“Gawd. Storms. Pandemic. White supremacists….when is the next flight to Mars?”
That is one of my recent Twitter posts. And it about sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. And, based on the fact that more than 1,400 other Twitter users have viewed the post, I guess I’m not alone.
But it could be worse. I could be a Republican. Seriously, I’m not trying to be nasty, here. The GOP these days is a mess. What with all the infighting over QAnon, white supremacists, Trump and his second impeachment and even Mitch McConnell coming out against one of his own, things are looking pretty bad.
(McConnell, in a rare rebuke against a fellow GOPer, has said that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s “loony lies are a cancer on the Republican Party.” In fact, the entire Greene situation is strange: How could a nutjob like that get elected in a state that not only went for Joe Biden but elected two Democratic senators in its runoff? Go figure.)
Honestly, as a lifelong Democrat, part of me is a bit giddy at the thought of the Republican Party imploding like this. But, as an American, not so much.
A functioning two-party system is the basis of our democracy. And, while I disagree with most of the standard Republican platform, I think it’s vital that both parties engage in serious debate over issues that are important to all Americans, including the economy, climate, immigration, education and the rest.
We need to hear both – or all – sides of an issue so we can make informed decisions and choose leaders we can rely on and who are intelligent and trustworthy. Sometimes, though, as we found out during the last four years, that doesn’t always work.
I keep hearing about Republicans who are so unhappy with what is happening in their party that they are leaving … in droves. To that I say fine, come on over and join us. We have plenty of room in the Democratic Party.
It’s really not that bad over here. The modern Democratic Party emphasizes social equality and equal opportunity; we support voting rights, minority rights and LGBTQ rights; and we’re the party that championed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which for the first time outlawed segregation.
And theses days, we’re the party that wants to help Americans get through the COVID crisis by offering them an additional $1,400 in cash payments. We also want to help cities and businesses with extra funding, reform the criminal justice system and see to it that everyone has health care.
So if you’re a Republican, maybe it’s time for a change. Consider becoming a Democrat and being liked again … for a change.
As for the big picture, our basic system is sound and has gotten us through the last 200-plus years just fine, thank you very much.
And I wish I could say that it will endure for another 200-plus years, but I’m not so sure. The events at the Capitol on Jan. 6 really make me wonder about the future of this country of ours.
The United States is supposed be about a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people. But, these days, I don’t know.
Maybe we need to add a word to that credo: responsible. Maybe it should read: The United States is supposed be about a government of responsible people, one that is run by responsible people and be for responsible people.
And by that I mean people who not only take responsibility for their actions but are responsible for understanding how their government works. And for knowing when to question their leaders and when to call them out when they are wrong.
For example, and this could never happen in the United States, I’m sure, but someday, a president will claim that an election was not only rigged but stolen from him or her. And that person may be so toxic that his or her rhetoric would lead to violence, death and maybe even an insurrection.
Well, if there’s one thing we know how to do in this country, it’s hold an election. We’ve been doing it since 1788 when George Washington was elected. And although that vote may not have looked the same as elections do today, it was still an election.
In the 232 years that we have been holding elections, we have had our share of problems, but we always wound up with a president and a vice president who served four-year terms, with a very few exceptions, accounting for deaths and resignations.
These officials who, up until now, unfortunately, have been men, were either re-elected or sent packing after their terms were up if the people weren’t happy with their performance.
In one case, a president was reelected three times. And when the people didn’t like that, the law was changed, for better or for worse, to add a two-term limit. That’s called Democracy.
My point here is that we know how to conduct elections. And if experience has taught us anything, it’s that we know we have to live with the results, whether we like them or not.
Hopefully, once all the current noise over an election that was neither rigged nor stolen is behind us, we can return to the common-sense days of accepting election results and moving on.