Dear Republicans: You Suck. Bigly

Partha Chakraborty-

Partha Chakraborty

Partha Chakraborty is an Indian-born immigrant; a naturalized US Citizen since 2018. Educated in India and at Cornell University, Partha is currently an entrepreneur in water technologies, Blockchain, and wealth management in the US and in India. The views expressed are his own.

Last year a curious scene played out inside Mar-a-Lago. Several Republican candidates for the US Senate seat from Ohio were corralled into a room for what was to be a free-for-all brawl, a verbal one, all for the benefit of the lord of the realm, former President Donald J. Trump. “Things went off the rails,” said Mr. Bernie Moreno, one of those called in as he blamed others called to brawl for the mayhem. All but one candidate lobbied Trump personally, ratcheting up degrees of genuflection in the hope of being pro-Trump enough to be anointed.

Similar spectacles have played out in auditoriums and meeting rooms all over the country where hundreds of aspirants have duked it out among themselves for the privilege of kissing the ring, and, possibly, a five thousand dollar check. To get an audience, candidates spent thousands in commercials, in Florida, far away from their constituency, averring deeply held skepticism about 2020 election results; spent thousands to hold events inside Trump properties for a meeting or photo-op with the 45, printed oversized visuals in big fonts affirming their space in Trump-world, and worked connections assiduously in the hope of an elusive call. And, they participated in open brawls like the one played out in Mar-a-Lago.

In case of Ohio, the endorsement came for JD Vance, best-selling author of “Hillbilly Elegy”.

Curiously, Mr. Vance called Mr. Trump a “moral disaster” and “reprehensible” in 2016-17. His view was detailed in an interview in August, 2016 when he said “I don’t think he actually cares about folks. I think he just recognizes that there was a hole in the conversation and that hole is that people from these regions of the country, they feel ignored. They feel left out and they feel very frustrated. And I think of course in a lot of ways they feel that way for totally justifiable reasons. So it’s a problem that Trump has been the vessel of a lot of that frustration.”

That might have made a lot of sense then, and makes a lot of sense now.

Not to Vance of today. He had his own candidacy in mind when in March of 2021, after years of criticizing Mr. Trump and his presidency, he found religion, deleted previous tweets, and admitted failure to support policies, saying, “I didn’t think the policy was going to be that good, and the policy was much better than I thought it was going to be. I was really happy with the policy. And so, that’s what caused me to become a Trump supporter.” Returning the favor, Trump said, ” J.D. Vance has my Complete and Total Endorsement”. Bravo!!

Not all Trump-backed candidates are celebrities like JD Vance, Herschel Walker, Mehmet Oz or Sarah Palin running for Federal offices. The vast majority of Trump endorsements, and the fight for the same, go downline- to state Governors and legislators, states’ functionaries for election conduct, state and county level roles of all sorts. Even if a candidate is not explicitly asking for a sword on the back, they know the high cost of not formally bending the knee. A blessing is not guaranteed, in spite of. “Donald J. Trump is going to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it,” Billy Long, representing Missouri’s 7th district and running for US Senate, mirrored sentiments of many genuflectors, “There is no secret sauce here.” No matter who, and no matter where, first sentence out of Republican a Primary Candidate’s mouth– and especially for one who is not already running from a ‘tenured’ perch – rambles to a sermon on Trump’s election loss that they, echoing the lord himself, are still denying.

Even if candidates get endorsement for Republican Primary, a vindication of its worth is months away, if at all.

Through all these, Trump has made it no secret of his priorities – avoiding culpability for Jan 06 insurgency, escaping legal trapdoors for financial (and other) possible crimes beforehand, and preserving the echo chamber on the fantasy of “stop the steal”. More than anything else, blurring boundaries for explicit personal financial gains is a game he has been playing for a long time, arguably even while in office. US Presidency has been kind to former office-holders and their families, e.g., Clintons and Obamas – Trump likes to do everything big, even disrepute. Accounts of 45 in and out of office come out every day; images of man, and family and hangers-on, doing everything they can to monetize the aura of the Office, leaves everybody in disgust.

I lambasted DJT many times before, even I must confess that there was never a bar too low for him to crawl under.

What is even more appalling is how the Republican Party lets him get away with the attempted murder of the one most-important marker of democracy – free and fair election leading to a peaceful transfer of power, no matter who wins. I was hoping the Party would be once bitten, twice shy – they would exorcise last remains of the stench he brought into the system. I did recognize GOP was becoming a Trump Party – a cult by any other name but also harbored a faintest hope that the spell was transient, a nightmare we could just open our eyes to escape.

Not so, indeed.

Almost eighteen months post 45, eyes wide open can only feast on an orgy of incumbent idiocy that is eating the Party of Lincoln from inside. Those charged with being in cahoots with what was a de-facto coup attempt are rewarded to keep omerta, apparatchiks are dancing in tandem to run out the clock. They dread what’d happen if they called a spade a spade; the few who were bold enough have been, or are about to, cut down to size without a ceremony.

It is tempting to think Republicans – nee Trump Party – might just get away with a bacchanalia of buffoonery this year. It is easy to posit that the Democratic Party is in a particularly bad shape for the mid-terms, and whoever wins the Republican Primary gets the pulpit. There is a good chance Trump will inflate few victories of his acolyte nincompoops as the big win and anoint self a kingmaker, if not the eternal sovereign role he craves. If and when that happens, what will the crystal ball hold for the Party longer term? The only people who have been able to stand the stigma of association long enough are his kids, not they had a choice. DJT himself expressed an interest in seeing his princelings as future potentates, and the cult seems to be the right platform to elevate them to peerage.

From Lincoln to Trumps by way of Reagan – is that how the GOP crumbles?

Signs are not encouraging, so I will say aloud what I know is in the minds of many.  Dear Republicans: You suck. Bigly.