Politics throughout the 5,000 years of known human history has always been a brutal battle for dominance, where the only rule is win or die. I know that this is an awful state of affairs, especially for those like myself who dream of a harmonious humanity. Yet by not recognizing this underlying dynamic, those of us on the Left Wing of the political spectrum, are at an extreme disadvantage in our political struggles. Here on the Left, we are bound together by the belief that humans can live together in a society of legal equality and economic fairness, celebrating the beauty of our own complex diversity. We believe that given the right conditions humanity will act in harmony for the common good. We Left Wingers believe this, despite humanity’s six millennia of violence and warfare resulting from struggles for dominance.
Those on the Right Wing of the political spectrum share a pessimism about the good in humanity. They embrace the notion that all life is a struggle for dominance and so the only true measure of an individual’s life is the wealth and power they have achieved. Their belief is not without some substance, given recorded history’s sagas of people destroying each other in bloody struggles for domination, waged with genocidal fervor.
Thus those on the Right can fairly be said to be the political skeptics and cynics. While those on the Left are in the main political idealists. If the Right’s perspective is valid, then what flows from it is the belief that society should be governed by those who have risen to the top of the “social ladder” despite how that status has been achieved. If the Left’s perspective is valid, then the governance and the fruits of society should be shared by all. Now obviously those are simplistic formulations and the tremendous diversity and complexity of political philosophies across the spectrum provides the evidence that is the case. However, as I see it these simplistic explanations of the political differences between Left and Right Wingers can be helpful in understanding the chaos of our American political system.
An article at Alternet demonstrates the reality that our American political Right Wing is only interested in winning power in order to advance their agenda. The fact that The Past 5 GOP Presidents Have Used Fraud and Treason to Steer Themselves to Electoral Victory By Thom Hartmann, should come as no shock to those paying close attention to the American political scene. in the present, most of us are still in a state of shock caused by the continuing revelations of how Trump became President abetted by Russia, the FBI Director and a cacophony of falsehoods about Hillary Clinton spread by billionaire oligarchs such as Rupert Murdoch and Charles Koch. As the Alternet article shows, fraud and deception directly led to the elections of Republican Presidents, at least since Nixon covertly sabotaged the Paris Peace Talks. Those talks might have ended the War in Vietnam in 1968 saving the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians. The case made by Thom Hartmann is irrefutable because it has become generally accepted history born out by subsequent Congressional investigations.
Add to the above, the massive Right Wing efforts to De-legitimize the past three Democraticis Presidents and the solidity of the Republicans in Congress actively refusing to cooperate in governing with them. Perhaps the two most egregious and thuggish examples of this Republican intransigence is the stealing of a Supreme Court Justice and the ongoing, concerted efforts to destroy a Health Care Plan, that is actually the creation of a Right Wing think tank. In the former we have a Republican controlled Senate that refused to even give a hearing to the Obama Supreme Court nominee, a Judge who most Republicans actually thought highly of. In the latter, the Affordable Care Act, a plan implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and developed by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation think tank was vehemently vilified simply because it was proposed by a Democratic President.
The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from this is that the representative of Right Wing politics in America, the Republican Party, is interested more in achieving absolute power, than in positively contributing to the governing of these United States. The Republican political philosophy glories in a belief that “the end justifies the means” and that “end” is certainly the accelerated accretion of wealth and power by the top “One Percent“, the American Oligarchs. From my perspective the only way to characterize those who believe that “the end justifies the means” is as “Thugs“. When the word “Thug“ is used in English it connotes a violent criminal, unbound by the normal conventions of society. The translation into politics yields individuals who are more than willing to go outside of the legal boundaries for gaining elective office in America and who are willing to violate the political norms that have been established throughout the 241 years since the American Revolution began.
The overwhelming majority of the Republican politicians today are either actively “Thugs“, or cowardly individuals afraid to tarnish their own political fortunes by opposing the “Thugs” who lead their party. That is how that fraudulent epitome of a “Thug“ became President, with the large majority of Republicans in Congress pretending that he is somehow “normal” and a leader to emulate and respect. If you accept my premise, than those of us committed to RESISTING Trump the Thug and his cohort of Republican thuggery, desperately need to understand that these goons will use our own dedication to fairness against us. We are Liberals, Progressives and Socialists directly because we Do Not Believe that “the end justifies the means” and so it does appear that we are “bringing a knife to a gunfight”.
I believe that the answer Does Not lie in abandoning our moral compass that ”that the end DOES NOT justify the means” nor does it lie in appeasing these “Thugs” via the blissful ignorance of bi-partisan cooperation. The path of our Resistance must be trod with our understanding that we are opposing a movement that will always descend to Thuggery when victory is at stake. We can oppose this while remaining true to ourselves and to our beliefs. Let me present an example of a missed oppportunity that derives from our still painful political history.
“In the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision in 2000 that stopped the Florida recount and thus handed George W. Bush the presidency – Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his opinion:
“The counting of votes … does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he [Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election.”
Apparently, denying the presidency to Al Gore, the guy who actually won the most votes in Florida, did not constitute “irreparable harm” to Scalia or the media.
And apparently it wasn’t important that Scalia’s son worked for the law firm that was defending George W. Bush before the high court (thus no Scalia recusal).
Just like it wasn’t important to mention that Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife worked on the Bush transition team and was busy accepting resumes from people who would serve in the Bush White House if her husband stopped the recount in Florida…which he did. (No Thomas recusal, either.)
And more than a year after the election – a consortium of newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today did their own recount in Florida – manually counting every vote in a process that took almost a year – and concluded that Al Gore did indeed win the presidency in 2000.
As the November 12th, 2001 article in The New York Times read:
“If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won.”
That little bit of info was slipped into the seventeenth paragraph of the Times story on purpose so that it would attract as little attention as possible around the nation.
Why? because the 9/11 attacks had just happened – and journalists feared that burdening Americans with the plain truth that George W. Bush actually lost the election would further hurt a nation that was already in crisis.
And none of that even considered that Bush could only have gotten as close to Gore as he did because his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, had ordered his Secretary of State, Kathrine Harris, to purge at least 57,000 mostly-Black voters from the state’s rolls just before the election.
So for the third time in 4 decades – Republicans took the White House under illegitimate electoral circumstances. Even President Carter was shocked by the brazenness of that one.
And Jeb Bush and the GOP were never held to account for that crime against democracy.” Here.
What we tend to forget about that sad moment in American history is that not only did Al Gore give up the fight too soon, he could have won it decisively since as Vice President he could the have continued the fight:
“On January 6, 2001, a joint session of Congress met to certify the electoral vote. Twenty members of the House of Representatives, most of them Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus, rose one-by-one to file objections to the electoral votes of Florida. However, pursuant to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, any such objection had to be sponsored by both a representative and a senator. No senator would co-sponsor these objections, deferring to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Therefore, Gore, who presided in his capacity as President of the Senate, ruled each of these objections out of order.” See Here
Gore’s mistake and indeed the continuing mistake of most Democratic Party politicians is that that believe their Republican counterparts should be treated as colleagues, rather than as the “Thugs” that they have become in the last 53 years. Their “thuggery” is the result of their selling out to a group of Radical Right Wing Oligarchs bent on destroying the last vestiges of democratic governance in our Republic and willing to use any means to bring this about.
Our task in our Resistance must be to maintain our ideals, while simultaneously understanding that our foes are ruthless in their determination to achieve power and so we can never yield to them by pretending that they are engaging in normative politics. Al Gore should have never acceded to the “thuggery” of a stolen election and to the chicanery of a SCOTUS ruling by justices of a partisan stripe. Yes that would have caused a Constitutional Crisis, but can we allow the blackmail of a threatened Constitutional Crisis, give power to illegitimate authority? The incompetent mountebank Trump gained office by colluding with a hostile foreign power, by widespread purging of voter rolls and with the help of a media too afraid to expose his checkered history. Our Resistance must Never accept that this fraud is a legitimate President and we must oppose all efforts to cast him as anything other than an illegitimate fraud who stole the Presidency.
While I have never been a fan of either Hillary or Bill Clinton, I nevertheless voted for her in the November election because there was simply no alternative for any thinking person and it was no contest that she was the only qualified candidate. In this disastrous aftermath, we see Hillary chided by mainstream pundits for her continuing to assert the obvious that this was a stolen election. She and WE must continue to voice the truth about this fraudulent past election and about the continuing efforts of these “Thugs” whose aim is an Aristocratic Oligarchy, rather than a democratic government.