I saw a story on MSNBC this past week that was as disturbing as it was saddening. It was about newly elected US House of Representative member Marjorie Taylor Greene and the outrageous pronouncements and accusations she’s been making about the election and the most bizarre conspiracy theories I’ve ever heard. Not only does she support all of the debunked accusations by Trump regarding the election but the most racist, fascist conspiracy theories I’ve ever heard, including the whole Q-anon business and a claim that the Jewish community is starting forest fires with outer space lasers in western United States. She also claims the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shootings were hoaxes committed by gun control advocates and she actually harassed and threatened one of the survivors.
The fact that enough people actually voted to elect a person like her to national office is indicative as two things. First, it is a stunning example of how public education has almost completely failed in this country. No reasonably educated person (one with a quality high school education) could possibly entertain such nonsense. I have said many times in previous posts that the Republican Party has made a concerted effort for years to dumb down the population as a means to get us to vote against our own interest and in favor of big money interest. This woman and the people who voted for her are examples of what you get after decades of teaching religion as fact instead of faith where it belongs. The problem with religion is that anyone who interprets it literally will believe anything. Add to that a media programed to appeal to one’s personal vanity, validating every fallacious idea a person has and you get a country full of Marjorie Greenes.
Second, it is indicative of the fact that values that have shaped American culture for at least the last 150 years are being abandoned at an alarming rate. We now have at least two generations of Americans who only know American values such as democracy, freedom of choice, respect for dissenting opinions and freedom of religion as concepts only and not as something they actually lived and grew up with. Up until the mid 1970s, students were required to pass civics exams before they could graduate middle school or grammar school to demonstrate they understood how government worked on a federal, state and local level. It was a mistake to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from public schools, due to objections from non-religious persons. It would have been better to take out two words of the Pledge of Allegiance (“under God”) than to eliminate it from public schools all together. The essence of American democracy was reinforced early in a young person’s development through the pledge of allegiance. I would have preferred leaving it as is and leaving it to parents to explain where God does or doesn’t fit in. Those of us inclined towards liberal politics were wrong on this one.
This is serious. It should be clear to all of us now that close to 70 million white people in this country have no interest in democracy if it means making it possible that anyone other than a white person holds the reins of power or elections being decided by any people other than white people. Those people have been seduced by the allure of white privilege offered by fascists and white supremacists, even though as many as half of them don’t realized it yet. Therefore, those of us who believe in democracy and equal justice for all must be crystal clear when we communicate what is at stake. I think Nancy Pelosi has it right when she refers to Trump and his enablers in the Senate, like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley as seditionist traitors. The time has come for Democrats to make clear to the public that anyone in congress who voted to invalidate the election or votes to acquit Trump of his responsibility for the insurrection is pro white supremacist fascism and against democracy as defined by one person, one vote for all Americans. In essence we are where we were in 1860. Back then; you were either for slavery or against it. Today, we must choose between democracy and fascism. The choice could not be any clearer.
Not since the civil rights movement in the 1960s have Americans had to engage in commitments that require real courage. By that, I’m talking about the courage that requires that you put not just your job, or your property on the line, but your very life itself on the line. If the murderous intentions of Ms. Marjorie Greene are to be believed, Republicans who break ranks and vote their conscience are at risk of losing much more than their senate seats. In fact, we all may be soon called upon to make that kind of sacrifice, for it would seem that the fascists would rather destroy the entire country than leave it to democracy. Democrats must give up concerns about offending Republicans by fascist characterizations. At this point, if they fail to pass the acid test of denouncing fascism and white supremacy by voting to impeach, they are either loyal seditionists or the worst kind of political opportunists imaginable, like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruise, who probably have tightly rolled $20 bills where there hearts should be. We must all understand that bipartisanship from the point of view of Democrats can only be manifested by the degree to which Trump Republicans abandon their party in favor those who support democracy over fascism and by supporting Biden in his efforts to bring the COVID epidemic under control.
Most Americans were shocked and horrified when Trump won in 2016. Then after he won, we were bewildered as to why Republicans refused to hold him in check when he began his assault on democracy and the rule of law. What we should now know is that the people responsible for electing Trump gave up on democracy the day Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. They immediately became functional fascist once they perceived that their white privilege was in danger of being lost forever. Their tragedy is that the power of fascism is also its poison. In the beginning, it’s easy to rally behind an idea that tells you your birthright is being stolen out from under you by a horde of inferior human beings. At the same time, it robs you of the of the ability to see the world as it actually is and blinds you from seeing the things you must do for your own benefit and security.
Every election from now until the foreseeable future is critical for the peaceful maintenance of democracy and democratic norms. Not until Republicans are almost completely swept out of office can we start to have lives that have some semblance of normalcy. I understand Republicans are about small budgets and small government with minimal regulation, but this goes way beyond that. Those issues are meaningless if America is ran by a fascist dictator, which is the end game if Republicans as they exist today prevail. If you are anything close to a moderate or progressive Republican, you must remain in your party and while voting against it until there are not enough Republicans in Washington or the state legislatures to hold a committee meeting of two, before you can take back and rebuild the party back into what it was meant to be.