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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/12/21

The GOP has become a national threat to the United States.

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Donald Trump and his herd have done more in two years to weaken and threaten the United States than the Soviet Union was able to achieve in decades. The threat from the right is the first national level inside threat the US has faced since the Civil War. It is insidious, anti-American, and powerful.

One of the effective modern techniques the US has developed to deal with threats is intelligence analysis. Categorizations range from existential to challenging to those of a merely nuisance variety. A part of that categorization is threat prioritization This is necessary, but often not totally satisfactory to all citizens. Nonetheless, from the resource and policy perspectives, it is the right course of action.

The Republican Party is the biggest threat the United States is facing. And without proper recognition, and a well-articulated and implemented counterstrategy, it will be terminal. There is no other conclusion to be drawn from the facts.

An enemy of the United States just might seek to sow discord between ethnic groups, or to have a disinformation campaign, or to highlight moral "failings" that weaken the standing of the United States. An enemy of the United States might try and degrade the capacity and public trust within our intelligence community. It might use propaganda. It might seek to engage in fraud or other criminal acts to sway an election in their favor. Does any of that sound familiar? Does it?

The GOP has embraced authoritarianism, malevolent electoral tactics, and racism more increasingly over the past few decades. That process has been turbocharged with Trump at the helm of the party. Even to the point (as I lay out in my article A Case Against the GOP) of having open support by Neo-Nazis and even having Trump endorsed by the leader of the Taliban (meaning both agree with the GOP, THAT should tell you everything).

We are now seeing an embrace of that white supremacy. Denial of factual science. Deliberately sowing discord within the FBI and the CIA. Weakening the rule of law. Brazen criminality. Removing funding for election oversight. Blatant human rights violations at the border. The nature of these acts is the point. The GOP mean to bludgeon all resistance to their reshaping of the nation's institutions to their will. And so far, they have gotten away with it. It is in fact irrational to continue to downplay the threat even as most, including Nancy Pelosi and many Democrats, continue to do so.

No amount of rationalizing can change the fact that the majority of the Republican Party is advocating for the overthrow of the American government.

"We are what we pretend to be," Kurt Vonnegut wrote in the opening of his 1962 novel, Mother Night, "and so we must be careful what we pretend to be." Republicans in Congress are pretending to be seditionists, and so they have become seditionists.

Forget all the whispered denials and the off-the-record expressions of concern; ignore the knowing smirks on camera from GOP officials who are desperately trying to indicate that they're in on it. Brush aside the talk about that time in 2017 when some Democrats objected to the Electoral College vote (and were gaveled down by Joe Biden himself). Ignore the whataboutisms (a word that was coined to describe the frequent use of a rhetorical diversion by Soviet apologists and dictators, who would counter charges of their oppression, "massacres, gulags, and forced deportations" by invoking American slavery, racism, lynching, etc.)

This is sedition. No amount rationalizing can change the fact that the majority of the Republican Party and its apologists are advocating for the overthrow of America. This is not some handful of firebrands making a stand for the television cameras. The "sedition caucus" includes at least 140 members of the House and at least 10 members of the Senate. The president and his minions have filed, and lost, scores of lawsuits that ranged from minor disputes over process to childlike, error-filled briefs full of bizarre assertions. Instead of gaveling these objections into oblivion, as Biden did, Vice President Mike Pence "welcomes" these challenges Despite the Constitution he (and the GOP) claims to love and which he (and the GOP) swore to uphold and defend. The only shame in Trump's world lies in admitting defeat. So Trump doubled down and then he tripled, quadrupled, quintupled down.

It is possible that the GOP knew that all these challenges would fail. It is possible that they know their insult/assault to American democracy will go nowhere as well. But this is irrelevant: Engaging in sedition does not make it less hideous.

But we are dealing with people who are worse than devout believers. The Republican Party is infested with opportunists, the people who will tell us that they were "just asking questions," (Tucker Carlson) that they were "defending the process," and of course, that they were representing "the will of the people." (Even though that is clearly not the case) Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are not idiots. They understand perfectly well what they are doing. Senator Mitt Romney saw it clearly, noting that the GOP are engaged in "an egregious ploy" to "enhance political ambition."

As James Madison warned us, without a virtuous people, no system of checks and balances will work. The Republicans have gone from touting virtue to being the most squalid examples of institutionalized self-interest in the history of the American republic.

The sedition caucus is worse than a treasonous conspiracy. At least real traitors believe in something and have the spine to openly say their intent. These people instead believe only in their own interest and will change loyalties without blinking. They will always become what they pretend to be, and so they cannot be trusted ever again with political power.

For years, Carlton F. W. Larson, a scholar and law professor at the University of California, Davis, had swatted away treason accusations by both Donald Trump and his critics. Though the term is incorrectly used to describe political betrayals, the Constitution defines treason as: "levying War" against the United States or "adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." But the insurrection of January 6th changed his answer, at least regarding Trump's followers who attacked the Capitol to stop Congress's certification of the election. "It's very clear that would have been seen as 'levying war,'" he said.

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Franz has been studying political science for almost 30 years and is very passionate about his nation. He bends no knee to party or personality (which means he infuriates both sides of the aisle). He is blunt, to the point, and will call out (more...)
 

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