I feel like a big weight is gone from my shoulders now that the White House is seeing Life Without Trump. However, he is still infecting the GOP like a fatal disease. Many are comparing him to cancer. I think that if the GOP don’t disassociate themselves from his influence, it will die a slow and painful death. It already denies an equal role for women, people of colour, LGBTQ people, and more, as equals in modern society. That was seeing them on the decline. It already needs to accept all people instead of just trying to stop them voting, Now it’s trying to make up the lost numbers with kooks and liars.
That would not be a positive move. A democracy such as the US relies on the two main parties to be healthy in order to maintain itself. Where has the party of strong family values, low taxes, self-reliance, personal responsibility, and all the other things the GOP supposedly avows gone? It’s nowhere to be seen. Party members are leaving in droves and registering as Independents, or even Democrats. The same party that says it supports law and order is murdering police officers. The party that says the Constitution is second only to the Bible is trashing Constitutional values.
The few that are trying to stand up for the Constitution, like Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyoming), are facing abuse and even censure. I disagree with almost everything about Cheney’s politics, but I admire her sticking to her guns. In a closed door GOP meeting yesterday, she said she would not apologize for supporting the impeachment of Trump. A secret ballot saw her retain her spot as the third highest serving member of the party. Still, around a third voted against her.
Further, in the same meeting a speech by Greene got a standing ovation. The weak-willed Kevin McCarthy (minority House leader) refused to call for a vote against her. For a week he’s been saying he will talk to her about her beliefs. After finally doing so he gave her a pass by saying none of her public actions and words were since her election. His press conference was embarrassing. He mispronounced QAnon, apologizing if he’d done so, and said it was because he knew nothing about them. Anyone who believes that is just naïve. (It rather brought to mind Trump denying he knew anything about white supremacy or white supremacists.)
So the appalling Marjorie Taylor Green (Georgia), whose history of backing conspiracy theories, faces little come back. This is likely because Taylor Green has the backing of the former president, and too many in the GOP still either fear or want his influence on the base. Power is more important than doing the right thing apparently. Therefore, they won’t speak against her.
I consider those who are quiet about her are cowards. She does not belong in a party that is trying to hold itself up as a principled opposition. I guess we should expect that though. Even after the insurrection on 6 January most of them still voted that Biden hadn’t won the election.
Life without Trump in the White House, and unable to ever seek federal office again, would give the GOP the chance to move on from him. The Democrats are doing them a favour. Let the Senate Republicans who either have the courage of their convictions (like Mitt Romney, Utah), or are in states where they can get away with it, vote in support of impeachment. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) has already spoken in support of that.
6th January 2021
The US isn’t even my country, and I was shocked and outraged by what happened on 6 January 2021. Unlike many, it didn’t surprise me to hear Trump inciting a mob to march on the Capitol and do violence. In fact I expected it. It also didn’t surprise me they followed his word. After all, he’d been working them into a frenzy for months. Even before the election took place he was saying that if the Democrats won, it was because of cheating. The only part that took me by surprise was the call to, “Hang Mike Pence.” I knew, of course, that loyalty only goes one way with him, but to say things that led to a call for the murder of his own vice-president I thought a step too far. I was wrong.
And again, even after this call to murder their own vice-president by their president, most Republicans gave him their support. What kind of people are these? They had to hide from the mob too, but it didn’t stop these cowards voicing concerns about whether the election was free and fair. It was a disgusting display of pusillanimity.
A few days later when there was a military coup in Myanmar, I hope USians were watching. This was what Trump was wanting for his country. I think the US military would have refused to do it. However, as long as you have a head of state who is also the commander-in-chief, this is a risk. It’s one of the things about the US I believe needs changing, although there’s much about the US electoral system I think needs working on first.
Life without Trump in the White House is at least a start.
Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell
McConnell, though, did speak out against Marjorie Taylor Greene yesterday. He said: :
Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country. Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.
As CNN points out, Taylor Greene has also:
… publicly expressed support for the QAnon movement, made Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments and agreed with the idea of executing Democratic leaders, among many other things …
It’s about time he spoke out. He didn’t following either her nomination or election. This is interesting because whatever else he is, McConnell knows his politics. In my opinion, he sees that providing cover to Marjorie Taylor Greene will not be good for his party long term. That means he doesn’t see Trump’s influence on his party as lasting into the future. He recognizes that for the GOP, life without Trump is an improvement.
It’s also likely an attack on Kevin McCarthy. I don’t know whether there’s anyone in the House capable of taking the job from McCarthy, but for the sake of the future of the GOP, and maybe even US democracy, that needs to happen sooner rather than later.
My preference would be that McCarthy is replaced by someone like his predecessor, John Boehner. However, I think the party and country would both be better off without McConnell too. When your party’s Senate leader says things like (paraphrasing), “Our priority needs to be making Obama a one-term president,” that person is not all about doing what’s best for the country either.
My Opinion on McConnell versus Trump
As president, what Trump did was embolden the various far right groups in his country. Further, those who support him the most (the base) met, and still meet, all the criteria of a cult.
There’s also an enormous amount of violence associated with Trump’s followers. While they’re blaming everything on Antifa, the fact is that according to the data, the majority of the political violence in the US comes from far right groups.
The media give those people time because it gets ratings. That makes it look like Trump has more influence than he actually has.
I think McConnell is right to dismiss Trump’s future. He has never had a wide influence. He lost the popular vote in both elections he ran in by millions. Unlike every other president, he never even got a fifty percent approval rating. Even the worst previous presidents did that. The US needs life without Trump in its future.
Why I Think Trump’s Influence Will Decline
These are the reasons I think Trump will lose the level of influence he has now:
- He has lost his main ability to influence: his permanent banning from Twitter and some other social media. He still has ways to reach his followers, but not in the same numbers as before. Without the constant reinforcement of his on-line messages, followers will drop away.
- His secondary ability to influence is gone: the bully pulpit i.e. the presidency. Many still believe that he actually won, but those saying that are also losing their ability to spread that lie.
- His tertiary ability to influence is gone: social media in general. Most social media companies are beginning to be more responsible about who they let onto their sites. QAnon, for example, are banned from multiple sites.
- With Trump not being able to constantly reinforce his lies, and with social media not supporting those lies, people will get the opportunity to step back from the brink. I’m already seeing interviews on CNN with people who no longer believe the lies of Trump and QAnon. In an interview that aired last night (US time), a woman specifically said that if Trump had told people that he lost the election, she would have believed it. The only reason she kept going with the “Stop the Steal” mantra was because of him.
- The public will discover that Biden isn’t that scary after all. They don’t now have a president with a socialist agenda. What they do have is a president who is getting control of COVID-19 in a way Trump never did. As a result the country will improve economically, which is the way most people in the US judge success.
It will take time, and it will be up to Biden and the rest of Democrats to provide the country with a government that works for them and they can be proud of again. It will be up to them to prove that life without Trump is better.
However, while Trump’s cult will continue, I believe it will rapidly shrink in size over the next four years.
Breaking News: An Advance on Life Without Trump
The House has just voted to remove Marjorie Taylor Green from her two committee assignments (Budget, Education and Labour), The vote was 243 for and 199 against. Therefore, some Republicans crossed the floor to vote with their Democratic colleagues.
It was particularly galling to see Greene on the Education and Labour committee. It’s not a role that would normally go to a freshman, but to give it to someone who not only said that several school shootings were false flag exercises is frankly shocking. Her claims were made worse when she chased down and abused18-year-old Daniel Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, when he was in Washington in support of gun control laws.
Greene’s influence in any committee was unlikely to be useful, and it would have given Trump a proxy vote. Again, the US needs life without Trump, and this will help.
Now I just hope they can ensure Trump doesn’t get intelligence briefings.
Hello everyone. I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. I hope you can forgive me. For a few weeks, I’ve been writing is my journal (by hand), and this is my attempt to try and write for an audience again.
If you enjoyed reading this, please consider donating a dollar or two to help keep the site going. Thank you.
It has been a while. 🙂
So glad you’re back. Missed your commentary on the political situation in the US.
Very sound analysis, and I pretty much agree with everything you had to say.
Nice to read a post by you again, like others, I’ve missed your take on our world.
I also like the new look and feel of your site.
Thanks Mark. This new design fixes the problems we were having with the old website, the most obvious being the inability to reply to a particular comment which, of course, made ongoing discussion difficult.
My technical support person had been wanting me to change for some time. The developers had stopped supporting the old design, which made things difficult for him. It was also pretty old fashioned. However, there were things about it I really liked, so I was resisting the change. When that reply button stopped working, it was obviously time for me to face reality!
To whom it may concern:
Yesterday I received a donation of NZ$10 from some very kind person. It’s my practice to thank all donors personally by email. Unfortunately, there was no email address. If you are that person, please accept this as my thank you for your generosity. I appreciate it very much.
I’m so glad you’re back in the saddle again!
I am sorry to say Heather is very sick in Waikato Hospital. I am her sister. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0272209234
Sorry about the tests. The first one when submitted brought up a message saying it was a duplicate! Then when I posted the second one, they both appeared. There is still no sign of a reply I posted to GBJames a few days ago, or a direct comment I made the same day. Hopefully these are teething problems that are now sorted.
Anyway, now that I’m getting through, welcome back! I hope you’re keeping well, and look forward to more insightful comments on the US political system.
Hello Colin. I am Heather’s sister Fiona using her account. Heather is very very sick in Waikato hospital and I have just had her laptop brought up from her home. I am not sure how to contact you directly however feel free to contact me 0272209234. We are not sure if she will make it through this event.
Good to see you back, Heather. I hope you stay!