In this campaign season, I am reminded of the fable of the scorpion and the frog. For those unfamiliar, a scorpion asks a frog to carry him across a river on his back. The frog fears being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and drown. The frog agrees, but midway, the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. Before they drowned, the frog laments the treachery and asks why. The scorpion said, “You know who I am! It’s just in my nature.”
One of Maya Angelou’s most famous quotes is, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” As Republicans anxiously prepare to regain control of Congress, voters of sound mind and good conscience should consider what a Republican majority in even one of the two houses would mean. From my vantage, I can only predict turmoil and misfortune. Hopefully, better voter judgment and choices will prevail.
For years, the Republican Party has shown that its primary concern is in the interests of the privileged, wealthy, big business and, under any and every circumstance, the raw excess of retaining power and control. Its acceptance and defense of the criminal excesses of the disgraced, twice-impeached ex-president is itself criminal and disrupts the design of social equilibrium inherent in a system of democracy. Moreover, those who support the criminality increasingly accept its profitability and enhancements as perks to which they are also entitled.
Violating constitutional emolument provisions, The Trump Organization grossly overcharged the government for services provided to Secret Service protective details for Trump and members of his family. Trump properties became a hub for foreign influence and resulted in a source of personal enrichment.
Taking a cue from their leader, the current threat to our futures comes from the Republican Congress. While claiming alarm at the rising inflation, Republicans are planning to extend the $1.5 trillion Trump tax cut to the benefit of the 1 percent. In order to offset the loss of this tax revenue, prominent Republican senators are proposing to require reauthorization of the Social Security system every five years. Even more radically, Johnson of Wisconsin advocates an annual reauthorization.
Republicans have already promised to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. This would end the infrastructure construction/revitalization provisions of the act, as well as the provisions protecting consumers from the burdensome excesses of pharmaceutical purchases. This course of action would mean that caps on out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment and $35 per month cap on insulin would disappear.
The Republican success in the coming election not only poses a physical threat to the underserved and people of color, but it also threatens the psyche, self-esteem and critical thinking skills of generations of our children. We have already witnessed a revisionist whitewashing of ethnic history in public schools to appease those made uncomfortable about the TRUTH of our nation’s history. They would have you erase the truth of the historical brutality of human enslavement, the slaughter of Native Americans, the immigration exclusion of Asians, the generalized “otherization” of people of color, and the continuing legacy of hatred spawned by these acts. Like Nazi Germany, book-banning is becoming increasingly popular, and humans of all ages are shamed and victimized for their gender orientation.
In the face of increasing violence, Republicans have pledged to protect unfettered access to guns.
They have stripped the right of women to make independent reproductive health decisions.
Like the scorpion, Republicans have shown their true colors. They have announced their intentions — intentions that can only have a malevolent impact upon those they consider dispensable. It’s in their nature! Will intelligent voters choose to yield to the Republican “nature” or will they vote to protect our collective futures?