Think global but act local – Welty style

Were Republicans ever good?

I have never had any doubts about the answer to that question. And yet, in my life I’ve been aware of criticisms of Republicans over the course of their history from Democrats. Ironically, for a lot of those Democrats, they made use of the old saying “If you can’t beat them, join them.” So successful has this practice become that ex-dems and their descendants have not only joined the Republican Party but purged it of many original Republicans to make it the party they wanted all along – The Party of Trump. And Ironically, a lot of the Republicans that made the GOP the Trumplican party didn’t mean for it to go so far. They didn’t want to abandon free trade agreements. Some of them even truly felt bad about a growing national debt. Many of these Republicans were keeping an eagle eye on the Russians even after the fall of Russia’s communism. No more.

The faithlessness of these former ideologues is shown by their hasty and pusillanimous surrender to a man they knew to be a clown. As ideologues they worship ideas but not good ideas. Now they worship election winning ideas. Ideas like nativism, skin color supremacism, and hatred of academic curiosity and any evidence that their ideas are faulty. Many of them started out as Never-Trumpers. But for the past two years the Never-Trumpers have been hiding in the pro-Trump crowd. Next year, if as seems likely, Trump has a great fall like Humpty Dumpty, they will camouflage the yellow stripes running up their backs and adopt some new color; probably the standard issue red, white and blue of their deeply patriotic lapel pins. They have been worthy imitators of Vichy for the past couple years.

For the past several months I’ve been working on a book related to public education and, more specifically, the Duluth Public Schools. But every day a tweet storm reminds me of the reason I filed for Congress against Pete Stauber last year. Our nation is threatened by an empty huckster who expected to lose the Presidency and turn his defeat into a massive effort to start a news Trump television Network by caterwauling that he had been robbed of victory. Like everyone but me he seemed astonished to have pulled it off.

For the last four years I’ve comforted myself with the obvious ignorance of this man. Just today the man who has a $150 million mansion on Florida’s Hurricane coast said he’d never heard of a category 5 hurricane. This man who brags of his brilliance like the Kingfish of Amos and Andy doesn’t know, and has never known squat. He’s Kingfish, a jackass that seventy years ago working class white people recognized as a fool. Who put the scales over their eyes?

If America was ever to fall to a tyrant few would have expected it to be to such a loon. We have been lucky in our choice. It wasn’t Aaron Burr. It wasn’t William Randolph Hearst. It wasn’t Huey B. Long. It was “The Donald.”

If I fulfill my promise to my donors and finish the book about public schools (win, lose or draw) I hope I write the other book that’s been trying to distract me from the former. It will be a book that attempts to answer the question posed at the beginning of this post. The answer is “Yes” Republicans were once the salt of the nation. Next question. How did Donald Trump ever eclipse Abraham Lincoln and make America the world’s laughing stock instead of the “shining city on a hill?”

BTW – I don’t think Donald ever grew up enough to shake Amos and Andy out of is ever adolescent head. That may explain why he wants to lead his chosen white people to his Aryan heaven of gold towers. All the better to milk them.

Here’s that book that standing in the way of my writing a book about the fall of the Party of Lincoln. Please put in an order and force me to finish writing it for you. I think you will like it almost as much as most locals like my snow sculptures.