Reflective Republicans need to surface and say, "Enough already."
“Last year we said, 'Things can't go on like this,’ and they didn't, they got worse.” – Will Rogers
Reflective Republicans need to surface and say, “Enough already.” I’ve known any number of successful, entrepreneurial businessmen and women, folks who’ve created considerable wealth for themselves and others. I’ve worked and socialized with bank presidents, corporate executives and directors as well as accomplished professionals. Many of those individuals are undoubtedly Republican.
As a “group” Republicans want lower taxes on their income and wealth. They want fewer regulations limiting economic opportunity and profitability. They want individual Americans to assume responsibility for themselves, to not rely on government support. They want government to foster national and international stability so as to facilitate commerce.
Quite candidly, I support all of the above. Starting from an ideal. Philosophically, I align with my father. His approach to life could be summed-up thusly: think, mind your own business, “follow your bliss” and be responsible for you and yours (family). He was of the opinion that, “The cowards never started and weak died on the way.”
The challenge with the simplicity — some will suggest — the purity of the Republican perspective is that life gets in the way. Life in America’s case consists of 400 years of racism and Jim Crow, successive generations of regional poverty, of deindustrialization, of offshoring jobs, of the inevitability of the robotization of the workforce, of low paying service sector employment. Let’s throw in family dysfunction, drug and alcohol addiction, an aging population, mental illness, veterans with PTSD and other physical ailments and homelessness. I’ll add the many examples of environmental desecration directly affecting our quality of life. Consider the example of the Flint, Mich. water system. Let alone the numerous examples of corporate malfeasance sadly affecting American lives (see 2007-08 recession). Let alone any of our gender related challenges.
Here’s the conundrum. Republicans have their heads in the sand when it comes to “fixing” what ails America. I am with Republicans when it comes to “Americans assuming responsibility for themselves.” The question becomes how do we pursue that objective long term? We’ve one example now unfolding in the state of Kansas. Trickle down economics has been roundly discredited (see: David Stockman. See: Sam Brownback).
A patently unprepared Donald Trump has assumed the presidency. He has absolutely no political mandate, none whatsoever. Will Rogers said, “A fool and his money are soon elected.” Indeed, we’ve now a fool in the White House, hell-bent on what I call the “Indiafication” of America. Trump is the Faux President, a man of deceit, half-truths and alternative facts. He’s a profound embarrassment to us all.
Trump campaigned on making the Republic “white” again, a return to post World War II America, a bucolic time ... that undeniably existed for some. As Will Rogers put it, “Things ain't what they used to be and never were.” He’ll gut (with the Republican Congress) environmental laws affecting our nation’s air and water quality. He’ll reduce government financial oversight protecting the “average” consumer. Let alone how he will destabilize the world with his amateurish, petulant approach to international relations.
Where, oh, where are the mature, responsible Republicans who will step forward and challenge the foolishness, the tragedy of Trump. The apple cart he is upending is your country, too. Have you no concern for what is unfolding? Come forth. Lead.
As Will Rogers conjectured, “I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him 'father.'”
Next week: Remembering the heroic survivors of the Bowling Green massacre.