Republicanism Is Bad for American Democracy

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Let’s face it. There are no two ways about it. Republicanism is terrible for American Democracy. Suppose the response of Republicans since January 6, 2021, indicates how current Republicans in the main feel about democracy in America. There is nothing in the historical record that suggests otherwise. In that case, it is safe to bet the farm on the demise of the much-heralded American democracy, for, without a doubt, democracy in America is on its last leg.

Republican lawmakers in both the US House and Senate balked at first in the case of the House of Representatives, impeaching former President Donald John Trump for encouraging the gutter of the Republican Party to storm the Congress to overthrow the duly elected new presidential administration.

For their part, Senate Republicans, at least 88 percent of them, took an indifferent approach toward the impeachment trial, voting that it was unconstitutional to impeach a President after a President leaves the office, notwithstanding the fact, Trump advocated for the domestic mob violence witnessed the first week of 2021.

The reluctance of Republicans to hold Trump accountable for inciting the capitol riot and then withholding aid to the Capitol Police as they gallantly fought off the Republican hoard gives other rabble-rousers carte blanche to seize the government at will. As well as some of the same rebels once the law has slapped them on the wrist and set them free to again attack the government.

Republicans, based on the action and public pronouncements of their leaders, believe that what happened on January 6 was okay, a “nothing burger,” as they say. The fact that lives were lost, over 140 people were injured, and congressional aides, staffers, and custodial staff were frightened out of their lives do not matter to them.

Allegiance to a dictator that can sic a mad mob on anyone who opposes him is all that is important. Republicans have forgotten the number one rule when dealing with a bully:

The bullied must confront the bully straight up. The bully’s power lies in the fear they can engender in those they force to act against their own best interest.

Every bully I have stood up to has wilted in the face of my courage. Trump will shrink too if only Republicans collectively find the courage to say, enough of this non-democratic politics is enough.

American democracy can not depend on Republicanism to stand up to the Fascistic bully whipping them into submission and drowning democracy under the murky waters of totalitarian rule. Their leadership has had multiple opportunities over the past five years to stand in the face of the bully. But lacking courage, even the size of a mustard seed, has paralyzed Republicans in the present-day challenge to save democracy in America, in addition to salvaging America’s ability to promote democracy to other nation-states.

Should Republicans in the Senate vote not to convict Trump, then America is no better off than my friends in Burma. This beautiful country just witnessed a military junta throw out the results of a recent national election because a civilian political party took the lion’s share of the votes, thus reducing the military’s power.

Thanks to the Capitol Police bravery and the mayor of the District of Columbia’s maneuvering, Trump’s stormtroopers were unsuccessful in destroying last November’s General Election certification, thus preserving civilian democratic rule.

According to the International Monetary Fund, suppression of the hostiles may be short-lived. The IMF recently noted its research finds that “pandemics usually trigger social unrest once the disease has run its course.” Based on IMF findings, about two years after the pandemic, “the risk of riots and antigovernmental demonstrations grows.”

Typically, citizens rally together during a crisis in a great wave of solidarity, giving the government the authority to crush dissidents with only minimum push back from the citizens. But during this pandemic, Americans are divided along partisan lines in small matters like the efficacy of using a simple facial mask to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. While on a larger stage, congressional Republicans turn a blind eye to the violent attack on the holy ground of western democracy. Likely there is not a two-year grace period for American democracy. Disorderly behavior is in full force ten months into the pandemic, and public leaders lack the fire in the bellow to put a stop to it.

Given that Republican senators are reluctant to discipline Trump by invoking the political death penalty for former presidents with presidential eligibility remaining, the question becomes:

Can Democrats save the country from future attacks on democracy without the help of Republicans?

Probably not, I hazard a guess, to say.

The salvation of American democracy lies in its ability to negate the influence of Republicans on the body politics. Young professionals who can work from their laptops should move away from urban centers in Atlanta, Nashville, Louisville, Dallas, Birmingham and populate the heart of rural Red America, claiming state legislatures and the power to draft equable congressional and state legislative direct lines. This will bring balance and political order back to the country.

Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is the author of a book on Negro Leagues Baseball, The Duke of 18th & Vine: Bob Kendrick Pitches Negro Leagues Baseball. He writes feature stories for Black College Nines. Com. Harvey is a member of the Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a member of the Legends Committee for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Harvey is an engaging speaker. Contacted Harvey at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at haroldmichaelharvey.com

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