Time to turn America into the beacon it was always destined to be
Does it strike you as beyond disgusting that all Republicans can talk about these days is how to win again?
After decent people meet with failure, they take stock of their experiences. They question themselves not only about the outcomes of their choices, but also about the presuppositions and prejudices that led them to make those choices. They hope to improve themselves in order to improve the outcomes.
But that’s not the way it is with Republicans. It never occurs to them that politics is not just a vicious game in which the winners gets to impose their will on others. All they want is to come out on top in what they presuppose to be the ugly game of politics.
As Aristotle pointed out long ago, however, politics is much more than that. It is about creating the optimal conditions of life for a community, conditions that allow individuals to thrive. It is about creating a space to live the best human life.
But Republicans are hardly Aristotelians. They are, in fact, hardly cavemen. For them, everything is about power, extracting the maximum profit from society, and forcing others to bend to their will.
This is obvious when you look at Trumpists, Evangelicals, and the white-supremacist troglodytes that make up most of today’s Republican party.
But it may not be so obvious when you look at the so-called “reasonable” Republicans, people like former New Jersey governor Chris Christie or current Maryland governor Larry Hogan. Christie, for instance, after having helped Trump up to a point, is now denigrating Trump for being a loser. Hogan has never been on the Trump train, and is now talking about how Republicans “didn’t perform” because of Trump. It’s all about winning and losing—a sports analogy that is a childish way of looking at politics.
For Republicans like Christie and Hogan, the sports analogy is a pitch for the morons in hopes of snatching some of them out of the clutches of Trump. “Reasonable” Republicans are not concerned about the threat to democracy posed by Trump and his lemmings. They are concerned about the threat Trump poses to their pocketbooks.
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Old-time Republicans had a good grift going. They could pitch themselves to the rubes as tough-on-crime, lib-hating, budget-trimming, religion-mongers in order to get the troglodyte vote. Once they had it, they could use their power to feather their nests. Among Republicans, turning the laws to their own personal advantage was an art form.
Larry Hogan is a perfect case in point. As this article shows, Hogan has been running a massive grift at the expense of Maryland’s citizens for year and years. By strategically using his position as governor to put his companies in the path of lucrative contracts, he has enriched himself while letting the welfare of his state stagnate for eight years. Not only has the environment and good government suffered, but even Maryland’s infrastructure has taken hits.
(Here is a first-hand story. Before Hogan became governor, Maryland used to have wonderful highways. You could drive anywhere in the state and not find a pothole. As soon a Hogan took office, things started to go downhill. I hit a pothole on one of Maryland’s major highways near the state capital that totaled my car and forced me to get a new one. Thanks, “reasonable” Republican Hogan.)
So the bottom line is this. Republicans are not fit to govern. Whether they are out-and-out crazy like the Freedom Caucus in the House or whether they are just pretending to be out-and-out crazy like Trump or whether they are “reasonable” Republicans—none of them can be trusted to use government for the good of the people. They use it for their own benefit. The worst Republicans try to enact a tyranny for their own benefit. The best Republicans try to twist the laws to their financial benefit. But neither the worst nor the best of them should be allowed anywhere near government.
Good government is not about gaining the upper hand in a game of power or greed. Good government is about building a society in which human beings can flourish.
And Republicans don’t have the slightest idea what human flourishing could be. They are stuck in the mire of winning and losing, where they cannot see higher than their own personal profit.
In this era of transformative crises, when human beings are just beginning to realize their potential to undo the damage they have done for the past few centuries and enter a post-competitive world order, the last thing we need is a Republican party dragging us all downwards and backwards toward old hatreds, bigotries, and vices.
We have two years ahead to wipe them off the face of American politics.
Let’s get started finishing the Republican party once and for all, so that America can be the beacon to humanity that it was always destined to be.