Now that the Electoral College has made Biden’s win of the Presidency official this may seem untimely. But, just because I’m a day late (or two, or three…) doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
So, to you, the few Republicans who stood up and defended American Democracy, who told the world, and most importantly a petulant Trump, before the Electoral College met that Biden is the clear winner of the Presidential Election and we should all move forward, I say “Thank you”.
I also say that’s only half the job. If you really want to show that what Trump and his enablers in Congress, in the States, in the RNC have been doing is reprehensible and anti-democratic then I say you must renounce the entire Republican Party. You must divest yourself of membership in what is now an openly authoritarian, autocratic, anti-democratic political machine. For it doesn’t matter that Senate Majority Leader McConnell finally acknowledged Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States after the Electoral College vote. As the leader of the Senate, as the one who has wielded so much power since Barack Obama was President, he should have acknowledged Joe Biden as the 46th President weeks ago when it was clear to everyone that not only had Biden and Harris won the popular vote but that their margins in the swing States were too large to be overcome through recounts. And, most importantly, that Trump, his lawyers and his campaign had neither the expertise nor the evidence to win any legal challenge they brought forth to the courts. McConnell saw all this and should have acknowledged Biden’s win. That is if he truly cared about the country, its institutions and keeping democratic norms alive and well. Apparently, like so many of his colleagues in and out of the Senate and House, he does not.
Now, is anything that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Trump Gang done in regards to the lawsuits and declaring that the election wasn’t over illegal? No, not that I can tell. After all, it is the Electoral College that are the direct deciders of the Presidential Election, and they didn’t meet until this past Monday. But, as I’m sure many lawyers will tell you, what is legal, moral or ethical are most often very different things. And, while we are ostensibly a nation of laws, what should be apparent to all involved is that our democracy, for better or worse, also leans on tradition and goodwill as heavily as it does upon the laws and regulations that are supposed to act as the final foundational guardrails against a rogue President and an abiding Congress.
We got lucky this time, so far. We have one more hurdle to jump come January 6th, and I pray that the Republican members of Congress, both in the House and Senate, come to the realization that their actions, their vocal and non-vocal support of Trump’s efforts to overturn a legal, safe and secure election is as anti-democratic and anti-American as one can get, short of armed rebellion. We do not live in a tyranny. We do not yet live in a country of limited and shrinking freedoms. It may seem that way, I know. We must continuously fight for not only what we have today, but what we’ve gained and what we have yet to gain. I know. Still, we do not live in an autocracy today. But, it was close, and I fear next time, for there will be a next time, our Democracy will not survive, especially if those who claim to be Conservative, claim to uphold and hold dear the ideals of the Founders and our Constitution fail to take this moment to denounce and renounce the Grand Ol’ Party. If the Republican Party remains whole then the lessons those members, along with Trump and his children, will have learned are that American Democracy is up for debate, that is okay to tear it down in exchange for the antithesis of our Founder’s wishes.
So, to you Republicans who remained sane and put Country over Party, who put the needs of the Nation ahead of your own political aspirations, to you I say it is time to create a political party that stays true to America. That abhors, shuns and repels authoritarianism, that works with those on the left of the political spectrum, not because you agree but because you know that compromise and working with opposing views is how we move forward. That debate and discussion is what gets us as a people and a nation to the answers and solutions we need. It is time to leave the Republican Party to its own gleeful rot and create something new, something better, a Political Party that will answer President-elect Biden’s call to heal the nation. A Political Party that embraces the liberalism that propelled and guided our Founders to forge a new nation. A nation built on the principles that all are equal, that all are welcome, that individual freedom are paramount and that an open, accepting society thrives.
If you don’t, if you leave the Republican Party whole, I fear the lessons will be learned all too well, and in a few years we won’t have a nation to save.
Addendum: I started writing this a few days back, I believe it was either Sunday or this last Monday (as the Electoral College met). Evan McMullin, a Republican, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times along these same lines and it appears to have been published yesterday. I just came across it today, and it’s a good read and I recommend it to you all. While I’ve taken a much more hardline stance and am calling for the breakup of the Republican Party, something Mr. McMullin doesn’t advocate as of yet, I see that he shares my base view of the Republican Party as corrupted by Trumpism, it appears I’m in good company. Here’s the link, highly recommended: