The Battle for the Soul of America

8 mins read
American flags at Obamas second inauguration

It was a tale of political corruption at the highest levels of American government. A Republican president left office in disgrace. GOP elected representatives were severely conflicted by their notions of party loyalty versus defending their oaths to uphold the Constitution. The ensuing political war split the party so badly that some wondered whether Republicans could ever recover. And four years later, Ronald Reagan became president.

If you believe that the Republicans are currently facing a death knell because of Donald Trump, you’d better learn your history. For all the respect rightfully accorded to Jimmy Carter, at the time he was generally viewed as an ineffective president. Because of this, even though he succeeded the thoroughly corrupt Richard Nixon, he was unable to spearhead what should’ve been a Democratic stranglehold on Congress for at least a generation. Consequently, after one term he was gone, and not only did Republicans hold the presidency for the next eight years with Reagan, they added another four with his vice president George H.W. Bush.

Just consider that. The Republicans produced a president who was so unethical that he was forced to resign, yet merely four years later they were able to retake the executive branch — and hold it for 12 years. Remarkably, Republicans controlled the presidency for 20 out of 24 years from 1968–1992.

Since that time, Republicans have saddled this country with the destructive fabrication of “trickle down economics” which all but destroyed the American dream for a large segment of society; shattered the rule of law in order to consolidate political power; and went from flirting with white supremacy with their “southern strategy” to embracing it outright with their support of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The GOP really spiraled out of control when they decided to anoint a lying, racist game show host as their savior. Instead of treating him as merely a man riddled with flaws and utterly consumed with his own self-interest, but one who would try to implement their long-sought agenda, some chose to believe that every word he uttered came straight from the mouth of G-d. That’s how more than 500,000 Americans died from COVID-19. It’s how we developed homegrown terrorists plotting to kidnap their own governors. It’s why thousands of people attempted a coup at the Capitol in which five people died. And it’s how we wound up with conspiracy theorist, anti-Semitic racists in Congress.

The party could have stopped its descent into “fascism lite” by voting to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. However, even though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 a “disgraceful dereliction of duty,” he voted to acquit Trump. Worse, Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee made no pretense at serving as the impartial jurors they swore to be, as they worked directly with Trump’s legal team during impeachment proceedings. Of course, all this occurred after multiple senators, led by Cruz and Josh Hawley, openly supported sedition by propagating Trump’s Big Lie about election fraud, and also voting to nullify the certified Electoral College votes — even after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

After all these events — the coup, the sedition, the racism and the lawlessness —people might question just what, exactly, the Republican party stands for. Well, McConnell cleared up any confusion about the GOP’s platform in an interview with Politico.

There you have it. The pretense has all been stripped away. The Republican Party isn’t about smaller government. It isn’t about economic responsibility (the spiraling debt and deficit left by Trump is proof of that). It isn’t about the racially charged concept of “states’ rights.” And it sure isn’t about anything related to “law and order.” The GOP is All. About. Winning. No matter the cost to democracy. No matter how many people die. No matter if America can even survive.

So we must expect more QAnon candidates like Lauren Boebert. More anti-Semites like Paul Gosar. More seditionists like Mo Brooks. More ignorant lackeys like Tommy Tuberville. And more dangerous trolls like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

If all of that wasn’t bad enough, Trump announced he still might seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024. Granted, 2024 may be a political lifetime away, but given that Trump essentially is the Republican Party right now, if he chooses to run, who would stand in his way?

It would’ve been so easy and satisfying to think that with Trump gone, we had won the war and could just go back to dealing with our other problems. We all fought hard. We deserve to rest. It shouldn’t be our responsibility to not only save American democracy, but also fix it so that the reality of the United States can finally match its promise. Yet, here we are. 

The founding fathers fought the Revolutionary War. Abraham Lincoln led through  the Civil War. The turn of the century brought us World War I, the “Greatest Generation” had World War II, and the 1960s experienced both Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement. Although we may not have chosen or anticipated it, the Battle for the Soul of America is the fight of this generation.

Now is the time to sign up for duty. DemCast USA has joined forces with The Democratic Coalition, No Dem Left Behind and Vote Common Good to take on this conflict at a grassroots level. We will field candidates, support them and publicize their efforts. You can sign up to help or donate by using this link.

Over the past four years, we have faced the dark forces of lawlessness, racism and authoritarianism. We have defeated them all — gaining control of the House, the Senate and the presidency in the process. We are ready. We are unafraid. We are battle tested.

And we are going to win.

Photo by Dyana Wing So on Unsplash

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