About two and a half years ago I had a far-ranging discussion with filmmaker Annabel Park and fellow scientist (and former colleague) Bob Scheuplein. In it I made an impromptu comment that the Republican Party had become Anti-American. Annabel was taken aback, shocked that I would go so far as to suggest one of the two American political parties no longer had the interests of the United States as a core principle.
And here we are.
And Republicans try to undermine democracy here.
And Trump tries to get a state official to commit election fraud here.
If you have the time, you can watch the entire two hour discussion here. Bob, Annabel, and I talked a lot about Abraham Lincoln and how both parties today like to claim the mantle of Lincoln. [Here you can read about why today’s Republicans are NOT the Party of Lincoln.] Somewhat into the discussion I made the argument that the Republican party had given up all pretense of being a political party and had become a cult. The examples are too numerous to count.
I was reminded of the truth of this again today as I read Heather Cox Richardson’s January 2, 2021 edition of “Letters from an American.” She points out how the Republican party admits that it conducts witch hunt “investigations” as a mechanism to constantly attack Democrats, not as fact-finding. The constant fake investigations are a way to convince their supporters; saying false things loud enough and often enough makes people believe that they are somehow no longer false. That’s why we had ten Benghazi and dozens of email “investigations” while ignoring eleven “Benghazi-type” incidents under George Bush and Trump’s entire family (and most of the Republican party) using private emails. The Republicans know they are being dishonest, and yet they choose to sacrifice the integrity of the U.S. government, the media, and the election to destroy democracy in such a way it benefits the Republican party and a handful of oligarchs.
We saw this when Mitch McConnell refused to vote on President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court for 10 months “because it was too close to the election,” and then rush through confirmation for Trump’s nomination when there was less than 10 weeks to an election the opposing party was likely to, and did, win. There are dozens of examples of McConnell playing with the rules to arbitrarily ignore the wishes of the voters. As the previous session of Congress ends, there are around 500 bills passed by the House that one man, Mitch McConnell, will not allow to get a vote in the Senate. That includes the $2000 COVID relief checks, not to mention how he blocked votes on COVID bills for nearly 8 months after they were passed by the House. All while saturating the courts with lifetime appointments of judges, many of whom the ABA says are unqualified – after blocking these same appointments for the 8 years of President Obama’s two terms in office.
Everything the Republican party does benefits two groups of people – the handful of most extremely wealthy Americans, and corporations. Proven daily.
While the Democratic party was fighting for relief for workers, small businesses, and states hard hit by the COVID pandemic, McConnell and the Republican party were blocking such help while they ensured huge amounts of money and additional tax breaks to the richest Americans and corporations. While Democrats were working to get unemployment benefits and checks to those who lost their jobs, Republicans were fighting to give liability protection to corporations that were not taking adequate steps to ensure the safety of their workers. On and on it goes. For the Republican party, the oligarch is America, workers are mere pawns to be used and replaced.
But the most egregious display of Anti-Americanism is reflected in how the Republican party has aided and abetted treason against the United States. The party remains silent on bounties Russia put on American soldiers’ lives. The party defended repeated acts of treason by Trump. The party voted not to convict Trump after he was impeached, and said all along they would allow him to get away with abusing the power of office. The party remains silent, or worse, becomes a conspirator, as foreign governments funnel millions of dollars into Trump’s businesses, blatantly violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution over and over and over (among many other impeachable offenses).
And now the Republican party is actively in sedition against the United States government. Following what their own federal elections officials, and every state elections official, call the most secure election in history, Trump continues to call for violent upheaval to deny the overwhelming and unequivocal results. Rather than support the integrity of the United States, we now have at least 140 House Republicans and a dozen Senate Republicans actively trying to destroy the American system of government and the peaceful transfer of power.
Such sedition. Such treason. Such Anti-Americanism led House and Senate members to be expelled from their positions when they refused to support the Constitution on the advent of the Civil War.
Those displaying the same behavior today should be expelled now.
The Republican party is now the Party of the Confederacy. The Republican Party is now the Party of Putin.
As I said more than two years ago, the Republican party is Anti-American.
Any Republican in Congress who chooses to remain in the same party as what the Republican party has become is guilty of Anti-Americanism by association. Every single one of them should be speaking up in volume against their colleagues. Every single one of them must reject their party. Every one of them should immediately resign from the Republican party. They can become Democrats or they can become Independents. But remaining in the Republican party makes them Anti-American.
David J. Kent is an avid traveler, scientist, and Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World as well as two specialty e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.