We had a wild weekend. The Loyola Ramblers made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. There was the usual St. Patrick's Day shenanigans. AND, we were bombarded with an avalanche of tweets from our Head Twit, President Trump himself. The verbal eruption from President Trump is hardly surprising, in fact it's pretty much expected nowadays. Speculation is rampant in Washington that these crazy tweets are the opening salvo in the assault against the name and reputation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. That's disturbing enough. What is even more disturbing is the sound of profound silence coming the the leadership of the Republicans in Congress.
A good part of my concern about this self-imposed censorship is that in some circles silence denotes assent. Thus it is hardly a surprise that the silence of Republican political leaders is a sign that they will not raise a finger in Robert Mueller's defense. And that is very disturbing indeed because the stakes are too high for this country. This isn't a political pissing match. It's not about Left or Right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. It's about patriotism, plain and simple.
What happened to our election in 2016 was nothing more than a direct assault on our democracy. Using sophisticated psychological tactics, the government of the Russian Federation manipulated the way some of our citizens came to vote. I don't know if Comrade Putin actually DECIDED the outcome, of our election, it's hard to tell how some of the shakier Trump supporters might have voted had it not been for the way in which they were seemingly programmed to vote. But I DO know that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people were persuaded to vote on Mr. Trump's behalf through the efforts of Russian intelligence agents. That is pretty darned shocking and disturbing to ME!
The important thing for Republican political leaders to understand is that the NEXT time the roles may be reversed. In 2020, it's possible that Vladimir Putin might think it advantageous to deal with a 78 year old Joe Biden as President rather than a 74 year old Donald Trump. How will the Republicans feel if they learn after the fact that they lost the election through electronic interference at Comrade Putin's behest? Do you think they might want to invalidate the outcome of THAT election? Well, that's how we Democrats feel today!
As I have said so often, democracy is a fragile thing. To a large extent it depends on the faith of the electorate that the whole political process is free, clear and without a hint of outside influence. Take away that faith in the inviolability of the system and our elections will be reduced to the same level of credibility as the recent Russian Presidential election.
More importantly, loss of faith can be devastating. It is the bedrock of our political system. And getting even a measure of it back again can prove to be a herculean endeavor. That's why the tepid or non-existent response of Republican political leaders to this assault on our democracy is so important. It demonstrates that at least one of our two great political parties is indifferent to the viability of our democratic institutions, that they don't don't care if the fix was in as long as they ended up on the right side of the power equation.
Perhaps this is typical liberal angst. Perhaps Republicans DO care that our electoral system is straightforward and completely honest. I can only hope so. But in the absence of a lack of verbal concern over the matter, pardon me if I remain a little skeptical about the Republican Party's devotion to the delicate balance of our fragile democratic system.
Filed under: Politics