The two-party system in the United States has been acrimonious forever. There is nothing new about the antipathy those seated on opposite sides of the aisle display. There has rarely been any extended, or even temporary for that matter, the spirit of collaboration.
Every politician gets elected at least in part on the premise that they will work with members of both parties for the common good of the nation. Then they get elected and forget that pledge quicker than a Sumo wrestler quits a diet.
The worst of it is, it is a winning formula. The voting public has a short memory. And even those who try to make officeholders accountable blur lines when they look at the opposition and just yield to the “lesser of two evils” psychology.
The nation has been a dysfunctional family at every level of government. But in recent years, we have been forced to rebuke the adage, “It couldn’t get any worse.” We saw unfathomable moral decadence and the erosion of values piece by piece during the last administration.
It’s an embarrassment to every tenet of democracy, civility, and even humanity. You don’t have to get it from liberals or Democrats. Ultra-conservatives like author/intellectual George Will on the MSNBC commentary show “Morning Joe” summed up the bitter truth.
“Conservative Americans don’t have a party right now. They are orphans in a cold world.” Asked why none of those old-time Republicans speak up and speak out, the author added that they are too afraid of the mood of their constituency to do or say what’s right.
In a new book “PERIL,” written by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, the authors report that two days after the January 6 insurrection in the nation’s capital, the failed attempt to prevent Congress from finalizing the results of the 2020 election, the Chinese government was fearful that 45 was out of control and there was a threat of war.
U.S. Chief of Staff Mark Milley was charged with the responsibility of diffusing those anxieties, relaxing our rivals in a time of tumult. Milley reportedly said, “Things may look unstable but that’s the nature of democracy. We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
Of course, Milley was engaging in diplomatic, purposeful lying. He knew full well that what he and the world were witnessing was without precedence in modern times. Milley witnessed up close how Trump was routinely impulsive and unpredictable.
Milley believed January 6 was a planned, coordinated, synchronized attack on the very heart of America.
The design of a sitting president was to overthrow the legitimate results of a national election to prevent the constitutional certification of Joseph Biden. Milley could not rule out that the insurrection, so “unimaginable and savage,” was nothing less than a “dress rehearsal for something larger” as 45 clung to the belief the election was fraudulent.
As horrific as that scenario was earlier this year, Republicans are still clinging to the hope that 45 will remain the leader of their party. A smaller but nonetheless slight majority actually hopes that he will run again in 2024. Republicans in the House and Senate, who were targeted by the vicious and deadly rage, now try to pretend as though it never happened. So, Republicans elected in 2016 continue to cling five years later to a man who ran for office with no platform other than racism, nationalism, and the one-minded ambition to become a “strong man” ruler who replaced Democracy with an autocratic government.
That is a party without a future. No one knows what will happen in 2022 or 2024, but one thing is certain, the future of the nation is at stake. And don’t let people fool you with moral equivalence. More than ever, with all its flaws, the Democratic Party has more of a finger on the pulse of the nation.
The Grand Old Party, on the other hand, has willingly relinquished all claims to fairness, compassion, and even logic. It’s a sad day. And perhaps the acronyms are eerily telling when you spell out the Republican Insurrection Party … RIP.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment, and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].