(Todd A. Smith)
Give a person enough rope and that person will hang themselves.
People do more harm to themselves than others can do.
Those two cliches symbolize the chaos that is the modern-day Republican Party after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) again failed to gain enough votes in the House of Representatives to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after several hard-right GOP lawmakers spearheaded McCarthy’s ouster from the powerful position.
And did I mention that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) failed to get enough GOP votes to replace McCarthy too.
While all this theater and disruption might make for interesting content on cable news, it does little to help the American people and America’s allies abroad.
As the world continues to disintegrate into war and bloodshed, the most powerful nation in the world is at a gridlock that could possibly make it impossible for our leaders to govern.
The reason is political theater run amok.
I hate it when people say that both parties are equally to blame for the dysfunction in current American politics.
While that is often the case, over the last several years the Republican Party deserves most of the blame.
Now, it is to the point that it seems that the Grand Ole Party is headed towards a grand ole implosion.
And that implosion is coming from the top down and the party can no longer blame their friends from the other side of the aisle for the chaos.
This is all on them.
To many, conservatives often represented America’s past and not its future.
As the country gets more diverse, their politics and messaging become Whiter.
When former President Barack Obama shocked the world with his historic win as the first Black commander-in-chief, many in the GOP set out on a mission to take back their country and stop the movement towards racial equality, which they have incorrectly coined as “wokeism.”
That desire to make America White again led to the shocking victory for former President Donald Trump in 2016.
While the type of rhetoric and hate that has come out of his mouth would have ended the career of any Republican or Democratic politician in the past, it helped him gain strength as he became the voice of a White American public who thought they were losing power to “the others.”
The more outlandish things Trump said, the more his followers rejoiced.
The more hate that spewed from his mouth, the more it reverberated amongst those who have hate in their hearts.
The more he framed his presidency and loss as an us versus them scenario, the more politicians on the right steered away from bipartisanship and actual governing.
And as other GOP politicians saw Trump rise in power and fame for doing and saying un-American and ignorant things, the more some felt that they could ride that wave of stupidity to more power.
That’s why the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Matt Gaetzs of the world say that most stupefying things on television, radio and social media without blinking an eye.
That is why politicians on the right disobeyed their oath to the Constitution on Jan. 6, 2021 to try to anoint the former guy as “king” even though the American public voted otherwise.
And that is why the GOP is so divided because there are not enough pragmatic politicians on that side to drown out the pathetic politicians from the MAGA wing of the party.
That is why the GOP is at a stalemate today.
But soon, the American people (and the Republican Party itself) must turn against politicians more interested in gaining clicks on the Internet than governing for the American people.
Passing legislation and working across the aisle is already a difficult task.
So, why make it more difficult when it will adversely impact the people who actually voted for you?
Politics have aways been a dirty game.
However, I do not remember Washington, D.C. being this chaotic and unprofessional before 2016.
That year, America elected a celebrity as president.
Since fame and celebrity worked for Trump, I guess other GOP officials feel like it will work for them.
However, fame and outlandish soundbites do not work for everyone.
And while it might benefit a person individually, what does it do for the collective?
While the quest for power and fame has always existed in politicians, local, state or federal, it seems there was a time when more politicians put the American people before party, personal gain and personal fame.
It seems there was a time when working across the aisle was the norm to get things done for the entire population, not just saying, and doing unpatriotic things to satisfy a small cult following.
Maybe that was just my view of things.
But because of the desire for fame or to go viral and cult-like persona dominating the Republican Party, unity peace and American progress has been put by the wayside and the people are the ones suffering for it.
Furthermore, people across the world are suffering because American leaders would rather get more attention than to send help to our allies fighting for their very existence oversees.
While most of my ire is aimed at politicians, I cannot absolve my profession from this predicament that we find ourselves in.
As a member of the media, I hate it when people blame us for much of the division in the world.
But because of the popularity of cable news, talk radio, blogs and podcasts, many in my profession care just as much for the fame as their friends in politics, which leads to fake news and disinformation.
Real journalists are supposed to hold elected officials accountable, and fact check them when they spread misinformation.
Now, those lines have blurred as media members like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity get in bed with politicians to impact elections.
But just like certain cable media outlets have begun self-destructing with billion-dollar defamation lawsuit losses because of their desire for popularity over people, Republican politicians will continue to learn the costly lesson how self-destruction is called that because it is self-inflicted.