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Your vote mattersThe Republican Party is dishonest. This is proven daily. This is not some partisan screed. It’s based on many years of data demonstrated by the actions of the Republican party.

The examples of Republican dishonesty are almost limitless because almost nothing they say these days is true. Almost nothing.

Republicans who voted over 50 times to repeal affordable health care for Americans are on the campaign trail claiming they are trying to protect health care and pre-existing conditions coverage (while simultaneously proposing bills that will do exactly the opposite of what they say). Republicans believe they can openly lie to their constituents and their voters will still vote for them.

Republicans claimed their massive tax breaks for the rich would pay for themselves. They didn’t; instead they created an additional $1.5 Trillion in debt for no reason (the rich and corporations have been enjoying record profits for years so no stimulus was needed). Republicans claimed those tax breaks for the rich would “trickle down” to the 95% of Americans who didn’t see any substantial increase in their paycheck. That isn’t happening; instead, inflation has wiped out any meager gains while corporations have used their windfall to buy back their own stock, which creates ZERO jobs and artificially inflates their stock prices, which the CEOs and Boards put in their pockets and special financial loopholes open only to them to avoid taxes.

After creating this huge additional deficit, the Republican party now blames the debt on social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That’s a lie. They know they created the debt by giving money away to the ultra-rich, and they knew that they would use the debt they created to attack the PAID-FOR programs that help all Americans and have ZERO to do with debt creation.

The Republican party has been lying for years. They promoted the racist attacks on President Obama, the misogynistic political attacks on Hillary Clinton, the dishonest attacks on NFL athletes, and more. They did this intentionally and cynically to manipulate the most racist and misogynist and extremist elements of society. There’s a reason that the Republican party is the party of Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists. You may claim you’re not a racist, but if you are a Republican, you are the Party of Racists. This isn’t a partisan opinion (I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat); this is proven daily by Republican party actions.

The Republican party has been attacking affordable health care for Americans since the beginning even though “Obamacare” (which they invented to avoid using its official name, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”) is a Republican plan. The Democrats had wanted universal health care but that was a political non-starter. President Obama pushed for a “public option,” that is, in addition to private insurance plans there would be an option for people to pick a government plan (similar to Medicare). That too was getting nowhere. So President Obama and the Democrats signed on to a Republican health care plan similar to one signed by Republican Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. The Republican party pushed for the plan, forced Democrats to concede to its major provisions, and then when it was clear it would pass, dishonestly attacked their own plan to keep President Obama from “getting a win.” They continue to try to sabotage their own plan.

Similarly, the Republican party has been intentionally dishonest with respect to climate change and the Cap-and-Trade plan that almost passed. After promoting and even campaigning on doing something about man-made climate change, the Republican party decided to attack it and deny the science. A plan was in the works early in President Obama’s first term. Democrats preferred a Carbon Tax type of plan, which again was a non-starter among the Republicans who were now denying even their own past positions. Republicans insisted on a “market-based plan” called Cap-and-Trade. President Obama agreed such a market-based mechanism would be a good start so openly supported it. What happened? Again, the Republican party started attacking their own plan, calling it “Cap-and-Tax” because they had for decades turned Americans against any kind of taxation. [The irony is that the Republican party is all for taxes, but only for the working, middle, and poorer classes, not for the rich or corporations.]

How about the Supreme Court? For eight months Mitch McConnell refused to even interview President Obama’s pick for the Court even though everyone agreed Merrick Garland was a moderate. He simply refused to fulfill the Senate’s Constitutional obligation to engage in confirmation hearings. Then, after the shocking result of the 2016 election, McConnell rushed through a vote for the Republican party’s choice for the Court, a man with a definitive right leaning history (not to mention the son of a Reagan appointee who had to resign as EPA Administrator because of corruption). Then when Justice Kennedy resigns from the court (with a suspicious back room deal that led to Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh), Mitch McConnell attacks Democrats with a claim of “unprecedented obstruction” just because they are asking for the 95% of Kavanaugh’s prior partisan record with the Bush administration and Ken Starr, the man who went after Bill Clinton (and found nothing). The Republican party refused to release the records, thus forcing a vote based on virtually no information. But it didn’t stop there. During a hearing in which Kavanaugh issued a highly emotional, hyperpartisan screed filled with falsehoods and dishonest conspiracy theories, not to mention repeated blatant lying, the Republican party simply ignored evidence of both Kavanaugh’s wrongdoing and unfitness for the court and voted him in anyway. That’s simply dishonest and Anti-American.

Virtually every one of Trump’s cabinet picks has either been forced to resign because of corruption or remains in office despite blatant corruption. All were picked with the intention of trying to dismantle the agencies of which they are in charge, a clear violation of their oaths of office. Several of Trump’s closest advisers and inner circle have been involved in criminal and/or treasonous activities. Many have already been indicted. Trump himself is an unindicted co-conspirator as of this writing (anyone reading this a few years hence might find that he is in jail).

The Republican party has engaged in unconstitutional (as found by the courts) gerrymandering that has allowed them to get more congressional seats despite receiving fewer votes than Democrats. The Republican party has for many elections actively engaged in voter suppression, from throwing out absentee ballots to arbitrarily voiding people’s voter registrations to putting into place a series of Jim Crow-like obstacles to voting. All of these disproportionately, and intentionally, target voters who are more likely to vote for Democrats. These resulted in hundreds of thousands of voters being disenfranchised in states where only a few thousand votes turned clear Republican losses into “wins.” In the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, the Republican party willingly got support from Russian hackers to affect the vote.

The list goes on. Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but since Ronald Reagan have done nothing but create more and more debt while taking money from the working and middle classes to give to the rich. Republicans claim to be the party of family values, yet have no problem with the serial affairs of the current resident of the White House (not to mention that the main Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton for lying about an affair were themselves actively having affairs at the time; one was a pedophile preying on young boys). Republicans claim to be the party of law and order, yet Republican presidents have voluminous indictments in office and Republicans in Congress are routinely indicted for violations of the law. The Republican-run Congress that spent years investigating made-up controversies (none of which led to any action) refuse to even look at the blatant corruption and violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution by Trump.  Republicans claim to be strong on our military, but only in giving more and more money to defense contractor corporations while they have actively cut every veteran program they can get their hands on. Republicans claim to be more patriotic, yet have repeatedly cozied up to Russia’s Putin, the Saudi Arabian Sultans, and every other strongman dictator in the world while attacking our long-time allies and partners. In short, if the Republican party says it, it’s probably the exact opposite of the truth.

In fact, the list of Republican dishonesty is so long that I can’t come up with even one position they promote that is not dishonest, or even true. The Republican party is THE party of dishonesty, of racism, of bigotry, of misogyny, and of corruption. The Republican party has institutionalized dishonesty and corruption.

The Republican party has, in all respects, become Anti-American.

If you’re a progressive who didn’t vote for Democrats because “both parties are the same” or you thought Hillary Clinton was “not progressive enough,” just look at where we are now. If Clinton had been elected progressives would be arguing for universal health care; now we are all desperately trying not to be without ANY affordable health care. If Clinton had been elected we would be arguing about how fast to move toward a progressive future economy based on renewal resources; instead our future economy is being decimated by Republican debt and short-sighted theft of money from taxpayers to the ultra-rich, who put none of it back into the economy. If Clinton had been elected, ALL Americans would be moving toward greater economic and social opportunity; now we are faced with losing 50 years of civil and human rights.

So no, both parties are not the same. And haven’t been for many decades.

Republican voters must ask themselves if they will continue to support a party that values no one but the ultra-rich, a party that has continually attacked the white working class as much as it has non-whites. Sure, you’ve always voted Republican, but this isn’t the Republican party you thought you’ve been voting for. The Republican party has become dishonest in philosophy and in action. Honest Republicans can work with a Democratic party they disagree with. No one honest can work with a Republican party that has so institutionalized dishonesty that it has become Anti-American. The only way to save the Republican party is to rescue it by getting rid of this bastardization of it.

What are Americans to do? The entire concept of democracy as defined in our nation is under attack, and it is under attack from within. In his Lyceum address of 1838, Abraham Lincoln said:

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it is ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be out lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

We must all, as Americans, without any partisanship, vote to correct this trend. We must vote Democratic in this election whether you agree fully with the Democrats running or not. If you’re a Republican, vote Democratic to return us to the conservative principles of our Founders. If you’re a Progressive, vote Democratic for a chance to move forward and not backward. If you’re an Independent, vote Democratic for the survival of our nation. Once the dishonesty of the current Republican cult is ended, the Republican party can once again become part of honest political discourse. For that to happen it must first die and return America back to all Americans, not just the rich ones and the blatantly racist and dishonest ones.

“Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history,” Lincoln said. “The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.” We must act.

Vote Democratic in this election. This isn’t partisan hyperbole, this is the only way to save America.

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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