GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY
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GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY
If you’re anything
like me, you’re more than ready for this election to be over. You’ve
watched it unfold for months on end, and during the unfolding you’ve
been turned this way and that, not knowing whom to believe about
what. Now, with the FBI’s Friday announcement that they are looking
into emails on disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop
because his wife used it to communicate with Hillary Clinton when
she was Secretary of State, you’re probably ready to cancel all your
political subscriptions and shoot your television set. Or perhaps
I’m merely projecting.
Here is what I think we all need to keep in mind:
Americans are notorious for having short memories. This is in part a
good thing. It results in a forgiving populace. Americans are
notorious for having short memories. This is in part a bad thing. It
results in a forgiving populace.
As Donald Trump has stormed his way through Election 2016, I’ve
heard him use outrage, insult, humiliation, vilification,
distortion, and falsehood to coalesce around him a group of voters
who are absolutely passionate about his election to the Presidency.
No matter what he’s said or done, nothing has weakened their
devotion to him.
I’ve thought a lot about these people. Frankly, I’ve wanted to see
them as xenophobic, racist, homophobic, uneducated, ignorant,
misogynistic, and prone to violence. But I know some of them,
actually, and they are none of these things. Of course there are
people supporting Mr. Trump who possess qualities that make them
reprehensible, but it’s become my belief that most of his supporters
are people who are angry, people who want change, people who want
jobs, and people who want Congress actually to begin taking actions
that will make something good happen in their lives.
These people, however, are among those who are suffering from the
short memory problem. They have forgotten how we as a nation reached
this pass. The truth is that Barack Obama didn’t bring us to this
point. Joe Biden didn’t bring us to this point. Hillary Clinton
didn’t bring us to this point. Where we are today is a gift that was
wrapped in partisan politics and handed over to us by two proud
members of the GOP: Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Paul
You don’t want to read that if you’re a Republican, and I don’t
blame you. But I’d like to remind you of the mid-term election in
2010. This election gave the Senate and the House of Representatives
to the Republican Party. Afterwards, when Mitch McConnell was
elected Senate Majority Leader, this is what he said, although I
paraphrase a bit: “Our main objective is to make sure Barack Obama
is a one term President.” Please note that he said making sure
President Obama was a failure was the main objective of the Senate
over which he was about to preside. That meant that whatever bill
President Obama and the Democrats proposed, the Senate—along with
the House—was going to stall it, or add unrelated amendments making
it impossible for the President to sign it, or never discuss it in
the first place, or defeat it. Most notorious was the defeat of the
highway bill, which came up for renewal. Prior to its being voted
upon and defeated by the Republican Congress, its renewal has never
been defeated, not once since it was first introduced decades ago.
It’s a bill to repair highways and bridges. But to pass that
bill—which would have safeguarded lives and created jobs—would also
have been giving the President a “win.” Senator McConnell could not
abide that. Neither could Congressman Ryan.
Of course, history has shown that Senator McConnell failed in his
main objective as the Republican leader of the Senate. The President
went on to a second term, and Senator McConnell and Congressman Ryan
continued their efforts to thwart him. In what has been Mr.
McConnell’s most flagrant slap to the President’s face, he will not
allow President Obama’s nominee for the vacant seat in the Supreme
Court even to be interviewed by the appropriate Congressional
committee, let alone to be voted upon. And this nominee, as you
probably know, was made a Federal judge by President Bush, a
Republican. He could not be more moderate. But…well, interviewing
him would be giving President Obama a win in Senator McConnell’s
eyes, and Senator McConnell cannot abide the thought of that.
Thus have the two Republican leaders put personal ambition (Ryan)
and political hatred (McConnell) ahead of the good of the public.
Thus they have voted against anything that might actually have
helped the very people who are so angry now.
Things have come to this pass because, over time, the GOP has bowed
to the will of the marginalized far right in the persons of
evangelicals and extremists. These groups have turned the GOP into a
party of it’s-my-way-or-the-highway, a group unwilling to create
legislation in the manner it has always been created: through
discussion and compromise with the other side.
It’s my belief that Republican voters also have to ask themselves if
they want their party returned to them. They have to ask themselves
if what they have right now in the person of their party’s nominee
for President is a reflection of GOP Presidents they may have
admired: from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush. They also need
to ponder whether the direction the GOP has gone in the last eight
years and especially this year is a reflection of or a natural
outgrowth from the man who stood as the first Republican nominee for
President: Abraham Lincoln.
If Republicans decide, upon reflection, that their party must
undergo change in order to survive and to move forward, then there
is only one way to effect this change, and that is through a
I don’t, however, mean a landslide victory for Mr. Trump. I mean a
landslide victory for Hillary Clinton and a landslide victory that
gives the House and the Senate to the Democrats. Nothing else during
this election season has managed to get the attention of the GOP
leadership, but I believe this will.
Now, you don’t want to do this if you’re a Republican. In your
shoes, I wouldn’t want to do it either. But if the GOP Congress is
stunned by a devastating loss, they very well might actually do some
soul searching first and then, second, they very well might actually
do what they were elected to do. They might start working with
members of Congress who are not of their party in order to pass
legislation that will benefit the American people. And while they’re
doing this, they might also learn that bending the knee to a radical
wing of your political party leads to destruction. In other words,
they might start to rebuild the GOP so that it reflects, if not
Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy, then at least the philosophy of the
Republicans who once knew that discussion with the opposition is not
defeat and compromise with the opposition is what the democratic
process is all about.
In other words, the Senate and the Congress might actually start
I urge you to defeat the GOP in this election so that they can do
some self-examining and some recalibrating of their party. I
strongly believe this is the only way to bring change to America.
Please vote. If you live in an early voting state, vote now. Take
five friends along with you. Take your neighbors. Storm the polls.
Demand to be heard. VOTE.
- Elizabeth George