Repudiation of Democracy

Author: Gary Hart

The current juvenile chaos in the Republican Congressional caucuses is like nothing less than watching a family feud after the evening circus performance with the departing crowd of spectators hearing the clanging and banging and wondering what it’s all about.

It is a side-show drama important primarily to the combatants within the two major factions of the post-Trump era in the Republican party.  Like academic politics, it is vicious because the stakes are so low.

The stakes in this case seem to be leadership of the Trump cult, “base”, or whatever you want to call it and the more sane, traditional Republican party as the two sides prepare for what will likely be a prolonged, painful, and only slightly rewarding ownership of whatever remains of the Republican party.

Serious Republican analysts now claim a clash between the authoritarian (Trump) wing of the party and traditional Constitutional Republicans has started and is a foregone conclusion

All this might be fun for political insiders were it not for the future of American democracy and America’s role in the world.

As pundits are increasingly pointing out, first with fascism in World War II and a half century Cold War thereafter, America has been struggling, at great cost, to prevent foreign ideologies from undermining the principles of our democracy.  Now, it turns out, the threat to our democracy is from within.

Despite the clear outcome of the recent election, as certified by a variety of courts and duly elected and appointed election officials of all 50 States, a substantial number of elected Republicans now seek to reject the clear outcome of the election as if America had now become the worst kind of autocratic dictatorship.

The only common theme from this new anti-democratic party seems to be there are a lot of people who don’t trust the outcome of this election.  But their distrust has been fueled by the outgoing president starting in 2016 and since who lives in a circle inside a bubble that claims any election he loses has been “rigged”, “stolen”, or manipulated. It is as circular a syllogism as exists in all the history of logic: “I can’t lose because I refuse to lose.”

This is a classic tautology.

This could only prevail in a closed political system, in this case a monolithic Republican party that sacrificed principle for power sometime back.  Debt, coziness with the Kremlin, isolationism, repudiation of science, border walls, privatization of education, the environment, and public resources all characterize virtually overnight a party that used to denounce all of this.

Having gerrymandered every Congressional district it can and having deepened the red of the red States, the calculating unilateralists have now created a party available to this Trump and the next Trump to follow.  The demented last ditch efforts to overturn a professionally managed national election, involving many State Republican officials, the pre- and possibly post-inaugural drama is solely about who is the most authoritarian of the Trump wanna-be’s.

Politically, it is a side-show in an historical context.  But it is a dangerous one none the less.  And on its outcome could well rest the future and safety of American democracy.

7 Responses to “Repudiation of Democracy”

  1. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    This is such a sticky and complicated situation. What can be done? What should be done?

    I just heard Biden’s message to Georgia voters yesterday – something along the lines of ‘You have the power to CHANGE America!’ Sigh. I bet that will have helped quite a lot to lose those senate elections.

    Remember a while ago when Biden reportedly told a Wall Street crowd that nothing would fundamentally change for them?

    I love Biden and always will but, geez Louise!

  2. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Why are Democrats so hopelessly lost when it comes to the kind of messaging that can WIN elections and persuade voters who aren’t necessarily in one camp or another?

  3. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    And, not to pile on Democrats, the traditional Republican and Democratic parties are, of course, both responsible for how the American people see their democracy and how much trust they have in the traditional system and institutions, all of which has helped to pave the way for Trump and, maybe more Trumps, literally or figuratively.

    The question is what do the traditional parties do to fix what they have wrought and win back some semblance of trust from a growing section of the electorate?

  4. H. Patrick Pritchard Says:


    What may be obvious to some but perhaps not to many Donald Trump is and always has been a nihilist even prior to his ascension to the Presidency. I doubt Trump realizes or understands the term. His only belief system revolves around staying alive, out of jail, acquiring power/attention, and protecting and growing his wealth. Life beyond his existence is meaningless. Political ideology, religion, morals, democracy, and people are simply tools to be used to further his existence. Trump has always had an aversion to rules and regulations and fear of being seen as a loser. Trump coveted the trappings of the Presidency but not the responsibility. He viewed it as an economic opportunity to increase his personal wealth not actually do the work of governing other than the ceremonial. Trump could care less about briefings, position papers, and the implementation of programs.

    After achieving victory in the 2016 primaries posing as a conservative populist and swearing allegiance to conservative issues like curbing immigration, putting conservative judges on the bench, tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of onus government regulations, opting out of the climate agreement, and getting rid of Obama Care, the Republican leadership struck a deal with the devil, Mr. Trump. Trump would help them implement all these initiatives in return the party would fully support his election campaign with all its resources and provide him with unconditional loyalty, Unfortunately the Republicans didn’t read the fine print, Loyalty encompassed protecting him from a leaked Los Vegas sex tape, a payoff to a porn star for sex, numerous sexual assault charges, the Mueller investigation and report and an impeachment inquiry. Likewise Republicans realized they could not win any future elections without the base of supporters Trump acquired during the primaries. Trump delivered the Presidency and both houses of Congress.

    They Republican party paid a high price for their fidelity to the devil and have been significantly corrupted. The issues they championed in the past do not matter. The devil owns them, and he has made many of them in his image. They would rather lie than tell the truth, enrich themselves and enhance their power by any means available in order to sustain their position. Access to them depends on the size of your wallet. They have become the elite posing as phony populists, yet they are stewards to wealthy interests. Broken healthcare systems and educational systems, broken climate change initiatives and an economic systems whose health is measured by stock trades not by the wellbeing of average working people are their legacy.

    Will the 2020 election be the catalyst that breaks this four-year chain of misery? Can some sensibility of purpose be restored to this ailing Republic? Being overly optimistic or cynical will not cure its ills. The heavy lifting will have to be done by the newly elected leaders with the support of citizens willing to actively participate on a consistent basis to hold elected officials responsible for their actions no matter their political affiliation. Joe Biden nor any President can reform this nation alone. There is no Superman coming to our rescue. There is no Chosen One. Citizens of this country must engage and dedicate themselves to do their civic duties and tear down the walls of division.

    The Republicans created their very own Frankenstein. It is their responsibility to dismantle it unless they want to continue to stand for nothing! Independent thinking voters provide votes crucial to any election victory! They are not swayed by meaningless ideological debates nor dreamy platitudes. You want their attention come with well validated facts and workable solutions to problems not vague promises. They are out there and will vote if they believe you’re legit. Don’t even try to categorize them by age, race, sex, political affiliation, economic status, education or occupation. Not possible. They were part of the base that supported Gary Hart and Barack Obama. Don’t overlook them.

  5. Brian C McCarthy Says:

    Shots fired, gas masks on, MAGA thugs in the Senate and House chamber. Confederate flags and Trump flags displacing US flags in the Capitol. Thugs sent directly by the President. Why do they not arrest Trump, charge him with inciting a violent insurrection, and invoke the 25th Amendment to take him out of power immediately?


    Watching the news here in the Uk, feeling the need to express solidarity with Senator Hart and friends in America.

    I said to my wife as we saw this incitement to revolt, and all that we have now witnessed, unfold, ” that’s your country…! ” and added, “as well as this one.”

    By that I mean the UK, where she has been, with me, her British husband, for three decades since she was a student, and then, came here, and settled eventually with me.

    She looked aghast at the situation in America, and said, ” my country, and yours!”

    I was moved by this. When, unless, or if,you marry one from another country, perhaps this point might be lost. You love their country if it like they are lovable.

    Tonight, unlike my wife, America does not seem loveable. But that is wrong.

    Most surely must love what America is and not what such as those who unleashed their hate today did,and turned their country and its capital into.

    I, my wife and friends, stand with america, as it stands with democracy and hope. And more against that despot who has been at the base of his base hate writ large.

    Not a side show. A horror show.

  7. H. Patrick Pritchard Says:

    Yesterday we saw the devastating result of the Republican deal with the devil. Every Republican who has in anyway provided support to this President’s delusional rantings about the election, the Mueller Report, the articles of impeachment and other matters are accountable and responsible for what ultimately happened yesterday at the US Capital…an insurrection based on lies and deceit! Anything that happens of a similar nature over the next 13 days is on their collective heads. keep in mind Trump does not need the military. He has his rogue militias on stand by.

Leave a Reply

All comments are reviewed by a moderator prior to approval and are subject to the UCD blog use policy.