Sorry for a late post. I was at a family reunion which took place near Asheville, North Carolina. I enjoyed my extended family (all but the youngest brother made it) for five days at a rental house east of Asheville. We kept busy with chatting, eating and doing touristy stuff.
It’s an area I hadn’t explored but it pretty interesting. I got just a taste of the area, which is at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Part of our exploration of the area was to ascend Mount Mitchell, the highest elevation east of the Mississippi. As for Asheville itself, it’s surprisingly hilly, sort of like San Francisco, but without the cable cars. If you live there, your calf muscles will get a good workout.
I’m from a large family and by and large we lean to the left politically. So it was not hard to discuss politics. The general theme was, “What the hell happened to the Republican Party?” Out of office, Donald Trump has proven that he still controls the party. This in itself is pretty funny, as he is arguably an east coast elite and he’s dragging members of the party around like they were being pulled by a nose ring.
We sensibly assumed that after he was discovered with so many classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that any Republicans left with a brain would have disowned the guy. But we were imaging a party that clearly no longer exists. Why, of course the rank and file right away started to invent excuses why it’s perfectly okay for an ex-president to retain highly sensitive classified information at his private resort. These apparently include sensitive compartmented information giving insight into the sources and methods used by our agents in Iran and elsewhere. This sort of stuff would reveal and get our agents in these countries killed, if revealed. It might set our intelligence collection back decades.
But, of course, no, it didn’t seem to bother more than a handful of Republicans that Trump held this information. Trump himself said he could declassify this information with his mind, as if anyone in their right mind would declassify such sensitive information. The time and cost it must take to acquire this sort of information must be astronomical. It sure appears though that Trump held onto these documents for leverage and bargaining purposes.
Which raised the uncomfortable question among my siblings: is there any behavior by Donald Trump that Republicans would not excuse? We threw all sorts of ideas out there. What if, for example, Donald Trump said that to be a good Republican, you had to consume aborted babies? We all agreed: no problem! Republicans would form a line to show their manhood. If you can excuse retaining classified SCI information, why would you be upset if your dear leader asked you to eat aborted fetuses? It’s not like they believe in a right to life anyhow. All that is for show since it’s obvious to the rest of us that control is what they really crave. Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz gave away the secret in his recent debate with John Fetterman:
“I want women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves,” he added.
This is consistent with the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, in that the court wanted to return this power to the states and take it away from women. Yes, women, your local political leaders should have a say in whether you carry a pregnancy to term or not. This is because of freedom, somehow.
And so it went. We kept putting out more ideas to test if Republicans would abandon Trump if he advocated for them. The eating aborted fetuses one though was probably the wildest of them all. Nonetheless, the consensus was that any of them would by embraced by Republicans anxious to show fealty to Donald Trump. And that’s because they love authoritarians. They can’t imagine their Dear Leader doing anything that would cause them to lose trust in him.
The midterm election is rapidly approaching. While I hope for the best for Democratic candidates, I don’t have my blinders on. It may be bad for Democrats. If for some reason though it’s a Democratic blowout, Republicans will have no one else to blame but themselves. That’s because due to covid-19, Republicans died at a disproportionate rate. Both Florida and Ohio are arguably swing states in this election, but NBC News found:
Average excess death rates in Florida and Ohio were 76% higher among Republicans than Democrats from March 2020 to December 2021
That’s a lot of dead Republicans that will be purged from local voter rolls. We’ll see what happens, but the anti-vax, anti-science hostility pervasive among Republicans and Trump supporters may tip the election in favor of Democrats.