US Loses a Grand Old Party

During 2020 and 2021 the U.S. saw four times more police die from COVID-19 than work-related incidents. And yet, police unions are rejecting vaccine mandates. There is no way.

It just goes to show: Where there is populism, the grass will not grow again, at least not for many years. Donald Trump poisoned this country.

Anti-scientific ignorance costs lives — in the case of the police, four times more lives than bullets from criminals. If a fraction of the police who had died for lack of a COVID-19 vaccination had been killed at the hands of undocumented immigrants, we would have had a national scandal in the U.S.

Since the deaths are from the belief that vaccines do not work, or are a business venture, or a minor matter, no one says anything. Except the government, of course, which fights to convince the public to get vaccinated, and the press, which has publicized this astonishing number of police fatalities from COVID-19.

In Orange County, here in Florida, 45% of police are not vaccinated. Because of their work, social distancing is impossible. It has also been impossible to require them to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, issued an executive order Sunday prohibiting vaccine mandates, including in private businesses.

Unless practically all of the population is vaccinated, it is not possible to defeat the pandemic, nor curb new variants, nor forcefully relaunch the economy. Republicans oppose making vaccines mandatory.

GOP senators had no problem approving almost $8 trillion in military spending over the past 10 years, and now they refuse to approve $3.5 trillion earmarked for social infrastructure over the next 10 years. This package includes expanding health services. For that, they refuse to spend. They won’t even accept the possibility of $2.2 trillion over 10 years, which could be the latest proposal from Democrats. They say it is debt and deficit.

The previous statement is not true: Increasing taxes for those who make more than $400,000 per year pays for it. Also, the ultra-rich in the U.S. agree with this measure. The Republicans don’t.

Massacres and shootings repeatedly rock the nation. There have been dramatic cases of minors shooting other children and teenagers. Republicans refuse to impose greater regulations on firearms sales.

Murders of minors due to guns increased 38.7% in 2020, compared to 2019. Homicides increased by 30% in 2020 according to FBI statistics, and not even that can twist Republican legislators’ arms.

In addition, they want Trump to return to politics and to be the presidential candidate in 2024. The Pew Research Center conducted a poll at the end of September among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents. The results confirm the loss of the Grand Old Party; 67% favor having Trump return to active politics. He has the true leadership of the Republican Party base.

And 44% want to see him as a presidential candidate in 2024. Only 22% prefer to support another Republican candidate.

So the man who dwarfed America; who lied thousands of times to his public during his administration; who introduced Russian intelligence into the internal political affairs of his country; who mocked the pandemic and failed to act in time to save hundreds of thousands of U.S. lives, which were lost; who allied with populist presidents and xenophobes, to the detriment of his country’s historical allies; who promoted polarization and racism; who encouraged hatred toward immigrants, especially Mexicans; who separated families; who snatched children out of their parents’ hands and did nothing to reunite them; who did not pay taxes while his compatriots were paying taxes; who pressured state officials to give him votes that he did not win so he could keep the presidency; who encouraged the violent takeover at the Capitol, a deadly fracas, in order to block Congress from declaring victory for the one who beat him at the polls….

This is the man that they want as their leader. They embrace his bigotry.

A grand party, the Republican Party, is lost.

The U.S. can’t count on the GOP if it wants to make a comeback from the pandemic as a better country.

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