What’s in a name? Republican brand is tainted
What’s in a name? Do political party labels really matter?
You bet they do. When it comes to the current crop of Republican officeholders, party label is indeed important.
Though stereotyped assignment of collective guilt is something I rarely condone, current Republican officeholders and Republican candidates for elective office constitute a compelling exception. They are a rare case in which the data support a judgment of group, shared responsibility and shared shame.
I intentionally exclude rank and file Republican voters from this blanket indictment. I have any number of dear and decent Republican friends. Along with many, they too may be victims of the stupefying political “con” that is the Trump administration. It’s those who hold or seek office as Republicans, especially those who have sworn to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” that I target.
Elected Republicans’ lockstep enabling of the worst whims and impulses of a profoundly misguided president has earned them the same condemnation as his words and deeds have garnered for him. With the singular exception of the late Sen. John McCain, weak-kneed Republican sycophants have acted without honor or integrity, remaining notably silent in the face of repeated administration outrages.
They routinely put self-interest above the national interest. As a group, their enabling acquiescence renders them culpable co-conspirators.
So, whenever journalistic convention attaches the letter “R” (for Republican) to the name of an officeholder or aspirant, I am stopped in my tracks. Their voluntary embrace of the corrupt Republican brand disqualifies them from further consideration.
My tenderhearted allies express dismay at my politically incorrect, ubiquitous prejudice toward Republican officeholders.
A consensus exception to my kinder and gentler friends’ near phobic stereotype shunning comes readily to mind—Nazis. Even my gracious, accepting friends would probably applaud wholesale condemnation of Nazis as a group and as individuals, anywhere and everywhere, without exception. Could even they imagine a stereotype-shattering “good Nazi?” I doubt it. As a group, Nazis have earned blanket shame. In their resemblance to fascists of yesteryear, elected Republicans deserve similar blanket condemnation.
I recently crossed paths with an acquaintance, a so-called “conservative.” Apropos of nothing, this man announced that he had read my recent op-ed piece entitled “Never again!” Sept. 28, 2018). He declared the column flat out “nasty.” A little startled, I demurred. I conceded that the writing was aggressive in tone. But nasty?
From my perspective, “nasty” is what you call this American president and his Republican enablers giving aid and comfort to Charlottesville violence-prone neo-Nazis.
Nasty is a cruel and un-American U.S.-Mexican border immigration policy that rips young children from their mothers’ arms and places them in internment camps.
Nasty is this American president selling our country out to the former KGB agent who is now the head of the Russian state.
Nasty is Donald Trump’s compulsive lying and cruel indifference to the suffering of others.
Nasty is the contorted face and outrageous, hypocritical, trumped-up charge of procedural foul play hurled at Democrats by Republican Senate Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham.
Nasty is the face of a man who would be a U. S. Supreme Court Justice yet lies through his teeth and lacks any semblance of judicial temperament. That and more is what I call nasty.
My conciliatory friends must understand that this is no ordinary political contest. It’s a battle for the very heart and soul of America. In the end, names do matter.
“R” (the Republican brand) is now the new scarlet letter. As such, it carries with it all well-deserved associated shame and dishonor.