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Something's Wrong on the Right
I blame the Republicans. Doesn’t everybody? Even other Republicans hold them responsible for our current pickle. And by “other Republicans” I mean Rs who are still operating within a belief system that values national security, law and order, old-fashioned morality, honor, duty, and the supremacy of the Constitution. I am sad to say that their kind is declining in numbers. I’m honestly going to miss those guys when the Grand Old Party as we know it finally gags its last.

We’re not there yet, though. Those other Rs are still out there, and we’re starting to hear more from them now, even though the pushback is pretty weak. That is partly because they are powerless now that they have been replaced by Trump Republicans in Congress. With one or two exceptions, all the rest who remain in office have made the transition from anti-Trump to pro-Trump — for the most part, it seems, completely without fanfare.

It is those Republicans who are screwing over the Republic. But even as we blame them, we are puzzled by their failure of conscience. Surely they will stop and realize, I keep imagining, that all the principles they hold dear as patriots, all the reasons they got into politics in the first place, all the faith they have in our system of government, are under threat from the current president. Not only under threat, but under attack and being shredded even as we all watch. I wait for resistance to form in their ranks, but so far, no one has dared.

Where is their decency, their shame? It doesn’t make sense. Their behavior has been so inexplicable, in fact, that I decided recently to step back and take another look at my assumptions in this matter. Perhaps I have been misjudging the participants in some fundamental way, and that has thrown off my calculations. And perhaps I have been a sucker.

I can report that my second look turned up something right away. Now that I see this new possibility, however, I am hesitant to suggest it. It brings with it ramifications that are even more troubling than the original ones. But the stakes are too high to just turn away, so here it is:

What if the Republicans who aren’t simply spineless and venal? What if they are willing partners in undermining our free society? What if, in other words, they are not just enablers but collaborators? Co-conspirators, that is, in a treasonous corruption of our democracy?

You’ll have to admit the idea is chilling. And maybe a bit nutty. This is just the kind of thinking we usually ascribe to right-wing conspiracy theorists. How could these duly-elected public servants really be okay with ushering in Emperor Trump? It seems so far-fetched, and yet you can’t deny the Republicans’ track record of strong anti-democracy activism.

Want evidence? They regularly purge voter rolls, often using the laughable excuse of voter fraud. They shut down polling places, usually in areas where the Democrats are strong, often without good reason. They limit the hours and days available for voting. They jealously guard (much more so than the Democrats) their gerrymandered districts, enshrining minority rule and defying the will of the people. And even now, in the face of a direct attack on our electoral process by the Russians, they refuse to bring up a single bill in the Senate to protect our system. The effect of all this, as we have seen, is to undermine the very essence of democracy — the sanctity of the ballot box.

So there’s all that. Would a full corruption of our institutions just to take power once and for all really be such a stretch? It’s even possible, I suppose, that there hasn’t been a real Republican in office for decades, and that all these Constitution-thumping fascists have just been waiting for the right moment to realize their mad dreams of power.

I hesitated to suggest all of this because I really don’t want this new analysis of mine to be correct. I was comfortable with my old, rosy assessment of human nature. Under these new assumptions, I not only have to worry about the country finding its way back to normal, I also have to worry about getting me back there too. But if I don’t, at least I’ll know whose fault it is.

I blame the Republicans.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon