The Unfair and UnAmerican Politics of Republican White Privilege

Americans are, by and large, fair-minded people. Indeed, fundamental fairness is one of the most important guiding principles of our legal system.  Fundamental fairness is the underlying basis for what we call “Due Process” and it acts as a limitation on governmental powers – in most instances.

Many types of laws regulate voting, and many of these laws center around Due Process and its two types: Procedural Due Process, and Substantive Due Process. The two types are related to and  complement each other.

An election example illustrates the two types of Due Process. The laws and regulations related to the manner of voting, such as time, place, counting of ballots, and the like are examples of Procedural Due Process because they relate to the procedures of voting. These strict procedures must be followed in order to protect equal access to the ballot, and the integrity of the vote. Substantive Due Process goes even further than Procedural Due Process, protecting individuals against governmental violations of their fundamental rights even though proper procedures may have been followed.

Suppose a state, for example, follows its own procedural laws regarding the placement of ballot drop off boxes. If the law was designed to disenfranchise poor and minority voters such as by placing the boxes only in white communities, then a court easily could strike the law down as a violation of the fundamental Substantive Due Process right to vote, notwithstanding “proper procedures” having been followed.

Expectations of Due Process and fundamental fairness in the actions of our legal and civic institutions, and leaders have been cemented within American society over the years. Fundamental fairness in our society unquestionably implies honoring the Rule of Law. Cheating, such as occurs through the breaking of laws, rules or norms is inherently unfair, and some would argue, un-American. Yet, day after day, week after week, month after month, as a matter of course Donald Trump has continued to lay waste to our democratic and governmental institutions through lies, deceit, cheating and the continual breaking of laws – and this conclusion is based only on some of the more egregious things we’ve learned during his abominable occupancy of the White House:

  • Trump held hostage vitally important military aid to Ukraine for purely personal political reasons, i.e., to coerce the Ukrainian president into fabricating dirt on Joe Biden, for which he was rightly impeached, but wrongly left in office by the shameless Senate Republicans;
  • Trump refused to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, committing countless acts of obstruction of justice along the way;
  • He’s refused to acknowledge or honor the fundamental separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution, such as by ordering his people to not cooperate in any way with House Democrats, when the latter have attempted to exercise their oversight duties, again committing countless acts of obstruction of justice along the way;
  • He uses laws and the courts as shields to protect his dirty work and as swords to attack his political enemies;
  • He undermines the democratic election processes at every turn, refusing to concede; and alleging voter fraud through mail-in voting in “Democrat run” areas, even though it’s been clear for quite a while that he lost. In fact, he lost by over 5 million popular votes and he lost the Electoral College to Biden 306 to 234. It’s an irony that this is the same number by which he squeaked out his own Electoral College win in 2016, while also losing the popular by 3 million to Hillary Clinton. Hypocritically, Trump sells his own 2016 Electoral College win as “huge.” *
  • With his days in office (finally) coming to an end, Trump replaces the heads of the most important national intelligence and defense agencies with political cronies and kooks, and smarter minds think he’s preparing to steal state secrets and classified information to use as blackmail, or maybe sell to our adversaries to raise the money needed to bail himself out of his massive debt.
  • He places national security and American lives at risk and emboldens our adversaries by not following Presidential transition norms and procedures.

Trump’s cheating, law breaking and constant efforts to ‘game’ the system, are the antithesis of anything remotely related to “fairness.” It’s safe to say the only meaning of “fair” he’s ever known is that of the carnival kind, where he’s the barker and a snake oil salesman, all in one.

It’s an obvious and ugly truth that Trump couldn’t have subverted so many basic American values (most of which, ironically also happen to be religious values) without the aid of the Congressional Republicans, who he’s tweeted into submission and complicity. If they had had the integrity and backbone to put country over party and to honor their oaths to the Constitution, then the American experiment in democracy wouldn’t be at so much risk of obliteration (notwithstanding the joyous Biden-Harris victory). By surrendering to the tyrannical madman in the Oval Office, the Congressional Republicans sold the country out (and whatever souls they had). They’re fully complicit in obstructing the will of a majority of Americans, in deconstructing American democracy, and in allowing COVID19 to rage uncontrolled.

It’s hard for a rational person to understand why the Republicans jumped aboard the Trump train with such enthusiasm and “conviction,” and why they continue to let this lawless, lying, cheating, bullying, genital grabbing vile beast have his way without any restraint whatsoever. But one thing is clear, at any rate: they epitomize the disgusting and abhorrent legacy of White male privilege through the treasonable abdication and subversion of their constitutional duties. They and their supporters should be referred to as the “Rep-rehen-si-publicans” to distinguish them from those few brave and sane true Republicans and former Republicans who’ve fought back and helped elect Biden.

The dark nightmare of the last four years will soon be over, and at least some healing can begin. But this fight is long, and it will go on.

* READERS’ NOTE: The Electoral College is a vestige of history, which along with (1) the extreme GOP gerrymandering of House and state congressional districts; and (2) the anti-democratic structure and rules of the Senate; have enabled an extreme (and insane) minority party to capture, hold, and abuse power in order to force its will on the majority of Americans. A later article will discuss the Electoral College.

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