Ken Hale: GOP no longer stands for law and order
I was a Republican for decades. The party chased me out with ideology that was good for the Republican Party but very bad for our country.
Lawlessness comes to mind. The party I belonged to once stood for the rule of law. Now, nationwide, the Republican Party stands for the exact opposite.
Please note there is a huge difference between the republic that is the United States and the current Republican Party. I had to leave the party of Abraham Lincoln because that party left Lincoln himself. I’m independent now, alas.
Indeed, while both parties have major flaws, both are still alive. This baffles me. George Washington, on his retirement from the original presidency, warned us against falling into the trap of party politics. We ignored him. Now here we are. We have a Republican Party that does not believe it is subject to the laws of this country, and a Democratic Party that is all over the map.
I intend to concentrate on my failed party. I say failed because the Republican Party I was part of failed to live up to American values I grew up with. It is much more important for our nation to lead the world and prosper than it is for one party to do whatever it needs to do to remain in power, regardless of the wishes of the people.
I’m appalled at the lawlessness of my former party. If things don’t go the way they think they ought to, they change the laws to grossly favor the Republican Party.
Gerrymandering comes to mind, among other changes in the law at the state level. They draw election maps that concentrate Democratic voters in small areas, even if those voters have a plurality. This has been going on for two centuries and both parties are culpable. It has to stop! The people’s voice must be heard. It doesn’t matter whether we all agree with it. If any of us think they are wrong, then it is our duty to persuade them through intellect, not force.
I used to think that my Republican friends were smart folk. I enjoyed engaging them. We would have invigorating discussions on a variety of topics. As we moved into the Trump era, those conversations tended to become dogmatic. If Trump did not approve, it didn’t matter anymore. It was like the law was changed. Whatever came out of the former president’s mouth was now the law, instead of codified laws that have glued this nation together for more than two centuries.
Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 with 33% of the vote. Once he was in power, he obliterated the laws of that country. Sound familiar? We need to be vigilant. This is a big deal, folks! I don’t care what political party you belong to. If you want the United States to survive, we must not empower people from the fringes of our society.
When I was in Peace Officer Standard Training, I wrote a white paper on the rule of law. That rule requires all of us to obey the laws of our nation, those of our state, and our community. What I discovered in researching the rule of law”is that it is the glue that binds this nation together. All of us obey the same laws. Without the rule of law, if I have more guns than you do and people to carry them, I can take everything you own.
If I don’t like a particular law in this country, I need to obey that law until it is changed. That did not, happen on Jan. 6.
Now, a good portion of Republicans claim the entire election was stolen. State and federal courts have dismissed Trump’s claim of election fraud over and over again. This claim has been dismissed by all the courts of this nation as BS. That is because there is no evidence of any election fraud. Indeed, it looks like the main perpetrators of voting fraud were folks who voted more than once for Trump. These courts include judges appointed by Trump.
Our country is in danger from the lawlessness of the Republican Party. Blather to the contrary is shown to be nonsense when light is shown upon it. Trump and most of the Republican Party have ignored the courts.
For the first time in my life, I look at my former party and have ask a simple question: Do you believe in the United States or don’t you? If you do, obey the laws of this country. If you don’t, move someplace else. Canada is probably not a good option.
Ken Hale lives in Grass Valley.
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