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State of American politics, the fall of the Republican Party

State of American politics, the fall of the Republican Party

Ambassador Curtis A. Ward

Amb. Curtis A. Ward

(03 July 2024) — The Republican party has lost its way. That’s grossly understated. The Republican party is on a path to self-destruction. It is now subsumed by the Trump-led MAGA movement. Most republicans know this. Most Americans see this happening in real time. Every news cycle brings new evidence to support this premise.  Most don’t seem to know how to respond.

Some Republicans serving in or running for elected offices fear the Trump MAGA political machine which has taken complete control over the party, or what’s left of it. Many now argue the Republican party is no longer a political party, that it has become a movement and a cult.

One man is at the center and no matter how egregious or illegal his actions, his followers strongly believe he can do no wrong. Even after criminal convictions on 34 felony charges, they stick to him like glue.

The fact that he is a fascist makes his followers — worshippers — embrace him even more. They associate fascism with strength.

The fact that he is racist doesn’t seem to matter to many. Some who support him are people of color. That is befuddling.

The fact he is xenophobic doesn’t make him abhorrent to thousands of immigrants, including non-white immigrants, who are supporting him.

The fact that he is misogynistic does not drive most Republican women away from him. Even though he is the architect of diminishing their rights as women.

The fact he is homophobic does not stop many non-heterosexual Republicans from supporting him.

The fact that he is contemptuous to the rule of law; has been indicted in state and federal criminal courts for his attack on the democratic process; through words and actions threaten U.S. national security interests; found guilty of civil fraud, and found by a jury to be guilty of a civil sexual offense, makes no difference to his MAGA followers and the many Republican elected officials who slavishly support and defend him. The hungry-for-power seekers.

Finally, the fact that he is immoral and decadent, is a hypocrite and is blasphemous does not stop millions of evangelicals from worshipping him. Such hypocrites!

It is not simply that so many things are bad about Trump and that he should be rejected by everyone. The problem is with those who support him. The problem is with those who fear his retribution. The problem is with those who cowardly stand aside, not rejecting his words and condemning his actions, and thus believe he should be granted impunity no matter his egregious behavior.

The fact that Trump is a serious threat to U.S. national security has not elicited much of a response from former military and security practitioners. His disdain for the justice system has not evoked widespread condemnation by organizations representing the legal profession and justice system. Law enforcement organizations support him even though his inspired insurgency, on January 6, 2021, killed and injured members of their law enforcement colleagues. While he stood aside and watched there was carnage on the iconic symbol of American democracy.

I am trying to understand all of this but having a difficult time at it. I understand American politics. I have been closely observing, monitoring, and studying the complexities and dynamics of American politics since Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, and more intensely since the seventies — more than 50 years. I understand how a single issue or a serious violation of law can topple a president. Before now, a majority of American voters would not tolerate a President deemed morally unfit to serve.

The Republican party is not only in decline, but also no longer worthy of being characterized as a political party. It is Trump’s MAGA Republicans. It is a movement which, unlike the traditional Republican party which espoused adherence and commitment to the rule of law and democracy, has now eschewed US national security interests for political power.

Non-Republicans who care about democracy and the rule of law who are witnessing, in real time, the decay in the traditional Republican party take no solace from its destruction.  The demise of one of the two major political parties in the U.S. weakens democracy. The system of democracy requires contending political parties with contending views which can debate the issues and compete for support of the electorate based on policies and performances and acting in the interests of the broader good, and on ideology and philosophy underpinning the people’s interests. Today’s Republican party has nothing positive to contribute to this arena. Democracy in America is threatened like never before.

With the rise in extremist white racism, domestic violent extremists threaten peaceful coexistence and stability in American society. Since the international terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 (9/11), successive U.S. governments and the international community have had a laser focus on suppressing the international terrorism scourge. There have been significant successes but the task of ending international terrorism is far from complete. In the meantime, the threat from domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism in the United States has grown to a point where U.S. stability and national security is now more threatened from within that from without. This environment for domestic violent extremism is a social and political construct of Trump’s MAGA movement.

Very few could argue that extremist ideology is not encouraged within the MAGA movement. Extremist ideology is its foundation and has contributed to its growth. Trump is constantly stoking violent extremism among his followers. Evidence deduced from investigations by the U.S. Congress clearly shows the January 6, 2021, insurgency was a direct result of Trump’s words and actions. So far, he has not been held accountable.

Saving America’s democracy will depend on the majority of American voters in choosing the next president, and which party controls the Senate and the House when voting on November 05, 2024. Early voting in most states will begin weeks earlier. There is only one party, and one candidate who believes in the rule of law and the preservation of democracy. The choice is clear.

Republicans who wish to preserve democracy and save their party from descending into ignominiousness have a moral responsibility to reject their party’s nominee and the MAGA movement. It is their patriotic duty to act accordingly.

© Curtis A. Ward

[This article was published in the Jamaica Gleaner on June 23, 2024.]


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About the author

Ambassador Curtis A. Ward

Ambassador Curtis A. Ward is a former Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations with Special Responsibility for Security Council Affairs (1999-2002) serving on the UN Security Council for two years. He served three years as Expert Adviser to the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee. He is an Attorney-at-Law and International Consultant with extensive knowledge and experience in national and international legal and policy frameworks for effective implementation of United Nations (UN) and other international anti-terrorism mandates; the legal and administrative requirements to effectively implement and enforce anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT); extensive knowledge of the legal and regulatory requirements for effective implementation and enforcement of United Nations multilateral and U.S.-imposed unilateral sanctions; and the imperatives for Rule of Law and governance. He is a geopolitical and international security analyst, and a human rights, democracy, and anticorruption advocate.

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