The 2025 Project: A Republican Plan To Destroy Democracy.

When it comes to the destruction of our democracy, Donald J. Trump is only a symptom. The real killer is revealed only when you look at the Republican Party in its entirety.

Once hailed as the Grand Old Party of emancipators led by Abraham Lincoln who saved the nation from being cleaved in two, by the 1960s, the party had reversed roles with the southern Democrats of the Confederacy and took on a win-at-any-cost philosophy. In doing so, it embraced racist, anti-government white Christian nationalists. It began pandering to large, multi-national corporations and it rigged the economy for the benefit of billionaires.

It also engaged our nation in unnecessary wars and war crimes. It abandoned polite public discourse, replacing it with cruelty and a determination to “own the libs.” And, in 2016, it elected a demagogue who used the presidency to enrich himself and his family, and who eventually orchestrated a desperate, unconstitutional attempt to stay in power.

Yet, as bad as that Republican Party has been for most Americans, the latest version is even worse!

Lest you think that’s mere hyperbole, consider The Heritage Foundation’s 1,000-page 2025 Project – a plan to deconstruct the federal government, to free corporations (especially those in the fossil fuel industry) from regulations, and to give the next Republican president almost unlimited power.

Under the 2025 Project, Republicans would fire more than 50,000 federal employees and replace them with party loyalists. In addition, they would drastically shrink or eliminate numerous federal agencies altogether. Among those agencies would be the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy’s renewable energy office, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the FBI.

All of this would free corporations to pollute and cheat at will. It would end most efforts to address climate change. It would overturn the rule of law, ending prosecutions of those Republican officials who committed felonies surrounding January 6th while ginning up prosecutions of Democrats under false pretenses.

It would abolish diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. It would roll back protections for workers. It would funnel most taxpayer-based education funding into private schools. It would allow the president to take control of the FCC and, therefore, the media. It would almost certainly institute a draconian nationwide ban on abortion. And it would allow the Republican president to dodge Senate confirmation of cabinet members.

With a Republican president and a government full of Republican workers subjected to loyalty tests, there would be none of the guardrails that saved our nation from dictatorship during the Trump administration.

Terrifyingly, the plan calls for the federal government to be transformed within 180 days of the inauguration of a Republican president!

Voting for Trump or one of his mini-me Republican presidential candidates would be akin to voters forming a suicide pact to destroy our democracy and the world economy. It would almost certainly plunge the world into an economic depression. And it would likely fill the streets with millions of protestors who would be met with violence from Trump’s various armies of domestic terrorists.

To be clear, the 2025 Project is not just the imagination of The Heritage Foundation, former Trump officials, and Trump enablers. It is being heralded by a host of rightwing organizations, most Republican presidential candidates and, by extension, most Republican voters.

It’s not a plan to improve the federal government, to improve our democracy, or to improve the lives of working Americans. It won’t help ordinary Americans realize the American Dream.

It’s a plan to enshrine racism, homophobia, transphobia, and cruelty. A plan to replace our form of government with an autocracy similar to Putin’s Russia where industries and the nation’s resources are controlled by oligarchs chosen by whichever Republican occupies the White House. And where the outcome of elections is predetermined by whoever is in power.

Voters need to understand that a vote for a Republican in 2024 is a vote for the 2025 Project – the political equivalent of swallowing the poisoned Kool-Aid at Jonestown.

“I Dislike The Man. But I Like His Policies.”

Really? What policies are those? Is it Trump’s racism as displayed by his support of white supremacists and his hatred of Black Lives Matter? Is it his racist verbal attacks on Latino migrants? His cruel separation of children from migrant families?

Are those the policies you like?

Or maybe you like his attacks on the LGBTQ community? His misogyny? His utter contempt for any but the most beautiful women? His admitted and proven sexual assaults?

Is that what you like?

How about his tax cuts for billionaires which added trillions to the national debt? Or perhaps you like his policy of using political office to enrich himself and his family at taxpayer expense?

Are those the policies that excite you?

Or maybe you enjoyed watching him kissing the rings of some of the world’s worst autocrats while showing disregard for our longtime allies?

Maybe what you really like is watching Trump and his evangelical supporters take away Americans’ personal freedoms while imposing their Puritanical beliefs on non-Christians? Or maybe what floats your boat is watching him politicize government to reward allies while punishing political opponents? (Though Biden hasn’t weaponized government agencies, Trump most certainly did.)

Do you like his ignorance of climate change? His disdain for laws and norms? His arrogance? His refusal to concede defeat? His open disregard for the Constitution and our democracy? Or his attempts to overturn a free and fair election that has, thus far, resulted in four criminal indictments?

Those must be the policies you like because there are no discernable others.

Freedom Fighters?

The Republican Party has a long history of claiming to be patriots and “freedom fighters.”  Indeed, many of its members have armed themselves with numerous AR15-style rifles and large stockpiles of ammunition while claiming such measures are necessary to defend themselves against tyranny – the tyranny of a Democratic-led federal government.

Really?

Exactly what Democratic policies do they fear? Providing SNAP benefits to poor families to keep their children from starving? Welcoming refugees from war-torn nations and migrants forced to leave their homeland as the result of violence or drought? Providing Social Security benefits to the elderly who spent decades paying FICA to ensure a comfortable retirement? Supporting Medicare and Obamacare so that Americans won’t die prematurely for lack of access to healthcare?

Do governmental actions cross into tyranny for distributing vaccines to millions to help prevent disease, sickness and death? Allocating billions to repair and restore our nation’s failing infrastructure? Enhancing voting systems to ensure that any eligible citizen can easily exercise their right to vote? Permitting a woman and her doctor to make decisions affecting her health? Or permitting the justice system to prosecute anyone, including the rich and powerful, who breaks the law?

Are these policies evidence of tyranny? Hardly.

Real tyranny is a government that requires elementary school gym teachers to check a child’s genitals to make sure they are using the correct pronoun. Tyranny is telling parents that they cannot decide to give their child gender altering surgery. Tyranny is telling qualified teachers they can’t give a true account of American history. Tyranny is banning books and threatening to criminally prosecute librarians. Tyranny is trying to ban boycotts of governments and corporations who commit human rights abuses. Tyranny is trying to abolish civil rights protests.

Tyranny is telling citizens they can’t marry the ones they love. Tyranny is making it increasingly more difficult for certain ethnic groups to vote. Tyranny is forcing a physician to check with attorneys before providing life-saving care to a pregnant woman whose fetus has died in the womb. Tyranny is prosecuting women and their doctors for seeking abortions. Tyranny is punishing corporations for taking a stand against discrimination or considering DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) in their staffing decisions. Tyranny is banning retirement fund managers and state treasurers from incorporating ESG (Environmental, Social and Good Government) investment strategies.

These are not the tyrannical policies of Democrats. These are policies of the Republican Party.

You know, the party that staged a violent coup to overthrow our duly elected government. The same “patriots” who supported Nixon despite his criminal activities to sway the outcome of an election. The same “freedom fighters” who supported Reagan despite his racism and his interference in President Carter’s negotiations to free the Americans taken hostage by Iran.

In reality, Republicans are more interested in fighting than freedom. It seems the only freedom they really care about is the freedom to discriminate and bully others into doing what they want.

Contempt Of Court.

OPEN LETTER TO CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS:

In case you are blissfully unaware, a growing majority of Americans have lost faith in your court – the result of your “conservative” members being anything but conservative, engaged as they are in overturning decades of legal precedent. Your court continues to take fabricated cases dreamt up by anti-American rightwing ideologues – the most recent based on false information – to take away rights from American minorities and to legalize discrimination.

In doing so, your court seems to ignore the very preamble of the Constitution and creates a caste system in which the rich and powerful receive protections not afforded to those groups who need them most.

Further, as disgusting as it is to see your Catholic majority politicize the court in an attempt to force its religious views on others is the manner in which it’s done – in the dark of night as part of your shadow dockets or at the end of a session so your ethically-compromised “justices” can sneak back into their hidey holes (or some billionaire’s private jet) before the judgments are revealed.

At 77 years of age, I had long respected, even revered the Supreme Court. No longer! For your court, I, like a growing majority of Americans, have nothing but contempt.

It’s Time To Start Using The F Word.

Like many people, I’ve been hesitant to use the F word in public for fear of offending others’ sensibilities. It is, after all, the one word that can end any political debate or polite conversation. Yet I believe our nation has reached a point where it is the only word left to accurately describe a political party.

I’m not referring to the F word that ends with a k.

After watching the GOP’s followers attempting to violently overturn the results of a fair and free election, after listening to them spewing racism and hate, after seeing them place targets on the backs of LBTQ people who only want to love who they want and to live as they want, after seeing them interfere with a woman’s access to health care, after watching them strip away virtually all regulations of guns, and after watching their hate result in the recent spate of shootings, I believe the party now richly deserves to be labeled with another F word.

I’m referring, of course, to the term fascist.

You may remember that I recently compared the United States of America that Republicans have created to pre-World War II Germany. But I was wrong.

This America may be even worse!

As long ago as the 1970s, those who operate under the banner of the Republican Party determined that the only way to win a free and fair election was to divide us, to pit elements of our society against one another – white against black and brown, conservatives against liberals, Christians against Jews, Christians against Muslims, the religious against atheists and agnostics, gun owners against those who demand gun safety, anti-abortionists against those who believe in a woman’s choice, heterosexuals against homosexuals, heterosexuals against transexuals, etc., etc., etc.

Failing to offer any solutions for our nation’s problems, they intended, instead, to create scapegoats. Along the way, the fascists and their propaganda networks have peddled dishonest narratives of an oppressive government, runaway spending, out of control crime, an invasion of immigrants, and a breakdown of Christian principles to motivate their base.

They have labeled Democrats as pedophiles, non-Christians as terrorists, food stamp recipients as welfare queens, civil servants as the deep state, doctors as baby killers, journalists as enemies of the people, the compassionate as woke, teachers as groomers, and election results as fake.

They whined about so-called activist judges, praying for Supreme Court justices to die so they could seat their own ideologues. They then encouraged them to change long-standing and popular laws by judicial fiat. Having given up on trying to persuade voters, they resorted to voter suppression, gerrymandering, threats, and intimidation.

They disregard education, science, history, and expertise. In their place, they have embraced “alternative facts”, outrageous myths, and wild conspiracy theories.

They seek power, not to govern and improve lives. But to dictate their own narrow-minded beliefs. They disdain compromise and policy debates. Indeed, their only discernable policy is cruelty. They see tolerance, understanding, and compassion as weakness. They ban books and fire teachers who contradict their ignorance and hateful beliefs. They turn government meetings into carnival freak shows. They show up at state houses and election sites with guns to intimidate and threaten, using the First and Second Amendments as weapons.

They have chosen as their leader a man who panders to their ignorance and cruelty. A sociopathic bully who makes up for his lack of knowledge by creating his own “truth.” A conman who has fashioned his leadership style after mob bosses, encouraging lawlessness and giving orders by suggestion and implication – a technique that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to hold him to account. When he lost re-election, he claimed victory, his followers believing his obvious lies. In the aftermath of his defeat, they stormed the Capitol as part of a failed coup to overturn the election. And rather than accept the truth, they forced election officials, even those who are longtime members of their own party, to resign under an avalanche of death threats.

The difference between these fascists and those who once ruled Germany is almost indistinguishable. They have a leader whose thirst for power and adoration is insatiable. He has a proven ability to sell his racist and hateful dream to the masses. He has created a climate of anger and fear of “the other” – races of people he claims are keeping the nation from becoming great again. And though he has no uniformed mob of brown shirts, he has no need for them. Instead, he has a mob of Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Bois, and millions of heavily armed believers who are impatiently waiting for the opportunity to act.

Will there be a Kristallnacht? A burning of the Reichstag? Some other crisis created to justify a violent takeover? The danger to our democracy and the world is far from over. What happens between now and November 12, 2024, will determine our fate.

Can Our Democracy Survive?

The one thing Democrats and the MAGA Party (the Republican Party no longer exists having been subsumed by Fox-fueled Trump followers) can agree on is that our democracy is under attack. However, they see vastly different threats.

The MAGAs believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. While Democrats point to the January 6 insurrection and increasing laws in MAGA-controlled states that limit voting rights for MAGA opponents, that take away a woman’s right to control her own body, that prioritize the freedom to own weapons of war over the lives of children.

But I believe the division runs deeper than that. It stems from the way the leaders of the MAGA Party view democracy.

Instead of seeing democracy as a means of majority rule, I believe MAGA leaders see it as a tool that can be manipulated on behalf of the powerful and wealthy. The result is that we now have several standards of justice based on factors such as race, wealth, and privilege. We see elected officials defy the wishes of significant majorities of their constituents on universal background checks for gun purchases, red flag laws, and access to abortion. And we see them use the power of their office to threaten and punish those with whom they disagree.

As a result of the MAGA ideology, our entire economy and, at times, our government are driven by a wealthy few. The owners and investors of large, multinational corporations have been allowed to influence elections while avoiding taxes. Through their political influence, these multinationals have been deregulated. They have exported high-paying jobs. They have eliminated workers’ retirement plans and other benefits. And they have taken almost total control of entire industries through consolidation.

For much too long, we’ve had eight too-big-to-fail banks, three or four conglomerates that control most of our grain, and six companies that control most of our meat supply. The majority of pharmaceuticals sold in the US are controlled by just ten corporations. Our oil and gas industries are controlled by a few corporations and state actors that dismiss their role in the climate crisis. Likewise, our transportation, insurance, and other industries have each been captured by a few large corporations.

And, chillingly, just six corporations now own roughly 90 percent of the media that bring us the news!

At the same time, the politicians that have been bought and paid for by these corporations have cut their taxes while pushing the tax burden onto ordinary hardworking citizens. Even that has not been enough to satisfy their greed. So, they regularly offshore profits in order to extort our government into allowing them to “repatriate” their ill-gotten gains at further reduced tax rates.

Corporations’ insatiable greed has even been the primary driver of inflation. Yet they and their political lackeys have blamed it on an administration that has set about trying to curtail their power.

Understandably, many Americans are angry. But thanks to the many lies peddled by the leading cable “news” outlet and others, their anger has been misdirected. Instead of blaming the rich and powerful, they blame immigrants, the poor, and minorities.

The problem has been made worse, I believe, from the MAGAs’ Kim Jong-un-like devotion to Trump. In both cases, the followers seem to see their Dear Leaders as deities. Many MAGAs continue to believe that Trump was chosen by God. They compare him to the Messiah and pray for him to save them. And, with both Trump and Kim, the followers not only accept their leaders’ extravagant lifestyle. They celebrate it. And they contribute to it.

The only conclusion can be that the many Millennials and GenXers who have bought into the MAGA ideology, simply don’t understand the benefits of democracy. It seems they have become convinced that an autocrat – at least their autocrat – can improve their lives. That an autocrat can help them live a similar life of luxury. That, instead of the messy process of convincing others to agree with their political and religious beliefs, an autocrat can force others to agree with them by decree.

Like so many of those in pre-war Germany, they seem more interested in forcing change than preserving our government along with its freedoms. Far too many of today’s Americans lack an understanding of history or civics. And, instead of seeking truth from universities, books, and qualified experts, they turn to social media and propaganda outlets like Fox “News.” In fact, they have eschewed legitimate news sources as “enemies of the people.” They dismiss education as a waste. And they are banning books that make them uncomfortable, blissfully unaware of the comparisons to the dictators and war criminals of the past.

In doing so, they are following the path taken by unsuspecting citizens in Russia, Myanmar, Venezuela, Hungary, Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran, as well as pre-WWII Italy, Japan, and Germany. And, unless we can convince them that democracy is worth saving – that real change can only come through the ballot box – we may be headed down those same rabbit holes.

The GOP Dilemma: Choosing The Most Cruel Candidate For 2024.

Is it Don The Con Trump who ripped babies from the arms of immigrants, whose actions and inaction led to the deaths of 1.1 million Americans from Covid, who called for the murder of immigrants and protesters, who gave support to war criminal Vladimir Putin, who incited a violent coup?

Is it Mike Pence who, as Vice-President, blessed all of Trump’s cruel excesses and cloaked them in a veneer of religiosity?

Is it Ron DeSantis whose “War on Woke” has banned books, threatened teachers, and marginalized and denied rights to blacks and the LGBTQ community?

Is it Greg Abbott who has led the fight against women’s rights, who encouraged the proliferation of guns – even after the mass murder of children at Uvalde, who destroyed public schools, who competed with DeSantis in a game of busing immigrants to northern cities.

Or is it an as yet unknown candidate who is capable of even more deceit and cruelty – perhaps Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, John Bolton, Kristi Noem, Kim Reynolds, Bill Lee, Tate Reeves, Mark Meadows or Mike Pompeo?

Cruelty is, after all, the only thing the MAGA/Christian Nationalist/Own-The-Libs organization seems to care about. Certainly not a functioning federal government (witness the current House majority). Not the future of our democracy (witness January 6 and voter suppression laws). Not personal freedom (witness anti-abortion, anti-trans and anti-gay laws). Not law and order (witness gun proliferation). Not the future of our planet. (Climate crisis? What climate crisis?) Not human rights. (Who cares about immigrants and the poor?) And most certainly not the truth (witness the depositions in the Dominion v Fox News case).

The transformation of the organization from the Party of Lincoln to its current fascist state has taken more than 50 years. And even for someone like me, who was repulsed by the GOP’s actions at an early age, the change has been shocking.

That’s not to dismiss the GOP’s treasonous past, beginning with Nixon’s interference in the Vietnam peace talks by sending an emissary to convince the North Vietnamese into believing he would offer them a better deal if they postponed peace negotiations until after the election. There was also his dirty tricks squad which interfered with his opponents’ campaigns and ultimately broke into the Watergate headquarters of the DNC in an effort to improve Nixon’s election chances.

There was Reagan’s deal with Iran to delay the release of American hostages until after the election, apparently in exchange for weaponry as part of the Iran-Contra scandal.

There was Jeb Bush’s interference in the 2000 election which cost upward of 10,000 Floridians (mostly Democrats) their right to vote.

And, of course, there’s the GOP’s ongoing effort to rig elections through extreme gerrymandering, voter IDs, and reducing the number of polling places and voting hours in heavily Democratic and mostly black districts.

So, who will be next to best exemplify the sentiments of the Republican Party and become its 2024 presidential candidate? It’s a difficult question. Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Pol Pot, Vlad the Impaler, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong are no longer available.

What They Say Versus What They Do.

Today’s Trump-loving MAGA GOP has tried to stake out the political high ground by waving the flag and likening themselves to the colonial patriots of 1776. They claim to be the only true defenders of the Constitution – God-fearing Americans who are for low taxes and limited government. Many walk around with a copy of the Constitution in one hand and a Bible in the other. But, following countless encounters with such people, I can assure you that most have read neither. Moreover, they have a flawed understanding of American history and civics if, indeed, they have any understanding at all.

So, let’s examine their boastful – dare I say delusional – claims one by one:

• They call themselves patriots. But they are actively trying to destroy our government. They support autocrats, dictators and our nation’s adversaries such as Putin and Russia. So, in reality, the only thing they have in common with the original patriots is that they own guns.
• They claim to support freedom. But they are trying to limit the freedom of others to love and worship as they please. They are denying others the right to vote. And they are denying women the freedom to control their own bodies.
• They claim to be for ordinary working people. But most of the bills they propose are written for them by large corporations and corporate “think” tanks.
• They claim to be anti-crime. But they have made it incredibly easy for any criminal to obtain military-style weaponry that permits them to out-gun the police. Many support those who attacked police on January 6. And now they are trying to undermine the FBI and the DOJ.
• They claim to be fiscally conservative. But they have given trillions in tax cuts and subsidies to the wealthy and large multinational corporations. The resulting loss of revenue has led to large deficits and a growing national debt. Further, they have created “free market” messes – the Great Depression and the Great Recession – that were left for Democrats to clean up.
• They claim to be against raising taxes. But they have proposed a 30 percent sales tax that would be devastating to everyone but the very wealthy.
• They claim to support Social Security and Medicare. But they have opposed them from their very beginning and they continue to call for major changes that would put millions of seniors at risk.
• They claim the mainstream media is biased against them. But their media darlings on Fox News have been proven to be little more than propagandists peddling lies that divide us and damage our nation.
• They claim to be pro-life. But they are really only pro-birth. For example, they refuse to do anything to stop school shootings. They continually try to cut food stamp programs and school lunch programs that feed impoverished children. And, by encouraging the births of more unwanted children, they will further overload the foster system – a system that too often serves as a feeder system for our prisons.
• They claim to be pro-education. But they are banning books and threatening teachers who dare to discuss real American history.
• They claim to be Christian. But they have little to no compassion for the poor and the oppressed.
• They claim that the events of January 6 were part of a peaceful demonstration carried out by tourists. But anyone with a functioning brain could see that it was a violent attack on our nation’s capitol as part of a failed coup incited by the disgraced, twice-impeached former president.
• And, of course, they claim the 2020 election was stolen. But multiple recounts and audits found negligible voter fraud. And most of the fraud that was uncovered was committed by some of their very own.

In other words, everything they say is a lie.

Why A New Civil War Seems Inevitable.

It seems the majority of Americans have viewed Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s call for a “national divorce” as laughable. But many of us who have been following the extreme right for the last several decades are not laughing. Both the rhetoric and actions of what can only be called the sedition caucus point to the near inevitability of a civil war led by many of the same people responsible for the January 6 insurrection.

Consider that some of the planners and cheerleaders for the coup attempt are not only still occupying seats in the US House of Representatives. They have, thus far, faced no repercussions. Indeed, they now control both the Speaker and many of the House committees. Likewise, the former president who led the coup has not yet been held accountable. He has even announced that he is running for president in 2024 and, in fact, is the leading candidate of the Republican Party despite his obvious attempt to turn our democracy into an autocracy!

Moreover, he has previously shown an intent to use the office to dismantle institutions, to punish opponents, and to sell favors to other nations, including our adversaries.

But the threat to our democracy goes much deeper.

For one thing, the twice-impeached former president packed our courts with rightwing loyalists. So, any court cases against Republican legislation designed to undermine our democracy are likely to fail. Second, autocracy-friendly Republicans have full control of 23 of our 50 states. They also have legislative control of 30 states. And 19 of those states have already called for a convention to rewrite the Constitution. If successful, their rewrites are likely to remove the barrier between church and state, as well as to change the requirements for citizenship and voting. They might even embrace far more radical ideas such as a bill offered by a Florida legislator which would essentially ban the Democratic Party in that state.

An even more likely recipe for civil war was outlined in a chilling Twitter thread by author and former Navy aviator Brynn Tannehill. She begins by stating that “we have two competing visions for America that are mutually exclusive, both sides really don’t like each other, but one of the two is violent, delusional, and willing to destroy democracy to get its way.” She then explains how Republicans are forcing the issue with a new bill that passed out of committee in Tennessee. According to Tannehill, the bill “would bar insurers from doing business with the state if they cover health care for trans people anywhere in the US.”

What are the chances of the six staunchly Catholic justices who comprise the majority of SCOTUS ruling against such a law? After their ruling which overturned decades of precedent to throw out Roe v Wade, those chances are likely zero, nada, nil.

Almost certainly, that will cause states to react as they did following the end of Roe v Wade. Red states quickly banned abortion while blue states began passing laws that would codify a woman’s right to abortion. So, in a reaction to Tennessee, blue states are likely to require insurers to cover trans health care in their own states.

Even if the Tennessee bill doesn’t pass, there will be other discriminatory bills proposed by rightwing zealots with the intent to further divide us. As Tannehill points out, “…this sort of blackmail can be used on any topic: whether it’s Disney for promoting ‘woke’ material, coverage of abortions, drug manufacturers and Mifepristone, or anything else they want to ban.”

Of course, the real flashpoint between the two sides revolves around guns. Democrats rightfully want to limit access to weapons of war and to ban untraceable ghost guns. But Republicans view the 2nd Amendment as the 11th commandment: “Thou shall not take away our guns.” Yet, without new gun safety measures which restrict the sales of ever more lethal weaponry, our nation will be consigned to a future with more school shootings and mass murders. Assuming that our nation, which has been far too passive in addressing climate change, has any future at all.

The One Unifying Policy Of The Political Right.

Hate. Hatred of homosexuals. Hatred of transsexuals. Hatred of women. Hatred of immigrants. Hatred of people of color. Hatred of “urban elites.” Hatred of socialism. Hatred of Black Lives Matter. Hatred of anti-fascists. Hatred of non-Christians. Hatred of election officials and other public servants. Hatred of educators. Hatred of environmentalists. Hatred of science. Hatred of progress. Hatred of history. And, most of all, hatred of the libs.

Though these haters are greatly outnumbered in the US, they now control the US House of representatives, 23 state houses, 26 governorships, dozens of courts including the Supreme Court of the United States, and of course, the Republican Party.

These people not only led or supported a violent coup. They are now calling for a national “divorce.” They cling to power through a combination of fearmongering, gerrymandering, voter suppression, political dirty tricks, and a massive propaganda effort.

Undeterred by mass murder and slaughter on our streets, in our schools, in our stores and in our theaters, they justify gun violence through a fraudulent interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Rather than support democracy, they support the world’s most despicable autocrats and war criminals. They have sided with Russian oligarchs in order to fill their campaign coffers. And all the while they claim moral superiority through their affiliation with Christian evangelicals (aka Christian nationalists).

Their legislative efforts seem to consist almost entirely of fraudulent investigations and attempts to legalize discrimination. Other bills are designed to rig the economy on behalf of billionaires and multinational corporations, to ban books, to rewrite history, to hollow out or dismantle federal agencies, to end Social Security, Medicare and other safety nets, and to undermine democratic institutions.

It’s not hyperbole to say that political right has pushed democracy to the precipice. Indeed, I believe we are now at a pre-WW II Germany moment. If you value democracy, if you value freedom, if you value others, if you value our planet’s ecosystem, you must speak up and get involved. You must get organized. You must stand up for our Constitution. The elections of 2024 could be a watershed moment.

We simply can’t allow the haters to win. Democrats, independents, and the few remaining traditional Republicans must repudiate them so thoroughly with our votes that they crawl back into their dark closets with their guns and never threaten our nation again.