Do Republicans threaten US democracy?
There’s no doubt that the Republican party is becoming more and more extreme in its views. Is it perhaps even getting dangerously close to threatening US democracy itself?
It’s not just that the majority of Republicans in Congress have, during the entire Obama administration, focused almost exclusively on trying to damage and block the President rather than seeking what’s in the best interests of governing the country. Much worse, some leading Republicans are now seeking to place their version of ‘Christian beliefs’ in opposition to democracy itself.
A few examples:
- Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee describes the laws legalising gay marriage as “judicial tyranny”, vows to “fight to defend religious liberty at all costs” and says “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.”
He has also endorsed comments from the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, namely that “… the Supreme Court is not the final authority … the Bible is God’s final authority … and on this book we stand.”
- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum: “This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies [Satan] has his sights on ….. the United States of America.”
- A statement on the official Republican Party 2012 platform said “The Founders of the American Republic universally agree that democracy presupposes a moral people (my emphasis) …”
The same official website highlighted George Washington’s notion that “the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” It went on to proclaim that “… our rights come from God.”
When you put such inflammatory statements together with the Republicans’ huge emphasis on ‘gun rights’ – especially gun rights in relation to their supposed role in preventing any government tyranny – then you have a potentially explosive mixture.
In this mixture you have gun-toting “Christians” being egged on to regard their version of morality as above the law, above democracy and – since “rights come from God” – above constitutional rights as decided by mere humans.
Whether this Republican drift towards extremism will win them the next presidential election seems doubtful. And despite losing the last two presidential contests, many Republicans still don’t seem to twig the fact that the majority of Americans just don’t support – and likely will never support – a bible-thumping, homophobic and quasi-misogynist agenda.
So if the Republican party loses yet again – and this time to not only to a woman, but a woman called Hillary Clinton – then might we see their anti-democratic rhetoric transformed into something more sinister?