In thinking about Republicans I am sometimes reminded of the words the writers for the film “Lawrence of Arabia” put in the mouth of TE Lawrence. Lawrence characterised the warring tribal Bedouins as “A little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous and cruel.” To my mind that fits Republicans perfectly: they are a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous and cruel.
For example, Kevin McCarthy once actually said that when Nancy Pelosi hands him the Speaker’s gavel, “It will be hard not to hit her with it.” Yes, you read that right. That’s cruelty, violence against an elderly woman, that’s the thug McCarthy’s idea of “humour.” He didn’t apologise for it either when Nancy Pelosi’s husband was actually attacked with a hammer, a weapon that the psycho doing the attacking may have chosen specifically because of McCarthy’s comment.
I’m very much enjoying McCarthy getting humiliated in real time on live TV these days. I’m enjoying watching McCarthy crawl on his belly so he can become Speaker. I love watching him demean himself because he’s greedy, barbarous and cruel.
Former president Donald Trump recently falsely re-accused and re-abused mother-daughter election workers (innocent women of colour) by blaming them for his loss in Georgia, because he’s a coward and his ego can’t handle that he’s a loser. I’m really enjoying watching Trump lose more power as Republicans continue to ignore his endorsement for Speaker of the House, because Trump is greedy, barbarous and cruel.
On the eve of the second anniversary of the insurrection, Congressman Matt Gaetz actually nominated Donald Trump for Speaker of the House. That’s right, Gaetz actually nominated the man who actually incited a mob to violently attack that very same hallowed chamber and murder the Vice President — for Speaker of the house. Think about that for a minute or two.
That’s what Republicans do when they’re not trafficking in underage children or trying to murder their own Vice President or inciting insurrections to destroy democracy. They make cruel jokes about attacking 80 year old women. They blame innocent women of colour for their own impotence. They nominate thugs and ringleaders for Speaker. They are thugs. They are greedy, barbarous and cruel. And this latest imbroglio in Congress, where they cannot even elect their own Speaker, makes them look like what they are: a little people, a silly people. (As I write this, McCarthy just won the vote for Speaker of the House
So how do we get rid of them? How do we banish Republicans and their blight forever from the American landscape? There may be a way, brothers and sisters, but it’s going to take some time and it’s going to require patience.
One problem with a two party system is that there isn’t any viable alternative for two choices for president. Thanks to the Electoral College, one of three equally matched candidates can’t get elected. With an emerging progressive movement, particularly among young people, that may be a problem, not only for electing the president, but for electing members of Congress as well. In future elections that could cause Green Party candidates to serve as spoilers for good Democratic candidates. That’s called the Spoiler Effect, and it’s a real disincentive for green and progressive candidates to run at all.
To the rescue comes something called Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). It’s being used more and more in small cities across the nation, and the state of Maine recently changed their elections to RCV.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you like a green or progressive candidate but don’t want to throw your vote away by voting for them because the polls indicate they don’t have a prayer of winning. With RCV you could vote for them, and select the more mainstream Democrat as your second choice. That way if your candidate loses, your vote will be transferred to the Democrat, effectively eliminating the Spoiler Effect.
But wait a minute, you’re probably wondering, won’t that give Republicans a similar advantage as well? Of course, that will sometimes happen. But with global climate change becoming an increasing problem, green and progressive third party candidates will become more common. Their emergence will paradoxically just about guarantee, in some scenarios, that the Republican candidate will be elected thanks to the Spoiler Effect. RCV will make that go away.
This could have the potential net effect of making Republicans more and more moderate, and eventually eliminate their current toxic, hateful and divisive trend. It could also lead to the election of more Green Party candidates.
RCV might not erase Republicans from the political landscape, but it could render them harmless, or at least less toxic. That would effectively get rid of the Republican Party in all but name. That has to be a good thing, don’t you think? And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.