful” --- just like the NFL players and other African-Americans that Donald Trump berates (calling Lavar Ball an “ungrateful fool!”).
The “President” has now come out and openly supported alleged pedophile Roy Moore in his Alabama Senate race and Mitch McConnell, who once said he “believed the women,” now agrees with the Chief that it’s more important to have a Republican in that seat rather than stand up for principles of morality and decency. But that is the state of the former Republican Party which is now, clearly, the Party of Trump. The Party of Straight, White Supremacist, Male Predators.
If you are a Republican you have to accept that this is now your party and you are not exempt. You are complicit. You DO support White Supremacy and Male Predation. You can’t have it both ways. You’re either with them or moral. Period.