They came for the party of Abraham Lincoln. A party rooted in the “classical liberalism” of the time and the ideas of the likes of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo and others. A party established on civil liberties and the discontinuation of slavery as well as the possibilities of economic freedom through industrialization, urbanization and more. A party that drew progressive reformists, ex-National Republicans, ex-Free Soilers, ex-Whigs and more who wanted to stand against the Know Nothings, Traditionalists and post-crown conservatives that represented right wing beliefs of the time.
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was still the party of Lincoln, and I wanted to love the watered down, revisionist interpretation of a non-political Lincoln as an ignorant 2018 “Republican.” After all, according to Mount Rushmore, he was a “founding father” or something.
Then came for the party of Theodore Roosevelt. A party that survived against the conservative Democrat Party of the time and the advances of the Reconstruction era’s Third Party and Fourth Party and even so-called conservative Fifth party approaches to politics including Traditionalists, Post-crown Conservatives and anti-Reconstructionalists. A party that continued to embrace Lincoln era liberalism supporting social reforms and economic advancement that would eventually lead to the creation of (the other Roosevelt’s) New Deal ideologies and the eventual foundation of the progressive Bull Moose party when reformists began to try and draw the Republican party to more moderate tones.
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was still the party of Roosevelt, and I wanted to love the watered down, revisionist interpretation of a non-political Roosevelt as an ignorant 2018 “Republican.” After all, according to Mount Rushmore, he was a “founding father” or something.
They came for the party of Eisenhower and Rockefeller. A party who were post-war versions of being moderate. A party that still respected Lincoln’s liberalism and wanted to uphold Reconstruction and social reform. A party that still respected T Roosevelt’s liberalism that had led to the now progressive Democratic party’s New Deal. A party that wanted to uphold the status quo of economic and political reform and championed the idea of bringing the nation together against common enemies. A party that albeit was no longer truly liberal represented an unlikely version of moderate idealism and was willing to work with the reformed Democratic Party across the aisle. A party that initially condemned the influences of extremism in the party such as the Southern Dixicrats, Red Scare Propagandists, anti-laborists and others.
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was still the party of Eisenhower and Rockefeller. I wanted to love the watered down, revisionist interpretation of a non-political Eisenhower and Rockefeller as an ignorant 2018 “Republican.” After all Eisenhower and Rockefeller Republicans were my parents or grandparents, war veterans and other compatriots who I want to respect.
Then, they came for the party of Goldwater-Nixon era conservatives. The party that abandoned Lincoln and the Reconstruction in favor of embracing Dixicrats and the Jim Crow Movement. The party that abandoned Roosevelt reformists and the New Deal for a bastardization of the libertarian utopia and the likes of the Conservative Caucus of State Legislators with Mark Rhoads. The party that abandoned post-war unity by embracing fear and evoking anger such as through the Red Scare propaganda embraced by the likes of McCarthyism. The party of the anti-urbanism of Robert Moses’ suburban sprawl at all cots. The party that embraced business above the common man and the vestages of the labor movement from the influence of Prescott Bush and others. The party that tried to turn it’s head away from Watergate and Nixon’s despot tendencies. The party
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was still the party of the rose colored conservative vision of 60s-70s Republicans pre-Nixon resignation. I wanted to love the watered down, revisionist interpretation of an untarnished Republican party that was my truthiness utopia of a post-WWII American Dream. After all these were supposedly still Republicans who were representing what my parents or grandparents, war veterans and other compatriots thought and I wanted to respect.
Then, they they came for the party of Reagan. The party of “winning one for the Gipper” by continuing to trade on the goodwill and mount Rushmore status of progressives like Lincoln and Roosevelt. The party that forgave Nixon. The party that created the Iran-Contra scandal and avoided Reagan’s impeachment by implicating, and then forgiving the likes of Ollie North, Clair George, Caspar Weinberger, Robert C. McFarlane and nearly a dozen other top officials as well as scores of underlings for taking the fall for Reagan while committing treason (oh, and future President Bush lied under oath saying he knew nothing but wrote in his memoirs he was one of the few people who knew it all). A party that facilitated the Savings & Loan debacle that cost $160 billion in taxpayer dollars. A party that suffered through the Operation Ill Wind investigation by the FBI into massive corruption by several levels of government, military officials, and private defense contractors as well as dealing with the Wedtech scandal and others. A party that oversaw several lobbying scandals, Grant rigging and other financial scams by top cabinet members and other high ranking government officials. A party with nearly three dozen convicted ethics violations for everything from insider trading to improper use of taxpayer dollars across the Federal and high ranking state governments. A party embraced an anti-First Amendment approach to Freedom of Speech by actively creating Congressional committees supporting the war against in-proprietary and indulging special interest groups like the PRMC. A party that created a fake “War on Drugs” and programs that misused taxpayer dollars like DARE. A party that thought the religious clauses of the first amendment enabled conservative Christian sects of predominantly white, middle class, ruralites to flex their muscle to own social issues. A party that took an extreme view of the Second Amendment and cozied up to the newly founded lobbying arms of the NRA.
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was the party of Reagan the so-called hero that ended the Cold War with brilliant lies like the Star Wars Progam despite the actual work of Pope John Paul and the diplomacy of the Catholic Church, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev reformist movement of glasnost and perestroika, Kurt Masur’s German rebellion and more. I wanted to believe he solved the mid-East problem by freeing Iranian hostages and bombing Lybia despite the region’s further instability. I wanted to forget the endless contravercies created by poor leadership and massive egos with huge ethical lapses that continued to plague the party post-Nixon. I thought I honestly wanted to love the watered down, revisionist interpretation of a Republican party that relied on glossed over propaganda in order to create Reagan the Gipper as a superhero. I said nothing because Ronnie Ray-Gun was just a Garbage Pail Kid and not the characature of the Republican party it turned out to be.
Then came for the party of Newt Gingrich. The party of Scorched Earth cleansing of the Republican Party in the late 1990s that embraced the concept of a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and eliminated the cross-the-isle word where the likes of Blue Dog Democrats, post-war/old-world Republicans, moderate independents, and others were once foundational allies to making the government function. The party that dug up the Whitewater Scandal which ultimately produced next to no wrongdoing but managed to turn Presidential infidelity into an impeachable offense while hypocritically looking the other way while Arlan Stangeland, Robert Packwood, Ken Calvert,Helen Chenoweth-Hage, Bob Barr, Dan Burton, Robert Livingston, Henry Hyde, Pete Domenici and a number of others including, of course Newt Gingrich were accused of, admitted to, and/or convicted of having had the same kind of sexual impropriety and lied about. This was the party of ethics debacles, again led by Newt Gingrich as well as scandles like The House of Representatives Bank finding 450 members abused their accounts where more than half that were Republicans including top leadership, major campaign finance violations by Jay C. Kim, Dana Rohrabacher, Enid Greene Waldholtz, Joe Waldholtz, Rhonda Carmony, Dana Rohrabacher and a number of others including accusations of taking foreign money including that of enemy states. A party that abused it’s majority in Congress to attempt to change long-standing rules of decorum in order to undermine the existing Constitutional parity afforded to the division of Government.
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was still supporting me as a so-called conservative; as a so-called constitutionalist; as a despite seeing the extremist cleansing of the party happening at the time. I denied the inherent hypocrisy. I overlooked the ethical lapses. I avoided the lies. After all, this was supposed to still be the party of my parents and their parents. I was told that Republicans were the Party of Lincoln. I was told they were the party of national heroes like Roosevelt, and Ike, and business brilliance like the Rockefellers even if I didn’t understand what that truly meant. I was voluntarily too blind and ignorant to see otherwise. And, I didn’t care. I just wanted to feel like I belonged and my voice was heard and the propaganda made me feel that.
Then, they came for the party of Bush. The party of the biggest attack on the United States since Pearl Habour on September 11. The party that began the longest, Afghanistan, and second longest, Iraq, military crisis in 100 years (and they would still compete for those titles even without Obama and then Trump allowing them to continue) and did so under false pretenses and then lied about a so-called “victory.” The party of the Tech Bubble Burst and the third biggest downturn in the economy in 100 years. The party of the Housing Bubble Burst and the second greatest downturn in the economy in 100 years. The party that was part of the original email contravercy and then conveniently forgot about the tens of thousands of violations of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, Hatch Act of 1939, the Federal Records Act and others. The party of failure such as of the Hurricane Katrina response, the original Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal, etc. The party of the CIA leak / Plame Affair featuring Dick Cheney’s chief political advisors, Karl Rove and Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The party of “Lawyergate” which was the politically influenced Dismissal of U.S. attorneys.
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was the party that got us through 9-11 despite the extensive work of Independent, Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of NYC, Moderate Governor George Pitaki of NYS, Democrat Anthony A. Williams as Mayor of DC, Democrat Governor Jim McGreevey of NJ, Democrat Governor Parris N. Glendening of MD, Democrat Governor Ed Rendell of PA, Democrat Governor Mark Warner of VA and others who led the actual local efforts which buoyed both the national economy and psyche. I said nothing because I believed the lies passing blame despite Republicans having holding the presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate for a greater time in the last 25 years than the Democrats had, as well as having a conservative leaning Supreme Court and a near majority of State level government. I said nothing because I wanted to believe parents and dying grandparents that the party represented something other than what it appeared to despite it being painfully obvious this was the party of evil intent that Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan and Gingrich molded.
Then, they came the Tea-publicans. The party of the so-called Freedom Caucus that shut the government down. The party of . A xenophobic cultural response to the first non-white President of the US. The party of anti-Constitutional actions using procedure to block any and every attempt at abiding by decorum from budgets to the assignment of Supreme Court Justices. The party that
I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was the party for me in spite of it’s inherent hatred for the founding progressives like Lincoln, and it’s highest ranking left leaning voices like Roosevelt and even it’s national heroes like Eisenhower. I said nothing because I wanted to believe the Republican party of the twenty-teens was the party for me in spite of abandoning the last vestiges of centralist policy that Reagan and Bush still played up to pubically. I said nothing because I was a closet bigot who agreed with the Dixicrats and the dog-whistles of Goldwater and Nixon’s Southern Strategy and Reagan’s Welfare Queen approach to minorities. I said nothing because I agreed with
Then came the anti-Trump Republicans. This is the republican party of the Alt-Right. The party of subordinates to a cult of personality. The party enabling an authoritarian coup of Constitutional ideals and cultural decorum. If Goldwater purged the founding liberals, and Gingrich purge the remaining moderates, the Trump era purged nearly everyone remaining that wasn’t an extreme right wing ideologue. This is the party that resurrected Nazi propaganda. This is the party that revived KKK propaganda. This is the party that embraced misogyny. This is the party that enabled the furthest right of Conservative Christian ideology. This is the party emboldened by xenophobia. And, this is a party happy with a 30% approval rating if it meant it was speaking only to the most ardent supporters at the most far right of the political spectrum and those too ignorant to understand otherwise.
I said nothing because I believed I wasn’t deplorable. I believed I wasn’t a bigot, a sexist, a xenophobe and that I believed I respected the Constitution and even myself. I wanted to believe it was everyone else who was a RINO None of these were true, of course. But, I believed Republicans were still the party of Lincoln despite my ignorance of history, my blind ideology, and my paragon of being the deplorable I was accused of being. I’s American In Name Only and I want to Make Myself Great in my own mind. My name is a Republican voter in the twenty-teens.