Ending the Shining City: The Corruption of an American Political Party
What has happened to the Republican Party is like a plot out of a bad horror movie where a whole Party turns into a dark, sinister organization right before our very eyes. It’s a horror movie loosely based upon the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: the Republican Party, a once benevolent and truthful organization dedicated to justice and American ethical civility where the rights of minorities were championed, turns into the “Chaos and Mayhem Party,” a Political Party devoted to fascist, totalitarian and Putin like ideas, a disturbingly dishonest organization that has installed as its leader an ethically challenged and criminally liable, morally deformed, bone-spurred man. It’s a movie I don’t want to watch but one I am forced to watch every day.
I used to respect the Republican Party. I count some of its past leaders like, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and even Herbert Hoover as people I greatly admired. Though his reputation was tarnished by the Great Depression, I admire President Hoover for his achievements and dedication to public service over his entire lifetime but, especially, continuing to do so for 30 years after completing a presidency that many did and still do blame for the Great Depression. But however tarnished Hoover’s reputation might have been at any single point in time, it was never due to anything unlawful, nefarious or criminal. The same cannot be said of the Republican Party today.
Just to make it clear where I am coming from: I voted for Ronald Reagan twice. And Bush Senior twice. I voted for Bush Jr. once. In fact, I had frequently found myself agreeing with and voting more often than not for Republicans that I began to think of myself as a mole, strategically placed in another party to help steer the primaries towards the candidate in my own Party that would be less likely to win against the Republican challenger. Of course, I realize, my vote probably counted little towards that real end and any power I imagined I might have had, fictitious. But the point is, I voted for Republicans a lot, 70% of the time in fact. I voted for Republicans who were some of the most conservative you could ever think of too and not just in Presidential elections but in State elections as well.
But, here’s the thing. I didn’t vote for these Republican public servants because they were, “conservative” and I certainly didn’t vote for them because I was being a “team member.” I voted for them because they proved to me that they understood the ideals of our Founding Fathers. They understood how important the rule of law is. They also proved to me that they had the proper level of understanding of how dangerous of a threat corruption is to our democracy and to our republic. They had that vision of a shining City on a Hill that is our democracy, that is our republic.
The realization of what a threat corruption is to our American ideals, to freedom, to democracy and to our republic is something Teddy Roosevelt well understood. Teddy Roosevelt started his early political career taking on corruption, first as a State Assemblyman, then as a Police Commissioner, then as Governor of New York and, finally, as President of the United States of America. Roosevelt fought corruption of all kinds. Though he too was a populist, he was a Republican populist with honor at a time when Republicans believed in honor. It didn’t matter to Roosevelt whether you were Republican or Democrat, if a business representative or a government official was corrupt, they needed to be held to account for the crimes they committed.
Roosevelt made a lot of people in his own Political Party mad. But he wasn’t afraid to do it. Roosevelt understood that if he didn’t do it, the threat that corruption posed to our democracy could easily cause our republic to collapse. Roosevelt was always thinking in terms of how can we best secure our democracy and our republic for future generations.
With Roosevelt, it was always about our democracy. It was always about our republic. It was always about committed, truthful public service. It was always about providing real freedom for America and not the fake Freedom that is so cheaply packaged by Fox News and by other radical right news sources backed by their nonsensical conspiracy-theory based propaganda machine. This propaganda machine of theirs continually churns out manufactured patriotism that always seems to be just another dangerous piece of broken plastic rhetoric that could easily cut and destroy our system of government at any moment.
Republicans don’t respect anti-corruption laws today and they certainly are lacking in the amount of honor and integrity that is required to take up such a crusade. And whenever Republicans do make accusations of corruption, it is always charged rhetoric lacking in facts and truth and often used as a spinning political tool against their rival opposing party without any real intention to address the supposed corruption that never existed in the first place except to use it as an excuse to enact laws to make it more difficult for people to vote—a classic anti-democracy attribute of any Party devoted to fascist ideas.
The amount of damage the Republicans’ irresponsible rhetoric is causing our country today is too massive to measure. Their inability to accept an election loss gracefully and with dignity and with honor or to acknowledge that there was no fraud in the election except their own fraud they are projecting onto others is a disgraceful display of insecurity; it is weak, dangerous and unbecoming of any responsible American Political Party dedicated to truth and justice. In fact, today’s Republican Party has more in common with a political party in Russia or in any banana republic you can name in South America than it does with any legitimate, traditional Party in America dedicated to justice and real freedom.
The Republican Party fails to hold Americans who break the law accountable whenever that lawbreaker is a leader in their own party (whether it be due to anti-Corruption laws, obstruction of justice and/or other abuses of power). The same is not true of the Democratic Party that has been quick to condemn and disassociate itself with any elected leader of their Party who have even a hint of impropriety. For example, consider Rod Blagojevich and Andrew Cuomo.
Republicans simply cannot be trusted with keeping our nation safe from corrupt, tyrannical, internal domestic activities. In 2018, the Republicans participated in voter fraud in North Carolina. Ironically, it was mail-in-voting. In California in 2020, the Republican Party installed counterfeit ballot drop boxes and then refused to remove them. That crime usually caries a felony penalty, making the Republican Party in California an overt real criminal organization in my opinion. Republicans, twice, refused to impeach a President for obvious crimes that would have landed any other ordinary citizen in jail. When one of their own commits a crime, Republicans’ knee-jerk reaction is to lie, spin and cover-up the crime. There is only one conclusion here: Republicans are poor stewards of our democracy and they are poor stewards of our republic.
Holding people to account for crimes committed while in office or while out of office is an absolute requirement of any American Political Party. The failure to do that, is a failure for that Political Party to do its duty. It makes that Political Party Un-American and, even worse, it makes it anti-American. The Republican Party today has embraced fascist ideas that dictates that they should be devoted to only one man and one man only.
Even when their Dear Leader steals top secret government documents that belong to the United States of America and that he has illegally stored in an unsecure non-Government facility at his private residence, rather than admonish the perpetrator for this very serious offense, the Republican Party shifts focus away from the prime suspect in the criminal investigation to question the legitimacy of the actions of law enforcement. That idea is so foreign to any legitimate American idea that it deserves precise and swift condemnation.
Republicans have concluded that their loyalty to this one man is greater than their loyalty to our country, to its laws and to the ideas of our Founding Fathers regarding the rule of law. And that this loyalty to this one man is so great that they are willing to lie, cheat, distract and cover-up these crimes. There is nothing respectable about this behavior. There is nothing honorable about this behavior. There is nothing American about this behavior.
Republicans believe that there is no law that can be broken by their Dear Leader and there is no law that they can break that cannot always be pardoned for later. It is shameful, it is disgraceful and yet, this is the Republican Party today. This cannot be a Law-and-Order Party. A Law-and-Order Party would never only be concerned about people outside of their Party who break laws. A Law-and-Order Party would never participate in its own criminal behavior to cover-up Party Member crimes.
It is time for Americans who truly believe in American ideas of Law and Order where there is no person above the law to reject the dangerous fascist rhetoric of the Republican Party. Because if that does not happen, the duped supporters of this sick, once American, Political Party will really find themselves without a system of government where meaningful change can ever occur. And I also predict that the first thing to go will be their beloved Second Amendment because when their corrupt “Republican” leader finally gets what he really wants, total and absolute power, that sitting tyrant will certainly not want any citizens to have guns. And that’s because there will be a point in time when it finally dawns on those citizens that his real goals are not truly their goals. You can never trust a devil.
But, by the time these demagogue supporting citizens figure that out, it will be too late. That Dear Leader would have already shot somebody on Fifth Avenue with or without supporters. At that moment, the corruption of an American Political Party will be complete. And that shining City on a hill that President Reagan once described so hopefully will quickly become just a faint, distant memory, lost to history forever.