FROM THE LEFT- The Daily Commercial
GOP’s deficit problem and ‘The Big Lie’
Vicki Bush Guest columnist
Supplementing college payments, I took on a 48-hour weekend job placing myself smack dab in the middle of realworld life and death circumstances.
A world of coercion. A world of threat and destructive force. A world of small minded heavy fisted liars, bullies, and abusers. Their victims, coming from all walks of life, fled to the security and protection of “safe houses” – much like the one I worked at – run by my religious district, or local diocese.
More often than not, my job included taking bruised and battered “client” casualties to, or picking them up from, curtained off hospital emergency room cubicles after stitches were applied to heads and split lips, an eye pushed back into its socket, or a cast set onto fractured bones.
From the churches to the jails paperwork was filed, restraining orders received, therapy sessions provided, court dates set, and fingers crossed in hope of a transformative change. But as many times as hope won the day, change was difficult. And in a strange twist of fate, as if lying to themselves, those victims most broken by years of abuse sadly returned to that same abusive environment.
Breaking away from a dangerous delusional tyrant led America to revolt for its independence. Survival through democracy. A magnitude of life changing endeavor to prove every human’s God-given worth – being worthy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Survival for all those victims existing under a caste system of cruel and merciless autocratic rule where intimidation and ultimatum cause physical harm to rise.
Wielding a refurbished cudgel of le-veraged state political accountability, dirty trick redistricting operatives, lowball consultants who conspire to manipulate, and in-cahoots GOP state legislators have refused to quell the former administrations ‘big lie’ concerning a rigged election and voter fraud.
Beginning with Gov. Ron DeSantis -one of many Florida “mini-me” Trump representatives, a far-right heir apparent fan favorite. Using ‘the big lie’ to push voter suppression bills (many of which already on the books) while at the very same time touting Florida’s election as the most secure of all the states – even though 2020 saw 9 million mail-in and in-person ballots returned – up 41% from 2016. The governor also misled the public, more than once, on pandemic statistics. Including, omitting data on 50,000 coronavirus cases in children over 14. Does the governor have a math skill issue? Or was it just too easy to lie and “per-capita” something in his favor by using false data.
Next, Sen. Marco Rubio – whose lies, spin, and obstruction concerning military grade weapons and basic gun control, was on display for all to hear at Parkland, Florida’s 2018 arena town hall event. A particularly sad, and dishonorable sight — as was being Trump’s acquittal lackey.
Then there is Sen. Rick Scott – who shamelessly pled the 5th again, and again, and yet again concerning his involvement in Medicare fraud. Never met a loophole handout he didn’t take. A big oil climate change denier. And of course, Trump’s acquittal lackey.
And last but not least, local representatives who, along with other state legislature Republicans, allow the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, and the NRA, to “bill mill” a writing agenda production for rightwing corporate lobbyists and Florida’s Republican legislative representatives.
After a 2010 Tea Party shellacking, 2011 showed a historic redistricting cycle of extreme partisan gerrymandering from the right side of the aisle, all while repetitiously extolling fairness. Using the infamous electoral REDMAP (Redistricting Majority Project) technique – a look at 10-year census data redrawn maps in advance to control and “potentially game the timing of redistricting” -thus limiting review and challenges from the courts. The goal of course, single- party control of state legislatures for the power to redistrict.
In crucial census years balance for control shifts with just a few statehouse seats, giving the GOP a disproportionate amount of power. This allows lawmakers to unfairly choose their own voters – instead of voters choosing their lawmakers. And when any new, or fairer, system is written up, Republicans sue to strike it down.
Emboldened within their anti-democracy bubble, Florida Republicans prepare for 2022 by solidifying a political future through censures, voting restrictions, and Manatee County distribution style gerrymandering. And oops! they’ll do it again — as long as they can get away with it.
We should not, and cannot, be confined by discouragement and despondency. We can never again be responsible for the near demise of democracy. If we are to remain a country of free and fair elections, “democracy must have a broader rhetoric – a decisive rhetoric. It must be allowed to breathe an even deeper breath.”
We are all responsible for one another’s continued well-being. We all understand that human rights need a guarantee against obstruction of justice and tyrannical abuse of power – an unbreakable bond where accomplishments of important deeds benefit all. Where democracy is guaranteed.
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