THOMPSON: Why Republicans have become an enemy to freedom, democracy in America | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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THOMPSON: Why Republicans have become an enemy to freedom, democracy in America

 


OPINION


I’m asked often by my Canadian friends, “Why are Americans so divided?” It is quite simple really. There are those who want it that way, indeed, they would have it no other way. And far from a new question, divisiveness has existed for as long as America.

You can find every demographic in this “I’m right, you’re wrong” disagreement. However, like in nature, some folks seem to stand out. They’re more virulent than others. They aren’t happy unless someone, often lots of someones, are not only miserable, but subjugated, or better yet, eliminated.

These dangerous folks can be found in any political party…but the party best known for divisiveness has changed from Democrat to Republican in my lifetime. Today’s Republicans - both elected officials and those who voted for them - are largely cowards.

They stand mute, afraid of drawing the ire of the Right Wing nuts who hijacked the Republican Party almost 15 years ago, and in doing so are complicit in the attempt to undo American democracy.

The most common traits running through the most divisive folks are ignorance, hate and targeting specific groups as the reasons everything in life is wrong. This group of blamers has gotten bigger over the past 200 years…but it has always had members.

They are the collective tail that wags the dog on every political and social issue that Americans consider. They don’t represent the majority…but they speak in a loud voice…always projecting on others their own behaviours. Of course, they lie - often and loudly - both to try an recruit more to their ranks…and to foment hatred of the targeted groups.

You don’t have to be American to be in this group. Indeed, all the world’s ruthless dictators, evil despots and murderous villains were and are members. Many are held up as shining examples of what the world should embrace…Adolph Hitler is still lionized by countless followers in 33 nations nearly 80 years after his death.

In America the members are mostly white and always claim they are victims…thus, their hate is justified. They are, they proudly proclaim, true Americans. Ironically, they possess almost none of the traits, beliefs, compassion and aspirational goals that the framers of the U.S. Constitution set forth.

Still, they are often the biggest flag-wavers, sing the National Anthem more loudly, speak reverently of Jesus, and offer easy answers to every complex issue facing America and the world. They are almost always Right Wing, God-fearing folks who talk about how everyone denigrates their family-values and oppresses their religious rights.

They aren’t all white nationalists and racists…but almost all of the white nationalist and racists affiliate with Right Wing Republicans. They are anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-female, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Black, anti-Hispanic, anti-Asian, anti-Democrat and anti-Liberal.

Jews represent 2.4 percent of the U.S, population…but were targets of  nearly 60 percent of American hate crimes last year. Those who perpetrated those crimes affiliated overwhelmingly with Right Wing Republicans.

This group is largely less educated than most Americans…yet they want to dominate and control what others learn. They favour fiction over fact…and position their opinions as facts. When queried, they rarely know the facts or details of any given situation or issue.

Most of these idiots can’t tell you what “woke” means…but I guarantee you…they’re against it anyway. Woke simply means you’re aware of and attentive to societal facts and issues. That’s a good thing…but not in the ever-so-narrow minds of today’s Republicans. They are - by definition - fascists.

Those of you who might say, “Don’t call people names” or “You should reach out…find common ground”…or “You’re being divisive”…let me stop you right there. Right Wing Republicans - those who control the Party - are mostly white and believe for everyone to have freedom…they must give it up…as if it were some pie with only so many slices.

As a result, Republicans have become an enemy of freedom and democracy. There will be no more hands across the aisle seeking what we have in common. We have nothing that matters in common.

In Tennessee - birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan - two members of the state’s House of Representatives were expelled by the Republican super-majority for breaking “rules of decorum” last year…and one of them again this year.

The two members - Justin Jones and Justin Pearson - are young, Black men. They - along with Gloria Johnson, an older white woman - protested on the House floor after the shooting deaths of six people in a Nashville school…three of them nine-year-old children.

The two Black men were expelled…the white woman was not. I watched the proceedings that day on news coverage…the young Black men had the audacity to use a bullhorn to speak of the need to change laws to prevent innocent children from being shot in schools.

The faces of the Republicans - all older, white men - couldn’t hide their vehement hatred. It wasn’t about guns, or protecting children. I have seen these looks hundreds of times since I was a child.

These were uppity Black folks talking back to white folks. “No, no…not in my Tennessee”…you could see it in their faces. Both young Black men were re-instated by local government councils representing the voters who elected them.

Republicans - bless their hearts - just don’t know what to do, other than hate and seek vengeance. The world is changing and they don’t like it. They see giving people equality - doing the right thing - as taking something from them…somehow diminishing them.

Of course, in a sense they are right. They can no longer be slave owners or overseers or call a Black man “boy”, much less the N-word. So, they are left with cheating…gerrymandering ridiculous districts, suppressing voters, making it tougher for people of colour or women to get loans, controlling a woman’s right to determine her own health.

Of course, their purpose is to put Black folks - like Justin Jones and Justin Pearson - and millions of others in their place. That place is beneath them. Republicans don’t get it…and likely never will. But I’ll bet you one thing…history will remember it…and so will most of their children and grandchildren.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines.


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