Grotesque Old Party

Below is a letter I was going to send to a Republican friend whose defense of his party I can no longer stomach. Trump, as one of his few Republican critics, Rick Wilson, has written, kills everything he touches. Perhaps this friendship is dead, too. I hope not. But, by God, I have really had enough of the GOP.

The current convulsion is directly attributable to the party you cling to so desperately, the values it now espouses, the interests it has whored itself out to, the hatred it stokes, the bigotry it condones and encourages, all in its desperation to stay viable in an age when it has lost touch with the majority of this country. Your party demonstrated its bankruptcy beyond any question when it nominated Trump in 2016 and continues to do so as it worships at the altar of this grotesque parody of a president. Your party has no vision of a better future. It is a defender of the past, and not what’s good about the past, but those aspects of which this country should be most ashamed. Your party is a party of people who proudly fly the flag of slavery. Your party is the party that blocks any attempt to civilize this country’s monstrous health system while giving away trillions to the wealthiest. Your party wants to poison our water and our air. Your party is the party of social Darwinism. Your party does the bidding of the 0.1 per cent and plays on the fears and resentments of those whose lives the 0.1 per cent have poisoned, to make them believe it is their friend and protector. Your party waves around the Bible but is utterly blind to what is in it. In worshipping Trump, your party commits sacrilege. And now, on your party’s watch, the republic hangs in the balance.

If I was young and black and living in Chicago’s south side and I looked at the cards I’d been dealt and saw a society that didn’t want me, a society that flew the slavery flag in my face, a society that chose as its president a man who brayed for the innocent blood of young men like me in New York, who denied that the one black man like me this country made president was actually an American, a society in which law and order did not apply to white men, in and out or uniform, when they shot at me or threw me on the ground and squeezed the life out of me, by God, it wouldn’t take much to get me looting and burning. Not because I wanted stuff. To strike back. To say fuck you and your law and order.

So go on, my friend, defend your wretched party by citing the statistics of mayhem. Justify the deployment of the American killing machine to “dominate” the “battlespace”. Stick by a party that defends a semi-literate would-be dictator who tear-gases peaceful protestors for a photo op. Stick by a party that needs to unleash America’s worst angels, its id, to stay in power. Stick by a party that needs help from America’s enemies to win.

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