Where Does It End? Or Does It?

Today I share with you an excerpt from an opinion column by Dana Milbank in The Washington Post earlier this month.  The article, which is adapted from Milbank’s book, The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party, is too lengthy for me to repost in its entirety, but is well worth the read, so I encourage you to read ‘the rest of the story’.  Meanwhile, here is a brief excerpt …

The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and won’t end with him.

Dana Milbank

4 August 2022

Much has been made of the ensuing polarization in our politics, and it’s true that moderates are a vanishing breed. But the problem isn’t primarily polarization. The problem is that one of our two major political parties has ceased good-faith participation in the democratic process. Of course, there are instances of violence, disinformation, racism and corruption among Democrats and the political left, but the scale isn’t at all comparable. Only one party fomented a bloody insurrection and even after that voted in large numbers (139 House Republicans, a two-thirds majority) to overturn the will of the voters in the 2020 election. Only one party promotes a web of conspiracy theories in place of facts. Only one party is trying to restrict voting and discredit elections. Only one party is stoking fear of minorities and immigrants.

Republicans have become an authoritarian faction fighting democracy — and there’s a perfectly logical reason for this: Democracy is working against Republicans. In the eight presidential contests since 1988, the GOP candidate has won a majority of the popular vote only once, in 2004. As the United States approaches majority-minority status (the White population, 76 percent of the country in 1990, is now 58 percent and will drop below 50 percent around 2045), Republicans have become the voice of White people, particularly those without college degrees, who fear the loss of their way of life in a multicultural America. White grievance and White fear drive Republican identity more than any other factor — and in turn drive the tribalism and dysfunction in the U.S. political system.

Other factors sped the party’s turn toward nihilism … the ascent of conservative talk radio, followed by the triumph of Fox News, followed by the advent of social media. Combined, they created a media environment that allows Republican politicians and their voters to seal themselves in an echo chamber of “alternative facts.”

But the biggest cause is race. It is crucial to understand that Donald Trump didn’t create this noxious environment. He isn’t some hideous, orange Venus emerging from the half-shell. Rather, he is a brilliant opportunist; he saw the direction the Republican Party was taking and the appetites it was stoking. The onetime pro-choice advocate of universal health care reinvented himself to give Republicans what they wanted. Because Trump is merely a reflection of the sickness in the GOP, the problem won’t go away when he does.

21 thoughts on “Where Does It End? Or Does It?

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. with technology and knowledge on the increase, change is ongoing as more and more people are able to learn and communicate with each other.. the Republican party are made up of a good number of conservatives who deny change (be it guns, climate, social, etc.) because it threatens their closed minded ideology ( a ideology of the past, not the present or future).. rather than adjust their sails, they do whatever they can to prevent change and technology reminds them every day they are slowly becoming the dinosaur… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May the love that you give
    Always return to you,
    That family and friends are many
    And always remain true,
    May your mind only know peace
    No suffering or strife,
    May your heart only know love and happiness
    On your journey through life.
    (Larry “Dutch” Woller)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right, Dutch. In fact, rather than change in positive ways, rather than move forward, it seems those many Republicans would rather move the hands of time backward … back to the days when women were dominated by men, when Black people were considered 2nd class citizens, and when the LGBTQ community was … well, it didn’t exist, for gay people stayed under the radar or face threat of death. Personally, I don’t want to go back to those times … refuse to go back to those times! And frankly, the human species worldwide cannot afford for us to go back and ignore those things that need to be addressed to save our environment. Sigh.

      Many thanks for that uplifting Irish Saying, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good piece, but an alarming one. Steve Schmidt, the former GOP strategist, has said in panel discussions the tighter voting restrictions and controlled freedoms pushed forward by the GOP are entirely demographic related. The party fears our country being only a white plurality, so changes are being set in motion to 1) recruit more people or 2) failing make it harder to vote for non-GOP thinkers. These are his words, not mine. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it IS alarming. I’m not in the least surprised to hear that the voter restrictions are demographic in nature … I’ve never for a minute doubted who the Republicans want to keep away from the polls. I’ve even become a bit paranoid and check mine and the girls’ registrations on a monthly basis, just to make sure we are still registered and haven’t been purged. Sigh. Thinking of the Melanie song, “Look What They’ve Done to my Song, Ma” I substitute the words “Look What They’ve Done To Our Country …”


  3. That’s like how it is, in the country I’m living in, with the party that’s in power, authoritarian, controlling what we’re able to watch on T.V., taking control of the media press, silencing all who try to speak up and out against their ways, and we the people are, letting them, rule over us, like, we’re, stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, there are many such countries today, and my fear is that some democracies, such as my own, are headed down that path. It’s not sustainable in the long run, but then of late, I wonder if ANY political system is sustainable for more than a century or two. Hang in, my friend.


  4. “[Trump] isn’t some hideous, orange Venus emerging from the half-shell.”  No, he is worse than an “orange Venus”! He is a huge orange turd who purposely ignored his own beliefs in order to gain power by playing on the weaknesses of others. It is one thing to say he did not create the circumstances which allowed him to gain the power his EGO so badly needs, but he gave up his own humanity to do it. That cannot be condoned!
    Trump is a monster on the same scale as Hitler, Stalin, and others you know all too well. He may not have killed millions yet, but only because he is scared to lose his own life in retaliation. Trump is an ORANGE COWARD, and that is what makes him a MONSTER!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking to South Africa after Apartheid, the white citizens truly feared the Black majority would pay them back for all the years of oppression and abuse, but SURPRISE! The Black majority were not looking for revenge. Black citizens of South Africa were more interested in making the nation a great place to live for everyone.
      Now the Republicans are telling their white citizens to fear what will happen if they allow people of colour to become the majority. If things had been the other way around you know many whites would scream for revenge. So they expect to be treated the way they treated others. That is how little they know about other people, other human people. But as long as the GOP preach fear, they are not going to look at the true possibilities.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Not able to subscribe monthly to The Washington Post to read the entire article. But… both Dr. Nancy MacLean of Duke University’s History and Public Policy Dept. and investigative journalist and writer Jane Mayer of Yale University, have shown abundantly that all this that Dana Milbank writes about really started even in the late 1950’s with conservative economist James McGill Buchanan of Tennessee and Virginia shortly after the SCOTUS second decision on Brown vs Board of Education ruling in 1955. Decades later, enter the Koch brothers followed by the SCOTUS landmark decision on Citizens United vs FEC in 2010. Next is putting select (authoritarian) Secretary of State’s inside key swing states across the nation to flippantly overturn legal, fair democratic voting if it doesn’t suit their own ideology.

    Now here we are with the psychotic grandchild of the modern GOP led by Cult Leader tRump.

    Liked by 1 person

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