I remember a time when allegations of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair led to impeachment proceedings of a sitting president. I remember when the mere appearance of wrongdoing was a political career killer. I remember when politicians pretended to listen to their constituents.
While the liberals and progressives fought for marriage equality, health care reform, and expansion of social programs, the conservatives squandered their majority in both the House and Senate desperately clinging to a darker time in our nation’s history — promoting the white nationalist agenda.
There was a time not too long ago when you had to have a specific measure of success to be elected in Washington, you needed a solid reputation, a good education or a pedigree, and a respectable image. It is not that the sleazy shenanigans weren’t happening, we knew who we were dealing with, but it was a time when the leadership feared the public backlash enough to conceal their most despicable natures at least. That was when a divorce could dash any hopes of reelection, whereas now we have wife number three as a first lady — and who is anything but.
The current climate in Washington has laid bare the soul of the Republican party, and we see that it is crawling with maggots. Despite the indictments, perjury, and outright treason, the Grand Old Party continues merrily along in their corruption, festering like a pernicious boil on this nation.
Just a few years ago, even a credible allegation of any one of these would have not only landed someone in prison, but Congress would have come to a screeching halt. The most heinous acts of political suicide cause no shame in the GOP, leading one to conclude that wrongdoing is so rampant that this is expected, or the Republicans don’t see it as a problem. Maybe it is both. But that’s not the worst of it. Not by a long shot. It is far more troubling that so many rank-and-file members of the Republican Party don’t condemn these actions, and some go out of their way to actively defend them. This isn’t a case where a reporter is shoving a microphone in their face as they mumble some response taken out of context. No, these are legislators accepting invitations to appear on news programs to gleefully talk about how angry white men with torches rallying for the preservation of Confederate symbols is somehow patriotic and desirable. Or how preventing immigrants from visiting their family makes us safer. Or why angering our allies is a show of force.
Where is the outcry against Jeff Sessions and his lies under oath? Why isn’t there an uproar over Paul Manafort? Why isn’t the Republican Party officially speaking out against white nationalists and calling for Trump to remove any members of his administration that is sympathetic to racist causes?
Their silence speaks to their complicity.
It is bad enough that my opponent, Trent Franks, has defended most of the individuals under investigation – I have come to expect the worst from him. But what amazes me is that not one member of his party opposes his actions, even while he works against Republicans from his state. They are strangely silent as their party members desecrate the Constitution and then lie to the American public.
My name is Brianna Westbrook, and I am running for the House of Representatives. I urge you to become active in liberal and progressive causes and support candidates who can restore our country to its rightful place as a respected leader of the world.