Locking them up


I don’t know if it’s possible to pinpoint the exact moment in history when Republicans turned on democracy and became the thing they used to hate. It may be an oversimplification to even ask the question. At what moment does a cancer begin? But we can identify the causes, effects and characteristics of both.

One of the most disturbing trends to emerge from the Republican Party is their mob-like hysteria for incarcerating anyone who disagrees with or opposes or even inconveniences them. The latest practitioner of this now well-established Republican penchant to “lock them up” is Steve Bannon, who is clearly terrified because he faces jail himself. Bannon took to his Gettr account on Saturday to insist that the FBI Director Christopher Wray (among others) needed to be tried and imprisoned because the “FBI is out of control.”

Out of whose control he doesn’t say, but I suspect what he means is they are out of Republican partisan control. The FBI and others, in short, need to be controlled. They need to be controlled by Republicans in order to pursue Republican agendas.

I don’t mean to put words in Mr. Bannon’s mouth, but what else could he possibly mean? Hasn’t the headlong Republican agenda for the last 6 or 7 years been precisely that? To jail people who don’t deserve jail, like Hillary because of her emails or Hunter because of his laptop? Meanwhile they want to let arch criminals and murderers like Donald Trump off the hook.

For example, the party of patriotism and personal responsibility wants everybody to forget about a recent attempted coup against the sovereign government of the United States of America. It’s a staggering reversal in what Republicans claimed to stand for, once upon a time.

It may even become routine should Republicans retake power. Republicans are becoming alarmingly emboldened in their rhetoric and actions, like a little boy who found his father’s loaded pistol. A Republican presidency doubled by a Republican Congress and the current composition of the Supreme Court is too awful to contemplate. Don’t be surprised if prison becomes a common fate of us “radical” Democrats.

And by radical I mean Democrats who want to help poor and struggling families with jobs, higher wages, lower medical costs, and a sustainable planet. Those are not jailable offenses, anymore than fiscal conservatism or support for the right to bear arms should be jailable offenses.

But tax fraud, money laundering, rape and negligent homicide are jailable offenses, and Donald Trump is guilty of those and more. So it cannot be said that we are “just like them” for simultaneously wanting to lock people up. We want to lock up criminals, not political opponents.

   

After coming to power Adolf Hitler famously had a comedian who used to parody him murdered. I wouldn’t put such atrocities past Republicans. I am finished setting limits on how awful they can be or how low they can sink. Republicans are no longer a party, they have become a cult of evil. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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