The One Where We Talk Politics

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Long time readers may know that I avoid political discussions in general around here. Now, I obviously talk about things like women and diversity in the workplace, access to internet for the poor and rural communities, free speech, and other things that overlap with careers and technology, which is what I usually write about. What I normally don’t do is talk about party politics, and there has always been a reason for that, because I don’t belong to either party. I’m registered Independent, and I rarely ever vote consistently for one party.
 
In fact, I have spoken privately often about how I kind of root for a split federal government, as a check on extremism in either direction. The best defense against left or right-wing extremism is a strong opposition party to keep things in balance and in check.
 
Checks and balances. The cornerstone of our very Constitution and system of government. The thing that prevents any one group from going too far off the path of finding a better way for everyone in the US. No, it’s never been perfect, and there are many things that continuously need to be improved, but getting there depends on having two strong, and relatively sane, parties.
 
That’s why what happened today, and everything that has been leading up to it, saddens me. The Republican Party has eaten itself. The QAnon conspiracy theorists couldn’t have done a better job of blowing up the GOP if they were literally working for the Democrats. (Maybe they were?)
 
Look, I’m a middle-aged, middle-class white man. I am the core demographic for all the these conspiracy theories, and I know that these things aren’t true. I know the election wasn’t stolen, and I know COVID-19 is not part of a hoax conspiracy. I know because I am willing to listen to something other than people who tell me what I want to hear.
 
Today, we watched a group of people who don’t believe in the pandemic, but are willing to listen to, and believe, people who literally make up “facts” from whole cloth just to stir up the masses and create chaos, decide for themselves that they could attack the US government, and disrupt Congress by force.
 
It was also the day that our state set new records for COVID-19 cases, maxing out our hospital capacity and pushed our total number of dead from this virus past 7,600 people. That’s 7,600 Louisiana families who will never get to spend another holiday with their loved ones, while local Republicans refused to stay home and do the right thing by skipping one gathering.
 
I am sad to say, that we are at the point where my hope for checks and balances right now is gone. It’s time for Republicans to clean your fucking house. Cleanse your party of right-wing, QAnon extremists or forever be the party that was responsible for the violence today, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. This is your legacy. This is you. Don’t start with “both sides”, because left-wing extremists, who I also don’t support, didn’t breach the Capitol. That was all you, that was your supporter rolling through the rotunda with a Confederate flag. That wasn’t BLM or Antifa, that was you. All the Nazi symbolism, and white supremacists wandering around DC? That was you. All the “Patriots” posting all over social media about starting a new Civil War? (Which by the way is an argument against repealing Section230, because if anyone in charge of security at the Capitol had been paying attention to social media they would have absolutely known this was coming, and acted accordingly, but that failure is a topic for another day.)
 
That’s your party. Clean it the fuck up, or sit the fuck down. Start recall elections for all of the people who stoked this, and continue to deny reality. Confront the racism in your midst.
 
I don’t want to be a Democrat. I don’t particularly agree with much of Biden’s plan, or much of the party platform of the Democrats.
 
But when the other option is supporting legislators who appease white-supremacy, look the other way as the country suffers mass deaths, and back crack-pot conspiracy theorists?
 
Be better, it is time to clean your house. It’s time for Republican leaders to stand up to the extremists and be willing to lose a future election in order to save what’s left of their party. Because, right now, if you keep going this way, you will not survive this.

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