What Hershel Walker’s candidacy in Georgia for the U.S. Senate seems to have brought into very clear focus is what has been discussed about the GOP since the election of Ronald Reagan.
The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are not both participating in our democracy as they are supposed to and as was intended by the Founders. Democrats are fulfilling the mandate of our democracy, campaigning to gain the power to make the lives of Americans better. Some may disagree with their approaches and their views on what “better” means but they are generally earnest as a party about having a platform and policies to pursue solutions to problems in the country and improvements to the standard of living for the people.
The GOP however, with their support of the unprincipled, immoral, and ultimately hollow Walker, is virtually declaring that winning elections is only about seizing power to be able to benefit the plutocrats and other pro-fascists such as Christian extremists, so the flow of political cash keeps pouring into the GOP and greater wealth and power keeps flowing to the wealthy and religious extremists who provide the money and votes for them.
It’s a truly vicious circle.
As many are familiar with now, especially after the GOP’s refusal to have any political platforms in the last two national elections, they exclusively rely on lies, fear and hatred, aimed at vulnerable minorities and the Democrats who support them, to win elections. No sincere principles are offered, no promises of actions they will take to make the lives of Americans better, just a constant, brutal and dishonest campaign of demonization of Democrats. Republicans know that they can no longer win elections by arguing that they have better goals and ideas than Democrats on improving the lives of Americans. The sharp growth of voter suppression laws and anti-voter tactics in Republican-dominated states illustrates this. They want less voting, less democracy, they see that as their only path now because the GOP has become so unpalatable to the majority of Americans. So they flood the zone with extremist propaganda in the pursuit of conning the public into voting against the “evil” Democrats the only way they can…by voting Republican.
Ronald Reagan was the raising of the flag for the new incarnation of the GOP. The election of an actor, a human facade, shallow, ignorant, unashamedly racist and cruel but with a populist and amusing image. Hiding behind that image were the plutocrats who were really pulling the strings. Reagan was surrounded with these plutocrats (i.e. Donald Regan) both visible in his circle and hiding behind the scenes. They used the politics of oppression, deceit and division to undermine compassion for the poor, the mentally ill, minorities, AIDS victims, union workers, etc. and of course enrich themselves through massive tax cuts for the wealthy while raising taxes and costs on the middle class and poor. A transfer of wealth from the majority of Americans to the small minority of the wealthy that continues in a massive way today.
The game that the GOP began playing since Reagan was subverting our democracy towards a Christo-Fascist plutocracy/theocracy. Their goal being a faux democracy where gerrymandering, voter suppression and now, the overturning of the will of the voters with claims of fraud, slanted elections to their minority. Religious extremists are “paid off” for their continued support with laws enforcing their radical religious beliefs on all Americans while the wealthy can more easily steal the wealth and power of the majority of Americans. Policies were and are intended to be implemented to oppress and divide Americans with the intention of keeping them too busy at each other’s throats to peek over at the wealthy who quietly conduct a hostile takeover of our treasure and democracy.
Americans for Tax Reform founder, Grover Norquist, made a speech at the CPAC convention in 2012 that was very revealing about the perversion of democracy that the GOP had become. Their focus was openly described as turning the office of president into a simple servant who would follow the orders that the wealthy elite gave him.
Grover Norquist: “All we have to do is replace Obama. […] We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. […] Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.”
This explains Herschel Walker and the GOP as a whole. They have not been seeking to elect principled candidates to represent the people. They only seek to have slavish surrogates who have working digits to sign off on whatever they’re told to by the wealthy financiers and owners of the GOP.
Today’s GOP is just a puppet show. Punch and Judy for the deranged. They throw up fanciful puppets that excite their tribal base with hatred of their “enemies” and confident proclamations of lies and conspiracy theories that validate the white nationalist mentality of their ignorant base. To them, elections are just a performance to motivate the voters who are their pawns, not to help those voters or improve their lives but to help the elite grab power for power’s sake to benefit themselves.
What are the issues that Herschel Walker is running on? Werewolves vs. vampires? Legalizing Russian Roulette? Making abandoning children a competition in the Guinness Book of World Records (look out Elon, he’s coming for you!)?
The GOP has been a post-truth party for decades. Their trickle-down theory was finally put to the test in Kansas and ended up destroying their economy. Republican-led states lead the nation in crime, poor healthcare, decaying education standards, poverty, you name it.
These are the 10 worst states for health care, according to WalletHub:
Here are the 10 states with the highest poverty rates as of the latest Census data:
- Mississippi: 20.3% of population lives below the poverty line
- Louisiana: 19.2% of population lives below the poverty line
- New Mexico: 19.1% of population lives below the poverty line
- West Virginia: 17.6% of population lives below the poverty line
- Kentucky: 17.3% of population lives below the poverty line
- Arkansas: 17.0% of population lives below the poverty line
- Alabama: 16.7% of population lives below the poverty line
- Oklahoma: 15.7% of population lives below the poverty line
- Tennessee: 15.2% of population lives below the poverty line
- South Carolina: 15.2% of population lives below the poverty line
See a pattern? The Republican Way intentionally destroys the standard of living of its citizens while accelerating the theft of citizens’ rights with bans on abortion, voter suppression, book bans, vigilante laws, anti-LGBTQ laws, police brutality and their protection from accountability, etc.
And the devious exploitation of this by Republicans is, as life becomes more oppressive and difficult for people in Red states, the GOP exploits the suffering they’ve caused their voters in the way that all fascists do, by pointing elsewhere at immigrants, their political opponents, and minorities, telling the citizens they’ve harmed with their greed-driven policies, “They did it! They’re the ones who have made your lives miserable! They are your enemies! We must attack and destroy them! We need to take away all of their power so we can make America great again for you and everyone else!” Cynical lies are all the GOP has left to offer its tribal voters.
The GOP is not a political party at this point. It is a fascist agenda dressed up like a political party. It is a puppet show with the hands of the greediest and morally corrupt (while hiding behind the cloak of religion) controlling the puppets. The GOP is no longer a willing participant in democracy, Republicans see democracy as an obstacle they need to overcome to take power. They are as anti-democracy as their brothers and sisters in arms who were at The Capitol on January 6, 2021 when they tried to violently overthrow a democratic election.
The Senate runoff in Georgia is itself a remnant of anti-democracy racists who installed this Jim Crow requirement of runoffs even though one candidate would have gained the most votes. It was intended to prevent a black candidate from winning with a plurality if the rest of the vote was split between white candidates. This insured that if one candidate was black, the white vote could be consolidated against him or her in a runoff against one white candidate. While there is no white candidate in this runoff for the first time in Georgia history, Walker stands in happily as a surrogate for white control of the seat.
Election day for the runoff is tomorrow. Based on reports of the record number of early votes from Warnock-friendly districts, there is cause to believe that Warnock can prevail in this perversion of a democratic race. Even so, support for the puppet Walker is strong because the majority of Republicans don’t appear to have principles guiding them, they have no ethical line that can’t be stepped over. They’ve bought into the propaganda and tribalism promoted by the GOP that ironically will rob them more and more of the power of their vote the more they succeed. The GOP sees their voters as rubes. They milk them for contributions with lies about what the money will go for, they promise they can turn back time to the 1950s and put white supremacy back in place and they whip them up with fear and hatred to get their votes but like a cruel child teasing a dog with a treat, never intends to actually give them anything worthwhile in return.
Americans came out in November to stand against the anti-democracy crusade that today’s GOP represents. Hopefully, Georgians will put an exclamation mark at the end of the 2022 elections to affirm democracy by rejecting Walker and the autocracy he represents. Instead, they will hopefully elect a good and decent man named Raphael Warnock who truly has been working to make the lives of his constituents better and wants to continue doing so.
A majority of Americans are rooting for you Georgia, you can do this!