The tens of tens who showed up in Washington, DC Saturday had a face, former Trump staffer Matt Braynard. Braynard, who presents himself as one of the many “voter fraud experts,” investigating the presidential election, was front and center Saturday afternoon in the Justice for J6 huddle. Braynard, who once claimed to have ferreted out 21,000 illegal ballots in Georgia, was widely panned, by actual election experts, for his spurious and factless claims. Nonetheless, Mr. Braynard gained some of the fame he has been seeking when he helped to literally push around a golden idol statue of Donald Trump at the latest Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
This is but one display of the inane Trump worship and for evangelicals, you would think, blasphemous behavior, which is dragging America closer and closer to the GOP cliff. I currently live in Pennsylvania and was appalled but not shocked at the move by the Central York Pennsylvania school district’s decision to remove a book on civil rights activist Rosa Parks, among others, from the public school system. One parent, Matt Weyant was quoted as saying, “I don't want my daughter growing up feeling guilty because she's White,” he said. If Mr. Weyant fears his daughter will be scarred by the truth maybe it is time he tells her there really is no Easter Bunny before she discovers it on her own, sorry kids.
The relationship between these two things is linked because it shows us reliance on alternate facts and living in one’s own reality can be dangerous. As evidenced by the propagation of the Big Lie which led to multiple deaths as a result of the Capitol insurrection on January sixth. The recent recall attempt of California Gov. Gavin Newsome that could have led to the election of “Uncle” Larry Elder in California is a prime example of how misinformation can lead the masses down a primrose path. Mr. Elder, who has spoken to millions for more than 20 years, as a conservative radio talk show host, has cultivated ideas like further reparations for slave owners, support for Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, and has called gender wage gaps a “myth.”
The fact that a radio performance artist whose stances have been questioned as an act by his colleagues is an indictment on the system. As unlikely as it seemed that Elder stood a real chance in blue-state California, I was leery because America proved with the election of Donald Trump that it is susceptible to scam artists. Eventually, we will pull ourselves out of the current morass of misinformed reactionary violence based on the rejection of science, education, and political facts, like the election of President Joe Biden. Saving the remnants of a Republican Party on the brink of destruction is reliant on breaking the silence of those willing to risk a job for their country. Republicans cannot survive only on the words of a Mitt Romney or Adam Kinzinger, it is the silence of the leading lambs that will either eat us all or save the party. I am not a fan of what used to be Republican dogma but now that it has descended further into the evils of Trump’s racist, misogynist, and xenophobic ideology, I am faced with the reality that we need the return of a fully functioning opposition party corralling the crazy to keep our democracy.
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