Written By: Anton Sawyer
Well, well, well. It appears that if you do have a moral code that is based on empathy, self-awareness, and the teachings of Jesus Christ, you no longer are wanted by the “moral majority.” Many thought that when ex-President Trump was out of office, the Republican party would see it as a hiccup—a minor mistake—on their trek to domination and being seen as the only true moral political choice. It seems that Wyoming Republican representative Liz Cheney certainly thought this way and made it pretty clear that Trump was easily the most reprehensible example of power and hypocrisy the party had seen in decades. The back-and-forth between Cheney and the leadership of the GOP had been front-page headlines for the first quarter of 2021, leading to much speculation as to what actions would eventually be completed. Well, they made their choice. With Cheney losing her House leadership post in May 2021, along with the rise of major players like conservative House representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the die has been cast.
Of course, there are more specific elements that need to be looked at. This article is going to look at how Cheney and others helped to lift the republican party platform to a non-reality base, but yet seem to be left in utter surprise at this outcome. I do think there is a very important message here that the Democrats need to understand as well. One that could have the same division between the rulers and the peasants of the DNC.
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I loathe when either party espouses some kind of definitive idea of “morality.” Usually, it involves what that person has been taught in their church as being morally correct. They then go out and try to enact laws that force this ideal of morality onto everyone. It’s like the adage, “if a woman is starving with three kids, and she steals some bread for them to eat, should she go to jail?” We could argue all day about what is legal, moral, what could be done differently, etc. because morality can be extremely different from one person to the next. All of us have an idea of doing what is "morally correct," even if in practice it doesn’t quite work out. Like those youth who voted for Jill Stein in 2016—or myself who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. We felt that the other candidates would not be able to direct the country in a way that would benefit all classes. Yet, both elections ended the same. The hope behind both is the same.
This is where Liz Cheney is at. The major problem from enacting something moral as legislation stem from when a group promotes a certain type of morality, and then their actions completely disavow those ideals. Cheney is at the center of this type of politicking. Though there are a lot of different quotes from Cheney that I could use to illustrate this point, there was one that definitely stood out. Given that the GOP has been called the bastion of white supremacy and racism for years, they all stand together in denial of this accusation. In February 2021 Cheney was quoted as saying, “It’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.” Keep in mind that though this statement is a definite step in the right direction, it flies immediately in the face of another quote Cheney had made a few years earlier. "I don't believe in lynching, I just don't support legal action being taken against the KKK." This contradiction perfectly illustrates the lack of self-awareness that many in the party seem to be bound to. It’s incredibly difficult to say that racism is horrible, but then try to stop punishment for those who actively engage in it.
A statement she made in 2013 shows that both she, and the party, knew what was going on well before Trump ever threw his hat into the ring to run for the presidency. "Republicans are being counseled to move the party to the left, but in my experience, those who advocate more liberal policies for the GOP are wrongheaded or Democrats, or both." She was very worried that if the Republicans went more to the center, they would lose their identity completely. Once Trump made his intention to run for the presidency clear, the balancing act that the GOP had begun in 2008 after the election of former President Obama to appeal to a wider audience was tossed away. There was NOTHING centrist about Trump and this forced the hand of the Republican National Committee. Until Trump had won the nomination for the RNC, the conservative leadership was fighting him tooth and nail. Sure, GOP talk show hosts like Limbaugh and Hannity jumped on the Trump train pretty quickly, yet the leadership did not want him to be the face of the conservative movement. They were afraid that anyone who may have been a political independent would most certainly not vote for Trump. When he won the 2016 presidential election, the Republican leaders knew that they could no longer be coy. They were beholden to the absolute worst elements of the party that they had carefully crafted since Reagan and knew there was no other way. Their actions within their party since Trump left office have shown that they have given up the fight and are beholden to Trump and his ilk. GOP Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham summed all of it up pretty succinctly in a May 2021 interview with Fox News. He said the Republican Party "can't grow" without former President Donald Trump amid a bitter internal row about the GOP's long-term political direction. "Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no."
Living in a red state I’ve seen this internal struggle happen to many. I have a number of friends who are of the conservative bent, and they are livid about the party being held by Trump. Imagine for a moment that you have been raised with DEFINITIVE examples of right and wrong. If you are someone who lived the teachings of Christ, if you have tried through your actions to better the lives of your fellow man, and were repeatedly told that you are the moral beacon of society—only to watch it fall into the living antithesis of your core. Imagine having spent your life going to a place of worship only to hear your Pastor cry out the virtues of a man who has broken AT LEAST 3 of the 10 commandments, and then ask you to fully support that person with a smile has to be crushing. Unfortunately for those people, it seems that you have been cast afloat in a massive ocean with nothing but your own grit and determination; no GOP leader is going to help you.
Oddly enough though, I think that the way that the GOP handled Trump is the way the DNC should handle Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and others. We learned with the Wikileaks dump in 2016 that the party leadership was doing everything in their power to mute Bernie Sanders because they wanted Clinton to win. In every poll during that election cycle, Sanders would have beaten Trump handily. But the DNC didn’t care. The leaders “knew better.” This is one of the times I agree with the Republicans; if you ignore your base, you can lose them.
Vice President Kamala Harris is going to be the presidential nominee for the Democrats in 2024, no matter who is running against her. Accept it. The DNC is going to do whatever they can to stack the deck for Harris. Given her history, especially when it pertains to law enforcement being held accountable for their indiscretions and her looking the other way (for a full breakdown of Harris, click here), I know there are going to be a lot of liberals who do not want her as the nominee. Given how much the GOP base was able to drastically overhaul the Conservative movement, all the way to its core, there is no reason the Democrats can’t do the same thing. Like I’ve written before, the only way that we're going to get the middle and lower classes up the food chain is by reintroducing the Roosevelt-era New Deal numbers. Sanders and a couple of others are shooting for this goal. Let’s just hope that the party doesn’t crush them in an attempt to have another “anointed one” as they did in 2016.
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