The Republican Party died a sad death Thursday night, as the party that gave America President Abraham Lincoln and ended slavery was replaced by the Trump Party — loyal only to its incompetent, erratic and egotistical leader who rules by dividing Americans instead of uniting us.
Donald Trump’s 70-minute acceptance speech at the close of the Republican National Convention painted a nightmarish and frankly ridiculous portrait of what America would be like if former Vice President Joe Biden defeats Trump in the November election.
Born in 1854 out of the ashes of the Whig Party, the Republican Party brought afresh to the nation a philosophy dedicated “to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The party’s second presidential nominee, Abraham Lincoln, told the nation that he had been called to a responsibility greater than that of George Washington.
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President Lincoln’s views on racial equality certainly left a lot to be desired, particularly by today’s standards. But he was a brilliant leader who recognized the immorality and evil of slavery and led a bloody Civil War to begin America’s long journey on a path toward equal rights for all of us — a journey that continues today.
Donald Trump is a disgrace to Lincoln’s memory and to the long and proud heritage of the Republican Party.
Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address that we have a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” But while Trump pays lip service to those stirring words his only interest is in a government of Trump, by Trump, and for Trump.
The Trump Party — which has been deserted by many prominent long-time Republicans — is no longer a party of principles, but a party of a personality cult. In this respect, it is closer to the Communist Party of Trump’s good buddy North Korean President Kim Jong Un than to the party of Lincoln.
The four-day worship session at the altar of Donald Trump that ended Thursday night didn’t even bother to have a platform. Since the Republican Party’s first convention, when the platform affirmed its dedication to the Declaration of Independence, the party has had a platform every four years until.
Now, all the Republican Party has is Donald Trump, and his ever-changing positions on all sorts of issues.
Gone is the former Republican Party’s commitment to Free Trade, replaced by Trump’s Protectionism War. Gone is the Republican Party’s commitment to less government, replaced by Trump’s ever-increasing grab for executive power. Gone is the Republican Party’s commitment to a “nation of immigrants,” replaced by Trump’s border wall, and Trump’s slanders on people from what he called “s—hole countries.”
Gone is the Republican Party’s commitment to preserving checks and balances in our federal government. Republicans in Congress have become a mere echo chamber for their leader, acting as his rubber stamp.
There is no assault on the separation of powers that Republicans in the House and Senate have not approved, no expansion of executive powers by Trump that Republicans have checked.
Gone, most importantly, is the Republican commitment to equality. While people protested, and some rioted, over the continuing policing failures to curb the unjust use of force on Black American citizens, Vice President Mike Pence was content to give Black people who have died lip service. But Trump and Pence want to send armed federal law enforcement officers into our cities under the pretext of stopping lawlessness.
I was alive in 1968 when every U.S. city with over 1 million people had a race riot. Blacks and other minorities rioted over being a permanent underclass, where only a blessed few — primarily in the arts and sports — could access social mobility and could have a fair shot at the American Dream. A total of 109 cities were in flames. President Lyndon Johnson sent federal troops into only one city, Detroit, at the request of local officials.
Today’s Republican Party — I mean Trump Party — has endorsed Trump’s action sending federal law enforcement officers to Portland, Ore., where they beat journalists, and kidnapped young protesters walking alone and whisked them off in unmarked vans for interrogation.
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Under Trump, federal forces without provocation launched teargas at mothers who had formed a line with their bodies to protect their children, petitioning their government for life where a broken headlight, or a trip to the store for Skittles, would not be met with death.
Gone is the Republican Party’s commitment to fair play. The lies told about Joe Biden and the Democratic Party came so fast and furious at the Republican Convention that journalists didn’t have time to deal with them all.
These bold, easily disproved lies showed contempt for the American people and particularly for Trump’s followers. They were expected to swallow them whole, or if they knew better, to give them a wink and a pass.
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Gone is the Republican Party’s commitment to the separation of church and state. The Trump Party is replacing this with an official state religion, Christian Nationalism — a faith that knows little of Jesus Christ, but a lot about authoritarianism and imposing a theological view on the entire nation.
Bow your head and say a prayer over the corpse of the party of Lincoln. And say one for our country while you’re at it. Then vote as if your life and our nation’s life depended on it.
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