All Politics is Local, And All Hate is Local

 

                                                                              USA Today

Former House Speaker, "Tip" O'Neil, once said, "that all politics is local".  This was true back in the '70s and even more true now.  Over the past 4 years, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of hate crimes in our country.  In the past year, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a 150% increase in violent crimes against Asians.  This can be primarily attributed to former President Trump, who insisted on referring to the disease as "the China virus"' in an attempt to blame Asians for his incompetency and negligence that killed half a million Americans. Of course, most Americans are not educated or intelligent enough to understand the epidemiology of this virus and cannot tell the difference between a Chinese person, a Japanese, Thai, Korean, Indonesian, Indian, or any other person from Asia. They react to fear-mongering and blame all Asians.

Trump did not invent racism and hatred, but he legitimized it and used it to divide the country, for his own purposes. Racists, bigots, and haters have always been hiding in the shadows in this country. Up until Trump was elected they were prominent at the local level, but not as evident on the national stage.  They controlled who could vote and who their communities sent to Washington to represent them. 

During the Trump administration, the rights and freedoms of minorities were fair game.  Immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and Democrats were vilified and attacked. The Republicans in Congress allowed Trump to trash the Constitution and the foundations of our Democracy. They refused to condemn him or hold him accountable for, not only unconstitutional acts, but criminal acts. They refused to vote for his impeachment.

When Trump lost the 2020 election and refused to comply with the will of a majority of the American people, Republicans allowed Trump to continue to lie and spread conspiracy theories about the election results.  They supported him in his attempts to overturn the election and refused to recognize Joe Biden as the legitimately elected President. 

Finally, on January 6th, Trump supporters, with the full cooperation and support of Trump, attempted to overthrow our democratically elected government.  This insurrection caused the deaths of police officers and endangered the lives of the House Speaker and prominent Democrats in the House and Senate.  Trump's supporters even endangered the life of Vice President Pence. 

While Congress was being attacked, Trump and his co-conspirators in the Pentagon purposely held back the National Guard from putting down the insurrection.  As order was finally restored, Congress reconvened and continued to vote on the certification of Biden's electoral votes. Even with the blood and destruction of the attempted insurrection still evident in the halls of the Capitol 147 Republicans voted to overturn the election.

Since this attack on our democracy, many of those same Republicans have attempted to block Biden's cabinet nominees. One successful blockage was an Asian woman. Every single Republican voted against the Covid relief package that gave much-needed relief to Americans suffering from the pandemic. As Republicans in Red state legislatures are busy introducing laws to suppress the votes of Blacks and other peoples of color, they are trying to block bills strengthening voter rights and women's rights.  Republican Chip Roy(Texas) criticized a hearing on violence against Asians arguing that discrimination is free speech. 

The House voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers protecting the Capitol during the insurrection, but 12 Republicans voted against it.  The bill now goes to the Senate where I'm sure some Republicans will be opposed as they try to trivialize the insurrection and their part in the treasonous act.

Trump may be gone, but white supremacy still rules in the Halls of Congress. It's always been there, but now the Republican Party has made it a tenet of their party. Racism, bigotry, and hatred will be a governing principle in the passage of future legislation if the Republicans are allowed to have their say.  This is not indigenous to Washington.  This is local.

US Senators and Congressmen are our representatives. They represent our views, beliefs, and opinions. They represent us. These racist, bigoted, hate-filled members of congress don't decide on their own to become members of Congress.  Their constituents elect them to represent them. If the local constituents are racists, bigots, and haters they'll continue to send those people who espouse their beliefs to Congress.

If we want to end white supremacy, racism, and bigotry we must begin at the grass-roots, the local community. And that means we must address these issues in our schools, churches, and in our own families.






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All Politics is Local, And All Hate is Local

                                                                                USA Today Former House Speaker, "Tip" O'Neil, ...