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Now We Have The Democratic Party and The Anti-Democratic Party (formerly known as Republicans)

November 17, 2020

By Joe Rothstein

The weeks since the November 3 election have demonstrated one thing conclusively: What once was the Republican Party is now the Anti-Democratic Party. It’s also now the anti-democratic party.

The Anti-Democratic Party exists solely to defeat Democratic Party candidates, with no actual program of its own once it gains power. The anti-democratic party exists to gain power by any means, within or outside of the nation’s constitutionally mandated democratic system.

It's no surprise that Donald Trump won’t go quietly. He’s been telling us all year that the only way he could lose would be if the election was “rigged.” At the same time, Republican Party officials and office-holders were assuring us that he really didn’t mean it. For more than 200 years, Mitch McConnell said, the U.S. has been the model for how a free nation peacefully transfers power. This year would be no different, McConnell promised.

Despite those soothing assurances from McConnell and other Republican Party leaders, they are now neck-deep complicit helping Trump remain president, despite losing the election.

The latest atrocity was the chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee suggesting to Georgia’s top election official that he find ways to invalidate perfectly legal votes. Anyone else would go to jail for vote tampering. But Lindsay Graham won’t, and not a single Republican as of this writing has criticized this unlawful outrage.

Neither have we heard criticism from any high-placed Republican about the overall Trump strategy of trying to pressure judges to throw out lawful ballots in states Biden won, or use the Justice Department to “investigate” voting fraud where none has been reported, or have Republican poll watchers challenge every Democratic ballot, just because they were Democratic ballots. Death threats that have landed in mailboxes of election officials just trying to do their job fairly have been met with stony silence on the Republican side.

Along with all of this attempted ballot tampering, have you heard anyone of consequence on the Republican side expressing alarm that Trump has installed loyalists to run the Pentagon and the intelligence operations, and that he seriously discussed trying to pressure electors in Biden-won states to vote for Trump, not Biden, when the Electoral College meets in December? Vice President Pence is still sending out fund-raising emails claiming Trump can win. Trump’s secretary of state talks about a transition to a second Trump term.

All it would take to stop this scary nonsense would be for a relatively few Republican U.S. Senators and House members to declare that they will respect the winner of the popular vote and not be gamed into confirming the loser by any post-election subterfuge. Or the Republican governors of key battleground states or Republican legislators in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan or Arizona could declare they will abide by the popular vote in each of their states.

That should not be a hard choice to make. Politicians of all political parties have been doing it for 231 years.

But the only significant voice to give us assurance that there will, indeed, be a peaceful transfer of authority has been the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mark Milley, who said, after Trump fired the Defense Secretary, “We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. The military's unequivocal duty,” said Milley, “is to protect and defend the Constitution.”

Republican members of Congress and governors take the same oath. Why won’t they recognize the same duty.

Why? Because the Republicans have ceased being a political party, an organization with governing ideas and policies. This year they even failed to adopt a party platform. Or more accurately, they replaced it with this language: “RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.” That’s it.

We’re experiencing the logical extension of a four-year transformation of what once was the Republican Party into a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump, Inc. Trump has never had much use for laws, or respected constitutional government. Now, his Anti-Democratic Party doesn’t, either.

That leaves the rest of us hoping and praying that there are enough Brad Raffensbergers in key states to get us through this dangerous time. Election officials and judges and military leaders who took the oath to protect and defend the Constitution. They are our firewall against the anti-democratic corrupters trying to steal America’s family jewels.

Among the lessons learned in this destabilizing year, 2020, is that the two party system doesn’t work well when one party willfully disregards the law. Trump may finally be pried from his grip on power, but restoring what once was the Republican Party may be a lot harder, if not an impossible project.

(Joe Rothstein may be contacted at jrothstein@rothstein.net. Rothstein’s award winning political thrillers, “The Latina President and the Conspiracy to Destroy Her,” and “The Salvation Project,” are available from most independent book stores and all on-line book sellers.)



Joe Rothstein is editor of U.S. Politics Today. His career in politics spans 35 years, as a strategist and media producer in more than 200 campaigns for political office and for many political causes. He was a pioneer in professional political consulting and one of the founding members of the American Association of Political Consultants. During his career Mr. Rothstein has served as editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anchorage Daily News and adjunct professor at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. He has a master's degree in journalism from UCLA.