As I write this, it has now been a year and a day that the “you lost, get over it” claque from 2016 has been screaming that the 2020 election was stolen. For six or seven months prior to that they were screaming that the election would be stolen. Apparently they are just fine with the outcome of the election we forgot to steal, the Virginia gubernatorial race.
So a pattern is emerging. The narrative is going to go like this, of course. Every time they lose an election Republicans are going to say we stole it. Every time they win an election Republicans are going to say nothing at all. Before much longer even they might notice how silly that looks and begin to marvel out loud that they’re winning some elections that we tried to steal but failed to. That way it won’t look like an automatic lie but a fight against a corrupt but imperfect monolith that they sometimes actually beat.
This tangled web of deceit and counter-deceit is getting wearying, of course. I would be embarrassed for them if their evil didn’t mask a darker reality. We are in a Cold War against a crowd of people hellbent on destroying democracy and the planet. As with all terrorists theirs is a waiting game, a war of attrition. They don’t need to win every battle, they just have to win enough battles to stay viable so they can slake their seething lust for power and human misery.
I used to scoff at the idea of pure evil but I do so no longer. Republicanism has become a cult of pure evil where evil itself is the point. Human suffering itself is the point. It is why they talk in apocalyptic or catastrophic terms tainted with violence and guns and death penalties and taking the law into their own hands. They live to inflict suffering on others.
I used to think that there was a human reason behind it, and maybe sometimes there is. Sometimes the motivating factor is their own inadequacy. But mostly it’s because they feed on human misery and self-righteousness. They enjoy being outraged by nonexistent foes like critical race theory or Antifa or defunding the police. The subject isn’t important, they enjoy getting themselves worked up into a rage because rage is a dish that is best served hot. It is a justification for vengeance, and vengeance and hurting people is what they live for.
I am tired of the media portraying Republicans as the loyal opposition, a viable counter-example of a party everyone can vote for. But that just isn’t true any more. It was true once and within my lifetime and the lifetimes of most of you reading these words, but it is no longer true.
It’s easy to look backward and insist that people who gave legitimacy to the Nazis by inaction were craven codependents — if not co-conspirators. And yet here some of us are in 2021 preserving the idea that America is a land of two parties. It’s not. It’s a land of one party only, the Democrats. The other faction that is so often misidentified as a party is really an entity bent on money and power and the joy of human suffering. By calling it anything else is to participate in the myth of Republican legitimacy.
I have said this before and I say it again. The Republican so-called Party must go. In order to achieve that money must disappear from politics. It must become a federal crime to contribute money to any political candidate for any reason whatsoever. All legitimate candidates for political office should be given federally funded equal coverage to state their qualifications and their platforms and leave it to the voters to decide. Party affiliations should become irrelevant.
I realize this is a big ask, and in less desperate times I would be content to play the safer long game of slow political change. But the times dictate urgency. We are in a race to rescue the planet from global warming and a worldwide pandemic. We don’t have time to cater to the evil fantasies of monsters. Anything less is, in the words of Greta Thunberg, “Blah, blah, blah.” 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.