By Vernon A. Williams, Gary Crusader
No one – not even members of their own party – is proud to call themselves Republicans. They unashamedly lie, cheat, steal and cater to the affluent, scoffing at the suffering of the “have nots.” They hate what they see when they look in the mirror. Divided among themselves, the infighting is incessant. Republicans are, indeed, deplorable.
And yet the one thing that they all can agree on – without any hesitation is that whatever their party lacks in character, moral turpitude, compassion or competence, they would still rather be members of the Grand Old Party than be called Democrats.
The Republican Party is reminiscent of the Oakland Athletics baseball team of the 70s that found itself constantly bickering and fighting in the locker room, in the dugout, on the field. Despite the internal turmoil, they pulled it together at crunch time and won championships.
To continue with the baseball analogy, the Democratic Party – on the other hand – is more akin to the 1960s New York Yankees that basked in the glory years of their dynasty until they found themselves a sports organization in shambles. Losers, in disarray.
More than 50 years beyond those comparisons, Democrats continue to find themselves in constant search of identity – married to unfulfilled promise, without a brand. Meanwhile the GOP basks in its renown as scoundrels who choose to relish the role of villain, with disdain for civility and decency. But, they win elections.
Eight years of George W. Bush left this country in the worst condition of the past century. Sensing the inevitability of any immediate recovery, the nation decided to will the mess to its first African American president – Barrack Obama – then plotted his destruction behind closed doors on Inauguration Day in 2008.
The depths to which Republicans go to win elections and persuade the public are unfathomable. They have perfected the craft of deception – helped by weak media and apathetic, uninformed, gullible voters.
Republicans first plotted the unconstitutional gerrymandering that excludes people of color from having a voice. Then they pushed a penal system that increased incarceration by 800 percent over the past two decades – disallowing votes to felons. They created a culture of lies to replace genuine campaign issues and meaningful platforms.
Meanwhile, when Democrats are not on the defensive against ungrounded allegations and insinuation, they are doing something stupid to jeopardize public trust and confidence. Even though the Republican campaign strategy may totally lack substance, they gain the advantage time after time over Democrats who can’t seem to formulate a strategy at all.
You know things are bad when a former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady gets beat in a presidential contest by a reality talk show host whose trail of misdeeds, insults, and indignities fill two full pages of the New York Times only days before the election.
Republicans are without a conscience. Democrats are without a plan.
Even as we close in on 2018 with the backdrop of a comedy of errors from ineffective Republican leadership in the White House and Congress, where are the Democratic personalities emerging to the front and galvanizing constituency in preparation for the inevitable off election year showdown. They are non-existent or too quiet to hear.
If ever there was a time that Democrats could revive hope in this country, it should be now after the total desecration of government perpetrated since “45” took office. As bad as things have been, no one gets the sense that any charismatic group of characters from the Democratic ranks is poised to create a threat or offer a formidable challenge. Democrats just can’t seem to win for losing.
And when one party rules – especially this one – we all lose.
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].