The 16 August issue of the New York Review of Books is out this week. As do all thoughtful publications in an age of vulgarity and Trump, it devotes a surprising number of pages to our glorious Orange Headed leader, though its actual brief is to talk about art and literature, not politics. Even so, many of those articles and editorials are remarkably well written, and sometimes offer surprising insights. Take, for example, Michael Tomasky’s editorial, Hail To The Chief.
About halfway through the piece, he asks about the GOP-congress, which to everyone’s amazement (or everyone with the slightest regard for representative government), has proved largely indifferent to 45’s more or less open drive toward dictatorship. Surely, one would think, even the most conservative congressman or –woman would hesitate to violate the fundamental principles upon which the country is based. But, no. They are quite happy to accept what’s happening.
Why? Here is where Tomasky provides his insight. He had originally assumed that it was weakness on the part of the GOP. But, in fact, he says, a little research reveals that something quite different is in operation. Specifically, the Republican Congressmen actively support what Trump has been doing. He writes, “their overwhelming commitment is not to democratic allocation of power, but to their ideological goals—the annihilation of liberalism, the restoration of a white ethno-nationalist hegemony.”
In other words, Trump is their agent. They want what he is doing. They want an America that is as America was a century ago, with prayer in every school, unions illegal, the races segregated, and, perhaps, now and then the occasional lynching.
Or, to be more precise, it isn’t just that Trump is a traitor. He is simply one of many, and perhaps not even the most vile of them.
Which brings up the question. When all this is over, what do we do with the GOP? This criminal organization? This Fifth Column? This party of racist “ethno-nationalists?”
Surely, we cannot let them back among us. We cannot let them have a role in American politics. Not now. Not ever. For they have proved themselves …without a shadow of a doubt…more foreign and more deadly …
…than any Putin or bin Laden could dream of being.