Everything in moderation

The Party of Lincoln allowed the Fox Fake News Network into the hen house. Moderates like yourselves are culpable to the recent chaos and calamity heaped onto our 224-year-old democracy. But, you can now be part of a sensible solution. It wasn’t all that long ago the GOP preached fiscal responsibility, the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush and family values.

Regretfully, the Republican political platform has now morphed into something strange and sinister. What the hell happened? What led up to this infamous moment in our shared history?

As usual, I have strong opinions. My take is that it began in the ’70s and ’80s with the Sagebrush Rebellion – a Western states movement in which supporters favored limited federal government control over public lands, including ownership. Many wanted to see a Western landscape dotted with “For Sale” signs. 

The movement gained traction when presidential candidate Ronald Reagan dramatically proclaimed, “I happen to be one who cheers and supports the Sagebrush Rebellion. Count me in as a rebel.” A few months later at his inauguration, Reagan declared, “Government is not the solution to our problem, Government is the problem.” Here’s the leader of the federal government dissing the organization he represents. Now isn’t that special?

Reagan planted the seeds of mistrust of government. It’s cool to be a rebel. Reagan’s administration favored tax breaks to the wealthy (aka trickle-down economics. In other words, telling the commoners it’s raining when they’re really pissing on our backs) and deregulations (clean air, water and land are so overrated).

In Congress, the years went by with a Newt Gingrich divisive attitude between the aisles. Compromise and placing country over party became so passé. Then came the Tea Party bitching once again about high taxes and too much regulation. Oy!

In 2009, a Harvard-educated Black man moved into the White House for eight years. For many white people, this was an “End of Days” scenario. When Obama’s cycle was done, the drawn-out process of transfer of presidential power began. Out of the depths of an overflowing Porta Potty rose the GOP candidate. A loathsome liar with a history of placing his hands where they don’t belong. As a D.C. outsider, he promised to “drain the swamp,” hire only the “best” and build the Great Wall of Racism with Mexican Pesos. The demagogue pointed his fat finger at Muslims, Mexicans and immigrants, blaming them for our woes. The con man perpetrated the myth of Obama’s African birth. He was “telling it like it is.” Mobs loved it.

The Trumpism movement attracted the attention of Libertarians, NRA gun nuts, CINO’s (Christians in Name Only), JINO’s (Jews in Name Only) and, of course, well-armed White Supremacists. All these strange bedfellows had found their leader. We know what happened next.

As moderate and reasonable Republicans, you are now faced with a lose-lose situation. Flush the GOP of Trumpism starting with the 147 congressmen and six senators who voted to overturn the election results based on an alternative reality – or walk away and start a third party. Maybe call it Whigs II. I know. Tough choices, but it’s high time you grew a spine. This dark moment in our history occurred under your watch. Deal with it.

There’s a reason this wasn’t an open letter to all Republicans. The extreme side of the GOP is busy! They are maneuvering and making plans to violently overthrow a legitimately elected government. For the sake of all reasonable people, let’s hope the Second Beer Hall Putsch fails.

Drain the cesspool! Make America sane again!

– Jeff Sambur, La Plata County