• Sona Chaturvedi

The GOP vs. America

Image Credit: Karen Norris/Christian Science Monitor.

The big lie about Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election being stolen is merely a continuation of untruths Republicans have fed us for decades.

Some say it started with Richard Nixon. Some say it goes back as far as FDR, when Republican bankers did not want the New Deal to reach fruition.

Look no further than Ronald Reagan and “trickle down economics,'' a myth created by the upper class, which posits that the wealthy would give back to the rest of America if we gave them tax breaks. In reality, they took from the middle class. It allowed for money to remain in the hands of a few. They never did give back.

This ruse continued with George H.W. Bush, and his son George W. Bush, when wealth inequality became even more stark. George Bush Jr. admitted as such when he spoke with his donors, joking that “some people call you elite. I call you my base.”

Then, there was the barrage of untruths about the weapons of mass destruction, the financial crisis of 2008 and the constant obstructionists in the Republican Senate who oppose any programs that help working-class Americans. That’s the GOP’s greatest magic trick, pretending they care about everyday hard-working citizens. They hide behind cultural issues that divide in order to conquer.

We gave the GOP a pass when they told us they were “fiscal conservatives.” They aren’t. We have a party that no longer governs. They only lie, cheat and steal. Whenever all this dishonesty began is irrelevant. The lies have grown and grown, until they finally culminated in the biggest lie of them all.

This time, we can’t let them hide behind the flag or spew “family values,” or lie about too much spending. It really never was about tax cuts. It was justification to create an oligarchy. This is a dangerous and serious threat to democracy. It’s about the treacherous, authoritarian GOP and what they actually want.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted with Trump on practically everything, is being booted from the party leadership for daring to not perpetuate the big lie. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was recently booed as he spoke about his dislike of Trump’s character.

These are by no means “moderate” Republicans. There aren’t any left with any power. The media keeps searching for some. If they are in office, they are hiding it well.

We are left with a country on the verge of a modern civil war. We have a domestic cold war in America between conspiracy thinkers, social-media enablers, powerful people in government and law enforcement advocating for a racist past, when Black people were considered second-class citizens. Then we have the rest of America, those on the side of science, advancement, fairness and equality. The two clash and we see the violence play out practically every night with police shootings of unarmed Black citizens, with little or no accountability or justice.

The question America is struggling with is what type of nation do we want to be? A country with stunted growth and our best years behind us, or an America that remains a global superpower and continues to lead here and internationally.

The answer may seem clear to most, but it isn’t. The truth is there are plenty of Americans happy to take a back seat, remain isolationist and lawless. This isn’t new through history, but it’s happening and there is an immediate need to decide who holds power long term.

Short fixes won’t work. One-off election wins will hold no water in the face of such a threat. There must be a concerted effort on the part of all Americans who wish for a future in which our nation emerges from this crisis stronger and ready to tackle new challenges.

This may mean a shift in our lives. It will take all of us staying involved on a daily basis. It could require running for office, assisting in grassroots campaigns, donating time to worthy causes and most importantly continuing to back all of President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

We can’t afford any cracks in the sidewalk. Absolutely nothing can slip through. Not one slight, not one swipe from the GOP, without calling them on it each and every time.

This now requires all citizens who believe in American democracy to fight, continue to stay involved and be as hands-on as possible. There are no two sides to every argument in this case.

2022 is around the corner, then 2024. Donald Trump may or may not run, and it hardly matters what he does any longer. It’s Trumpism and the authoritarian GOP that must be defeated in order for democracy to not only survive, but thrive.

It’s entirely our choice. American democracy lives or dies within just a few years. It’s not alarmist. It’s a fact. It’s the GOP or America. There is no in-between.