After Nov. 6, The Miami Student solicited guest columns about the midterm election from members of Miami’s College Democrats and College Republicans. Below is a column from the College Democrats’ Adrian Radilla. Neither work reflects the opinion of The Miami Student editorial board.
Democrats won the House last Tuesday — thank goodness for that. Even though we will soon be in the midst of divided government with a much-needed check on President Trump, make no mistake the Republican Party is an extremist party that is a threat to the fabric of our democracy.
This statement is not meant to demonize the typical Republican voter. It is, however, meant to illuminate an unfortunate truth within our political system. The Republican party has lost its way and, in turn, has been replaced with the greed of ambitious partisans who seek power for power’s sake. This Machiavellianism has manifested itself with troubling realities toxic to the very ideals of democratic governance itself.
First and foremost the Republican party lives in a fantasy reality, detached from the truth, using lies and deceit to convince their voters of their fanatic untruths. What more evidence of this is needed besides the phrase “alternative facts”? Time after time, Republicans have been willing to kill truth and reason to serve their and their allies interests. Climate change serves as a glaring example, while 97% of experts agree on the conclusion of human-caused climate change, Republicans and their allies in the media have and continue to beat the drum of conspiracy and denialism.
Any criticism levied at Republican orthodoxy is discredited as “fake news” or explained in terms of high-level conspiracies aimed to subvert the rights of conservatives, the “deep state” being an example. Any party so willing to throw truth away to achieve their ends cannot be trusted in a democratic society.
Second, Republicans have waged an all-out assault on our democratic and electoral institutions to rig elections in their favor. The gerrymandering of states to solicit favorable partisan outcomes in elections is a direct attack on democracy and shows the aversion Republicans have to competitive elections. Look no further than GOP controlled North Carolina, which in 2011 was forced by the Supreme Court to redraw it’s racially gerrymandered congressional districts only to, in 2018, once again have their electoral map declared unconstitutional for being a partisan gerrymander.
Equally as egregious is the national war on voting rights by Republicans. In Ohio and as in other states, GOP officials have sought to make voting a “use it or lose it” right, aggressively purging voters from the rolls. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that from 2014 to 2016 alone 16 million were purged from the rolls across the country. Characteristically, the GOP defend their undemocratic positions with conspiracies of mass voter fraud caused by undocumented immigrants and Democrats. If Republicans don’t want to run in fair elections they ought to get another job.
Finally, the Republican party has exceedingly continued to play to their racist and fascist base serving only to further divide the American people and weaken the cohesion of our society. It is of no debate that since the days of Nixon and the “silent majority,” Republicans have used racist dog whistles such as “law and order” and “states rights” to rally voters and divide the population.
The leader of the GOP, President Trump, has imprisoned and separated migrant children from their families and called neo-Nazis who killed an innocent woman in Charlottesville, “very fine people.” The normalization of far-right talking points by the GOP which pedals conspiracy and hatred is not only dangerous, it is lethal. Charleston. Charlottesville. Tree of Life. Mail bombings to Democrats. How many more people must suffer before Republican leaders realize the hatred they sow and countenance has had the consequence of increased domestic terrorism by far-right extremists?
The only solution to the threat Republicans pose to democracy is an aggressive and sustained progressive political revolution to reclaim our country, our values, and our ideals. It is only through the mass mobilization of millions of Americans coming together to demand a just government that change can truly occur. Despite what conservatives say, this revolution is not a war on white people, it is not a revolution to confiscate guns, it is not a revolution for open borders, or to end free speech.
No, this is about the survival of our Republic.
MU College Democrats