Archive for February 5th, 2022


GC Myers Two Sides  2006

“Legitimate political discourse”

Those three words set me off yesterday.

And to be honest, I am as angry this morning not to mention a little worried for what the use of these three simple words mean in the near future.

Legitimate political discourse” was how the Republican Party described the actions of the January 6 insurrectionists yesterday in their censure of Rep. Cheney and Rep. Kitzinger, the only two Republican members of congress who clearly viewed the events of January 6, 2021 for what it was– a violent threat to our democratic system.

As would any breathing human with a shred of honesty and integrity.  Or eyes.

The idea that someone could look at that day and the violence that it entailed and say that this was just a another example of citizens reaching out to their elected officials is maddening. Thus, my anger.

But as I said, it worries me as well.

It is a public declaration that such activity is now within the bounds of normal behavior. This acceptance and legitimization of political violence– along with the recent race to ban books, intimidate school boards and teachers, erase certain parts of our history, and continuously distribute falsehoods and misinformation–confirms my fear that the Republican Party has wholeheartedly embraced a form of fascism.

That is a dangerous proposition for every one of us, whether or not we choose to pay attention.

But I wonder how well they have thought out this public declaration. Where does the leadership of the Republican Party think this will lead?

There are always unintended consequences to any action, some favorable and some devastating. And declaring that violence and mayhem is okie-dokie seems to be leaning towards devastation, at least in my mind.

I mean, what is the dividing line between what they see as legitimate and illegitimate?

If I don’t see eye to eye on things with my congressperson, can I run them over with my car if I see them on the street?

And is Antifa, who stands against this new form of the GOP, now okay with them? After all, their most extreme actions are certainly as legitimate a form of political discourse as those who bear-sprayed police and beat them with flags and such.

Would John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Lincoln be now seen as a citizen rightfully expressing his discontent with a public official?

Under today’s GOP, would Lee Harvey Oswald have qualified to run for congress under their banner?

Where does it take you when you have chosen a path built on the acceptance– and encouragement– of violence?

I am a person constantly filled with uncertainty and doubt but I can tell you with absolute certainty that the answer to that question is: Nowhere good.

That a major political party with all its resources, money, and mechanisms would choose to make such a declaration should open all of our eyes a bit wider and make the hair on the back of our necks stand up. Like a wild creature who senses a nearby predator and is ready to fight, flee, or hide.

There is danger at hand and we need to take action.

Fight, flee, or hide.

I am not going away and I am certainly not going to hide.

Here’s a clip from Assassins, the1990 Broadway musical from the recently deceased Stephen Sondheim. The show features the ghosts of nine prominent assassins and would-be assassins–John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Leon Czolgosz, Charles Guiteau, John Hinckley, Giuseppe Zangara, Samuel Byck, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, and Sara Jane Moore— and explores what their presence in American history says about the ideals of their life and country.

This song is the final reprise of Everybody’s Got the Right.

It might be the new theme song of the GOP.

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