The Republican Party Doesn’t Exist Anymore

The Republican Party Doesn’t Exist Anymore

How Fox News consumed the GOP.

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The past few years have brought forth some startling revelations about politics in America: how power hungry our leaders can be, how far white nationalism can take a person in politics, and that the Republican Party doesn't exist anymore. Yes, you read that right; the actions of the last few years have caused me to realize that one of the two major American parties has faded away without our noticing. Now, how exactly does a political party with over 32 million members and countless millions more sympathizers vanish without anyone noticing? The answer to this is actually quite simple, Fox News.

It has been an age old problem for political parties of any stripe as to how to inform supporters and whip up partisan fervor and to this end most have at one time or another created various party news organs to educate and inform. These have ranged from the hyper-partisan editorials that dominated the early political life of the American republic to the infamous State news organizations of one-party dictatorships. Fox News would seem to be another in a line of partisan news sites towing the party line, but looks can be deceiving.

To understand how Fox News is different from its news brethren, we need to start back at the beginning. Fox News was a product of the Nixon White House, only a place so warped in paranoia and political backstabbing could dream something as noxious as a propaganda outfit masquerading as a news organization. It premiered in the mid-90's and quickly enmeshed itself in conservative politics becoming the chief cheerleader of the Bush presidency and arch critic of the Obama administration in body and soul. Fox News has seen its greatest height, however, most recently with the presidency of Donald Trump who is an avid fan of the network, watching it almost religiously every day, and hiring several of its former executives as advisors.

When Fox arrived on the scene, conservatives were all too happy to welcome it into their lives with open arms, glad to finally have a leg up on the dastardly liberals opposing them. They never really questioned it as Fox talking points began to creep into their platforms, and their voters and the Fox viewership began to resemble each other more and more. The closest analogy for what has been taking place in the GOP that I can think of is one of those funguses that takes over the body of an insect and begins pupating it long after it has died. Fox grew for years within the GOP gathering strength and gaining influence until it burst forth in 2016 to take control and push its agenda through. Fox News is no longer the news wing of a political party; it is now a news organization with a political wing. Perhaps the most compelling evidence of this takeover is that all the think tanks, policy advisors, congressmen, and senators in the employ of the GOP have less influence than an episode of Fox and Friends upon our president.

So is there a chance then that the GOP as we knew it could ever return, the short term answer is no. Fox has an iron grip over the Republican base and with the death of Senator McCain I fear that no other major Republican politician has the courage to stand up to the darker impulses of the base. In the longer view it is harder to say, Fox News is ascendant right now, but they have hitched themselves to a demographically sinking ship, an older and whiter base of cable TV watchers. In the coming decades this group is going to make it difficult to sustain a lucrative TV network, let alone a political movement. It is not unthinkable that after a few cycles of being beaten at the polls and some demographic turnover, the GOP may be able to reform itself into a viable political party again. For the meantime though, we are stuck in a world in which one of the major political parties has been hijacked by a TV network, and major policy decisions are decided by sound bite. God help us all.

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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Beto O'Rourke Is The Future For The Democratic Party

Democrats need a new voice, and now they have him.

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As a self-professed progressive, the 2016 presidential election was one of the darkest days of my life. Every day I wish that the election had turned out differently. But if there's a silver lining, the Democratic Party has almost completely reinvented itself and has a chance to move forward.

Barack Obama was an amazing leader for the party for a decade. Hillary Clinton was arguably the most-flawed candidate the modern-day Democratic Party has ever nominated, and she lost to the most-flawed Republican ever nominated. So now the Democrats need someone to look up to and lead the way past the regressive presidency of Donald Trump. That man is Beto O'Rourke.

O'Rourke is a representative of Texas's 16th congressional district, which covers the city of El Paso. But right now people in the political world know him as the guy who is running against arguably the most-hated man in the Senate, Ted Cruz. Former House Speaker and fellow Republican John Boehner once said that Cruz is "Lucifer in the flesh."

Cruz prides himself in being hated by Washington politicians, but hatred from his current colleagues could come back to bite him. "If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you," said Lindsey Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina.

If O'Rourke wins in November, he'll take down Cruz, who is one of the most powerful and influential Republicans in Washington despite being hated. And it could launch Beto to even higher office someday.

Even if he loses to Cruz, Beto has an extremely bright future ahead of him because he's just what the Democratic Party needs right now. He's young, passionate, communicates extremely well and is a perfect representation of what the face of the party should be.

This year, O'Rourke has been setting an example of how Democrats should run their campaigns. Beto has traveled to every single one of Texas's 254 counties. Ever since the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United v. FEC (2010), Democrats have pushed for campaign finance reform, and O'Rourke is leading by example with his campaign. Beto has taken $0 from Political Action Committees (PACs). All of his money comes from individual donors. Cruz has taken PAC money, but O'Rourke still holds a significant advantage in fundraising.

O'Rourke in his campaign emphasizes that Texas has among the highest immigration populations in the United States, but the senators from Texas, Cruz and John Cornyn, do not accurately represent the diversity of the state. O'Rourke has separated himself from Cruz by speaking out against the proposed border wall and the separation of immigrant children at the border.

I'm not from Texas, but I'm just as excited for this senate race as I was when Doug Jones won in my home state almost a year ago. Beto O'Rourke has an opportunity to make positive change in our country and actually bring people together. If he doesn't win in November, Beto should make plans for 2020 because he can become the face of the Democratic Party.

If you'd like to learn more about, join, or donate to the campaign, here is a link.

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