|Wednesday, November 4, 2020|
Atlanta, GA, USA
obel prize winning Economist, Professor Paul Krugman, observed way back in 2019, that "Republicans Don't Believe in Democracy". (The New York Times, September 16, 2019) . In that write up, Professor Krugman went down memory lane to recount instances where Republicans went out of their way to thwart all efforts at enhancing democratic norms and disregarding democratic outcomes which do not favor them. He argued inter alia : “what the stories have in common, however, is that they illustrate contempt for democracy and constitutional government. Elections are supposed to have consequences, conveying power to the winners. But when Democrats win an election the modern GOP does its best to negate the results, flouting norms and if necessary, the law to carry on as if the voters hadn’t spoken”.
So when Republican rising star, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, provocatively asserted that "Democracy isn't the objective of the US system" he did not make any news to those of us who knew what the Republican party had been up to. Senator Lee only reinforced what we had always known -that Republicans do not commit to democratic ideals.
According to Senator Mike Lee, "Democracy isn't the objective; liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that". (The Guardian October 8, 2020).
Of course, Republicans engage in open political thuggery, to get their way around democratic norms to unleash power grab. The expression “elections have consequences” is only meaningful to Republicans when they find themselves in the driver’s seat, like what they are doing with the Supreme court appointments.
And their most potent tool has always been voter suppression. Over the years, Republicans have ruthlessly conducted a scorch-earth voter suppression campaign, targeting a section of the American population which they determine are unlikely to vote for them-African Americans ( black people) and Latinos.
In fact, Republicans are so attuned to voter suppression that they have advised themselves not to be ashamed of being accused of doing it. According to the Washington Post, a Republican operator, J. Christian Adams in a closed-door session, urged Republicans this way: “Be not afraid of the accusations that you are a voter suppressor, you’re a racist and so forth”.
Donald Trump, who was not a Republican, conducted a hostile takeover of an anti-peoples party and made it more corrupt, more racist and more violence prone.
Yet, in the current election cycle, with Donald Trump desperate to win re-election ,and avoid multiple criminal prosecutions and exposure of his fraudulent business connections around the globe, Republicans have escalated their voter suppression campaign to an all- time dangerous level. And they are prosecuting this voter suppression campaigns on multiple fronts. When they realized that Democrats were going to rely heavily on mail-in ballots due to the covid-19 pandemic, they went to work to sabotage the postal agency, so mail in ballots would not arrive in time to be counted. Then they ran to the courts to seek injunctions, blocking mail-in ballots which arrive after election day from being counted. In states where they are in control, Republicans are mounting roadblocks against mail-in ballots-restricting the number of drop off boxes per county, restricting and closing down polling centers. Americans have had to wait on line for 8 to 10 hours to vote; just because a political party do not want people to vote. They are doing all these to make it harder for people to vote because they know that historically they lose when voter turn- out is high.
Republicans go to great lengths to prevent Democratic supporters from voting. And even when we labor so hard to navigate all barriers placed on our way to exercise our civil right to vote, they try to stop our votes from being counted, and unabashedly so. Take for instance, on Tuesday October 27, Donald Trump twitted “We must know final total November 3”. What Donald Trump is implying here is that mail-in ballots which are most likely to be tallied after election day should not be counted. This is a clear case of voter suppression. Could you imagine if the president of the United States were to be in charge of running elections, how far primitive and desperate people like Donald Trump would have gone to rig elections and declare victory?
The Republican party should have been ashamed, that is if those who carry that banner knew any shame. But they don’t . They don’t even have a soul. No tyrannical dictator in the Third World has so openly incited his followers to commit violence the way Donald Trump has done in America, the supposed leader of the free world and beacon of democracy.
Yet, the exposure of a primitive culture of gun worship in America is playing out in the state of Michigan, where an apparently Republican judge has ruled in favor of citizens showing up at polling centers with fire arms. Recall, this is the same state where a Donald Trump inspired white supremacists domestic terrorist group was recently outed, trying to assassinate the Democratic governor of the state. Cheer up Nigerians, at least we are better off than this Donald Trump America. Anyone, other than accredited law enforcement officials who shows up with firearms at election polling centers in Nigeria would be treated like a thug, and dealt with according to the law. In essence, this Michigan judge has sanctioned a very dangerous form of voter intimidation in a very important swing state.
I f Republicans are convinced of the moral superiority of their political philosophy of smaller government, deregulation (elimination of safeguards for protection of employees from predatory employer policies and dismantling of environmental protections) tax cuts for the super- rich, for-profit healthcare program which ensures the poor dies as a result of their inability to pay Ponzi private insurance bills, why don’t they allow the American people to vote their choice?
Yet, more alarming is Donald Trump’s crude resort to violence to hang on to power. His White supremacists domestic terrorists supporters are going around the country, terrorizing Biden supporters and preventing them from campaigning. The Independent on Saturday October 31, 2020, reported that a Biden campaign event in the Texas town of Pflugerville had to be cancelled when Trump’s armed supporters confronted their campaign bus.
According to the Independent, reporting an eye witness account, “Armed Trump trolls harassing Biden bus on I-35, ramming volunteer vehicles and blocking traffic for 30minutes”. It is also reported that armed Trump supporters have been trolling Biden campaign events in battleground states. It is no secret that Donald Trump throughout his scandal laden presidency has been inciting his supporters to violence at every turn. He has made no secret of his intention to hang on to power by violent means. He did it on a debate stage on public television viewed around the world, when he directed his PROUD BOYS, white supremacists domestic terrorists, to stand-by, ready to be deployed to unleash violence on his political opponents during this election cycle, and especially on election day.
Donald Trump reportedly cheered his thugs and called them “patriots”, when he learnt of the Texas incident.
The late Senator John McCain used to call Russian president Vladimir Putin, KGB thug. Well, we now have a thug in the White House.
And according to the Washington Post, Donald Trump told donors at a closed door event in Nashville, Tennessee, that he will have his “own team” and law enforcement monitoring polling places. This is effectively conducting voter intimidation on election day. And we are talking about the United States of America, not Russia.
In fact, Donald Trump is not only a thug; he is a white supremacist terrorist who continues to incite his army of domestic terrorists to unleash violence on the opposition in hopes that they would be intimidated enough to stay away from the polls on election day.
Donald Trump says the only way he is going to lose the election is if it is rigged . The other day House Speaker Hon. Nancy Pelosi, said Donald Trump projects on others what he is. Very true. Donald Trump knows that the only way he could win is by rigging. And he and the Republican party are rigging the election as you read this. They are rigging the election through various forms of voter suppression and threat of violence; doing everything in their powers to prevent those who would not vote for them from voting. This is shamefully un- American. It‘s getting so bad that there is heighten apprehension for the possibility of an outbreak of violence or even civil war in American if Donald Trump loses the election. In fact, Donald Trump himself has said there would be violence if the election was not called on election on election night( leaving out outstanding results are not likely to favor him). Before, Donald Trump could anyone have imagined that an American election would lead to outbreak of violence? Again, we are talking of the United States of America; not some Third World banana republic.
What Donald Trump and the Republican party are doing today in their desperate attempt to hang on to power is worse than what one has ever witnessed in any Third World country. And should they succeed, the United States should be blacklisted from the forum of democratic nations. Under Donald Trump, America has become a fascist, white supremacist wild jungle.