The karmic merry-go-round has now gone full circle and has delivered the Republican Party into the hands of its own killers. It is now in the process of bleeding out into muddy puddles of absurd contradictions.

It used to be the Grand Old Party of the rich robber barons, the boardrooms, the titans of industry and commerce, riding high on the sweaty muscles of a large and growing working class of immigrants in our early history. It emerged out of the civil war and rolls on through the years.

A class war was stirred early on. The titans were pictured as obese, with fat cigars, gorging in luxury dining rooms while workers went deprived. On the Monopoly game board, the old gentlemen struck a friendlier pose. In reality, there were deadly labor union wars over wages and working conditions.

Following the civil war and into the Great Depression, there came an endless succession of corrupt presidential administrations that served the rich. They had more money than the government.

It was fueled by paper stock scams, payoffs and patronage. They were Republicans. They were also the party that had wreaked vengeance upon the defeated South after the war and that resulted in a so-called “Solid South” for the opposition Democratic Party.

This was fueled by the so-called “Redeemers,” angry white people who formed the Ku Klux Klan and passed “Jim Crow” laws that forged completely segregated societies all across the deep south, the former confederate states. There was ‘Lost Cause” nostalgia, anchored by Gone With the Wind, moonlight and magnolias mythology and statues were erected for Confederate generals.

The civil war may really never have ended. The white vs. black alienation reality still exists in this country, and is strong. There is a struggle between a defensive white culture and the concepts of a multicultural society here in the U.S.

This racial alienation was much stronger back in history, but it became less of an issue when the entire economy came crashing down in 1928. Paper castles went up in smoke and the Grand Old Patriarch were burned with it. There came many years of rule by the idealistic Franklin D. Roosevelt — his own administration soon pulled into a massive World War.

The nation and our allies beat down the threat of Hitler’s fascist state and our economy recovered with the war industries.

After the war, Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman, was shocked to find returning black soldiers being beaten and lynched in the deep South. He proposed anti-lynching legislation into a torrent of party opposition.

Undeterred, the racists formed their own “Dixiecrat” ticket in 1948. They championed the new cause of “States Rights,” which would validate their power to keep blacks in an oppressed and fearful condition. After all, whites were a superior race and race-mixing would be evil.

Since this would split the Democratic votes, the smart money predicted that the GOP would regain power with New York Governor Thomas Dewey. Truman won anyway, and the civil rights movements continued to grow within the more supportive party.

When Lyndon Johnson put forth serious civil rights legislation, he lamented that it would cost the party southern votes for at least a generation. Indeed the era that came saw Southern states creating a chasm in their politics.

All across Dixie, one had to vote democratic on the local tickets to support all of your courthouse and segregationist friends. On the national ballot, you had to switch to Republican to fight against civil rights, especially ill-advised and infuriating school integration bussing and preferential quota systems for blacks. Liberal programs fell apart and the Viet Nam debacle ushered Johnson out of office.

The Republicans were not tone-deaf to human rights, of course, and atrocities in the news shifted them to more amenable policies. So George Wallace, demagogue governor of Alabama, raised high the segregation banner again and ran another divisive third party campaign.

So over the years, we have battled over slavery, fought through reconstruction and segregation oppression, and hopefully have been emerging as a respectful multi-cultural society. Blacks have achieved prominence in every field of human endeavor. Hispanics, Asians and Mexicans are getting more respect as their personalities became more integrated into a liberalized society. The greatest credit for this rests with the entertainment industry, always looking for new markets of course.

But convictions of white cultural superiority still inflict our society, with a direct line back to slavery attitudes. We’ve turned many pages in our time, but the Book of Bias remains.

Richard Nixon first addressed the GOP’s “Southern Strategy,” cracking open the divided South and giving de facto segregationists and the Chambers of Commerce a leverage of power in blazing opposition to liberal social programs. They would appeal to the business community with their limited government, low taxes mantra, and pull in the southern states looking for a home away from the too-liberal Democrats and their intrusive civil rights schemes.

This alliance has generally held up over the years. This handful of old confederacy states became a bankable asset for the GOP, combining their own economic interests with the fearful social concerns of the white population. This became a new ‘solid south’ for the Republicans, the party that didn’t push for civil rights, for blacks or other darker-skinned types, and gave whispery assent to their southern state feifdoms.

It was a strange alliance from the beginning, since Republican policies rarely support the working classes and cater to almost every wish and every legislative bill draft fomented upon them by their rich donor base — the management side, the rich.

Southern voters seemed more interested in remaining segregated and fending off any economic welfare legislation. They saw the federal government as the enemy, and not the true villains — the wealth-sucking titans atop the Fortune 500.

Fast forward to 2016. Donald Trump, an outlier real estate developer and TV reality show personality, jumped into the Republican race for President that seemed tailor-made for his radicalism. He spoke bluntly, insulted people, and created an image of a Golden Man far above the common ills of politics and uninformed critics.

The party power had been shifted onto primary elections across the country, and it provided the opportunity for the white backlash southern states and western states with the same sentiments to wield more power. While the usual party candidates floundered, this appealing no-bullshit rich playboy, business tycoon rhetoric took hold with those white backlash voters, and they wreaked havoc within the party.

He won primaries when the other usual and expected GOP personalities split their votes and fell one by one. It was a successful plurality primary hijacking by what the Republlcans call a RINO, Republican In Name Only. They apply it to others, but he is their ultimate RINO of history, with a big, protruding horn.

Since 2016, he has been personally amoral and repulsive while dragging the party down from their pedestal. He has proven, in fact, to be a Fascist in every sense of the term. With his defeat, Americans avoided a Fascist takeover like the one that destroyed Germany.

Recall that when he took over, the party finally had gained control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress. They could act and get things done. Might we have expected major political progress?

No, they can point to no real achievements except a huge tax break bill for the rich, and a stripping away of important environmental regulations in the Executive departments to enhance the rich.

And today, after the election loss and the moronic charges of fraud leading to a violent insurrection, and radicals being rounded up nationwide on federal charges, can it be possible that the Trump support remains strong? Has logical thinking been finally overwhelmed entirely by a massive lie that makes no sense.

Will those who accepted his invitation to take the Capitol and stop the election validation harbor any resentment that they will pay heavily for their roles and he has not been bothered at all. He said they should be prosecuted after egging them into battle. Are they still Trumpers? Are they still angry about something? Everything? Maybe just Trump when they get outfitted in orange suits.

The power of the red gash U.S. vote, stretching across the old confederacy and well up into the west to the Canadian border now anchors the party and the traditional members are in full confusion that the ultimate intruder, Donald Trump, controls their thinking. The giant states of New York and California are comfortably Blue.

He is a true RINO who may now determine the party’s fate. It cannot win as a cult-personality for a man who have shown that he has no plan at all, no idea of how the government is supposed to work. He acts like a real estate developer because that’s all he knows, and he has failed many times over the years at that.

One longtime Republican sees the party disintegrating, like the old Whigs. Perhaps so. The reality is there.

Trump is a national disgrace but claims power over the party based on 75 million votes. Can other personalities emerge to break his inexplicable grip of power? Party regulars like Mitch McConnell are aghast. Can’t they see he is lying, he wonders? Can’t they see that he is raising millions during the chaos, ironically bilking his most ardent supporters to anchor his political PAC.

If you can’t lure them into a ruinous insurrection so they can go to jail, tap them for millions in small to large donations to sell the lie he sold them and used as basis for a fund-raiser. Who pays the piper? He never has.

It is a still a Civil War out there. Within the GOP, it’s now a battle for honor and its very survival. The Republicans will get nowhere in an alliance with the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Antifa is nowhere around to be demonized and blamed instead.

Truman’s oval office desk once declared that “The Buck Stops Here.” Trump has always shifted it elsewhere, and he may well finish the job of destroying the party. Republicans seem incapable of saving it when a large percentage of their members actually believe the lies and puffery. Or maybe they can actually think logically, but will forego that, being so fearful of irritating their resident monster. They, of course, don’t realize that the Trump presidential vote expectations have seriously plummeted since the insurrection. They are anchoring to a sinking ship.

In the end, you can see the usual civil rights vs. white backlash conflicts. The Black Lives Matter movement had some inevitable angry destruction among its acrimonious stragglers and the Republicans latched onto it and embraced the resultant white backlash to invigorate their base. It likely contributed to higher voter turnout on both sides.

Predictably, the majority of voting Americans have disdained Trump, fracturing the Republican Party in the process. The GOP now faces the dismay of having their “Southern Strategy” segregation forces run the party through their beloved despot, or fighting the odds to make it Lincoln-respectable again.

Recently, former Republican Chair Michael Steele implied as much in an interview. He said these redemption forces are one day soon to “bust a move.”

We continue to wait for the next moves in this absurdist political theater with a mix of humor and consternation.

JIM CLEVELAND has published 17 books and 12 CDs ranging from philosophical science fiction, new age theology, satiric comedy and mortalistic essays. This article from the forthcoming volume: “Ascending Apocalypse: Unveiling Our Values and Intentions.


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James Wayne Cleveland

James Wayne Cleveland

Jim Cleveland retired from a career in public relations to become a writer and publisher. He has 16 books and 12 CDs anchored in new spirituality values.