Wednesday, November 15, 2023

In Name Only

My Dad was a Republican.  I mean, really very Republican.  He was the sort of Republican who, as a young man, was paid to stand on streetcorners with a bullhorn and deliver speeches.  Not only did he vote for Nixon, but he would insist, all the way to the end of his life, that Nixon was a great president.

We had lots of fun conversations about that.

But the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower is dead.  Dad's party has ceased to be.  He would say as much, over the last few years.  It shambles along, sure, but it is animated by quisling energies that have nothing to do with the core values of a republic.  Fealty to a strongman ain't republican, not by any definition of the term.

The "debates" currently being held between "candidates" for the presidential nomination are perfect evidence of this.  They have all of the authenticity of "elections" in the old Soviet Union.  They're only for show, an empty going-through-the-motions, and will have no bearing on the result.  We all know this.  Everyone knows they're a farce.  They serve no purpose, other, perhaps, than to flag the "winner" as the one who is most disloyal to the despot.  Have an escape plan, Nikki, or get your speech writers to work on the world's most obsequious apology.

Again, there is no Republican party.  There is a right wing party.  But it is not republican.

It's the primal nature of all right-wing movements to be antirepublican.  Back when the nations of the west were first afire with republican revolutions, with the cry of people for governments that stood for liberte, egalite, fraternite, the term "right wing" arose from the French revolution.  

Why?  Il s’agissait simplement de savoir où l’on s’asseyait. It was simply about where one sat.

In the French National Assembly, back in 1789, liberals and republicans sat on the left.  On the right?  Monarchists and aristocrats, those who argued for absolute power in the hands of a king and the landed gentry.  

A right wing republican party, one whose absolute leader is defined by inherited wealth and fevered whispers of divine right?

It's an oxymoron.  

It can exist "in name only," as they say.  In name only.