What’s at stake

Democracy.  Sort of.  Anyway, a great summary from Greg Sargent:

It is often pointed out that Trump, by closing on a message of racism, hate, xenophobia and ethno-nationalism, has placed those things on the ballot. That’s true, but what’s really on the ballot is the Trumpist GOP’s fusion of xenophobic ethno-nationalism with the GOP’s orthodox regressive plutocratic agenda.

That latter element also comprises Trump’s ongoing corruption and self-dealing — we still have no idea how much Trump personally profited off the GOP tax cut — which Republicans are openly signaling that a GOP House will allow to continue undisturbed. It seems crazy that the straight-up declaration that Republicans will protect Trump and his administration from accountability and scrutiny would be seen as a positive that energizes Republican voters. But that’s where the Trump-era GOP has taken us, and this perversity, too, is very much on the ballot on Tuesday…

This is in keeping with the endless lies that Trump has employed to hype the migrant “caravan” into a national emergency. Republicans are running ads across the country painting immigrants as criminal invaders alongside many others that traffic in undisguised race-baiting directed at specific Democratic candidates who happen to be nonwhite.

Republicans are also relentlessly — and falsely — claiming they are the ones who will protect people with preexisting conditions. GOP-aligned groups have been falsely claiming that Democrats want to cut hundreds of billions from Medicare, recycling a lie from previous election cycles. Trump has also been claiming that if Republicans win the elections, they’ll immediately push through a massive tax cut for the middle class, which is almost certainly complete nonsense. Republican candidates have been falsely claiming that the GOP tax cut paid for itself…

The more obvious reason to hope that all the Trump/GOP lies get repudiated is that validation of them as a successful campaign strategy would be a terrible outcome. This wouldn’t just encourage future GOP campaigns to double down on stoking xenophobic and racial panic. It’s worse: The Trump strategy of sending in troops to prop up the campaign fiction that migrants pose a national emergency is a serious act of official misconduct... [emphasis mine]

This goes beyond Trump: Republicans are largely all in with this move. Meanwhile, Brian Kemp, the GOP candidate in the Georgia gubernatorial race, is now using his position overseeing the election as secretary of state to investigate Democrats for allegedly “hacking” the voter registration system with no evidence. The terrible precedent that such brazen abuses of governmental power to manipulate electoral outcomes will set for future elections seems obvious on its face.

The other reason to hope that all these lies get repudiated is centered on the very truths they are designed to obscure — that is, on the actual stakes in this election that all the lies are designed to cover up. If Republicans hold the House, Trump — having closed on xenophobia and hate — will be emboldened to go harder into his ethno-nationalist agenda: more restrictions on asylum seekers; a revived version of the family separations; possibly even an effort at an executive order to force a court battle over birthright citizenship.

And there’s even more I left out between ellipses.  Short version– care about Democracy?  Vote Democratic.  Seriously.  And I have never come close to arguing that before.  But, sadly, that’s where we are as a country.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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