This year was, as I said in an earlier post, one of the least productive for me as a blogger. It’s not that I didn’t have opinions, it was a combination of two things. First and foremost were the changes in my professional life. After working in one position for the last six years, I got a promotion and transfer. To say it was unexpected is an understatement. The person who had that position resigned unexpectedly, and caused my headquarters to scramble to get it filled. Getting to know everything there, and working with a new staff would have been stressful enough, in addition, this year was a big turnover year which meant new headquarters people, and there was a shortage of staff. The result was far and away more time being spent on work issues, and far less for blogging.
The other big thing was the speed of the news, or more correctly, “What has Trump done/said now?” Things that made me outraged or irritated enough to write a blog post ended up being superseded within hours by yet another lie or action. That’s if there wasn’t another story about some scandal in his administration or corrupt action by a cabinet member.
While conservatives keep chanting “Crooked Hillary,” the reality is that after incessant investigations, constant harassment, and yelling their heads off, it all ended up being a big nothing. No criminal charges, because what she was accused of was either made up, spun, or not illegal. The same for the Clinton Foundation. On the other hand, the Trump Administration has had the President’s campaign manager, personal lawyer, National Security Adviser, and others charged, found guilty, and sent to jail. His foundation has been dissolved for corrupt behavior, and yes, lots of state investigations are ongoing into potential criminal charges. Add in various cabinet members who have left under a cloud which may end up resulting in criminal charges, along with numerous attempts at actions which (fortunately) keep getting slapped down by the courts, and it’s been a year that left me feeling too exhausted just trying to keep up.
There’s a sarcastic acronym that liberals have: IOKIYAR. It stands for “It’s OK if you’re a Republican.” It’s a comment on one of the big differences between the parties. If you’re a Democrat, and you get caught with your fingers in the till, accused of abuse, or some other scandal, for the most part it results in a quick resignation, and your political career is over, even if you avoid criminal charges. Republicans, on the other hand, have a remarkable ability to wave all those aside, forgive and forget, and at worst, assuming you’ve avoided being sent to jail, your career continues on its merry way after that “minor speed bump.”
I’m 62 years old. I’ve lived through every administration since Eisenhower. I haven’t always liked who was President, and I can’t think of a single one whose policies or actions I’ve agreed with all the time. There were some where I didn’t agree with most of their policies. I’ve seen my fair share of scandals, and in case you didn’t guess, I was around for Watergate. But here’s the thing. In those 62 years, I’ve never seen the number, depth, and constant litany of lies and corrupt behavior I’ve seen from this President and his administration.
What else have I seen these past two years? IOKIYAR in overdrive. It’s why I said at the beginning of this year that Republicans are only interested in power. Things that would have sunk any presidency in the past, of either party, are now being actively aided, excused, met with obstruction, and denied by Republican office holders. As long as they think they can hold power, they’ll do anything to keep it, including selling out the country and the oaths they swore. It’s not just true of Washington, it’s true of the states as well. One has only to look at the last minute laws passed in a couple of states by Republicans to deny the incoming Democratic governors their authority. It’s gotten to the point that there are some conservatives are stating that the Republican Party needs to die. Not be fixed, but destroyed. Racism, appeals to authoritarianism, and blatant hypocrisy are not conducive to long-term survival as a party, and as they see it, it’s beyond repair.
What do I hope for the coming year? That some of this will change. I don’t think we’ll see it, but we have an opportunity in 2020. What I do take comfort in is from history: Parties like the Republicans are now have existed before, and in the end they fail. History does not look kindly on them, and I doubt history will look kindly on today’s Republicans.