We are in the fifth month of the Joe Biden presidency. Four-plus months of healing, both of the body (the rapid implementation of the vaccine roll-out) and of the spirit (compassion, decency, respect modeled everywhere). Hasn’t it felt good again to call oneself “an American”?
Now our President is visiting with allies to reassure them that America is “back.” They can again count on the United States’ support, and we will provide leadership when needed. An example of that leadership is Biden’s announcement that we will supply 500 million vaccine doses to countries still suffering under the pandemic.
A survey in allied countries shows that their citizens recognize the changes which the US has undergone. In 2020 only 34% of those surveyed had a favorable view of the US. Now 62% report a favorable opinion of us. Another question in the survey (“Do you have confidence in the United States to do the right thing?”) elicited an even more dramatic improvement. 75% now say that they do. (Only 17% felt that way last year.)
A critical question for all of us: “Do you have confidence in the Republican Party to do the right thing?” Tragically, the answer to that question has become a resounding NO.
We’ve all witnessed how the obedience of elected Republicans to their “leader” became, over four years, an attitude of complete servility. Because of their active and passive support of this dangerous charlatan, Republicans are now fully ensnared by his will. He can do whatever he wants, and they must follow his direction. If they resist or refuse, he will turn his “base” against them, and they will lose their next election.
When an authoritarian is given power, he will never willingly give it up. Those trapped under his grip have few choices. If they continue to “go along,” they sacrifice whatever moral sense they once had. If they fight back against the authoritarian, he will use his power against them, and they will surely lose something that is important to them. Will they give up their sense of themselves in order to not lose this other “something”?
The rest of us are not just observers to this tawdry contest. The future of our democracy could be at stake. Witness: An impeachment for misusing his power; An election defeat which he refuses to accept; Inciting an insurrection against the government; Refusals by most elected Republicans to certify the results of the election; A second impeachment; Laws passed by Republican state legislatures across the country to “protect the purity of the ballot” by restricting voting rights of minorities; A former Trump advisor advocates for an armed coup; Gerrymandering plans in Republican-controlled states to manipulate results in future elections. What’s next?
From a recent Star letter writer: “Truth and reality are right in front of all of us, but few can see it.”
Some see the danger all too clearly. The “Party of Trump” is under the control of a dangerous authoritarian. That Party has lost all connection to what was formerly “The Republican Party.” Anyone choosing to run as a “Republican” these days must be very closely questioned and examined. This person may be a “Trumpster” and we cannot have those in ANY level of government.