Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at the BOK Center on June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at the BOK Center on June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.(Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images)

The Party Formerly Known as Republican

The GOP has officially embraced a continuation of Trump's policies, reaffirming its support for a president whose idea of "law and order" is a recipe for more violence.

Jim Goodman

“The Republican National Committee (RNC) enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today … [and that] the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”

A Party platform defines what a party stands for so, with no new party platform in 2020 the Republicans are admitting they have no new ideas or plans. With a worldwide pandemic in progress one would think they might have some official policy objectives, other than yielding to whatever their sitting president may feel are appropriate actions, like suggesting internal use of disinfectants, slowing down the rates of COVID testing, or assuming it will just “go away”.

The president has a long history of racist and religious bigotry that is now part of his America First Agenda. Since, as they have stated, the RNC enthusiastically supports him, they are willing to capitulate to his whims, his need for attention, adoration and his demand for total loyalty both from the party and his administration.

Richard Nixon touted “Law and Order,” blaming the Johnson administration for increased civil unrest and rioting across the country in 1964-65. Johnson did want to do the right thing, but as historian Elizabeth Hinton notes, “like many policymakers throughout history and many policymakers today, his own racial assumptions limited the vision of what that War on Poverty could be”. Johnson’s 1967 Kerner Commission called for investments in troubled communities, not expansion of police forces.

In 2016, Trump was the “Law and Order Candidate”, now, fast forward to 2020 and we are told we need more “Law and Order”? Apparently, the first go-round didn’t work? Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so in his mind, yes, we need more law and order. More militarized police forces, more armed white militias and less investment in communities that are still ignored and still oppressed by systemic racism.

And just to be clear, de-funding the police does not mean getting rid of police departments, rather it calls for reallocating funding to more community-based programs that reduce violence and promote fairness through non-policing forms of public safety and economic community development. Police are not trained to do the work they are often called upon to do, so it’s not reasonable or fair, nor is it the best use of their training, to expect the police to be social workers.

The Republican party has made a grave mistake in ceding the party to Donald Trump. In 2016 Trump stated “I alone can fix it” but what has he fixed? He believes that anything going wrong is not his fault while any success is due to him alone. His overt racism, sexism, lying, even his bankruptcies and business failures apparently endear him to his base. To the Republican party in general, his failings make him appear a bit rough around the edges at most, but they happily hang onto his coattails because they are happy to have those down-ballot votes. Filling the federal bench with ultra-conservative judges would be his (and their) legacy for decades, that and his tax cuts for the rich, would bring old-line Conservatives on board.

When Covid-19 swept the US, Trump would take no responsibility at all, had no plan and so—no plan was the Republicans’ plan. Again, they had no problem with his repeated lying and withholding information from the public.

In regard to what is the great moral challenge of our generation, as scientists shout the alarm of increasing rates of climate change, his plan is to make it worse by gutting environmental regulations and calling climate change a Chinese hoax. Praising “our great oil companies”, giving them Covid bailout funds (while Main Street went under) and opening up Arctic and off-shore drilling—environmental damage be damned. That’s his plan and of course, no dissent from the Republicans.

There are nearly 400 bills passed by the House waiting for action on Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s desk which McConnell says they will not even look at. This is the Trump party and if no bills are passed it’s the “do nothing Democrats’” fault not his, not the Republicans.

In the wake of the most recent police killing of unarmed Black men and women, white supremacist marches, racial unrest and violence, Trump takes no responsibility at all and warns against what Biden’s America will look like, but shows pictures of what Trump’s America looks like. “President Trump is now making two arguments simultaneously: 1) During the administration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, there was violence and unrest, which shows Joe Biden can’t be trusted to keep you safe. 2) During my administration, there is violence and unrest, which shows Joe Biden can’t be trusted to keep you safe”.

Trump’s idea of Law and Order is a recipe for more violence. From his nostalgic longing for the good old days, to his pandering to armed white militias, he deems those who legitimately call for racial equality, fairness for Indian Country, religious tolerance, an end to sexism and gender bias as violent mobs, thugs and radicals. His attacks on political opponents, even entire cities, goes unchecked.

While Martin Luther King knew nonviolent protest was more effective in achieving social change than was violence, he also recognized that “a riot is the language of the unheard” yet he hoped that “we can avoid riots because riots are self-defeating and socially destructive”. Four hundred years of continuing subjugation of Black Americans is more than anyone should bear and as King’s contemporary Stokely Carmichael noted, “In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience”. Internal struggle isn’t new, American history is full of violent protests, the Battle of Athens, the Battle of Blair Mountain and others—led by whites.

While Trump claims to be “the least racist person anywhere in the world” we know that among modern-day racist Presidents he easily floats to the top. Through his racism he has sown hatred, violence and division and thanks to the electoral college, it worked. His divide and conquer hopes for re-election—turning Americans against Americans and rational people against their own better nature along with voter suppression are all he and his Republicans have. Will he snuff out the small slice of the Republican party that has not already drunk his Kool-Aid? If there is any expectation that democracy might endure, I hope not.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Jim Goodman

Jim Goodman

Jim Goodman is a retired third-generation dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin , and the president of the National Family Farm Coalition.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Federal Court Strikes Down Ruling That Blocked Biden's Drilling Moratorium

"Today's decision demonstrates how flawed the preliminary injunction issued in June 2021 was, and that Interior must quickly take action to reform the federal fossil fuel program," said one environmental lawyer.

Julia Conley ·

Two Weeks Before Payments Resume, Progressives Tell Biden 'Time to Cancel Student Debt'

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that "we're having conversations daily with the White House and borrowers will know directly and soon from us when a decision is made."

Jessica Corbett ·

Progressive Mandela Barnes Leads Ron Johnson by 7 Points in New Poll

"People are done being represented by an out-of-touch, self-serving multimillionaire like Ron Johnson," said Wisconsin's Democratic Senate nominee.

Kenny Stancil ·

Rights Groups Tell Zuckerberg to Stop 'Dangerous Censorship' of Abortion Content

"Meta's censorship of information on abortion and reproductive health is jeopardizing the safety and human rights of millions across the U.S."

Jake Johnson ·

Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren Files Suit to Fight Suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis

The Republican's move "was nothing more than an authoritarian takeover of the office motivated by the governor's own political agenda," said the head of a U.S. network of elected prosecutors.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo