The GOP Is Taking the US Down an Unspeakable Path
If the impeachment debates didn’t scare you, you haven’t been paying attention.
Something scary happened on the floor of the House chamber on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. Some may have noticed it, but I haven’t seen this reported anywhere. It has to do with the GOP members' shared rhetoric during the debates preceding the vote on Donald J. Trump’s second impeachment.
Each representative was yielded between 30 to 60 seconds, which means they had to carefully choose their words. They didn’t have time for grandiose eloquence. They also didn’t care about debating the issue. As hypocritical as they are, they aren’t stupid (at least not all of them). They know full well there is nothing to debate. They chose to hammer one talking point instead over and over: BLM, Antifa, and the radical left are one coherent entity.
The GOP has long abandoned any policy platform. They stand for nothing but high-minded, poorly defined, dog-whistle principles: pro-life, pro-guns, pro-freedom, own-the-libs. Slogans have replaced ideas. They have abandoned dialectical reasoning altogether, focusing instead on inciting hatred and framing their political adversaries as enemies. They are creating a bogeyman their voter base can hate and despise.
For the past four years, the great other was simply the democrats. The elections of AOC, Omar, and other democratic socialists fueled the GOP rhetoric that the “Dems are commies in disguise.” Over 2020, in the face of a pandemic that has cost the lives of nearly 400,000 Americans to date, the GOP started framing the Democratic party as a new “radical left” bent on curbing American freedom with their mask mandates, lockdowns, and “science.”
The growing unrest over racial inequalities that led to protests over the country propelled the word Antifa, until then a rather obscure term, to the centre of the stage. Alternatively fascist or radical left, Antifa is an undefined entity that is the ideal bogeyman. It can be anything and everything.
Antifa and radical left share a common trait: they are political affiliations. However depraved the discussion, attacking someone on their political positions is fair game in public discourse. The danger comes when one conflates political position with inherent traits.
We saw it happen in Germany, where communism and Judaism were inextricably linked in Nazi propaganda. Hitler stated that “the Jews were the archetypal enemies of the German Volk, and no Communism or Bolshevism existed outside Jewry.”
It also happened in the US, in the 50s, when the Second Red Scare of McCarthy and Cohn led to the lesser-known Lavender Scare. Gay men and lesbians were considered communist sympathizers and, as such, national security risks. This led to a call to remove them from state employment, which happened through Executive Order 10450. Over 5,000 people were fired. We cannot count how many people’s lives were destroyed by exposing their homosexuality in a society of generalised bigotry.
It is happening in the US right now. During the debates on Wednesday, nearly all the GOP representatives who got to talk bashed their new narrative: BLM, Antifa, and the radical left are one and the same. This is bound to radicalise a voter base that is already racism and white supremacist and prone to hatred.
If you etch in the minds of your electors that the enemy is the radical left and that they should be hated, fought, or worse, they will hate the radical left, fight it, and worse. The Nazis started by attacking the communist. Then they said that all Jews were communists.
Now guess what happens when the GOP tells their QAnon-fed, militia-member voters that the people protesting in support of the BLM movement are the radical left.
The path the GOP is willing to walk to stay relevant and remain in power is unspeakable.