Republicans have made it very clear what they’re against. If you listen to their rants long enough you might forget to wonder what they’re for. That’s the idea. Their lack of things to advocate for has become a systemic embarrassment to them. They are no longer a party with a platform. They are no longer for anything. They are just against a lot of things. They’re also very angry.
For instance, Republicans are in fact so angry about and opposed to “cancel culture” that they want to cancel the rights of Americans to protest anything Republicans are in favor of. They’re so angry about and opposed to Antifa that they stormed the Capitol, destroyed property and assaulted and murdered police officers and blamed it all on Antifa. They’re so angry about and opposed to mask-wearing and vaccines that they want to declare an early end to the pandemic and turn a half million American deaths into several million American deaths. They’re so angry about losing the 2020 election that they promote the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the election after all, while they work furiously behind the scenes to prevent Democrats and people of color from voting. As I say, they certainly are angry. And they seem to enjoy being angry.
Take Congressman Jim Jordan, for example. During a House subcommittee hearing about the federal government’s response to the pandemic, Jordan (R, Ohio) demanded that eighty year old Dr. Anthony Fauci tell him when the nation can begin relaxing physical distancing measures and mask-wearing. Jordan was quite bellicose about it. In a furious tirade Jordan shouted at Fauci about how Americans’ personal liberties were being infringed by social distancing and other precautionary measures necessary to keep Americans safe from this deadly disease. Jordan was so angry that he wouldn’t let Dr. Fauci answer his questions.
When Fauci finally could get in a word edgewise, he explained, “You’re indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital. This will end, for sure, when we get the level of infection very low. It is now at such a high level, there is a threat again of major surges.” Fauci later added to Jordan, “You’re making this a personal thing and it isn’t.”
Why are so many American angry with Dr. Fauci? The real reason is because he advocates taking the pandemic seriously and keeping Americans safe. In so doing he has committed the greatest sin of all. He has contradicted and disagreed with Donald Trump. From that moment Dr. Fauci became an enemy to Jim Jordan and all the MAGA hat-wearing loonies of the world.
Whenever I see a Republican get angry about the pandemic and how fighting it necessarily limits personal liberties, I have to wonder. Where was their anger when Donald Trump said that fifteen Americans who were infected with coronavirus would soon be down to zero? Where was their anger about Constitutional rights when half a million Americans lost their lives — and therefore their Constitutional rights — to this deadly pandemic? Nothing quite limits an American’s right to free speech like death.
And in the case of Mr. Jordan specifically, where was his anger about Ohio State University wrestling athletes losing their right to participate in a sport they love without being sexually assaulted by the team doctor? It seems to me that Congressman Jordan did indeed need to be angry at a doctor. He was just angry at the wrong one.
At one point Dr. Fauci called it what it was. Fauci finally told the Congressman he was “ranting.” When Jordan tried to continue yelling at Dr. Fauci beyond his time limit, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D, California) interjected from across the room.
“You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.” Her right to shut him up is what we call freedom from* speech. Now that’s a Constitutional right I can enthusiastically get behind. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.