Cult: “excessive veneration of an individual or object”
A democracy requires multiple political parties, representing different interests and viewpoints. Unfortunately one of Americas’ traditionally strong two parties has recently degenerated into little more than a personality cult.
Prepared every four years, party platforms describe the values, principles, and philosophies of the party. In broad terms they describe what a party stands for and what it hopes to accomplish. A great deal of effort and input goes into the preparation of a party platform; typically starting at the county level, with consolidation at the state conventions for delegates to carry forward to the National Conventions. The final document defines what party stands for, its vision for the future, and what it means to be a party member
In preparation for the 2020 election the Republican Party for the first time in modern history did not prepare a platform, but rather issued a one page “resolution”. This document includes of 5 housekeeping “whereas” statements and following:
“WHEREAS, The 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; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda;
RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention;
RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention calls on the media to engage in accurate and unbiased reporting, especially as it relates to the strong support of the RNC for President Trump and his Administration; and
RESOLVED, That any motion to amend the 2016 Platform or to adopt a new platform, including any motion to suspend the procedures that will allow doing so, will be ruled out of order.”
In contrast to the 58 page 2016 Republican Platform, the 2020 document enumerates no beliefs, values, or philosophies, it is just a statement of loyalty to then President Trump. Consigned to the dust bin of history are the traditional pillars of the former Republican Party – family values, free enterprise, constrained conservative government, fiscal responsibility, and world leadership. An organization that professes fealty to an individual, rather than to beliefs, values, or philosophy is the definition of a personality cult.
The 2020 Resolution delineates the end of Republican Party, replacing it with a cult enthralled to an ego-maniacal, authoritarian con man. In his 1964 speech accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for President, conservative Barry Goldwater stated that: “This is a party, this Republican Party, a Party for free men, not for blind followers, and not for conformists.” That description of the Party has now been turned on it’s head, with the Republican Party no longer being for free men, but for blind followers and those who conform to Trump’s values. To be Republicans now you must hold Trump’s values as as your own, or be hypocritical, or an outcast subject to the wrath of “true believers”.
Our democracy has long benefited from two strong political parties, holding common core of values, including respect, civility, compromise, integrity and the belief that purpose of governance is the enhancement of the common good, not the enrichment of some to the detriment of others. The strength of a democratic government is debate, compromise, resolution; principles that once served America well.
Following the 2016 election there was a lot of discussion about forming a new conservative party, or New Republican Party maintaining traditional Republican values. The difficulties in establishing an effective Republican alternative were insurmountable, leaving those holding tradition values three options:
- Profess loyalty to Trump and his/her values and remain in the Party. This is the route most political office holders have chosen to remain in power,
- Become an Independent and maintain their personal values, or
- Join the Democratic Party.
Remember these options when you vote, especially if your favored candidate is running as a Republican. Voting for a Republican candidate is a vote for a member of the Trump cult and its values. A vote for an Independent candidate is a vote for an individual and her/his values. The candidate has declared their choice of values on the ballot, you declare your choice of values with your vote.