Featuring essays by Elizabeth George on the future of our country
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A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
MEA CULPA
GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY

THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART II

THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART I
MONEY GRUBBING FEMALES, UNITE!
WE AREN’T ELECTING A HOMECOMING QUEEN
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
THE TOOTSIE ISSUE
Toddlers 4 President!
CRYING BABIES AND OTHER PRESSING MATTERS OF STATE
Democratic Convention 2016: How It Might Have Been
I’D LIKE TO FEEL THE BERN, ONLY…
AN UNFORTUNATE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
On Matters of the Lie, the War, and Judgment
EGO, POLITICS, AND THE PRESIDENCY
On Getting What We Deserve
HOW JANUARY 2017 WILL LOOK
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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 Ryan.

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 landslide election.

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 functioning again.

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
Whidbey Island
Washington State

 

 
 

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