What Gianforte’s Election means for the Republican Party.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on May 26, 2017
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With Donald Trump, the Republican Party elected a thrice-married, serial philanderer who was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women but claimed to be a God-fearing, born-again Christian—a ridiculous claim endorsed by the spineless likes of Franklin Graham.

This same candidate mocked a disabled reporter and has repeatedly maligned “the fake news,” itself an adaptation of the tried-and-true right-wing scapegoat: “the liberal mainstream media.”

Riding the coattails of the right’s shameful decline of conscience is Greg Gianforte, who was elected May 25th to serve the people of Montana in the House of Representatives. He was elected despite having been charged with assault for physically attacking a reporter the night before, which took place in front of three eyewitnesses from Fox News and was caught on audio.

Both accounts were widely disseminated and clearly incriminating; but, the truth is, most Republicans did not care. Republicans reasoned that it was an acceptable lapse in judgement, triggered by the fact that both liberals and the media are intolerable.

As far as they are concerned, there is no loyal opposition—and given their fair-weather value system and growing affection for Russia, I’m inclined to agree with them (though I do recognize Senators Burr, McCain, and Graham, as well as a handful of other elected Republicans like John Kasich as a principled bunch of patriotic conservatives).

But they are no longer a party. They are now just a moderate and sensible caucus within the party.

The Republican Party has reached a point where there is nothing more shameful and unacceptable, in their minds, than being a liberal. In the name of expediency, they are willing to muffle their consciences, discard morality, part ways with all manner of tradition and custom, and, apparently, elect violent criminals. They will align America and her prestige with authoritarian kleptocrats and despotic tyrants—as long as it means unseating Democrats.

The new Republican Party—and that is what this is, the dawning of a new right-wing political party—is guided by nothing but expediency. It is morally bankrupt. Any means is justified by the end goal of destroying liberalism for the likes of Trump, Sessions, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Franklin Graham. They are willing to partner with Russia over NATO and European allies, set aside the Constitution, manufacture pure fiction, fear-monger, race bait, and mortgage the very soul of their faith to prevent Democrats from winning an election.

And this is dangerous. The Republican Party is heading down the road of tyranny.

The rhetoric of Trump and the election of Greg Gianforte in Montana shows us that Republicans have reached a breaking point where they believe it necessary to attack basic American freedoms—like the freedom of the press—in order to preserve their brand of “freedom,” which upon analysis is revealed to be no freedom at all.

It is anarchy and rage.

Republicans are blinded by hate and resentment, not driven by principled conviction. They are a mob, not a political party. Republicans do not want compromise; they want a single-party system or a white, despotic state characterized by Dixieland Christianity and the conspicuous absence of a welfare state.

This is the new Republican Party.

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Author: Benjamin Riggs
Image: DonkeyHotey/Flickr
Editor: Leah Sugerman


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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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