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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

October 01, 2021

Panic in Party?s Demise

We have a model of a party?s death throes in history, when during the 1850s, the Whig Party floundered to find its footing. Whatever issues had been important to the Whigs from its inception: limited government, fiscal responsibility, and aristocratic values (John Quincy Adams was the last of such), by 1850, slavery divided the party and the desperation was visible.

One of the worst decisions made by the Whig-dominated Supreme Court was to sustain the Fugitive Slave act: that any bounty hunter could cash in by snatching a runaway slave, even in the North.

By 1860, the fate of the Whig Party was sealed: it collapsed and was replaced by Abraham Lincoln?s Republican Party, whose main policy was to end the horrors of slavery once and for all.

The Republican Party itself then morphed into another phase: during the rest of the 19th century, its concern was national development: support for railroad building, industrial development, and cheap labor. The laws and the courts were stacked in favor of the rich and powerful, until a new Republican turned the country in another direction.

President Theodore Roosevelt ushered in the first laws protecting environment, protecting workers to organize unions, instituting the first safe food and drug laws, and preserving the nation?s great heritage as national parks, rather than capitalist exploitation.

The next phase of Republicans after Roosevelt reverted to the former status quo: support of the monied class, belief in small and ineffectual government, and no positive values. This resulted in the out-of-control 1920s, with irresponsible monetary behavior that climaxed in the worst depression that America ever had. One quarter of the population was out of work, homeless, and desperate.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Democratic Party instituted a new system: that government could actually benefit the majority of the country, and it did. Voters rewarded it by keeping Republicans out of majority status until World War II ended and Republican General Eisenhower was elected.

During the rest of the 20th century, the country was governed by alternating Democratic and Republican parties sharing power. Much of the legislation was bipartisan during that period. Government was working well.

This changed with the election of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, with the pronouncement that government itself was the problem. The two parties were no longer just competitors, but Republicans called Democrats enemies. This decision spelled the beginning of the ultimate demise of the Republican Party.

Republicans recognized that their numbers were dwindling; they could only win by rigging the game, not by winning over the majority. Their demise was enabled by several undemocratic advantages: the Senate and Gerrymandering electoral districts.

With two senators from each state, regardless of population, gave the Senate undemocratic power.

Gerrymandering electoral districts in states with Republicans in power disadvantaged Democratic districts. And by demonizing the Democrats, they energized a new Republican base: a most ignorant, selfish, and violence-prone minority that intimidated the rest.

The Republicans know they cannot win without Republican presidents packing conservative judges in the courts; appointing conservatives judges to the life-termed Supreme Court; using undemocratic filibustering to prevent Democratic appointments; and electing a president who took a wrecking ball to every institution that protected American democracy for the past hundred years.

There is no longer discussion of Republican values: fiscal responsibility, honor and integrity, restraint on government overreach. Current values are anti-science, anti-common good. Agendas are to deprive women of legal abortion rights; replace impartial state election officials with political hacks; impede voting in urban districts; attack and replace local school boards; promote violence and increase gun use.

They want no interference in their own bodies (no vaccinations) but interfere with women?s bodies (ban legal abortion rights). They want no national mandates, but veto local governments from public health mandates. They interfere with school agendas, banning even the history of slavery. Ignorance is their badge of honor.

The hospitalization and COVID death rates in such Republican-run states are reducing the Republican population disastrously. Decent Republicans are leaving the party, voters are taking notice, and the demise will finalize a deserved consequence. Trump Republicans are killing their followers and their party.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of "How Do You Know That? Contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.