First, let me tell you a little story–a true story–the relevance of which will be lost on you until much later. Those are the best kinds of stories, if you ask me.
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In his confession, the murderer said he approached the victim in the parking lot of my local Publix and helped her put her groceries in her car. He then asked her for a ride home. When she balked, he played to her humanity, saying that after he helped her out, it was the least she could do. So she agreed and let him get in her car. Some time later, he murdered her.
And now, the business at hand:
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I was raised in a Republican household. I first registered as a Republican and remained Republican until just about the time George W. came onto the scene. It wasn’t conservatism that concerned me when I left the party, it was religion. I was suddenly keenly aware of the Religious Right’s takeover of the party and wanted no part of it, anymore. I have since had no party affiliation.
Even while I was a registered Republican, I never voted a straight ticket. I always chose the candidate whom I thought would do the best job and, until the election of 2016, felt free to exercise my conscience in voting, sometimes voting third party. (If you voted third party in 2016, you either didn’t realize the danger we were in, despite warnings, or you were too selfish to put your country’s needs before your own. If you vote third party in 2020, you will be, forthwith, dead to me.)
I am not a Democrat. I don’t think I will ever join the Democratic Party. I have always considered myself a fiscally conservative social liberal. (An extreme social liberal.) But I certainly side with Democrats on a lot of issues. Again…I have no party affiliation.
But what’s going on right now really doesn’t have anything to do with Republicans or Democrats or conservative vs. liberal issues.
For one thing, the Republican Party is dead. Whatever it is calling itself the Republican Party bears no resemblance to Republican ideals, standards, or values.
If you’re still a Republican…why? Are you stupid? Are you illiterate? Or do you really support a party that, realizing it can’t win honestly, has persistently chipped away at voting rights, has suppressed votes to the extreme through gerrymandering, has, through nothing more than strongman control of Congress, kept a sitting president from nominating a Supreme Court justice just so they could stack that court for their side? You support minority rule? If you can’t win honestly, you think cheating is okay?
So, someone being a Republican up until 2016 was a bit of a problem for me. But I didn’t let it get in the way of family or friendship bonds.
Some say the Republican Party is now Trump’s party…the party of Trumpism. I don’t even think that’s true. I think it’s a nationalist, fascist, authoritarian party seeking to overthrow our democracy and set up an authoritarian regime with all the trappings of said democracy. Because people, in general, are too stupid to realize that they’ve been duped.
Weren’t it fun?
Funny, though, ain’t it,
The Untied States will still look like a democracy or a constitutional republic. But it’s not real democracy. The Constitution, so beloved by Real Americans© is in tatters.
The sad truth of it is that a lot of conservatives have, from the founding of our nation, fought for autocratic, minority rule.
If you have wondered about and puzzled over the GOP’s complicity in the Trump administration’s destruction of our government, its norms, its customs, its balance, this is why:
The GOP loves Trump because he’s doing exactly what they’ve been working hard to do for decades. They don’t like the man. Perhaps they don’t like his methods. His King Kong smashing of our democracy frightens them. But the results have them peeing their fat, white, geriatric pants with glee.
What’s happening now is that we are slipping into the monstrous, rotting corpse of the Republican Party’s wet dream. Checks and balances are dead. The rule of law is dead. An impartial judiciary is dying. And the band plays on. Send in the clowns.
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So here is where I stand…as a former Republican…as a person who has always tried to be objective…as a person who has favored neither party over the other, or a third, throughout her adult life:
Anyone who still supports Donald Trump and this so-called Republican Party is at best willfully ignorant and at worst morally bankrupt.
I want nothing to do with anyone like that. I want no part of anyone like that in my family, in my circle of friends, or on social media.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone still supporting what is now the Trump Regime is no better than a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer. A morally corrupt, vile fascist.
All Trump supporters will be blocked, expunged, shunned, considered dead to me.*
Anyone not a Trump supporter, but still a Republican will be handled on an individual basis. Your (obviously low) IQ, your mental health, and your decency or lack thereof will be taken into consideration.
Seriously. This is Banana Republic, fascist regime, jack-booted authoritarianism. It’s here. And if you’re going to be one of the dictator’s minions, one of the Party’s eyes and ears, or even just one of those who looks the other way–fuck off.
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And now, to that little story I told you at the beginning.
Bad people know how good people act; they know what drives us: a sense of kindness, empathy, and fairness. And they exploit it to their advantage.
I can already hear them, readying their defenses:
You’re being intolerant!
How can you be so closed minded?
How dare you tell others who to support! Do you believe in democracy or not?
And to all of that, I say: FUCK OFF.
There is a paradox of tolerance that too few people understand. The fact is IF YOU TOLERATE INTOLERANT PEOPLE, YOU ARE FURTHERING THE DESTRUCTION OF SOCIETY.
I shit you not.
Bigots and homophobes will stand before cameras without a hint of irony and whine over not being allowed to speak at some college campus or cry about being silenced by some group of protesters. We have rights, too! they squeal.
I will not tolerate bigotry, racism, homophobia, misogyny, tirades against diversity, or screeds against liberals. And your ridiculous, pitiful claims that you are the ones being victimized will be met with a great big FUCK YOU.
I will not tolerate your acceptance of fascism, authoritarianism, nationalism, or theocracy. And your ass-hatted claims that you support this vile anti-democratic oppression of those you vilify for democracy’s sake will be met with a great big SHUT THE FUCK UP.
For further reading see:
Adam Serwers, “The Fist Days of the Trump Regime” in The Atlantic.
John Dean and Bob Altemeyer’s “Why do so Many Americans Continue to Support Donald Trump? In a Word: Authoritarianism,” at Verdict.
*Except as necessary to call them out on social media.