Their dangerous embrace of conspiracy theories, crackpots, and anti-democracy are killing Americans
When you think they can’t get crazier, the radical right Republican Party manages to exceed our lowest of the low expectations. In recent years, especially during the last four of the Trump era, the party drifted further into la-la land; its embrace of Trumpism-laced conspiracy theories leading to the deadly insurrection of January 6, 2021.
In present-day America, we have a two-party system. While many of us would like to see a viable third-party emerge, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. So we’re stuck with what we have. But to have at least a semblance of good governance and sustainable institutions, both of our political parties must be, at the very least, grounded in the belief that government is a worthwhile entity. That it can and will work to make sure it serves all the people, not just the wealthy and one race of people.
Sadly, only one of our two political parties believes in government. Oh, the opposition party will do all they can to keep getting re-elected, but when it comes to governing for the American people? No thanks, you’re on your own. So we’re left with one party, the Democrats, trying to solve multiple crises simultaneously. The other party, the Republicans, are engaged in an inner civil war trying to decide whether to embrace an exiled and disgraced president and his rabid follower base or clean up its act and start acting like the party of Lincoln they so often like to call themselves.
It would be nice to say that this Republican Party is experiencing a reckoning; it’s weeding out the crazies and forging ahead with policies that reflect the country’s growing multi-cultural and ethnic diversity. But it’s doing no such thing. They’re going in the opposite direction. And this course of action is not only wrong; it’s downright dangerous. It’s killing the American people — literally.
Between the insurrection on January 6, which was responsible for at least seven deaths and several injuries to the Capitol Police, and a pandemic that has killed nearly 450,000 Americans, we’re reeling because of the far-right Republican embrace of conspiracy theories. And, of course, we have politicians who would instead bow down to the crackpots rather than work with their Democratic counterparts to move our country forward.
In recent weeks, it’s only gotten worse. Two of our newest Congress members on the Republican side, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Loren Boebert of Colorado, are fast becoming the party’s new faces. Greene, an avowed QAnon conspiracy theorist who campaigned as a Trump loyalist and gun nut, won her seat easily in a majority white district after winning a runoff earlier in the year.
In her first few days in Congress, Greene protested having to walk through a metal detector at the Capitol, complained about wearing a mask, and made sure to make it known that she maintains strong support from former President Trump. Keep in mind, of course, that Greene was one of over 140 House members who embraced the completely bogus lie of election fraud that led to the deadly insurrection.
Much more has come out about Greene. Her social media accounts are wrought with crazy conspiracy theory adherences and agreeing with calls for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other prominent Democrats. A video showing her harassing Parkland High School mass shooting survivor David Hogg in Washington, D.C., has also gone viral.
Her pal Boebert is another piece of work. She also resisted the metal detector and proclaimed on January 6 that “Today is1776,”an apparent reference to the coming unrest planned for the day.
In typical fashion reminiscent of today’s Republican Party, instead of punishing or banishing Greene from Congress for her subversive and dangerous rhetoric, she was rewarded with a prime seat on the Education and Labor Committee. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, aware of Green’s political controversy, had a meeting with Green and other caucus members yesterday to decide what to do about her — if anything.
Unfortunately, though, it’s not only Republican members of Congress who’ve fallen off the deep end. We need to look no further than some GOP statehouses and other top officials as well. Recently the state party in Arizona censured former Sen. Jeff Flake, current Gov. Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain, the late senator’s wife whose main ‘crime’ apparently was that they did not kiss Donald Trump’s ass enough.
The State of Oregon’s official Republican Party weighed in by releasing a letter calling the violent attack on the Capitol a “false flag” and condemning those Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.
While these false proclamations and absurdities surrounding the election are troubling enough, we cannot forget about the party’s anti-science portion either; the portion that doesn’t believe in wearing masks and the anti-vaxxer movement that’s beginning to take hold when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Look, anti-vaxxers are not a monolithic group. There are those on the left who do not trust vaccines and spout ridiculous conspiracy theories much like their counterparts on the far-right. But we had a president who never took the virus seriously in the first place and who rarely wore a mask in public. Many of his super-spreader campaign events provided the fuel for their idiotic fire, and Trump was more than willing to be the ring-leader for the cause.
In a Facebook derived event, several anti-mask and anti-vax protesters briefly shut down a mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. A page called “Shop Mask Free Los Angeles” had issued a call last week to show up at the park. The page publicizes opportunities for “mask-less shopping” to violate local rules and shares videos posted by individuals showing themselves in confrontations with store employees and other masked customers.
Many of our Republican politicians have made it a point to embrace these nut jobs. Like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, many of them love to ridicule Dr. Anthony Fauci and others who’ve continued to call for wearing masks in public. It goes to the party’s anti-science nature, and that faction is undoubtedly responsible for thousands of deaths—words matter.
Yet, there’s no end in sight to the madness. Thankfully, Twitter and other social media have continued to ban the former president from using their platforms. Hopefully, that continues, for you can imagine what things would look like if the disgraced Trump were still touting lies about the election he convincingly lost by over seven million votes.
It’s not enough, though. The Republican Party may be on a permanent path to hell, from which they will not be able to return. How can they turn it around when 45 senators refused even to acknowledge that the former president of the United States should stand trial for his impeachment? When only five of them had the guts to do so tells us all we need to know about which direction this party is headed.
We know they will not hold the former president accountable. They don’t have the spine, nor do they have the will to do the right thing. It’s all about the crazies who stormed the Capitol. The anger from this crowd scares the living hell out of them, and many of them most assuredly fear for their own lives.
The anti-democratic actions on that day — the violence we all witnessed in horror — might be the shape of things to come. Until the Republican Party determines that they are Americans first and politicians second, we’re in for a long and tumultuous ride.
One party doing the right thing in a two-party system is not enough. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. In a business partnership, when one of the members goes rogue and acts to only advance him or herself to the detriment of the entity as a whole, that person must be purged; banished to the curb for conduct unbecoming to the business.
It’s far past the time that we banish the current Republican Party to the curb. It’s time to purge the crazies and crackpots once and for all. Already there’s a resolution introduced by Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California that seeks to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress and another that seeks to remove her from any committee assignments. If the Republicans don’t do it, Democrats must do it for them. Even an insurrection, even an attack on their house, wasn’t enough to wake them the hell up.
So we shall see in the coming days what direction the Republican Party decides to take. Amazingly, there’s just as much outrage within House Republican ranks concerning Liz Cheney, who the Arizona GOP called out for her anti-Trump stance. Many have called for her ouster from leadership as well. Let’s see, shall we slap the wrist of a conspiracy theorist and racist gun nut or remove from leadership someone who had the guts to stand up to the insurrectionist-in-chief?
In normal times, when the party had a moral center and believed in good government, the answer to those questions would be clear. Today? Not with the crazies in charge of the party, not to mention the MAGAs running loose and angry in rural America. Stay tuned as this story continues to play out as we speak.
In the meantime, Democrats in Congress must continue to take the high road and do whatever they can to get out of the mess left by the worst president in the history of America. Democracy itself is at stake.
And so is the health and well being of millions of Americans. Republicans, please get your shit together.