The Further Decline of The Republican Party

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It wasn’t enough to not rise in criticism of Mr Trump’s claim that the presidential election was ‘rigged and stolen from us.’

Not enough for Republicans not to denounce his encouragement of the assault on the Capitol on January 6th.

Republican legislators had to improve on their dismal record and now have voted Liz Cheney out of her 3rdposition in the Republican hierarchy in the House because she would not accept Trump’s statements.

Liz Cheney would not consent to slavish obedience to Mr Trump. She may not even retain her seat in the upcoming mid term elections in Wyoming, which she represents.

I find it absurdly fascinating, that the former president still casts a spell over so many legislators.

Absurdly fascinating that the task of educating Republican voters has been deferred, and that bowing to an out of office failed politician is still considered lofty.


For a brief moment, I thought Republicans would come to their senses. 

I was mistaken. 

There is, though, a movement building by a rebellious party faction that is saying enough is enough. They are saying that there should be no further tolerance for Mr Trump’s influence on the party.

But will it gather strength?

I think it has a chance.

I do because there is a segment of Republican voters who are not blinded by Mr Trump’s antics. Men and women who are able to see clearly who Mr Trump is. Now ensconced in his Mar-A-Lago retreat, he continues to nurture dreams of a comeback.

But it is pure denial. Pure fantasy.

The former president botched the nation’s handling of Covid, alienated our allies, failed to stand up against racism in the land, stirred anti immigrant sentiment.

The task ahead for the enlightened resistance against his influence is clear. Those who refuse to see him for who he is are in need of urgent reeducation.

A democrat can’t do it.

But a clear eyed Republican can.

The party has those in their ranks. They are now willing to move to center stage and defy the wrath of those who have been blinded by Mr Trump, and then firmly confront the crisis of identity the party is facing. 

The majority who elected him in 2016 thought they had found themselves a prize. Instead, they got one of the least insightful presidents that have ever been elected.

It is time to acknowledge the mistake and move forward.

Sadly, there is also a chance, that such acknowledgement will not happen.

And then Democrats will find it easier to win the upcoming mid term elections. Then the next presidential contest. And the one that follows.

Truth that lays bare before our eyes, sometimes cannot be seen. 

Remember the tale about the emperor without clothes?

Oscar Valdes.

Masking Forward. And the Risk of Denial.


Financial markets reacted sharply today with a sell off as news surfaced of a pickup in new cases of Covid-19 infections and the dampening impact it may have in the reopening of the economy.

I think it is an overreaction.

The greater incidence of new cases may well reflect enhanced testing capacity. The trend on the number of deaths continues to be downward. Furthermore, we know more about the illness and are better prepared.

That said, a real increase in infections may be at work, and the reopening of the economy a factor.

Still, I favor the continued and gradual reopening so long as it is done cautiously.

There is no reason for example, for dispensing with the protection of masks. We need only turn to the example of Japan – South Korea also – for a salutary reminder.

The pandemic continues to rage through the world but, as of this writing, the number of deaths in Japan does not even reach 1000. By contrast we have nearly 114 thousand here at home. Much of the difference can be ascribed to cultural differences, i.e. the Japanese custom of bowing to greet instead of shaking hands, and their long standing acceptance of mask wearing.

There can be a continued reopening of all sectors of the economy while maintaining the basic triad of prevention – mask wearing – social distancing – frequent disinfecting.

But it appears that sectors of our population are choosing to ignore such measures.

To not follow them is an instance of massive denial.

I fault principally our current leadership for not setting a clear example of what should be done.

It was an act of grand denial to begin with, for us to have reacted slowly to the arrival of the virus. And here we are again repeating the same behavior.

Denial is an enormously destructive force.

I see its effects every day in the field of mental health, where I work. Patients with severe illnesses get well from the taking of meds, then once they feel recovered, they stop taking them and promptly get sick again. You’d think that since it happened once, that would be enough to learn the lesson. But no, they make the same mistake a second, third, fourth or fifth time, with the cumulative effects having serious consequences.  

Reason seems difficult to accept.

And so it appears to be with Covid-19.

In the absence of leaders who prefer not to set an example for the nation by wearing a mask, we are on our own.

Good luck.

Oscar Valdes is the author of ‘Psychiatrist for A Nation’. Available on Amazon.

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