Gage Skidmore



We Deserve Democracy, Not Autocracy

In the eternal struggle of cosmos versus chaos, good versus evil, pragmatism versus dogmatism, right versus left, there are no clear winners or losers; these are ongoing and unending struggles. But in the matter of the present presidential battle, there will be a clear loser: The American people.

We have endured the Donald’s rants, his insults of various minorities and his denigration of the brave war heroes who fought valiantly for this country and made the ultimate sacrifice. We have endured his diatribes. We have endured his vulgar insinuations. We have endured his rabid right wing venom. We have seen his disgusting sneers and heard his despicable words. No other candidate, for any office, let alone the presidency of the United States of America, dared to behave so deplorably. And he got away with it.

There must be limits on free speech. If the Donald were to be just another man touting his vitriolic views, by now, he might be behind bars for hate speech. But, being a billionaire and a nominee of a major political party for the presidency of this great country, he had been given a lot of latitude, not only by the press but by the Republican Party grandees.

At a rally in Wilmington, NC, on August 9, 2016, the Donald suggested, albeit in a veiled language, the assassination of Hillary Clinton. Even by his abysmally low standards, this is a new low, and a clear and present danger to our democracy.

There were as many as five thousand people at the Trump rally. One cannot, not even for a moment, think that some of these people might pick up their guns and start shooting a leader they disagree with. A political opponent is not a mortal enemy that one is prepared to snuff out. Just like the majority of Americans, the people at the rally believe in the power of the ballot, not the bullet.

Enough had been written about the Trump voters. Yes, they lost their jobs. Yes, their standard of living has gone down during the past few decades. Yes, their children can no longer hope for a decent wage nor a good living. Yet, instead of suggesting solid policies to ameliorate their situation, most Republicans routinely resorted to jingoism, xenophobia, and demagoguery.

Like a shy a bride who cannot summon the courage to reject an unsuitable groom, the Republican Party leaders are parsing their words and indulging in semantic gymnastics. In order to preserve their own political futures, they are appeasing those misguided Trump voters. So far, the Republican leaders’ overriding philosophy has been to condemn the Donald’s views without explicitly disowning him.

The time has finally come for the McCains, Ryans, McConnells of the Republican Party to come together and denounce, in the strongest possible language, their party’s nominee: Donald the demagogue. Denounce him and his fascist rhetoric. For once, for the sake of this great country and the values it represents, these leaders should stop equivocating and tell the American people that they will no longer stand by mutely while this corn-haired, vicious, pernicious buffoon tramples our democratic values. Before it is too late. Before a mad man shoots someone. Before the country drowns in a blood bath. In spite of the excellent secret service protection, we have lost one president and almost lost another.

The Republican leaders have nothing to lose by standing up to the vulgar and violent rhetoric of this reality TV star. In the worst case scenario, the Republicans might lose control of the Senate as well as the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, they will certainly go down in the annals of this country as those courageous men and women who had sacrificed their careers for a much bigger cause. The Republican leaders will be applauded by the people of this country as well as the world for their moral courage. Unless these leaders do the right thing, we the citizens, irrespective of our political affiliation, will remain helpless and hopeless, and haplessly watch the sad degradation of our core values.

It is about time the Republican leaders are guided, not by their own narrow, pusillanimous ideology, but by a magnanimous, benevolent world view. It is time to raise above the partisan divide. It is time to heal the country. It is time to end politics as usual. It is time to eschew venomous views and boycott those who want to divide and rule. And it is the right time to boycott an unscrupulous man whose goal is to be the leader of the free world, regardless of the havoc he wreaks.

There is nothing to prevent each and every Republican leader—Senators and Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, from holding town hall meetings at their respective constituencies and explain in clear language why the Donald should not be our next president. Why they should not vote for him. Why the people should be afraid of a Trump presidency. Why this country cannot afford to be saddled with an insane, unstable egomaniac. Why this country should continue to remain a strong and stable democracy, and not descend into chaos of a dreadful dictatorship.

In the long history of our country, we have had demagogues who tried to drag this country down into the gutter. But, thankfully those were few and far between, and unsuccessful.