We should’ve all gotten it in the nineties, when Hillary Clinton warned us of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that was intent on bringing down her husband on utterly specious grounds, and for deeply cynical reasons.
We should’ve gotten it when they lied us into two wars that still aren’t over twenty years later.
We should’ve gotten it with the “swift-boating” of John Kerry, that shameless smear of a stellar military record that probably cost him the presidency.
We should’ve gotten it when they hauled Hillary into eleven Benghazi hearings, pursuing every baseless charge, sifting through every mundane record until they finally found those infamous emails — so apocalyptic then, so mindlessly quaint now.
We should’ve gotten it when they stonewalled Obama, sabotaged his every initiative, blocked his every court appointment, and filibustered all legislation —including their own.
We should’ve gotten it when they stole their first Supreme Court seat.
We didn’t get it.
We’ve won the presidency and we’ve held the House, but we still face that same obdurate roadblock we’ve been beating our heads against for decades.
Republican lawmakers are still intent on smothering any forward direction for the country.
Let’s be clear. There is no Trumpism. Let’s call it what it is: Republicanism.
The Professional Left podcast has been screaming for four years, “Don’t you dare call it Trumpism.” Reporting from the heartland, these good folks have been watching the Republican party grow greedier and nastier for decades, and they are uncommonly astute on the strategies and tactics Republicans have used to cheat, steal, manipulate the media, and accumulate power.
Unlike most of us, they remember everything, going back decades, and they’ve kept the receipts. They are adamant about many things, but especially about how deeply and deliberately misleading the word “Trumpism” is.
Because Trump isn’t a distortion of the Republican party. He is its culmination.
He has enabled what the party has worked toward for at least half a century: the raw, naked power to enrich themselves and impoverish the rest of us.
The Republican party is now a clear and present danger to humanity in general, to this country in particular, and to you and me personally. They have successfully installed all the mechanisms of minority rule — of a corporate oligarchy that concentrates all power in the hands of the very few.
The Republicans in Congress, especially the Senate, are the enablers — and the public face — of this oligarchy. And at the rate people are dying, their continued intransigence is indistinguishable from mass murder.
It is quite clear they intend to do nothing but the bare minimum to fight off the virus or tend to the economy — two monumental tasks that are inextricably entwined. Even if they lose their Senate majority, they will obstruct everything they can, through filibuster and Fox propaganda. The obvious result will be much impoverishment and much death. They don’t care.
Death is a feature, not a bug. Nobody has actually mentioned depopulation as a motive, but that’s exactly where the herd immunity theories of Scott Atlas and the Great Barrington Declaration are headed. Depopulation, starting with whichever groups are most vulnerable.
The Republican party has, in just four years, transformed itself from a party of cynical manipulation to a party of overt and deadly villainy. Where once they merely pretended to have normal human instincts and sympathies, they have now abandoned all pretense.
Trump was an unexpected but welcome catalyst for them. They have serendipitously used him, not just to amass more power, but also to give their baser instincts something to emulate, someone they can point to who is completely devoid of morality, responsibility, or simple decency — in other words, a role model.
Yes, they have lost the presidency. But to them that’s just a temporary setback. They’re used to playing the long game. They had to wait patiently through eight years of Bill Clinton and eight years of Barack Obama. And each time they came back in a more vicious and virulent form than before.
They spend their off years building up state legislatures, taking over town councils and school boards, and buying up media companies. Their patience has been rewarded many times over. They’ve locked up the Supreme Court for the next forty years.
So we can’t get complacent just because Biden won. These monsters will spend the next four years doubling down on gerrymandering, voter suppression, manipulation of election laws, and rigging the system in any way they can. And they’ll come back stronger than ever, with even more sinister tools at their disposal.
This is not alarmism. It’s understatement.