Bonnie-Jean grew up discussing politics and history at the dinner table. This diversity of viewpoints generates perspective.
There are times when it’s a blessing to be an Independent. Being a Republican right now must be a nightmare.
Republicans maintained power in congress in 2016, partly because a lot of their constituents were happy to hear the rhetoric of Donald Trump. These constituents were not aware that Trump tried to run for President as an Independent and a Democrat, before he found out that the people who were most susceptible to his ramblings were Republicans.
In 2016 they found themselves with a right wing executive branch as well as congress. Time to get things done, such as undoing the Obama-led programs that pulled us out of a recession and made medical aid more accessible and affordable, the only things they had not managed to thwart during the previous eight years of stonewalling which made the government virtually dysfunctional. Despite his record of bankrupt companies, failed business loans and being sued by his vendors, Donald Trump managed to get a lot of support from large corporations, especially arms manufacturers, the NRA and the coal and oil industries.
But instead of pursuing Republican goals of states’ rights, limiting women’s and minorities’ rights and amended medical coverage, Trump spent the next three years pursuing his own re-election, following up on promises which swayed the electoral college, if not the popular vote, carrying on rallies and golfing instead of working as a part of a 3-cameron system of government. Republicans found him dictating to them what they should do, instead of the other way around. Any dissension in the Republican party was quaffed with threats and even actions. Still, their constituents blindly followed Trump’s rhetoric, so the Republicans in congress had to do the same. Trump taking immigration complaints to the extreme further weakened popular support of the Republican party.
Then came the elections of 2018. When Democrats got control of the House, this sent a message to the Senate – the popular vote is swinging to the left. At the same time, the Trump administration’s pandering to our enemies (North Korea, China, Russia, Turkey, just to name a few) and his alienation of our allies (the United Kingdom, Canada, France, NATO, Europe and many more) shifted world opinion against the United States and threatened our national security. The American populace became fearful.
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Next the Republicans faced solid evidence for an impeachment trial, possible war in the near east, and an increasingly chaotic administration that doesn’t give a rap about Congress’ rights, oversight, or opinions. If the Republican senators and those in the House up for re-election back Trump now, they may lose because of the backlash growing in the grass roots. If they don’t back Trump, they face backlash from the Administration and big business, which has managed to get a lot of deregulation passed to pursue profit over natural resources. They are between a rock and a hard place. If they work for the people, they will undoubtedly lose a lot of financial support. But if they back the corporations, they may lose votes. They have to depend a great deal on the gerrymandering achieved recently.
With two weeks until the elections, a lot of tables have turned. The pandemic has hit, and a lot of people who had backed Trump are losing jobs and lives. Even those who survive COVID-19 are left with lingering physical problems and possibly no immunity conferred. There appears to be no end in sight. Despite the rhetoric, people are looking at their own lives and seeing no relief. Attempts to open up schools and businesses, a stance that Trump touted loudly, has only caused a new surge of cases. The citizenship is feeling hopeless with the current situation. They are now looking for a fresh approach, since the approaches up until now have obviously failed. The United Sates covers 4% of the world population, but 25% of the world's cases. Pulling out of WHO and calling Dr. Fauci names does not seem to be a wise approach.
With the polls favoring Biden, and Trump doing an exit dance, Republicans in Congress are facing a backlash on them as well. Those who backed Trump all the way are facing losing polls themselves. If Trump loses the election, a lot of these senators and congressmen will go down with him. So the disaffection has begun. Republican senators up for re-election are coming out in support of Biden in an attempt to win back their constituencies, and hoping to rebuild their party on its original values. Those who maintain support for Trump are facing heated battles in their home states. Despite lobbies and PACs, the final say is from the electorate; Republicans have seen the writing on the wall. Early voting, where the tolls are available, show strong Biden support. All the more reason to get the voters' ear and try to separate oneself from Trump. Dissatisfaction with the pandemic has made voters tend to "vote blue", selecting only Democratic ballots in an effort to clean away the roadblocks to a safe way of living. This fear of the virus has overshadowed all accounts of a failing economy, threats from China and Russia, xenophobia, desecration of national land and endangered species. It now appears that Americans are the endangered species. The only hope the Republicans have is to disavow Trump in hopes of retaining their seats—and to convince the electorate that they are sincere in this effort.
If people remember Reagan, Bush, and Nixon, the Republicans will lose. Reagan’s SDI was a flop, so Trump tried a Space Force. Reaganomics pushed us into the worst recession since the 1930s depression, but Trump is trying them all again, despite the fact that the current situation is not the same. George W. Bush pushed us into a near east war with false intelligence, as did Trump. Instead of pulling us out of the Mideast, as Trump promised, he has simply shifted the troops around, trying to protect our oil interests. To top it off, Trump is trying to take military funds to build his wall, while our troops are living in substandard housing, one of the problems of privatizing this service.
As people see the stock market falling, boys returning from war maimed, our troops living in squalor and with substandard protection overseas, and a budget deficit that is at a record high, they are going to rebel. Above all, the pandemic rules the citizenry's everyday life and is having a profound effect on their viewpoint as it relates to voting. Republicans both in the populace and in Congress will have to make a hard decision. I wish them luck.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Bonnie-Jean Rohner