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I must admit I’m enjoying the on-going buffoonery of Congress-critter Republicans as they attempt to elect one of their own for House Speaker. In truth, I see this chaos as a microcosm of a larger story; the rapidly melting wreckage known as the Republican Party.
The Republicans were the “Party of Lincoln,” created to stand against the evils of slavery. Republican Abe Lincoln, one of our greatest presidents, gave us the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and guided us through our Civil War. He held our nation together and eliminated legal slavery.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Republican line runs through Dwight D. Eisenhower. As army general he guided us and our allies through World War II. His presidential administration gave us the interstate highway system, the Civil Rights Act of 1957, expanded social security, and created NASA. Eisenhower, and his Republican Party, also supported unions and raised taxes on the wealthy to pay down the national war debt.
The Republican line then runs through Richard “I’m Not a Crook” Nixon, of Watergate fame and the first president to resign rather than face impeachment. At least, Nixon gave us the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Education. But he kept our troops in Vietnam years longer through a corrupt deal with the South Vietnamese government.
Nixon was followed by our first and still-only unelected President Gerald Ford, who pardoned Nixon’s corruption, thereby preventing anyone else from being caught up in the investigation.
The Republican line next runs through Ronald Reagan, the “B” movie actor who played second fiddle to a chimpanzee, was president of the Screen Actors union, then became a union-busting spokesperson for General Electric. As president he crushed unions and gutted federal support to education. He froze the minimum wage and cut federal benefits to the poor, pregnant women, and the mentally ill. Reagan replaced the WWII GI Bill with a “benefits package” that was a shadow of what service people formerly had.
He also authored the Iran-Contra Scandal, deliberately circumventing multiple laws passed by Congress. Which was then the biggest political scandal since – Watergate.
Reagan was followed by Republican George H. W. Bush, who started his presidency by – pardoning everyone who was still being investigated in the Iran-Contra Scandal. Thereby, like Ford before him, preventing people from being caught up in corruption investigations. At least this Bush did raise taxes when he discovered Reagan’s “Voodoo Economics” caused the biggest deficit ever created by one president. Up until that time. Then he left a mess for his Democratic successor to clean up.
We see the Republican party rapidly melting with the corrupt “election” of George W. Bush. This was a Vietnam draft-dodger who needed the help of five Republican Supreme Court Justices, and massive purges of democratic voters in Florida orchestrated by his older brother, to get into the White House.
This Republican President failed us on 9/11. He then gave us the Patriot Act, war in Afghanistan, a second war in Iraq, tried to gut Social Security, and abandoned hundreds of thousands of Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Bush left office just as the 2008 Great Recession kicked in. Leaving the mess for his Democratic successor to clean up.
The descent of the Republican party liquefied to its present low with Donald Trump, another Vietnam draft-dodger. Before becoming president this self-proclaimed billionaire declared bankruptcy three times, losing $1.17 billion over eleven years. He was also the star of a tacky TV show about firing people who didn’t measure up to his high standards of business acumen.
Trump paid off women to keep quiet about his numerous affairs, claimed close friendship with sex-trafficker Jeffery Epstein, and married three times. Trump gained the White House after losing the popular vote (following in the footsteps of George W. Bush). He defined his presidency by palling around with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and right-wing autocratic thugs, , and . He also blew up our national debt to its largest level in American history. Leaving the mess for his Democratic successor to clean up.
Trump’s real claim to fame, beyond miserably failing to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, was being impeached twice in four years. His corruption included orchestrating an autocoup after losing his re-election, becoming the first American President in our history to not conduct a peaceful transfer of power.
Where We Are Today
Today’s Republican party is openly supported by White Supremacists and neo-Nazis, spiritual descendants of the people Abe Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower fought against. Republican’s election campaign strategies revolve around voter suppression and.
The present Republican Party is openly determined to gut Social Security, destroy the EPA, ban books, and abolish public education. Their party platform is “whatever Donald Trump wants.” Meanwhile, the disgraced one-term twice-impeached former President Trump hides in his Florida club facing twenty-three civil and criminal investigations.
The Republican Party was once defined by honorable men like Abe Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower. They weren’t perfect, but they did what they thought was best for America. Our present-day Republicans, defined by George Bush Jr and Donald Trump, seemingly care only about amassing power to enrich themselves and their wealthy sponsors.
The members of today’s Republican party are a disgrace, a blight upon our history. They deserve to melt away into a puddle of their own corruption.