Andrew Sullivan, a gay former Republican, and I have not always seen eye to eye on a number of things ranging from his delay in fleeing the GOP and his unwillingness to walk away for Catholicism. But with the midterm elections on Tuesday, we are in agreement on the crucial need for people to vote a straight Democrat ticket even if it requires them to hold their nose while doing so. What is happening to America must be stopped and the most practical tool available is to vote to cripple the Republican Party and put Democrats in a position to retrain the misogyny being spewed by Donald Trump. As indicated in a prior post, I am not engaging in hyperbole when I state that there really is no other option for decent and moral people. Here are excerpts from Sullivan's latest piece in New York Magazine:
Whatever else it will be, Tuesday will be a relief. We will finally find out where we are in the surreal dystopia of the last two years. We will see, in a tangible way, what America now is.These years have been overwhelmed and saturated by a single figure with no political experience, who won almost 3 million fewer votes than his opponent, has had consistently lower approval numbers than any of his recent predecessors, and speaks and acts in ways no previous president ever has. He has cast a staggering spell over a hefty segment of the population, and he has earned the intense loathing of the rest. And for these very reasons, it has been tortuously hard to see what is in front of our noses.
Is this the new normal? Or has this been a detour into the freak zone, with a president accidentally elected, a major party temporarily hypnotized, but with a population still aware of something called reality?
There are few historical guides. It is hard to think of a precedent for a president who endorses violence against political foes, sees the Justice Department as his own personal prosecutor, calls the press “the enemy of the people,” tears children from parents, brags of multiple sexual assaults, threatens to lock up his opponents, enthuses about war crimes, “falls in love” with the foulest dictator on the planet, refuses to divest of personal holdings in office, lambastes allies, treats the Treasury as a casino, actively endorses the poisoning of the environment, destabilizes NATO, baits minorities, lies incessantly, and oversees a resurgence of the white nationalist right.
My instincts tell me that every single person whom this president has dismissed, insulted, or demonized will show up to vote. If they do, they will pierce the Trump bubble. They were a majority two years ago, after all, before this nightmare of governance began. They could be a bigger majority next Tuesday.
The Republican Party . . . . has turned itself into a cult behind a figure hostile to liberal democratic norms, responsible government, and any notion of moderation. It is less a political party than a mass movement sustained by shame-free, mendacious propaganda around a man whose articulated values place him more in the company of Putin and Duterte than Merkel and Macron.
The GOP cannot be talked out of their surrender to this strongman. With each rhetorical or policy atrocity, they have attached themselves more firmly to him.
That’s why I will vote Democrat next Tuesday. I have many issues with the Democrats, as regular readers well know. None of that matters compared with this emergency. I don’t care, in this instance, what their policies are. I am going to vote for them. I can’t stand most of their leaders and fear their radical fringe. I am going to vote for them anyway. Because it is the only responsible thing there is to do.
This president is quite clearly unfit for his office. If he is checked by the Congress, he will still be a danger — to the rule of law, the Constitution, and civil peace. But if he remains unchecked — and even vindicated by a midterm Republican success? After the themes he has involved and exploited — especially in this final week? After the massive lies he has told, in greater frequency these past few weeks than ever before? What he will learn from all that beggars belief.
It is time — way past time — for the opposition to be other than the press. It is time for it to be the Congress where it rightly belongs. . . . . Capturing the House is the only way the republic can strike back.
It may be a critical path to preventing civil unrest. As this past tragic week has again shown, this president has enabled bigots and cranks. The flourishing of white nationalism, the rebirth of hideous anti-Semitism, the dehumanization of the brown and the black, the deployment of cruelty against children, the celebration of violence — we have had politicians like this before, but we have never had a president like this. . . . . If we survive another two years of this man we will all be lucky. If he remains utterly unchecked, we may very well not be.