As much as it loathes me to have to say this, there was one sentiment that Rush Limbaugh was a big proponent of before shuffling off this mortal coil (R.I.P) that I completely agree with; the leadership of the Republican Party is no longer modeled after its base. This trend has also carried over to the Democratic party, almost effortlessly. They have both made it painfully aware that those who live part-time in Washington, D.C. are so far removed from what their constituents are craving that it has turned into parody.
Written By: Anton Sawyer
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Limbaugh made it pretty clear that he liked ex-President Donald Trump quite a bit. So much so, that anyone who questioned him as a viable candidate, was met with much wrath. This didn't just extend to those who were running against Trump, but it went all the way to the highest-ranking officials in the Republican National Committee. According to a 2016 transcript posted to his official website, Limbaugh asked on his radio show "Can somebody point to me the conservative on the ballot?" He continued, "'What do you mean, Rush? Are you admitting Trump is not a conservative?' Damn, right I am!" He continued, "Folks, when did I ever say that he was? Look, I don't know how to tell you this. Conservatism lost, in the primary, if that's how you want to look at it. We had [Ted] Cruz; we had [Marco] Rubio."
Since his passing, everyone who was a Republican and spoke about him, all pointed to how he changed conservatism completely. This is true, and wherever Limbaugh went, the fervent base followed. As soon as Limbaugh got fully on board, all of Trump's competition started dropping like flies. The selection of whoever was up next to meet this "Tornado-Diablo" en masse was pretty easy to determine; whoever said anything even remotely close to negative about Trump would be selected. Those who did throw their support behind Trump had about a million justifications as to why, no matter how flimsy they might have been. This has carried over to today.
In a 2021 interview with Fox News, longtime Trump loyalist Senator Lindsey Graham said, "What I would say to Senator McConnell: I know Trump can be a handful, but he is the most dominant figure in the Republican Party," the South Carolina Republican continued. "We don't have a snowball's chance in hell of taking back the majority without Donald Trump. If you don't get that, you're just not looking." He's right.
Senate-mainstay and voice of the Republican party in that realm for many, many years, Mitch McConnell, recently came out against the ex-president during a 2021 op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on the January 6th insurrection in the nation's capital. "There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world's largest megaphone. His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended." He also wrote, "Former President Trump's actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty." Adding, "Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day." McConnell still voted not guilty in the impeachment hearing. Every Republican Senator that voted against the ex-President faced multiple censures upon their return to their home states. I truly believe that those at the top think this will suffice the Trump faithful ... it won't.
Since these articles came out, the Trump campaign has made it clear that they are going to try to beat every candidate in the 2022 mid-term elections who came out against him—including Senator McConnell. This is not something to take lightly. I see a massive civil war brewing over the next two years and the RNC fractioning in two. If I were to guess, I'm thinking that any and all never-Trumpers will be booted out of office in 2022. I do think that the sleeping giant has been awoken and those who have espoused the "status quo" for any given time are in for a rude awakening.
The Democrats are a bit more shifty, a bit more subversive, but not innocent at all.
In 2016, we know that the DNC rigged the game for Clinton and shot themselves in the foot because of their arrogance. It's that arrogance that helped to give us four years of Trump because DNC leaders knew what was best, or right, or could win ... I don't even know as Sanders lead EVERY poll against Trump from day one.
Shortly after that, a bunch of bright-eyed newcomers such as Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed up with all of the ideas that were popular amongst the younger generations. Though Republicans were saying she was just taking from Sanders' "Socialist Playbook," she wasn't. She was voicing all of the concerns that have been at the forefront of the minds of Millennials and Gen Z. This is when the fractions on the liberal side started.
Over the last three to four years, the bickering has gone back and forth between Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Ocasio-Cortez. From AOC openly speaking about not voting for Pelosi for House leadership to Pelosi throwing barbs back, there is no love lost. One of the more recent attacks from AOC came on a podcast called The Intercept in 2020 when discussing the CARES Act. She insisted that Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer should no longer head the party "We need new leadership in the Democratic Party," Ocasio-Cortez told host Jeremy Scahill. "We, the Democratic Party, gave up a lot of leverage," Ocasio-Cortez said of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March. The legislation was "everything that the Republican Party wanted."
In a 2021 interview, Pelosi disputed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's claim that the Democratic Party isn't building new leadership. "Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?" the CBS News host Lesley Stahl asked Pelosi during a "60 Minutes" interview. "I don't know," Pelosi replied. "You'll have to ask her — because we are." "That was kind of sharp, kind of dismissing her," Stahl said in response. And it continues ...
The Old Guard is afraid of losing voters, losing support because their ideas aren't palatable to a large mass of people. If you try to introduce healthcare for all, spend trillions on climate change (which isn't even close to any kind of bi-partisan support), and try to sell large tax increases to top earners, it is too much too soon. But knowing history, the DNC has had 40 years to address these issues.
I wrote earlier about minimum wage and income inequality. The important part lies in the fact that since 1980, minimum wage had stopped increasing with inflation with turtle-like slowness, which helped to spur-on the income inequality we so enjoy today. There have been enough times over those four decades where the DNC has had control of the House, Senate, and Presidency—in any number of combinations. Knowing how minimum wage is SUPPOSED to work, and then completely ignoring it, all while complaining about how the poor are getting poorer, is nothing more than being complicit in letting the gap grow.
Yes, during former President Clinton and Obama there were raises to the minimum wage, but it wasn't nearly enough—and they both knew it. Just because you didn't start the fire, doesn't mean that talking about how out of control it is while watching it burn isn't going to end with the same outcome.
But it appears that there are some changes upcoming potentially. With the recent $1.9 Trillion proposal released by Biden, many things are addressed. More stimulus money for families that is much more robust than before (which means that if this does pass, I owe Mr. Biden an apology for the article where I said he was deceiving his constituents), it will extend unemployment benefits and is setting to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. It's going to be interesting to see what the DNC does. Three of their own refused to vote to allow the "Nuclear Option" (which would just require a simple majority to pass legislation), and the RNC has made it clear it costs too much and is most likely going to fight it. This means that a lot of lip service is going to be paid towards their constituents over the next few months with very little compromise coming from it all.
In all reality, both parties are fractured immensely right now—but not beyond repair. A lot of it is going to have to come down to the leaders of both sides learning one thing: The way things have always been done does not exist anymore. Both parties have been taken over by "radicals." The leaders are going to have to swallow their pride and realize that a lot of the problems are of their own making. Who blinks first?