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I have seen, in the last week, quiet astonishment that the New York Times’ exposé on the Trump family’s multi-generational financial fraud could not stay in the national conversation for even one full news cycle. I tend to agree with L. Rhodes’ take on this phenomenon, that this story served to set into motion lawsuits and other legal processes that — for now — operate quite well outside the hard-edged circle of the headline-news spotlight. I imagine that we will hear more about it later.
No, it was a different story, also failing to attain more than minimal attention-traction during these last few obsessed and bitter weeks, that really hooked into me. Combined with all that has happened on-stage since, this particular news item has convinced me more than ever that Republicans represent a true evil, ascending into the avatarship of demonically short-term thinking. Republicans seek to set up the world to suffer and die after two or three more human generations, so long as they can maximize the fun of their own, personal remaining years. And I feel called to recenter my own political stance as defined primarily not in favor of any plan or policy but against Republicans, at every level of American government.
We have learned an official position of the United States government takes as given that the average global temperature will increase by seven degrees over the next eighty years — more than triple the target maximum-allowed increase that the Paris climate accord strives for. That in itself does not fill me with venom against the speaker; I have entered into the record my own support for hard truths about the upcoming catastrophe. But the report continues with a recommendation that, because of the presence of this worst-case scenario, the government take no action to attempt stopping it. Because catastrophic climate change is distinctly possible, this report concludes, we should just accept it, and spend the resources we have today on enjoying our current lifestyle while we still can.
Of course, this slots in perfectly with every demonstrated Republican action and policy since they began their current ascent into power earlier this decade — propelled by white loathing of a black president, and all his policies that angled away from a childish focus on short-term gains. From their subsequent election of the most divisive president since the Civil War through their Supreme Court installation of an emotionally volatile frat boy and possible sex offender amidst an era of new feminist awakening, Republicans have pursued only an agenda of win, right now, me win right now, you lose me win heedless of cost. To accomplish this, they borrow rapaciously from the future, and never spare a thought about how the piling-up debt might get repaid — or, indeed, who will have to repay it.
Cold-comfort columnists will write this weekend that Republicans will find themselves called to account as soon as next month’s midterm elections. Maybe. I would of course like to see that happen, for reasons quite succinctly expressed by the headline of Damon Young’s recent column, and I plan to contribute my own minimal democratic effort to help achieve this result. But I know with certainty that Republican-led actions today will make Americans — and humans everywhere — pay a much higher price for the right to simply exist, let alone maintain a civilization, in the not-unimaginably distant future. The younger and healthier among us may even live to see it. Republicans don’t care. They just want their one marshmallow, right now.
Recognizing the danger that they pose, I today redefine my political stance as, centrally and specifically, anti-Republican. Whenever the opportunity arises, I will do what I can to chase Republicans away from the levers of American power, and then keep them away. Naturally I can express this in the voting booth, but I would also like to begin seeking ways to more creatively and directly damage Republicanism through direct action, in ways compatible with my social position and my expertise.
Voting is the easy part. Since America is stuck with a two-party system for the foreseeable future, that means I’ll vote Democratic in every election I can legally attend, whenever a given choice involves a Republican and a Democratic candidate. I will not care who the Democrat is. I will vote for a horse or a cabbage who running on a Democratic ticket if the other choice is a human being who, no matter their other qualities, chooses to align themselves with the party of extinguishing human civilization. I see no choice at all here. (That includes the choice of abstaining, or voting third-party. Neither of these actions would do anything at all to nudge the Republican further from office, which, again, has become my core political goal.)
Paths to direct action appropriate to my station are not so obvious, but I see some starting points. Last January I made a public call for Apple to drop its support of Fox News. I didn’t expect any visible response to that, and saw none. But today, it strikes me as an idea worth returning to. I envision an organized effort to take down the Republicans’ vile state-media channel the same way one would starve any tumor without harming the body that hosts it: cut off its blood supply. One by one, we could find a significant Fox News advertiser or partner that we might conceivably sway, and then use truth applied with intensity to encourage them to break off the relationship. (Apple, a paragon of capitalism that nonetheless strives to display a public interest in social justice, still seems to me a good initial target.) On success, we would choose the next target under the same criteria, and subject it to the same unwavering and many-voiced treatment. With time, effort, and luck, we’d start to see the whole mass shrivel and weaken, its ability to poison the American conversation muted.
Because that, ultimately, is how I plan to treat Republicanism, and all those who claim to represent it: recognize their speech as poison, and stifle it. Absolutely feel zero sympathy as they whine and rage and demand equal representation on every platform. The language spoken by Republicans is that of the devil himself, both tempting their fellow Americans and convincing themselves to trade away the entirety of the future for a second scoop of ice cream.
The truth is on our side, and I know that it can silence and wash away this ongoing evil, when directed with sufficient force, purpose, and clarity. I may not know exactly how I’ll help with that, yet, but I feel that this is the most directly effective political course I can set myself on for the time being.
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