Governments, at least democratic ones, exist to protect its people's general welfare. That means safety, health, and national security. The fallacy of states' rights is that it takes that concept and turns it on its head. In a time when we are desperate for a national plan to thwart a pandemic, that has so far cost more than 140,000 American lives, Trump and his Republican cohorts have turned America into a third world country by allowing states to patch together a puzzle of deadly, misaligned mistakes. Add to that, pseudo-military forces gassing women and teens, violation of the Constitutional right to address grievance through peaceful protest, and the flouting of the rule of law, in the form of commutations and pardons for confessed and convicted felons—Michael Flynn, Joe Arpaio, and Roger Stone.
I have come to the conclusion this is what governance means to the GOP. The Republican party has objected vehemently to federal government policies for nearly 40 years, complaining about taxes (signing an un-Constitutional pledge to Grover Norquist) and regulations. Meanwhile, they seek to arm every man, woman and child in America, with upwards of 350 million guns for a population of 330 million people; advancing corporate welfare, and dirtying the air; relaxation of fuel emissions standards; water, relaxing coal slurry dumping into rivers and streams, and parks, opening federal lands for oil drilling, “drill baby drill.” Mistakes in government policy can be shared, but Democrats know how to govern, Republicans know how to defy.
If you ask yourself a simple question, the November election cycle reveals a logical answer. Do you want to vote for a party that wants to make government an asset, or one set on making government non-responsive? Whether you call yourself a socialist, a libertarian, a Democrat, or a Republican, this is the framework the Founders constructed, and the American politicians' charge has been to make it a ‘more perfect Union.’ The GOP time and again has demonstrated that it does not know how to govern. It has now been ten years and counting that we have awaited their ‘replacement’ for the Affordable Care Act. Republicans never really had or have a plan; they were more interested in the repeal than the replacement. Killing after killing, massacre, after massacre has taken place in America, and getting the GOP to legislate for the simplest of gun registration improvements or reducing rifle magazine capacity, has been as time-consuming and inefficient as loading a single shot musket.
Accumulating power in the pursuit of public service has a nobility that seems to escape the authoritarian gaze of the Republican party. The real power in the Republican party, Senator Mitch McConnell, admitted during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier that there are 395 House-passed bills sitting idly on his desk. His reason for the backlog, “It is true,” the senator said. “They've been on full left-wing parade over there, trotting out all of their left-wing solutions that are going to be issues in the fall campaign. They're right. We're not going to pass those.” This basic admission by McConnell that he sees his job as stopping the Democrats, hence the government is the latest extension of his infamous pledge to make Obama a “one-term president.” The function of government Mitch—is, to function.