Commentary, National Commentary

Editor’s Column: No Moral or Other Equivalences

Perhaps one of the most contentious and challenging seasons in our history stands before us now. The unsavory forces of rule by the privileged classes, also known as the Republican Party, stand at the ready, with a tiny majority in but one of the three houses that determine U.S. policy, to unleash an offensive of dissembling and chaos upon our government they hope will wipe out the impact of one of the most productive two years, in terms of meaningful progress for the American people, in the nation’s history.

It is ever more important now that we, the people, refuse myriad temptations to take our eyes off the ball, so to speak, and with laser like attention and precision set about to reject this “party of privilege and nihilism” at every move to boldly stand for what is right, and crush this menace on every front in local, state and national venues to press ahead to the next election round.

Look at the shameful behavior of this once-proud GOP since Congress reconvened just a week ago. It is bad enough that they took 15 rounds of voting to finally secure the House chairmanship for their man, yet another among them who to this day has refused to acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 election in which President Biden prevailed by over seven million votes.

But in the days since that fiasco, they have focused on nothing, not a single thing for the American people, except to set up “investigations” of the Biden administration.

The mainstream media is so far a willing accomplice, too. They’ve taken the bait once again buying into the GOP’s howlings about a (non-existent) “moral equivalency” between the hundreds of classified documents gathered and hidden by Trump and the handful of documents found in taped-shut boxes in a Biden office that were discovered by pro-Biden people and immediately offered over to the National Archives. 

To see how the major networks have, despite occasionally affirming the non-equal nature of the two cases, made a cause celebre of the Biden-held documents, is only too familiar to us, reminders of how, without their turning the Trump campaign into a celebrity feast that resulted in his shady victory in 2016 (despite losing the popular vote by two million).

Despite whatever words, it is how the issue has been so heavily covered by this media machine that the matter of “moral equivalency” has been pitched to the American consciousness.

The nation’s privileged classes recognize that they simply cannot get their way with anything smacking of actual democracy, fairness or even truth, itself, because they insist on maintaining their hold on policy making while being an increasing minority of the electorate.

But for their many minions, supporting them in elected offices, and with a boundless cache of “influencers” in the media and elsewhere, they deploy the latest in dissembling tricks and “divide and conquer” tactics to rule through those means and not by honest popular voting.

The percentage of the U.S. population that actually supports them on policy issues, per se, is a marked minority, approaching a third or less of the population. Folks are in that camp because of a variety of personal issues, not the least of which are racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic. There used to be a strong element in the GOP with an alternative assessment of public policy options, but that is the smallest contingent of Republicans today.

Back in the day, to the period of my youth following the conclusion of the Second World War, Republicans were often considered “progressive,” as many of the speeches of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for example, revealed. They were the vast majority even as paranoid McCarthyism arose in the wake of the pro-fascist Father Coughlin movement from before the war.

That openly racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic class of folks were held on the margins even of their own party until the period following the anti-Vietnam War and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-led civil rights movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Over the 1970s and the rise of the so-called “silent majority” led by the entry into politics for the first time of the “evangelical religious right,” that fringe element was socially-engineered into the mainstream.