Point of View Columns

It is Time to Wake Up Before It is Too Late

It should be clear to anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention is that the right wing of the right wing of American politics is dead serious about taking control of these United States and imposing its will on the majority of Americans who are in favor of gun control, the abolition of civil rights and abortion rights and voting rights and gender rights. While too many of us have been preoccupied with internecine battles within the so-called liberal/progressive/moderate majority of this country, the right wing of the right wing has been busy, consider:

  1. With the knowledge that the Constitution embedded significant governmental power in the states – more so than in any other democratic country in the world – 28 of the 50 governors are Republican.
  2. Additionally, 30 of the state legislatures are controlled by Republicans.
  3. With the possible exception of Larry Hogan in Maryland, none of the other Republican governors would be thought of as moderate.
  4. Republican legislatures throughout the country are responsible for some of the most draconian laws in recent history on issues like voting rights, gender equity, abortion rights, gun control and criminal nonjustice
  5. The right wing has successfully taken over the United States Supreme Court and a huge swath of the federal judiciary for at least the next two decades, populating the judiciary with right wing advocates that only the Federalist Society could love.
  6. And, by the way, thanks to the anti-majoritarian non-wisdom of the Founding Fathers, the Senate is represented by two senators from each state regardless of the size of population. As a result, the 50 Republican senators who are currently strangling the Biden agenda (along with a majority of Americans) represent only 43.5% of the population

Getting out of the weeds, it should be clear that this country is well on its way to minority rule and if the Republican right-wing strategy seizes control of both houses of Congress in 2022 and the presidency with Trump or Trump 2.0 in 2024, it would seem that the majority of this country is going to endure a lot of pain.

Pain at an unprecedented level because rights which have been guaranteed and taken for granted will be pared back or taken away.

How could this happen? The answer is clear and complicated. The majority is not unified around any clear set of principles. The right wing of the right wing is and has been.

The majority battles over achieving the perfect rather than the achievable good – resulting too many times with nothing. The right wing was so unified around its clear set of principles they were willing to accept a lying, profane braggart of a self-centered egotist named Trump to achieve its principles surrounding abortion, states rights, and most of all the continuation of minority rule.

It did not have to happen this way. But too many were not paying attention to the strategic effort that began with the Koch Brothers and their billionaire boys club of protofascists decades ago who, along with the evangelical zealots, have managed to take this country to the brink of a mean and noxious version of minority rule.

If this particular scenario plays out we can look to only a few examples in recent history where minority rule has played out in plain view – the Republic of South Africa in 1948 comes to mind.

And just because that is a jarring and obscene analogy doesn’t mean that it can’t be true.