Updated: Oct 30, 2022
Haunting the GOP.
It is the end of October, and I already feel that Halloween is here. As we approach the mid-term election, it seems to have always been Halloween. We are surrounded by ghouls and goblins disguised as good patriots, law abiding, and church going evangelicals. They wear MAGA costumes to self-identify from ghosts of bygone era; as if they were resurrected, not from the dead, but from the old dusty Jim Crow Republican playbook once buried in their shuttered but aptly maintained resort style plantation. The Grand Old Party (GOP) members who selected and created an eligible Donald Trump in 2015 still strategize (cast their spells) in Louisiana, South Carolina, and occasionally on the West Coast.
Yes, it is Halloween, and the terrible times are here, not only in the haunted houses and pumpkin fields everywhere in our great country but in the haunted places of the GOP. Instead of trick or candy, the GOP did more tricks. Politics is not for the faint of heart, and its history is littered with examples of dirty politics on both sides of the political spectrum; whether you’re left or right, however, the right has enormous ownership of race politics and intimidation, and the 2022 midterm election is no exception. For example, Wisconsin and Georgia political democratic candidates, Mandela Barnes and Stacey Abrams, respectively, have both had their faces darkened in recent political attack ads by the GOP. Again, this is not a new trick or a twist on Halloween for the GOP since the use of race to Whip up racial anxiety amongst the GOP white political base has been used before, most notably in President Obama’s 2008 and his subsequent reelection campaigns.
Besides trick or trick or treat, Halloween is also notable for its fun costumes and mask-wearing, so children and even adults may have fun with alter egos of characters and hide themselves but the GOP this year as in the past do not need any costumes to hide what they are doing. What is shameful and utterly disappointing is how Senate Minority Leader GOP Mitch McConnell and House Rep Kevin McCarthy stand idly by and watch the ongoing and disgusting voter intimidation perpetuated by Republicans in Arizona. I would submit that if the country is not watching what’s going on in Arizona regarding the horrid voter intimidation where you have armed Republicans guarding ballot boxes and harassing voters, then you are blind to the crumbling of democracy right before your eyes. Likewise, the country watched the third-world drinking water problem in Mississippi and before that in Flint, MI the same thing. We as a nation often turn a blind eye and feign ignorance towards pain and suffering visited upon communities of color and poverty. Consequently, the predominantly tactical military dressed white men and women perpetuating this blatant voter intimidation have been identified; their photographs posted on social media while standing guard at these ballot boxes. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find the lack of empathy for the eradication of democracy because democracy’s demise is already underway. You add to the voter intimidation and the blatant disregard for the Voting Rights Act, and GOP candidates who are election deniers, and you get a recipe for a democratic disaster. I have argued in the past, as the tagline for this blog site, silence is compliance that to retreat to isolationist mode is the same as compliance, and watching terrible things happen is very hypocritical as many in the past have talked about the greatest generation as outlined in Tom Brokaw novel of how a generation fought back against tyranny in Nazi Germany and responded to the Pearl Harbor bombing masking the fact that African American, Native American, Hispanic American, other minorities and female heroes On both those war fronts came back to a country only to be hanged, blinded, ridiculed, and tortured while others live their lives; this separation of experience still plays out today, and that adds to the ghoulish specter that falls upon us this Halloween season. An alternative or addition to the greatest generation novel, please check out the 1619 Project. I have one copy and strongly recommend reading it.
When I listen to the deafening silence from leaders and centrists from the right, I imagine a scared, bullied child shrinking in the crowd, pretending to be invisible to avoid more beat downs and survive the nightmare. Spoiler Alert! The nightmare never stops, and the brute never stops! The reason is this – too many people are not doing anything nor saying anything at all. There was a time when morals and a code of ethics guided governing and politics (if you didn’t get caught i.e Richard Nixon). GOP Senator Mitch McConnell is married to an Asian lady and former US Transportation Secretary, did not defend his wife against racial attacks by Donald Trump. The fact crazy election deniers are on the ballot and we have lost a standard set of fundamental truths is reason to assume the worst. The white anxiety of white replacement is a natural and palatable fear used by right extremists to lure even the most even-minded suburban white Americans. KKK used fear in its beginnings at the turn of the century Jim Crow era; today, the promotion of the same sordid falsehood as blacks are criminals (Sen Tommy Tuberville). But can they play sports? Right? Furthermore, I talked about voter intimidation in Arizona, but other measures are being taken elsewhere.
For example, Georgia, when candidates don’t lie like Hershel Walker (see my latest blog post), contests voters’ eligibility. Meanwhile, Florida has an electoral police office dedicated to non-existent widespread election fraud crimes, and agents arrest people charged with alleged electoral fraud, even though state offices have allowed them to vote. Oh, it’s crazier and creepier. The great (insert sarcasm) State of Texas expanded voting during COVID-19 to better serve its citizens, but now early voting places have been closed early in the democratic blue zones. North of Texas, “The Republican Party of New Mexico, recently sent out flyers to voters in several state house districts showing a dark-handed barber. “Do you want a sex offender cutting your child’s hair?” the flyer asks.” The barber’s hand belongs to a white person made to appear as a black person! Republicans are haunting us and seem hell-bent on scaring us with frightening and spooky tactics employing a hatred of black people. I am no spoilsport, but I indeed voted as soon as I received my ballot in the mail. Happy not-so-Halloween!
The changes made to the GOP’s attack advertising during this mid-term electoral cycle stress the already burning racial division in the domestic cauldrons of our nation’s communities. Interestingly, GOP attacks commercials, debates, and senders all lack standard appealing messaging for American workers. The GOP is the antithesis of improving the lives of citizens. The GOP has launched campaigns against social security, medicare, the student loan program, and lower drug prices. They are trying to reduce social security and medicare, empower drug companies responsible for the opioid epidemic, and increase student debt to enrich loan agencies. So vote, and please don’t be part of silent compliance - the Grand Old Party (GOP) relies on ambivalence, compliance, and ignorance. I’m not one of those. I trust you don’t either.