Why The Undeserved, Blind Loyalty???

Recently I have been quite puzzled by the dedication of the Republicans in Congress to the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  So today, when I came across an op-ed titled, What’s the Matter With Republicans? by Paul Krugman of the New York Times, I realized that I was not alone in my puzzlement.  In the article, Krugman posits that it is the nature and structure of the Republican Party itself that keeps those riding his coattails from abandoning ship.  A few excerpts are in order:

  • Faced with questions about the Flynn scandal and the Comey firing, Ryan waved them away: “I don’t worry about things that are outside my control.” This might sound like a reasonable philosophy — unless you realize that Ryan is speaker of the House of Representatives, a legislative body with the power to issue subpoenas, compel testimony and, yes, impeach the president.

  • At this point we know who and what Trump is, and have a pretty good idea of what he has been doing. If we had two patriotic parties in the country, impeachment proceedings would already be underway. But we don’t. What’s the matter with Republicans?

  • First, Republicans are professional politicians. The G.O.P. … is one branch of a monolithic structure, movement conservatism, with a rigid ideology — tax cuts for the rich above all else. Other branches of the structure include a captive media that parrots the party line every step of the way. And this monolithic structure — lavishly supported by a small number of very, very wealthy families — rewards, indeed insists on, absolute fealty.

  • Why did Marine Le Pen, often portrayed as the French equivalent of Trump, lose by a huge margin? Because France’s conservatives were only willing to go so far; they simply would not support a candidate whose motives and qualifications they distrusted. Republicans, however, went all in behind Trump, knowing full well that he was totally unqualified, strongly suspecting that he was corrupt and even speculating that he might be in Russian pay, simply because there was an “R” after his name on the ballot.

  • In a perverse way, we should count ourselves lucky that Trump is as terrible as he is. Think of what it has taken to get us to this point — his Twitter addiction, his bizarre loyalty to Flynn and affection for Putin, the raw exploitation of his office to enrich his family, the business dealings, whatever they were, he’s evidently trying to cover up by refusing to release his taxes.

Krugman’s piece concludes with a thought that echoes sentiments I have expressed more than once:

  • The point is that given the character of the Republican Party, we’d be well on the way to autocracy if the man in the White House had even slightly more self-control. Trump may have done himself in; but it can still happen here.

The one thing that is noticeably absent in the ideology of the Republican Party as described by Mr. Krugman is the will of the populace.  Does any single “average Joe” voter place ‘tax cuts for the wealthy’ above above affordable healthcare, the environment, quality public schools, etc.?  I think not.  And yet … republican voters seem to have the same loyalty to party that is a staple of the republican members of Congress.

ryanLook closely at the above picture of Paul Ryan … does this look like a man who is comfortable with his decisions, a man whose conscience is at peace?  Not to me.

I have been saying for months now that most house republicans will be unemployed after November 2018, but is that true? I remember an old friend, long gone from this world, who back in 1976 said of then-candidate Jimmy Carter, “I can’t stand the man, but he’s a democrat and I’m a democrat, so I’m going to vote for him.”  It is this line of thinking that may be the end of our democratic system of government.  Loyalty to a party rather than choosing a candidate who puts the best interest of the nation and its people first is a mistake no matter which side of the aisle it benefits.

Republican loyalty to party rather than to conscience rather reminds me of the abused wife who stands by her husband no matter what … she knows he is a cad, a jerk, but she believes it is her duty to be a loyal wife.  Else she is afraid of the alternative.

According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, the breakdown of voters is: 29% Democrats, 26% Republicans, 42% Independents, and the other 3% apparently neither know nor care.

party chartThe surge in the past 5 years of independent voters is a result of voter dissatisfaction with the gridlock in the federal government, and I see it as a positive, a sign that more voters are considering issues rather than a blind loyalty to party.  I also wonder if it doesn’t potentially open the door for a third party to eventually gain a foothold in the political process?  Typically third party candidates do not stand much of a chance in presidential elections (though they do better in local elections) because of such things as the electoral college’s ‘winner take all’ system, ballot access laws, and debate rules, but perhaps the time is ripe for a candidate who is not tied to long-standing alliances with big business, wealthy corporations and lobbyist groups.

Whatever the outcome of the current fiasco in the White House, it has shown us, I think, that it is time we started voting our consciences, that we hold our elected representatives in Congress accountable for making our best interests their top priority.  If we do not, we risk becoming a plutocracy, government by the wealthy … if, indeed, we are not already.

36 thoughts on “Why The Undeserved, Blind Loyalty???

  1. Much is written about the dogged or blind loyalty of those who believe in Trump, and of the insistence of the Republican Party to stick with him. As you have pointed out, there are two critical and very salient factors which I feel need stressing:
    (A): The first are not in the majority of the voting population.
    (B): Whereas the polarisation of the parties tends to cause a (military analogy coming up)… the forming of a square (military tactic of the 16th-napoleonic times-of infantry to defend itself against cavalry)…the square becomes itself a big target for big guns and can be shattered and cause panic in the ranks. The Big Guns are the non-aligned voters combining with the democrats not because they like democrats but because ‘They want the other rascals out’.
    Currently opposition to the Republicans has the gift of the Target Trump. What is needed in the run up to the Mid-Terms in 2018 are folk of imagination and compromise to galvanise the vote. It’s worth a try folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed on all counts! The thing is, I’m not sure the Democratic Party has the leadership to galvanize the voters. They are still busy licking their wounds from 2016, and are not, at least as far as I can tell, doing anything to prepare for next year’s elections, not doing anything to put forth a positive image, one that shows strength and cohesion. Sigh. Well … it’s early in the game yet, and perhaps there is much going on behind the scenes that I am not aware of. Let us hope. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Okay … you absolutely GOT me this time! 😀 I never heard of Francis Underwood, so I hopped on over to Google and the first thing that caught my eye was this: “Francis Joseph “Frank” Underwood (born November 5, 1959) is an American politician currently serving as the 46th President of the United States.” It took me aback, and I wondered if perhaps I had taken a very long Rumplestiltskin-esque nap!!! Reading on, however, I discovered that he is a character in a television program! Well, I was hoping to find that he is a good guy, but no … Wikipedia describes him as Machiavellian, conniving and evil. Ah well … sounds like an interesting program at any rate. My education is, obviously, sorely lacking! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

              • Morning Jill
                It is a sad reflection that here we are to be saying these things.
                To illustrate how turbulent things are, yesterday to the wake of the evil slaughter of innocents at Manchester I was agreeing with President Trump: He called the perpetrators ‘Losers’ and said that was the term he would now use to describe them. He would not call them monsters because they would want that. They were ‘losers’.
                Agreeing with President Trump? Well as Churchill said about support for Stalin in WWII “If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons”.
                Take care of you and yours Jill

                Liked by 1 person

                • Good morning, Roger … though I suppose it is afternoon for you now 🙂 Yes, I can understand your agreement with Trump in the wake of the Manchester tragedy … just don’t make a habit of it 🙂 Unfortunately, whether we call them ‘losers’ or ‘monsters’, ‘idiots’ or ‘madmen’, it will not matter, for they achieved their goal, which was to draw attention. And they also added more fuel to the fire of Islamophobia that is so prevalent in the West these days. 😥

                  I will take care, my friend, and you must do the same. Hugs, dear Roger.

                  Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 That would be interesting … can you imagine if that were the way in the 2016 election? Hillary as president (for she did win the popular vote) and Trump as VP? Oh My!!! They would have already killed each other! 🙂

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  2. Dear Jill,
    The republican leaders are absolutely tone deaf when it comes to listening to their average Joe voters but for years, the democratic party had been taking these voters for granted. This is why many who are not alt-right and who had voted for President Obama in the past, decided to give Donald Trump a chance. The problem is that the messenger was very flawed where it is mission impossible for him to keep his promises.

    In short, you are so right. “We the people” need to hold both sides accountable.

    Hugs, Gronda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, but the stumbling block, as I see it, is that people do not bother to learn the issues, figure out what each candidate is actually saying, study his/her backgrounds and track records. Instead, they believe whatever pops up in front of their face. Until we better educate the voters, I don’t hold out much hope for improvement. Sigh.

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A third party of the middle ground might be the best thing that could happen so that the parties can be of the left and of the right but not the only choice of the people. The one thing that can’t be allowed to happen though is for them too get into hock to any huge businesses because of donations. The parties have got to have a level playing field for elections an be totally independent of outside interests.
    xxx Cwtch Jill xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree … and that is the great dilemma … it takes tons of money to run a successful campaign. Money which both democrats and republicans have promise of from wealthy one-percenters, big business, PACs and other lobbying groups. But a party based solely on integrity and values would necessarily have to eschew donations from those entities, and with a much smaller pot, would not stand a chance. Meaning … election reform is essential before any such third party or independent candidate would stand a chance. It is a sad statement of our society that, rather than cast a vote based on knowledge of the candidate and support of his/her platform, the majority cast their vote based on glitzy, loud television ads. Maybe someday we will change, but probably not in this lifetime. Still … even though I know it’s fairly futile, I keep on writing in hopes that my message hits home with at least a few. I am a stubborn wench 😀

      Cwtch Mawr, David!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Party loyalty is one part of the Republican loyalty to Trump but it’s more that they see a chance to push their agendas thru Congress and they love their $$. Never mind that the country is suffering real damage at the hands of a narcissistic maniac, they like that his executive orders that line their pockets. Then there are those Republicans who have accepted campaign donations from groups, PACS, etc. Guess the origin of this money. Whatever the reason i think you’ll find that the party is will have to grow a collective pair and take a stand against Trump or find that the sane Republican voters won’t support them in the coming election.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do hope you’re right, but I’m surprised that as yet, Trump supporters still seem to … support Trump, and thus they support the members of Congress who also support Trump. I haven’t yet come up with a good reason for this, other than they perhaps do not wish to have to admit they were wrong. But either way, I DO hope they wake up before the mid-terms. AND … I would like to see both parties coming up with some intelligent, compassionate viable candidates for 2020. At the moment, i don’t see anybody on the horizon. Right now it looks to me as if once elected, We The People fade into oblivion and the only thing that matters then is the politician’s wallets.

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    • Let’s hope. The horse is ready for the glue factory, as far as I’m concerned. I hope that when he finally stumbles and falls for the final time, every single one of them fall with him. Makes for an interesting picture … a horse with an ugly orange face, and 290 people riding his back … when he stumbles, those 290 go flying in every direction! Might have to see if Ms. Goose can draw that picture for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s not about blind loyalty to the party so much as it is great fear of the party, and the ramifications of individual congress people or, for that matter…local politicians up and down the rank and file…do as they are told if they want to survive in their coveted positions. It’s called toeing the party line—or else—with them or against them—always cover your butt and don’t make waves.

    It now boils down to paying attention and doing what they are told. The line now is to maintain blind adherence to the Republican line by following talking points, memorizing the alibis and make the excuses—until the placards come down and another one goes up: FOLLOW PLAN B. What is Plan B? That’s the question. When the word comes down that the sharks are turning on Trump big time….that’s what will occur.

    The rank and file…and I don’t want to overstate this… tends to latch onto a politico that tells them what they want to hear, and what they should think. Tune into favorite news channels and learn what is the party line to parrot today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sigh … yes, I know you are right. I keep hoping that people will learn from this nightmare, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. Tell them what they want to hear … but eventually, one would think they would open their eyes and realize that is was all smoke and mirrors, that they are not following through on what they told you. I am losing faith in the ability … or should I say willingness … of people to actually use their brains for independent thinking. Apparently it is easier to turn on Fox News or go to Facebook to find a view to latch onto.

      Liked by 1 person

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