Defund the Republican Party
Money! It’s one of the few things the Republican Party truly cares about. All of their other stated values, small government, the rule of law, and fiscal responsibility have gone out the window the past four years. Now it’s come to refusing to accept the results of a fair election and continuing the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power that made America different.
Before anyone jumps up to proclaim it unfair to tarnish all Republicans with the same brush, all Republicans still with the party are complicit and enablers of the behavior we saw on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol. The Trump-incited riot was not only predictable; it was planned in the open on the Internet. It was stoked on Fox News and called for by the new right-wing media outlets who believe Fox isn’t devoted enough to defending a lunatic.
Corporate America has already taken steps toward defunding Republicans and, in some cases, politicians in general. Google, Coca-Cola, and UPS have temporarily ceased all their political giving. Companies explicitly defunding Republicans who refused to certify Joe Biden’s election include; Marriott, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Best Buy, Amazon, Dell, Dow Chemical, AT&T, Verizon, Commerce Bank, and Comcast. Hallmark singled out Republican Senator Josh Hawley(R-MO) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), asking them to return donations from their political action committee.
Almost none of those companies has stated how long they’ll quit funding those Republicans. Facebook has halted donations for a year, others for a quarter. Most have not indicated how long this whiff of conscience will last before things return to business as usual.
I am a Democrat in full disclosure though I’d be open to considering another party that didn’t engage in voter suppression and class warfare. We need a strong two-party system or even a system where multiple parties had a chance of winning elections. Democrats are far from perfect; they remain the best option available for me in a two-party system where one of those doesn’t think I matter.
The Republican Party needs either a wholesale shake-up at the top or to be eliminated. That can best be accomplished by starving them of what they need most. Cold hard cash. That includes their media support system. I don’t mind that there exists news with a right-wing or conservative perspective. We just saw what happens when they spread vicious lies and whip up their followers to despise other Americans and minorities in particular.
Counting on corporations to refuse to fund politicians while they literally destroy the country is problematic. When Tucker Carlson made racist and misogynistic comments on a radio show. Outback Steakhouse, AstraZeneca, and Capital One left Fox News, but their revenue was quickly replaced. Fox News reassured its shareholders that their investment was secure and that boycotts against their rabid “journalists” like Sean Hannity and Maria Bartiromo were ineffective. Indeed, the Tucker Carlson show is down to a few advertisers filling all the available spots.
Corporations had done well under the Republican Party, especially since becoming people under Citizen’s United in 2010. Wholesale deregulation under Trump meant higher profit margins because businesses no longer had to be concerned with mundane things like clean air and water. They have been reluctant to speak out or, more importantly, vote with their cash despite obnoxious behavior from candidates and their backers. The videos of Trump supporters crying out “Hang Mike Pence” and beating Capitol Police with American Flags. In contrast, others carried confederate flags through the Capitol rotunda, and calling Black officers the n-word at least temporarily changed things. It’s time we push corporations and rich individuals to refuse to support what the Republican Party has become. It is a haven for corporations and the rich and gives their implicit, if not explicit, support of racist policies.
Shareholders need to speak up at shareholder meetings to ask why their own companies are promoting such behavior. Boycott companies like MyPillow that back Tucker Carlson while he spews and promotes hatred. Eliminate donations to candidates that can’t support Democracy or promote voter suppression along with other racist policies. The status quo isn’t sufficient, and pretending it isn’t that bad didn’t really work after Charlottesville, did it?
The founders of the Republican Party wouldn’t recognize it today. They were opposed to the enslaving of people, brought on Reconstruction, and were pivotal to the Suffrage Movement. Now they're racist and misogynist, and their time must come to an end, much like the Whigs and the Federalists. Rank and file Republicans may resent being linked to the Proud Boys, Boogaloo Bois, Neo-Nazi’s, skinheads, Q-anon supporters, and white supremacists that do the loudest speaking on behalf of the Party. If you don’t like it. . . leave. If you stay, you are supporters. There is no middle road. Republicans should be defunded, and something new and better should rise from the ashes.