I need to begin with a reminder to my readers: I am very disappointed in the Democrats and the candidate they have selected. But I am completely disgusted by the Republican party. While the Democrats represent much of the same ol’ Washington we’ve all grown to dislike, the Republicans have become the enemies not just of our government but of democracy itself.
I want to shout loudly that this is not just a “political” view I hold. They have moved far beyond the pale of mere political differences. They have been attacking the very fabric of democracy.
Abraham Lincoln, as far back as 1838 in a January speech in Springfield, warned that the real threat to America lay not in foreign invasion but in the suicide of our democratic institutions. When mob rule reigns (such as in the lynchings which were fairly common at the time) the the rule of law is eviscerated and with it the government which was created to make and enforce law comes to be seen as a mere obstruction in the way of “street justice” (my term, not Lincoln’s).
++Republicans, vowing to make the president fail, have damaged the presidency, destroying respect for the office.
++Republicans, refusing to allow the president to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, have not only inflicted a temporary damage to the court but have guaranteed that for a long time to come the court will be treated in exactly and precisely the way that will destroy it. When the court becomes not a part of the famous checks and balances of our governmental system but merely an extension of the political views of the party in power at one time or another, then the court no longer is the primary guardian of the Constitution.
++Republicans, long the enemy of fair elections, have redoubled their efforts to make sure “their kind of people” get to vote more easily than other folk. In doing so, they are making a mockery of the most fundamental way in which citizens can hold their elected officials accountable.
In all these ways — and many dozens more — trump goes far beyond the debased Republican style but he is not essentially different from what the Republicans have become. He just exaggerates all their enmity to democracy.
Nothing trump proposes — nothing! — would strengthen democracy. He wants to be a dictator and hasn’t a clue how else to behave. He wants law and order at the expense of justice (a word he never uses). He wants to reverse our wonderful claim to be “the land of the free and home of the brave, promising instead to make us a nation of cowards hiding behind protective walls. He wants to end that deeply felt American compassion that is expressed by the Statue of Liberty, which says to all the world, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
trump is a living magnifying glass, showing us in large images what the Republican party has become in our day. All to the shaming of America, which for centuries wanted to be a “city set upon a hill” so that all the world could see what it means to be a nation founded upon faith and love, freedom and compassion, law and justice.