The time is now

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Those of us with working memories that exceed goldfish capacity recall a day when Senators Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and Lindsey Graham spoke out against Donald Trump and his role in the attacks of January 6th, 2021. Those of us with truly impressive mnemonics can stretch those memories all the way back to 2015 when Trump’s presidential candidacy was treated largely as a joke. (Who remembers Kellyanne Conway’s characterization of Trump as a conman back then, or, who remembers 2016 when Ted Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar,” “utterly amoral,” “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen” and “a serial philanderer”?)

Yeah, those were the days, huh? It was only later that those liars and human scum saw the wisdom, the vision, the downright Machiavellian political advantage of throwing their lot in with Donald Trump, no matter how brazenly opportunistic that might make them appear. After all, most low-information Republican voters these days have no memories, and most of the Republican scum in Congress recognize and exploit that fact.

There was a time, not too long ago, when political shape-shifting was hard to do. For example, back in the 60s you couldn’t suddenly come out against the Vietnam war if you were hawkish for the war from the beginning. It was a long road to political rehabilitation.

These days you can be anti-Trump on Tuesday and pro-Trump on Wednesday without missing a beat. You can do anything in the service of getting cozy with Trump or Trumpism, and you’d better do it fast, too, before someone (possibly even Trump himself) saddles you with your ultimate political epitaph and calls you a “RINO.”

This new political reality is far from academic. It has grave implications for the future of America. It shows us just how far and how fast Republicans are willing to fall to keep their jobs and keep their cozy relationship with, if not Trump himself, then at least Trumpism.

Take Ted Cruz, for example. Believe it or not Cruz is a graduate of Harvard Law, and not just any graduate either, he finished top of his class as editor of Law Review while graduating magna cum laude. He isn’t stupid, he’s just evil. Cruz is an example of how utterly absurd someone even as smart as he is looks when defending Trumpism. In other words, it’s not possible to defend Trump and Trumpism and not look like an idiot, no matter how smart you are.

The problem with that, of course, is that the MAGA crowd is composed of two kinds of people, those who are too stupid to know how stupid they look and the truly evil like Cruz. And there are millions of them. And they’re coming for your rights, your freedoms and your country right now in 2022. And cynical exploiters like Cruz and Graham and McConnell are their willing co-conspirators.

One of the first things Donald Trump did when he established “Truth Social,” his unreleased social media outlier alternative to Twitter, was to make it illegal on his site to criticize him in any way. That’s perfectly fine with me. That’s the nature of all private social networks. It will lead to a stale platform of zero interest to anyone if it ever even pretends to become viable one day. But that’s not my point. My point is Truth Social is a blueprint to how Republicans want to “make America great again,” by first taking away your right to criticize them.

That power will reach all the way across the Atlantic to people like me, an American expatriate. I can complain all day long about Trumpism but, if America is in its thrall, no one in America will ever be able to hear me, any more than the rank and file in North Korea can hear me when I write disparagingly of Kim Jong-un.

If you doubt any of this, then I invite you to take a second look at how quickly and effortlessly Republicans get in line with Trumpism. There is no apparent bottom to how low some of them are willing to go. Now imagine what could happen if they are ever back in charge again.

From January 20, 2017 until January 4th, 2019, Republicans were pretty much 100% in charge of the United States. Recall the damage they did then, and they were being frankly lazy and disorganized. Now look at how much more radical and organized they have become since then and imagine how bad it could get. And it will get bad — very bad, incredibly bad — if we ever let them through the gates again. They got a recent taste of power and they want it back again — and next time they intend to keep it.

Not only are these radical elements on the ascendant in America’s Congress, they are also on the rise in America’s military, even at the very highest levels. Just remember, a disproportionate number of current and former military personnel were arrested in the attack on the Capitol. Fox News is the network of choice these days on most military bases.

   

This is the year, 2022, we either keep America or begin the long sad process of letting America go. I wish I had good news for you, brothers and sisters, I really do. But this election year is critical. Every one of you should make it a point to vote and take 10 other people with you to the polls. This is the election that could decide if a country about to celebrate its 246th birthday is going to make it to its 247th or much beyond. It’s up to us because there is no one else for it to be up to. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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