Both the New York Times and the Washington Post today ran op-eds from Republicans or former Republicans urging members of their party who still value democracy to vote Democratic until the authoritarian faction that has taken over their party is bled out of it.
At 74 years old, I dearly wish not to have to hit the streets once again—-yet I increasingly feel compelled by this current, terrifying, slow rolling coup to do my bit once more to push things forward because this is the worst American crisis I’ve witnessed, of many in my life—McCarthyism up close as a child; Mississippi Summer; the Vietnam protests; and, for me through it all always, the fight for Women’s Rights. But, sigh, here we go again, this time, astonishingly, for the preservation of our basic democracy and for fundamental Voting Rights in the ever-evolving American battlefield over such things since before our founding as a republic—-the roiling history of which HCR so beautifully clarifies for us in her brilliant letters every day.
For myself, and for all of us willing to go forward yet once again to fight and organize in whatever way we’re each best suited to, I invoke the blazing, inspirational spirit of John Lewis who never gave up. Onward: it truly feels like now or never this time.
To me, this is one of the most significant Letters you've written, Heather. To include this quote by Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman is of the utmost importance. Republicans who follow Taylor.and Whitman must be "courted and wooed" to see that there is something far better than MAGA on offer.
"The only way to stop Trumpism “is for us to form an alliance with Democrats to defend American institutions, defeat far-right candidates, and elect honorable representatives next year—including a strong contingent of moderate Democrats.” To defend democracy, they write, “concerned conservatives must join forces with Democrats on the most essential near-term imperative: blocking Republican leaders from regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives” and the Senate. – New York Times, Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman"
We need a lot more Republicans to stand with the three of them. And for the media to cut the crap and report the truth.
Professor Eddie Glaub put it right tonight: every once in awhile, an unsuspecting generation finds that the defense of America as America is on them to accomplish. That's us.
It's hard to believe but:
Bill Maher is not an asshole! He's right and I agree with him!
I agree with Max Boot!
I agree with Liz Cheney!
I agree with Bill Kristol!
There's something happening here
What it is is exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling us we've to to beware....
(with apologies to Buffalo Springfield)
I read The NY Times Taylor/Whitman OpEd this morning.
Below is my published comment.
Ralph Averill | New Preston, Ct
The problems with the Republican Party didn't start with former President whatsisname in 2016. They started 50 yrs ago with Nixon's Southern Strategy and have metastasized at a steady rate since then.
Be that as it may, it is somewhat encouraging to read Taylor's and Todd Whitman's call to arms. Better late than never.
How about we start by loudly, publicly, denouncing the current pro-fascist direction of the Republican Party, starting with the politician who has schemed the most damage to American democracy; Mitch McConnell. A steady appearance by rebel Republicans Sunday mornings on any of the various talk shows would be good. I'm sure they would be glad to have any national Rpublican willing to denounce the defacto leader of the party and the direction it is taking. Give moderate Republican and right-leaning independent voters a place to go to. Essays on the NY Times OpEd page are nice, but you need to get out in the sticks and bang your drum loudly.
This is a very consequential letter. Thank you.
I'm a lefty and have been most of my adult life.
However, the threat of violence that I've read from Trump, Bannon and the rest of his thugs, reminds me of Hitler's Brown Shirts (even school board members are being physically threatened).
The result of this coordinated onslaught shows me that if Trump and his thugs aren't stopped, this country will cross the Rubicon into a dictatorship in 2024.
So while I flinch at the idea that the Democratic Party would become even more centric than it is, it's more important that Democracy survives to reconstruct.
As for the fecklessness of corporate media coverage, I think wealthy media owners were quite happy with Trump because of the increased drama Trump generated, huge tax breaks, and so on.
So, they're in no hurry to warn the country of this danger.
It's time to listen to the republicans calling for democrats and republicans to work together to make clear that saving our democracy must be the first and primary goal until the Republican Party is purged of authoritarian autocrats. I can warm to that call because at 73 years old I remember that working together was a given in American politics. Trump and his minions must be driven from public life.
George Will called for a vote against all GOP congressional in 2018. This has been slow to build but voting against all Republicans at all levels - federal, state and local - is necessary to save the country. It is a war of America against anti-America.
I’m 64. Healthy. Happy. Comfortable. These are the scariest times I’ve ever felt. Having worked at the AMEX in the 80’s, I felt tremendous loss on 9/11. But not the fear I’m feeling now. I’ve got my voice and my vote. If they’re left intact.
Really important letter. Not just
about the Republicans trying to save democracy, but calling out the press for lagging on the warlike nature of what is taking place. Democrats and liberals and progressives pride themselves on “thinking for themselves” and being as intellectually diverse as possible. We look down on the groupthink of Republicans and the large Christian churches whose members fall in line with the authorities at the top. Well, it’s time for a little democratic group think! We need to unite against this mounting threat. We need to put aside our pride in carving out our own little niches of reality. Too much thinking for ourselves will lead to defeat by the trump juggernaut. We need to find a common political purpose and be as single minded as the power mongering right and act as one to save
Democracy. Or we will live in a hell of Trumpworld - it’s coming clear as day. Only if we unite can we stop it.
If Republicans, formerly in good standing with their party, are willing to advise others to vote Democratic, then Democrats in Congress need to stiffen their spines and push like hell for Biden's agenda! How many warning signs do we need before we begin to fight like hell for our democracy!
Wow! Is this the earliest Letter ever? Rest, renew and sleep, Heather. Thank you for every word you write and utter. With gratitude always, Daria
Finally, it seems that the mainstream press is starting to wake up to the threat of authoritarianism, and in turn is waking up the public. The fact that it takes a coalition consisting of dissenting members of the Republican party and comedians like Maher, Colbert, Noah and Oliver speaks volumes about the complacency of Democrats to defend our democracy. If the country is to survive in its current form, the effort will have to be made from all sides of the political divide. Otherwise, the loudest voices or - God forbid - the biggest arsenals will win the day, and the American experiment will end in failure.
Whitman, Taylor, Cheney, Kinzinger and a few others. So far, the list of Republicans who have publicly declared their loyalty to the Constitution instead of Trump barely needs two hands to count. We will need many more to push back the wave of power-hungry authoritarians, hangers-on, and useful idiots. It feels like the first small steps are being taken to convince more Republicans to join that list. I just hope we have time to get the job done.
I spent hours yesterday reading Twitter responses to Maher's monologue. Yes, he reached some large number of people that (most) media has failed to even try to reach. But I wish he had offered something for people to DO. I saw many hundreds of comments by terrified people not knowing what to do. He missed that enormous opportunity to give a concrete action to the millions who listened to him. That pissed me off. I'm thrilled he laid things out in a way that broke through to people who've not been engaged enough. But he's also the sort that gets off on being right about the bad news he delivers. I mean...what's the point of scaring the hell out of people if you're not going to offer ANY kind of action they can take? It's terrifying enough when you ARE doing whatever you can.
In my lifetime,Huey Long, Joe McCarthy, and Donald Trump are three of the most dangerous ‘Americans’. Huey Long, with an ego and ambition that matched his pink suits, used his hick-like charm in Louisiana to launch a populist political movement intended to challenge President Franklin Roosevelt. He was a real threat to FDR and the New Deal until, fortuitously, he was assassinated for some of his scurrilous actions in his home state.
Joe McCarthy, voted by Washington reporters as the worst senator, was desperate to find an issue to spark his senatorial re-election plan. This he did in a Lincoln Day speech before a women’s group, claiming that he had in his hand the names of 205 ‘Communists’ in the State Department. This Big Lie launched his anti-Communist crusade. (He never identified a single Communist in the State Department, though later he tried to brand as Communist sympathizer General George C. Marshall who, in my opinion, was the greatest American of the 20th century).
The media knew that McCarthy was a drunk and a liar, but he provided spectacular press. Two Republicans, Senator Margaret Chase Smith and Millard Tydings early on underscored the venality and anti-Americanism of ‘Tail Gunner Joe.’ However, the Republican establishment saw, in McCarthy’s over-the-top-anti-Communist-‘patriotism,’ a shabby shibboleth with which to capture the presidency from the long-in-office Democrats. Even Ike had to swallow this McCarthy crudity when he campaigned in Wisconsin. McCarthyism was a real threat in America. His anti-communist assaults against innocent people touched the ‘patriotism’ of perhaps half the American adult population. Finally, his TV exposure by Edward R. Murrow and the Army hearing conducted by whimsical lawyer Welch popped the McCarthy bubble. Subsequently he was mildly censured by the Senate and died of alcoholism soon after.
Trump reflects some of the worst traits of Huey Long and Joe McCarthy. His weapon is fear, his egoistic megalomania matches that of these two predecessors, and truth has rarely touched his lips. Like Huey and Joe, Donald was not a party man. Huey sought to create his wing of the Democratic Party, Joe was using his anti-Communist crusade to bully the Republican Party, and Trump sought to morph the Republican Party into the Trump party.
Sadly, Trumpism is still riding the Big Lie, fear mongering his way into an uncertain future. He continues to maintain a political cult with his nonsensical pronouncements that serve neither the United States nor the American people well. The fact that the Republican Party, for the first time in modern history, chose not to include a policy segment in its 2020 presidential convention platform reflected a stunning vacuousness: the “Republican Party’ policy was whatever Trump tweeted on any day.
I am moderately hopeful that the remaining ‘moderate’ Republicans and others can organize against this destructive Trump egoism and support those who stand against Trumpism. It took an assassination to stop Huey Long. Joe McCarthy finally slithered away from the bright lights of investigation and alcoholism. I expect that Trump will eventually be toppled, but only with a concerted effort by those who truly care about our country.
Later today I will be chatting with Christie Whitman at the Eisenhower Fellowship’s trustee meeting in Philadelphia.
Very dramatic and rightly so. Thank you. Will the media change without Democratic leadership insisting that they stop minimizing the danger and gloating over Biden’s difficulties? Misrepresenting two corrupt senators obstructing the majority will as a moderate faction? Refusing to throw their weight behind the only changes that might convince Americans to vote their hopes rather than their fears and hate? I’m not sure a few Republicans can save us —especially if they block the kind of social reform that undercuts the fascists—but perhaps they can convince the media that the danger of fascism is real