When a top athlete or sports team is caught cheating the punishment is mighty. Olympic medals are stripped and given to the next person in line. Tours de France are forfeited. Basketball teams are banned from post season play. In the sports world, unfair competition is punished. Fines are levied and accomplishments are invalidated. This is how we insure sport is kept honest.
One of the growing problems in politics today is the increase in team based fervor. Also, treason. But I’ll come back to that. The 2016 election was the culmination of the belief in the electorate, “my party/team can do no wrong.” Or more accurately, “my team may have problems but they’re nothing compared to the devastation the other side will bring upon the country. As such, my duty is to vote against them no matter what.”
In some part the problem is a bipartisan one, but I hope I am not shocking anyone to say it is a predominately Republican one. To be honest, the Democrats face the opposite problem where a failure to pass a purity test means an abandonment by the voters. The Republicans faced something similar with the Tea Party movement but that populist wave won out in the end.
The far Right-wing was successful in purging moderate control from the GOP as a whole.
What are the consequences of such extremism? The Trump administration is answering this question front and center. The result is America installed a criminal as its head of state. I could post a bunch of links about Trump’s blatant criminal behavior but I’m not here to do your homework for you. Take a quick Google surf and you’ll find enough evidence.
Yet, if my statement is so cut and dry as I want to make it seem, why is Trump still in office?
Here is where the team mentality comes back into play. The GOP made a mistake. They elected a crude and vile individual who never wanted anything from the Presidency other than self-enrichment. He was blatant about it. Everything Trump has done since he took office was telegraphed in plain language during the campaign. People still voted for him though.
The question is why?
For one thing, he cheated. The time to stop being coy is now. I understand that people with real power need to moderate their message. Game of Thrones isn’t only some make believe world where dragons take forever to become important. The rules of power are true in Westeros as well as Washington. The most important being, you don’t strike at the king unless you are certain you will win.
I forgive the Democrats in Congress for not pressing harder against Trump the would-be tyrant. Should they fail he would be invincible. But we all know he’s guilty. It’s now a matter of uncovering the proof. The evidence is out there. I don’t doubt it for a second.
I also have no qualms about calling Trump a criminal. Because he is.
The team mentality is what protects him. There isn’t a single Republican in the country who would be OK with this kind of behavior from a Democrat. And they shouldn’t. I would be ashamed of any Democrat who had no issue with Hillary Clinton talking about pardoning herself six months into her presidency. If it got to that point she would deserve to lose all support.
But it wouldn’t. Because she’s not a criminal. Unlike Trump.
Republicans are not going to admit their mistake. Doing so would forever tie their party and its ideology to criminal behavior. It already kind of was, but now the circumstances are too obvious. What can be done then? Realistically, not much more than we are doing now. Resist all policy, agitate against the regime, activate people to vote the criminals out as soon as we get the chance.
If the world was truly just, then Trump would be kicked out of office and stripped of all his power. By that I mean assets and the methods to buy influence. Put him in maximum security general population and wish him all the best. Then give the Presidency to Hillary Clinton. Count her as the 45th president and remove all appointees including but not limited to the Supreme Court seat Trump and the Republicans stole.
No one who supported Trump should stand for re-election. No one who voted for him should be allowed to vote in the next cycle. Call it a time out. You voted for a criminal.
Obviously, none of this will happen. The punishment is far too extreme for our government to survive. There are far different consequences in elections than a bicycle race. And yet if the penalty for cheating isn’t so severe as to shock the system, it will happen again. When fines for breaking regulations are less than the profits gained, companies work the payments into their cost of business.
The true danger is if the Republican party accepts treason as a small price to pay for getting an ultra-conservative Supreme Court or cutting welfare programs to the bone. My biggest fear is they already have.
This will happen again. Count on it.