Demagoguery is the deliberate use of people’s prejudices and fears to manipulate them. Combined with Presidential idolatry, this is the winning strategy of the RNC since 2016. I have been a registered and enthusiastic Republican since I first registered to vote in 1988. 32 years later, I am angry and disgusted.
President Trump has mocked, maligned and discredited our tremendous national health and disease institutions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health, in the face of a national pandemic emergency. More than half of all Nobel Prizes for Medicine have been awarded to Americans, yet the United States has no national response to a global pandemic. America’s death rates due to Covid-19 are on par with Third World nations. This is a fact. These deaths cannot be undone.
My party, the Republican Party, has meekly turned its back on science to follow the President. The virus has raced through the White House, and the President’s chief of staff has told us that it can’t be controlled. Republican governors and lawmakers are afraid to acknowledge prevailing scientific wisdom against their better judgment. The milquetoast submission to an ego-driven, not science-driven, response to the Covid-19 pandemic will go down in history as one of the Republican Party’s greatest failures of this century.
The President in his political statements, tweets and rallies has encouraged the vilest kind of hatred—that based on race and ethnicity. In White House policy, vermin like Stephen Miller work overtime to turn away asylum seekers while we still don’t know who is going to pay for our Maginot Line of a border wall. Charlottesville happened. El Paso happened. Kenosha happened. These are facts. These deaths cannot be undone.
My party, the Republican Party, has offered limp responses that it doesn’t condone violence, or sometimes, more cravenly, that “all lives matter” as if white people are somehow subject to racial violence. I have even been told in all seriousness by Republicans that Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization. I think it is a very fair question to ask why white supremacists seem to think they have a home in the Republican Party. No one has given me a good answer. I suppose once the KKK and neo-Nazi vote is locked in, it would be a shame to lose it.
To be clear, the President is not a Republican. He is an opportunist, a narcissist, and a shill. Emoluments? Not for him! He’s Donald Trump! The Constitution is only for suckers like those poor bastards in the military!
Republicans know that modern medicine works. We know that racism and bigotry are abhorrent. But the President roped in the RNC with its own emotional blackmail: guns and abortion. It doesn’t matter that Donald Trump only really cares about personal firearms as far as he would like his bodyguards to have them, because he will go to every red state and promise that no one will ever limit anyone’s ability to buy as many guns as they like on demand. (Fortunately, he will have Secret Service coverage for life; given the glimpse into his business dealings offered by his tax records, he may not be able to afford a private security detail much longer.) And as long as he goes out on the campaign trail promising to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the religious right will continue to overlook the possibility that in the past he likely funded the termination of a few inconvenient pregnancies.
It’s true. I voted for Joe Biden. I am not excited about a 78-year-old serial hugger with an over-optimistic facelift, but I don’t believe he is going to drive us into socialist hell in four years, either. We must repudiate a President who has shown so little interest in the Republic and so much interest in his own self-aggrandizement. A close but losing (as of this writing) election result in 2020 is not validation of the 2016 concept, fellow Republicans. The Republican Party must embrace real national issues that will improve and preserve our country, not one-note fear-based platforms. As a first step, the RNC can stop being Donald Trump’s personal slush fund.
Merritt Hamilton Allen is a PR executive and a former Navy officer. She lives amicably with her Democratic husband and Republican mother north of I-40 where they run two head of dog, and two of cat. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .