No Middle Ground

The reality facing patriotic American voters is stark: voting for Trump certified Republican candidates will advance the cause of lawless fanaticism and tyranny.

Here’s the pivotal moment, on December 18, 2019, when Trump fully embraced his Big Lie.

At a meeting that night, Donald Trump’s White House lawyer Pat Cipollone did not deny that Trump had won the election of 2020 in a landslide. Nor did he object to the claim that Trump’s continued presidency, like the election itself, had been stolen from him. Cipollone only asked for evidence to support these claims. But he knew that sixty lawsuits advancing Trump’s charges of election fraud had failed to provide such evidence.

So it was an insult for Cipollone to ask for evidence. To fanatical Trump supporters Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell, such a request what nothing short of an outrage. They were appalled at Cipollone’s insolence, downright disgusted that anyone should ask Trump to back up his accusations with facts.

Cipollone had shown “nothing but contempt and disdain of the President,” Powell said. Trump threw in his lot with Flynn and Powell that night, figuring he he had a chance to regain power by relying on lawless fanaticism in support of the Big Lie.

This captures the essential reason for supporting Democratic candidates this year, and to opposing Trump’s bid to regain the White House in 2024. There are plenty of other reasons: democratic ideals require that women and non-whites should be welcomed into public life. That they should exercise in full their God-given equal right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Women (and the men who love them) should plan families without government interference, in opposition to the Republican success in criminalizing abortion. Access to voting should be made easier for working class men and women, especially Blacks and Latinx. But Republicans are feverishly at work making it  harder for non-whites to vote, as well as seeking to control voting itself, so as to cancel votes Republicans don’t like. Barack Obama should be celebrated as a fulfillment of the American ideal, while white-supremacist Republicans view him with loathing, as evidence that white-male supremacy is losing control of American politics.

Michelle Obama’s native intelligence and discipline carried her from a loving working-class Chicago family to Princeton University and a degree from Harvard Law School, followed by a successful career as a public-interest attorney, and a distinguished First Lady of the United States. For white-male supremacists, she is the ultimate nightmare. They call her “the gorilla.”

These contrasts between Democrats and Trump-certified Republicans, are more than reason enough to support Democrats and oppose Republicans. But there is more fundamental reason.

The Republican Party has been taken over by people who worship tyranny. By people who believe that what Trump says is true because he says it. That newspaper articles exposing his lies are “fake news.” That the dozens of courts who rejected his claim of election fraud can simply be dismissed.

Rather than a debate among parties at odds, of the sort essential for democratic governance, Trump fanatics have turned public dispute into an evidence-free zone, which promotes lawlessness as it dismisses the adjudications of courts where evidence is required. In Trumpworld, demanding evidence and reasoning counts as “contempt and disdain” for Trump himself. Republicans refusing to obey Trump, like Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, are targeted for destruction for their “disloyalty.” Steve Bannon says that Trump loyalists should take pride in being called “racists” and “fascists.” Trump himself deployed the Department of Justice as an instrument serving his lawless enterprises. The moral squalor of the Republican party is a rehearsal of what will become of American democracy itself, if Trump and his craven lackeys prevail.

It is not entirely clear what foul misery this sickness feeds on; it’s a puzzle why so many Americans have fallen victim to it. But the path toward healing is obvious: fanaticism and tyranny must be prevented from gaining further political power. Which means there is no middle ground in the upcoming elections, between Democrats and Trumpcertified Republicans.


by Walt Herbert