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Thread by @JuliusGoat: "I'd like to speak the obvious necessary things about the Republican Party, the most central of which is that this is not an organization tha […]"

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I'd like to speak the obvious necessary things about the Republican Party, the most central of which is that this is not an organization that is participating in democracy.

Rather, they are cynically utilizing our democracy's vulnerabilities.
The last two Republican Presidents to enter the White House did so without the popular vote.

The last Republican President to enter the White House with the popular vote did so in 1989.

Yet, when they win, they behave as though they have the mandate that comes with a landslide.
For example, they upend the healthcare program.

They give out trillions in corporate welfare.

They start torture programs.

They start surveillance programs.

They lie us into wars.
They gerrymander at every level they can. They deliberately disenfranchise. They make our elections so imbalanced they can get less votes than Democrats but win 60% of the seats.

They are not interested in democracy. They are not participating in a democracy.
When a Democrat actually does win the popular vote—by a lot—they behave as if they are a majority opposition.

They stall. They filibuster. They delay. They engage in deliberate sabotage to gain political advantage.

They are not participating in our democracy.
The reason the Russia thing matters isn't that Russia is taking us over.

Russia didn't capture the Republican Party. Russia just wants to upend Western Democracy, which happens to be exactly what Republicans also want.

So they were happy for the help, but they didn't need it.
Mostly, Russia doesn't even matter. They're mostly just a warning light, showing how hostile the GOP has become to our democracy, that they would become such natural allies.

Russia's basically just somebody paid to make a distraction while the heist team hits the bank.
Russia isn't taking over. *Republicans* are taking over.

It just so happens they both have pretty much the same mission with the same method: Destroy American democracy by exploiting its weaknesses.

So, what are those weaknesses?
Some of the weaknesses are structural, and designed to do what they're doing, which is to help wealthy landed white guys keep outsized representation against the 'threat' of demographic shifts.

The electoral college is one of these. The way the Senate is allocated is another.
I don't think we can do much about these structural weaknesses until we get supermajorities back.

But there are other weaknesses we can do something about now.

These are 'weaknesses' that in healthier times are strengths, that have been leveraged against us.
What are these 'weaknesses?' Here's a partial list:

* An appetite for compromise
* A mutual trust in the opposition's good intentions
* A desire to be fair
* An interest in keeping an open mind to other perspectives
* A desire to find common ground

These are all good things.
It cannot be overstated the extent to which the Republican Party has proved—PROVED—it has nothing but contempt for all of those things.

They prove that contempt by constantly and cynically using our desire for them to make us play by rules they have no intention of playing by.
They do not care about politeness—at all.
They don't care about finding common ground.
They don't care about what the people want.
They don't care about standards.

To name only the most glaringly obvious of all available tells, I'll refer you to the president they elected.
We have to recognize that they are not playing by the rules we love.

We HAVE to recognize that they are not playing by those rules.

And, since they are in power, that means those aren't the rules.
I think what we need to do is remember WHY we love those rules so much.

We love them because all these things—compromise, politeness, common ground, mutual belief in good intentions—are GOOD things, in healthy times.

In healthy times.

We love them because they indicate health.
I love taking a nice long run. I'll go ten miles.

One reason I love it is because it reminds me that I'm healthy. It's a VERY good thing. And it keeps me healthy.

But if I have a stress fracture, or pneumonia, a nice long run stops being a good thing.

So it is with our rules.
Finding common cause with our opponents is a VERY good thing in healthy times. It reminds us of our health, and increases it.

But finding common cause with an opponent is a very bad idea, if your opponent wants to stab your brother and sister to death.
If you're willing to find common cause with somebody who wants to stab your brother and sister to death, they will still welcome it.

They'll encourage it.

It's not because they value finding common cause with their opponents, though.
The Republican Party has said in plain language that they intend to stab our brothers and sisters to death.

They've PROVED it.

Our gay and trans and black and brown brothers, and all of our sisters.

I have no interest in finding common cause with Republicans.
There have been in the past political parties who have named every deviation from their desired norm as an anomaly to demonize and criminalize and marginalize.

The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party.

I have no interest in finding common cause.
There have been in the past political parties who have selected an already vulnerable religious minority for vilification and scapegoating and expulsion.

The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party.

So I have no interest in finding common cause.
There have been in the past political parties who have selected an already vulnerable ethnic minority for police menace and exportation.

The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party.

So I have no interest in finding common cause.
There have been in the past political parties who have eroded democracy, and elected a foul-minded rally-throwing demagogue as their leader.

The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party.

So I have no interest in finding common cause.
There have been in the past political parties who have separated children from parents forever, and kept them in cages, and pointed to law as justification.

The lesson of history has not been to find common cause with such a party.

So I have no interest in finding common cause.
There have been in the past political parties who have worshipped their flag while turning into the symbol of something foul. Who have worshipped the fear their military brings. Who have turned their police forces into armed forces.

I have no interest in finding common cause.
There have been in the past those whose only perceivable attitude toward their people was contempt, whose only perceivable value was greed for the few and control of the many, who harnessed dominant religion to achieve dark ends..

So I have no interest in finding common cause.
They are not playing by the rules. They have proved it. They have at times bragged about it.

They will be perfectly happy for us to go on playing by the rules, not because they love those rules, but because it'll make it so much easier for them to achieve their goals.
These are not healthy times. The activities of health will not increase our health during such times.

We need medicine. Truth.

We have to be willing to fiercely protect the most vulnerable.

Women
People of color
Muslims
Trans people
Gay people

And Democracy, too.
So, what am I saying? Be just as bad as them? Throw off all restraint and attack like barbarians?

Would that 'twere so simple.
We have to be better. Not better than *them.*

Better than *us.* Better than we've been before.

We have to take our medicine.

We have to understand that justice is more important than comfort.

We have to *insist* on it, even when there's a cost—and there is a cost.
We have to resist that urge to our old comfortable habits.

One of the least comfortable things possible is to plainly look at the bad intentions of those who mean harm.

We have to protect those who would be harmed, and insist on truth, whatever the cost. That is our medicine.
I agree with this. I have no interest in arguing with fascists, or with those who continue to want to apply the methods of health to unhealthy times.

Mobilize, find disaffected people and give them a vision of a society that works for them.
A) I’ve always wondered why “the US is not a democracy, it’s a Republic” was just as closely correlated with being an asshole as having a crusader profile pic, and I think it’s because those saying it are genuinely hostile to democracy.
B) No moreso than a dozen states with a combined population less than that of LA does now.

Tyranny of the majority is bad, but it doesn’t then follow that majorities are always bad.

And minority rule by white supremacy, which we now have, is far worse.
Say “we are a republic, not a democracy.”

Fine. I’ll grant the point. It’s a worthless point.

The republic is a worthless dictatorship and an unjust nightmare if it can’t support equal and fair democratic representation.
Totally cool dark boi with an original point to make.
Being asked for this in compilable format for sharing elsewhere.

FYI most threads already will have this in mentions, but here you go:
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