Sunday, May 28, 2017

Where Are the Decent Republicans?

Greg Gianforte, Donald Trump, and Steve Bannon
I am not the only one disgusted with the GOP.   The Party is now almost unrecognizable from what it was back in the days of my parents and grandparents - or even when I was a City Committee member and precinct captain. Moreover, I cannot help but wonder where are the decent Republicans?  Why do people vote for elected officials who are increasingly foul.  Is racism, religious zealotry, and greed or combinations thereof truly so strong that what is, in my view, immoral, not acceptable?  Just as disturbing to me are those who, rather than have a serious debate or taking a good look at what they are supporting, try to brush their behavior and my condemnation thereof as mere "political differences."  Perhaps I have not fully escaped my Catholic upbringing, but some things are simply wrong and cannot be waived off as differences in political philosophies.  A piece in Slate asks the question of why decent people support the GOP.  Here are highlights: 
There are decent Republican people. There are Republican voters and politicians and writers who promote principles of public decency. But there aren't enough of those individuals to have prevented the Republican Party, as a national institution, from becoming one that welcomes and encourages violence and white-supremacist racism.
The party's pre-Trump history is obviously not spotless. But 10 and 20 years ago the Republican party was usually forced to marginalize and disavow its openly racist, fascist elements, if only for reasons of political expediency. Not so anymore. Consider:
  The party has almost universally supported the agenda and personality cult of Donald Trump, who once bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy." Trump has been credibly accused of sexual assault by 14 women and has been accused by six others of entering changing rooms in which he knew that teenage girls would be undressed.
   One of the president's senior advisers, Steve Bannon, has reportedly endorsed a book about race war—beloved in the neo-Nazi communitywhich refers to black individuals as "niggers" and "rats." Bannon openly supports white nationalist goals such as reducing the number of Asian American CEOs and was heavily involved in creating the career of white nationalist and Nazi fetishist Milo Yiannopoulos.
   Trump's son, who was a key part of his campaign, repeatedly conducted campaign outreach to open, unapologetic white supremacists. The president himself conducted an exclusive campaign Q&A with a notorious internet forum rife with white supremacist hate speech.
   Congressman Steve King, who has repeatedly endorsed white-supremacist talking points and praised European white nationalist parties, was once considered a nuisance by party leaders but has been embraced and promoted by Trump.
   The Trump administration reportedly recently hired a woman whose most recent job was running an anti-immigration group that was founded by a white supremacist and has long-standing connections to the sewer world of race science.
  Eyewitnesses from Fox News, of all places, say the newest Republican congressman—Montana's Greg Gianforte—body-slammed and punched a reporter who had approached him to ask a question about the American Health Care Act on Wednesday night.
[T]he idea of disgrace is no longer a relevant concept in a Republican Party whose leaders and voters collectively condone and encourage violence against women, violence against the press, and the expression of white-supremacist views. That's not hyperbole, or a cheap shot—it's just reality.

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