It’s A Party Thing. I Have To Stick With My Party, Right?

There is only six days left until Election Day and some voters are still struggling to decide how they will vote; will it be for Democrats or Republicans?  Donald Trump and his sycophants are not concerned about why these voters are undecided, they continue to relentlessly pound them with anti-democracy rhetoric and other disinformation.  All of the election deniers that are running for office are making it clear that they will not accept the outcome of their election bid if they lose.  Donald Trump and all of his supporters are busy badmouthing the election process in general and implying that elections are bad and not needed here or abroad.

Mr. Trump and his followers are doing everything that they can to create problems with elections where there are none.   Then, they complain about the problems that they have created and use them as an excuse to reinforce their allegations that elections are completely messed up and that is why no one needs them.  One glaring example of a problem that Mr. Trump and his sycophants have created is the demand to count ballots in Arizona counties by hand.

Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Secretary of State recently made this comment about the hand counts.  “With early voting well under way and less than two weeks from election day, these antics are doing more than creating chaos and confusion around the election and tabulation of ballots, which is wildly irresponsible,” she said.  In light of the just released emails surrounding the plan of Trump lawyers to overturn the 2020 election, this fits right in with Trump and his sycophants’ plan to return Mr. Trump to power; smoke and mirrors and chaos and confusion.

To make the things that are occurring in Arizona and in other states around our country even more sad and unsettling is that all Republicans in congress– with the exception of two, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are either actively supporting these things, tacitly supporting them or are completely silent!  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “there comes a time when silence is betrayal.”  Dr. King is absolutely right.  Not only have these Republicans betrayed their oath of office in their greed and lust for power, they have betrayed the American people.  Any time that these elected officials are faced with a choice between defending the American democracy or circling the wagons and standing with Party, American democracy should always win!

There are those among the Republican faithful who might feel that they are comparable to those who fought in the first Crusades; who fought based on various motivations including religious salvation and economic or political gain.  Certainly, in the eyes of many during those times the end justified the means because their cause was just.  And there is little doubt that there are many Republicans, especially those who identify as evangelicals, who believe that Democrats are leading America in the wrong direction.  They believe that the policies for which Democrats are advocating and making the law of the land are so devastating that they must be stopped at their earliest stages.  And under these circumstances, the end justifies the means; their cause is just!  Many of them will weigh the cost of preventing these policies from spreading and becoming deep-rooted against democracy and might even opt for prevention at all costs.

Some of us might even agree with these Republicans that some of the policies and laws that Democrats are advocating for and putting into place are moving us in the wrong direction.  But to go with the end justifies the means approach and be willing to exchange our democracy for an autocracy to achieve those ends should be a bridge to far for all Americans whether we are Democrats, Republicans or Independents.  That is where Republicans like Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger come in.  Representative Liz Cheney is as conservative and staunch Republican as any Republican can be!  And Representative Kinzinger is probably not far behind her.

These two brave Republicans, Representative Kinzinger says that they are not brave but simply surrounded by a sea of cowards, believe strongly in the establishment Republican party and embrace its policies and ideals.  They have demonstrated that they also believe in democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law.  How could any Republican choose Donald J. Trump, a man who almost every Republican has at one time or another called a liar and every other derogatory name that they could think of, over Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger who have chosen to honor their oath of office and stand on principle?

I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and proud of it.  However, as I mentioned earlier in this article, when it comes to choosing between Party and democracy, we should always choose democracy.  In this case; however, heaping praise on Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger – which they deserve, and agreeing with them on some things that relate to American policy does not involve a choice between democracy and Party.  It’s a choice between who you would prefer to argue about those policies with; Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger and people like them or Donald J. Trump and people like him.

I know who I would prefer to see elected Democrats argue those policies with, and it’s not Donald J. Trump and people like him.  My hope would be that we would win some and that we would lose some because that is the essence of democracy: no one gets everything that they want.  Common ground is the key and that can only be reached through compromise.  But those arguments would have to begin with Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger and Republicans like them.  Any proffer that would involve Mr. Trump and/or his sycophants would be a non-starter.  This is how Democrats, Republicans and Independents should be assessing the situation as we navigate through these last six days before Election Day.

As American people, we absolutely must be able to agree to disagree and resolve our differences through reasonable discourse.  But in order to do this, we absolutely must have reasonable elected officials in office.  Perhaps it would be sufficient to give those who currently constitute that “sea of cowards” that Representative Kinzinger mentioned, a warning from voters that they need to stand up, step up and be counted or risk being voted out of office.  But there are more than 300 election deniers running for office in the 2022 midterm election and we, the American people, must let them know in no uncertain terms that we will not tolerate anyone as an elected official who is against or advocates against our democracy.  We can let them know by voting against them on Election Day.

Again, there are only six days left until Election Day.  Americans know that our enemies, whether foreign or domestic, are watching this midterm election and wishing those who love our democracy ill.  Let’s coalesce around democracy and those things that have always made and will continue to make America great!  Let’s show the world that America is still the leader of and chief defender of democracy.  Let’s show them that democracy is the best way to govern.

So always remember, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line