A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a political party called the “Republican Party” or the “Grand Old Party” or “GOP” for short, that stood for conservative principles, like small government, lower taxes, and 1950’s traditional family values.
That was a long time ago. Before the Tea Party. Before Newt Gingrich’s scorched earth policy of no compromise. Before Donald Trump turned the Republican Party into a cult of personality.
Back then, it was possible to argue, in good faith, against their policies and the effect they would have on society. Now, the GOP is a shell of itself. The Goldwater Republicans have fled. Former Arizona Senator, Jeff Flake put out a video explaining the conservative values that guide him, and how the GOP has lost its way, and why he is voting for country over party and now he’s voting for Biden-Harris in November. The Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump have been putting out videos on social media at an impressive clip taking on the GOP for losing its way and falling prey to the “Pied Piper” of lies.
Just last week, the Democratic National Convention celebrated the diversity of America. It was uplifting and hopeful. It highlighted Americans from all walks of life and of all backgrounds coming together to showcase the values of the Democratic Party – the platform we worked on for months, and to celebrate our nominees who will lead our party to victory in November. The Convention included disenchanted Republicans, such as Former NJ Governor Meg Whitman, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Former OH Governor John Kasich and others. These are principled conservatives, the kinds of folks with whom one can have a real debate about issues and not have it devolve into a name calling shouting match.
This week, the Republican National Convention is demonstrating just how much the GOP has devolved into the Party of Trump – a simple cult of personality. Donald Trump is speaking EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT of the convention. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT there is another Trump family member speaking. Praising the husband, the father, the father-in-law. Members of the Cabinet, Trump acolytes, are speaking at the Convention, contrary to law and policy. In fact, in 2019, the State Department legal counsel explicitly said “Senate-confirmed officials (i.e. the secretary ) cannot even attend a convention-related event.” And yet, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State is speaking to the Convention from Jerusalem – using Christian Evangelical Zionism to make Israel a wedge issue, once again. Not a single former Republican president is speaking at the Republican National Convention. None of the past Republican candidates for president are speaking at the Republican National Convention. No dissension can be tolerated. The GOP is not a space for diverse opinions or opinions at all. It is a space for accolades for the dear leader.
GOP is no longer a party of values and principles. It has become just a shell for supporters of an authoritarian figure. There is no platform to adopt at the Convention, because there are no new policies or principles that the Trump Administration proposes. It is devoid of principles. It is empty, other than of screeching urges to “Make America Great Again”. There is no policy to handle the coronavirus. No plan to address the swelling unemployment. Just more gaslighting of racial unrest roiling across the country, as yet another unarmed Black man was gunned down by police this week, this time in front of his children. And further denial of the science of climate change as the earth makes its point.
Last week, at the Democratic National Convention Joe Biden made it clear that we are facing four existential crises — coronavirus, the economy, the unfinished business of racial reckoning, and climate change. He didn’t shirk from the facts or reality. He didn’t try to gaslight us. Instead, he called on the best in us, and asked us to adopt a platform that proposes real policies to address these matters, and to support the Biden-Harris team — the team to lead us into the future, and take us out of this period of darkness and into the light.
As Biden said: “Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.” As Mark Hamill, star of Star Wars tweeted after the Convention, “November 3rd #VOTE to DEFEAT THE DARK-SIDE #HelpUsJoeBiWan_YoureOurOnlyHope”
And so he is. If you’re an overseas voter, go to VoteFromAbroad.org to request your ballot and Vote Biden-Harris. Vote for the Jedi Master and light to bring us out of this period of darkness, and defeat the Sith Lord Darth Trumpatine.