Some weeks ago, I toyed with the idea of writing a column suggesting a Biden-Liz Cheney unity ticket for the 2024 election. I gave up the idea because both the Dems and the GOP would reject the idea. Also, such Unity governments are generally found only in countries with parliamentary governments and in time of crisis, such as in England during World War I and now in Israel during the war with Hamas.
Besides, Kamala Harris would frown on such an idea.
However, since America is currently in a period of political crisis unknown in our history since the Civil War (1861-1865), there must be a way to bring enough moral leaders together to save our republic.
I remain convinced that there are many “real Republicans” (to use my wife’s term) who do not privately support or respect Donald Trump, but who refuse to say so because of fear of the much-hyped Trump base, the MAGA group of voters for who will vote for Trump despite his ignorance, extensive lies and regardless of whether what he does or proposes is legal or illegal.
So here is a plea to the Mitt Romney - Liz Cheney - Adam Kinzinger branch of the Republican party, those willing to put principle ahead of election, re-election, or the national good.
You, my right-of-center friends, are best positioned to help Democrats deal with the danger posed by our wanna-be-dictator Donald Trump, a danger which has become even more serious by the recent takeover of the House of Representatives by GOP extremists.
You know that Trump has little respect for our Constitution, as demonstrated by his attempt to unconstitutionally overthrow the results of the electoral college on January 6, 2021.
You know that Trump, while President, incited violence by his “wink-wink, nod-nod” statements to the right-wing extremist militias on occasions and before the January 6 attack on the capital.
You know that Trump tried to steal votes in Georgia after the 2020 election.
You know that Trump consistently violated the law in misreporting his assets and liabilities on legal documents in New York state.
You know that Trump lies so often that he finds it difficult to repeat the same lie about the same thing twice.
You know that Trump has vowed to “go after” President Biden and family if reelected.
You know that Trump is open about his belief in an autocratic form of government in which all powers of the judiciary branch is shifted to the office of the president. You know that a specific plan to hire only yes men and women as White House lawyers in a second Trump presidency is being seriously considered (see Washington Post, 11-5-23).
You know that Trump regards anyone who disagrees with him as an enemy to be treated with contempt, or even threatened with death, as was the case with the recently head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.
You know that Trump is a self-serving narcissist who views the pros or cons of every decision only in terms of its effect on him, and not on other people or on the United States of America.
We all know that having a big ego or, more politely, a strong sense of self-confidence, is a requirement for any public official, given the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (thanks Shakespeare) that all office holders have to endure from press and public.
We also are all aware that among Trumps supporters there are many people who are legitimately angry because they have been left out of the prosperity promised by the “American Dream.” We know that the giant gap between the very rich and the lower-middle and lower classes has been created by policies of both political parties.
Trump is not the answer. He will destroy the American Dream, even while using his destructive rhetoric to create both real and imaginary problems that he says only he can solve.
That is what dictators do. We have less that twelve months to prevent that from happening. It is time for all of us, in both parties, who still find some meaning in words like truth and democracy, to band together.