2018 Update: The new face of the Republican party includes a brothel pimp (Dennis Hof), pedophile, and a Nazi (Arthur Jones), inspired by Donald Trump. Remember when the Republican party said it stood for family values? Remember the “Contract with America” to uphold those virtues? Well, out with the old and in with the new! “Make America Great Again” or Trumpism has become code for racists, homophobia, and xenophobes to come out of the woodwork and corrode everything the Constitution stands for. It started with the Muslim ban. Trump’s latest immigration purge is reminiscent of racial cleansing with its focus solely on Mexican and south of the border immigrants even though a good percentage of unauthorized immigrants come from Asia, Europe and Canada. As Trump urges his base to forego due process under the law, an essential component to American government of checks and balances, we enter a scary stage of American politics worse than McCarthyism because Trump stands unopposed. Unlike the Nixon Republicans, no one in the Republican party has stood up for reason decrying the abuse of power and violation of Constitution the Trump administration perpetuates. Even our allies have questioned our commitment to human rights and democracy. What strange times we live in! In response to McCarthyism, Albert Einstein said, “God’s own country becomes stranger and stranger, but somehow they manage to return to normality. Everything – even lunacy – is mass produced here. But everything goes out of fashion quickly.” I fear the damage of Trumpism and that a return to normality is not possible. If Robert Mueller is our last line of defense against Trumpism, God save Mueller so that he may save America.
Should we really be surprised that Trump and Republicans are backing Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat? Recall former Republican House Representative Mark Foley, accused of inappropriate contact with high school congressional interns, known as “pages.” At the time of the Foley scandal, Dennis Hastert was Speaker of the House. Hastert refused to step down amid cries that he mishandled the Foley investigation, even though Foley’s behavior had been rumored through the congressional halls. The House Ethics Committee found that “Hastert and many other were ‘willfully ignorant’ in responding to repeated warnings that Foley had been improper with pages.” Fast forward to 2015 and we find that Hastert himself was accused of sexual misconduct with high school boys. More accusers came forward this year as Hastert finished jail time regarding “secret hush money payments.”
One would think after Mark Foley’s fall from grace that he would remain in the shadows. Not so. In August 2016, while Trump was campaigning in Florida no other than Mark Foley was in attendance at the rally and sat behind Trump. Now enter Roy Moore and his bid for Alabama senator. Despite numerous accusers, Trump and Republicans are backing Moore. Mitt Romney, former Republican governor of Massachusetts, stated that “a victory for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore would be ‘a stain on the GOP and on the nation.’” Indeed, the GOP’s support of Roy Moore sends a public message that being a pedophile and running for office on their platform does not go against their values. Then again, what’s a little pedophilia compared to the greater good of “making America great again?”
In the words of the late Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith, “A Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I do not want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear. I doubt if the Republican Party could — simply because I don’t believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans aren’t that desperate for victory.”
Alabama the fate of our democracy is in your hands.
Also published on Huffington Post.