In 2010, I wrote a book titled “The Evolution of Everything: How Selection Shapes Culture, Commerce, and Nature.“If you go Very Quickly, you might have bought a copy, but less than a month after it was released, a small asteroid fell due to the publisher going out of business. I swear, it wasn’t my fault. (I think.) In any case, copies are now almost as rare as Fernandina Island Turtle,

That book was based largely on a series of essays I wrote for Daily Kos between 2006 and 2010, all of them based on the same simple idea: The selective pressures that guide the evolution of species in nature are the kind of candy are similar to the pressures present in everything from. You get the bars in the company’s vending machine that will be under the hood of your next car.

Over the past 13 years, there have been plenty of opportunities to see these pressures at work, ignoring the news media, rapid shifts in artificial intelligence, and limiting actions to address the climate crisis. But there is probably no area where this type of pressure has resulted in such a devastating change as in the Republican Party.

In 2010, the latest Republican presidential nominee was John McCain, the Dodd–Frank Act was enacted, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed in a bipartisan vote (after overcoming a filibuster launched byblowing dust off old notesJoe Lieberman). If this sounds like the Golden Age, it certainly wasn’t.

campaign action

The Republican Party was already off the rails and on the expressway to the big orange swamp. two years ago, McCain contacted Alaska government lifts Sarah Palin out of obscurity for her vice presidential run, Not because she was qualified or because she was a strong supporter of his relatively moderate positions, but because she appealed to a party base that was swinging madly toward her demands. Less qualification and No Control. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell made it out of the House with Republicans voting against it, 160-15in a party that had already committed itself to showing that the wheel of history does not passed Leaning towards justice

Almost from its inception, the Republican Party was a pro-business, anti-labor party that based its position on claims to uphold “traditional values”. This type of party exists in almost every democracy, usually promoting ideas of “law and order” and tending to view anything that deviates from the racial/cultural alignment of its base with suspicion. This is what makes right, right – and also what positions such parties to easily veer towards extremism in the form of authoritarianism. That fascism ended up as a mix of corporate interests and authoritarian rule was no coincidence. Everything has been turned up to 11 at every conservative, pro-business party.

In the 16 decades of its existence, the Republican Party has endorsed some pretty awful positions and earned the public’s enmity on too many occasions when its greed uber Alles The policies have resulted in widespread suffering. (See Depression, Great, and Recession, Great.) But by and large it has also been a party that saw its best way forward as matching with the health of the nation, even though there was some widespread disagreement about whether. What is the best for this. Nation.

For example, Richard Nixon famously signed off on creating the Environmental Protection Agency, then reversed vetoed the Clean Water Act only the Senate has to vote to overturn his veto 2 hour Later, 17 Republicans signed on. It was a party that was 1) ready to work in a bipartisan manner for the benefit of the nation, and 2) not stuck behind a single leader.

But less than a decade later, Ronald Reagan was in office on a platform that was not only anti-EPA, but anti-government and heavy on the cult of personality. Reagan showed that it was possible to harness the latent discontent surrounding particular government policies and turn it into a broad wave of support for a generally crippled government – ​​especially if that wave was based on confidently spoken lies about racism. contain heavy doses of

Reagan didn’t invent the idea that rural and suburban whites were coming up on the short end of the government stick, even though they weren’t by much. He simply took ideas that were clearly abhorrent when espoused by George Wallace and made them more attractive to a Republican Party that was looking for a way out of its post-Watergate confusion.

Even those who didn’t think Watergate was a dinosaur-killing asteroid certainly expected the party to wander through the wilderness several election cycles. Instead, a radical “mutilation” in the form of Reagan’s racist, anti-intellectual and anti-government populism offered a path to an immediate return to the White House. Not only did it pull the party out of near-inevitable doom, but it gifted Republicans three consecutive terms in the White House.

It’s no wonder that when the Republicans lost in 1992, their next favorite was the man who promised to take Reagan’s positions to the next logical step. Newt Gingrich wasn’t just about repeating the idea of ​​limiting government, he was about eliminating government entirely. Government, Gingrich’s Preface”contract with america“It was not about any specific policy but about making it more difficult for Congress to pass or implement Any Exactly policies. Then it went back to promoting authoritarianism and racism, with Reagan taking steps specifically designed to punish blacks, militarize the police, protect corporations from their mistakes, and encourage xenophobia at home and abroad. Champion in a series of

Very few of Gingrich’s promises were on the verge of becoming law, and Gingrich himself soon became distasteful even to his fellow Republican legislators, but what he planned could be a map straight to Donald Trump’s penthouse.

Trump is the end result of Gingrich’s road map for the innate virtues of the GOP, Reagan’s radical mutilation, and extremism, with a healthy dose of Roger Stone’s gleefully dirty tricks thrown in. What Trump said after stepping down the gold-plated escalator was not original to Trump. This is the worst the Republican candidates have received in generations. Just as evolution favored the ancestors of giraffes, who had long necks, which was necessary to best compete for their food, in election after election, the path the Republican Party took after Nixon applied selective pressure, He inspired the candidate to adopt the most radical approach. Regarding Reagan’s racist authoritarianism – even if it meant going to positions even Reagan would find abhorrent.

The primary means of this change was not rational argument about the benefits of Republican policy. The movement came about through the same tactics adopted by “happy warrior” Reagan: hate and fear. This too is not a new thing. Hate, especially in the form of racism, has long been one of the most effective means of motivating people to take steps that would with any reflection clearly be detrimental to their own interests. Make people hate you enough and scare them enough, and that reflection never happens.

But if you think something has changed over the years, you are not wrong.

Those who have been around Daly Kos long enough will remember that political theorists used to spend a lot of time talking about the “Overton Window”. This was a metaphor based on the principles of 1990s political analyst Joseph Overton, who stated that unacceptable ideas can be made acceptable through gradual changes over time.

There isn’t much talk about that window anymore because there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s unacceptable.

It’s easy to keep thinking “they can always go down,” and that certainly seemed true during Trump’s tenure, but… can they? With Trump banishing all sorcery, Representative Majorie Taylor Greene dominating her party through her willingness to abandon anything approaching simple decency, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy signing off on every plot and scheme. are doing because they are clinging badly to the illusion of power, what is left? The most prominent Republicans in the party today are those willing to tell the most egregious lies, be the most racist, be the most staunchly anti-government, and encourage the most violent division. It is not just the current Pantheon; This is even more true of their “rising stars”.

Republicans have pushed their anti-racist, anti-labor, anti-environmental and anti-government views almost to the end. What action cannot be justified when you have labeled your opponents as diabolical pedophile communist cannibals thanks to the deep state conspiracy of international (read: Jewish) billionaires? More importantly, what do you do to replicate?

For the time being, it appears that Republicans are running almost entirely on syrup derived from attacking the LGBTQ+ community, but there are times when you might call “drag queen story time” before it takes its toll. Lose it They’ve already eaten the good stuff.

Even though it looks like Republicans led by Trump have reached the end game in terms of discrediting Democrats (or any Republicans unwise enough to point a finger at the hate stream), that doesn’t mean they have. You have done your worst. If Trump is the inevitable product of processes that have been selecting for Trump-like characteristics for more than four decades, it is equally certain of what will happen next: democracy itself is evil and opposing democracy is God’s will.

This should really come as no surprise. Republicans have been trying to limit the right to vote ever since that right was extended to more than half the population. Right now, Republicans are pushing raise the voting ageadvancing ancient claims Only property owners should be allowed to voteand to line up behind the idea Only parents should be allowed to vote, they are rapidly exploiting the idea withdraw women’s suffragewho has become one regular subject on social media. And that’s all on top of quick efforts to limit non-mandering, limit polling places, purge voter rolls, eliminate mail-in ballots, raise voter ID requirements and otherwise restrict who can vote.

Trump trashed the last election with false claims that the polling was unfair. Republicans are increasingly moving towards the idea that voting itself is a bad idea.

Republicans have already neatly summed up their position in the phrase, “America is not a democracy.” This statement is usually dismissed with the notion that Republicans do not understand that a republic is a form of democracy. But that is not what they mean. they mean not a democracy,

It doesn’t matter that it’s bullshit. What matters is that it empowers them to take any action they want against Democracy, whether it is to attack election workers or to attack the Capitol. Each of these things, and more, is driving the outward, acceptable, expected positions for Republican candidates.

After all, when you’re fighting communist pedophile cannibals in the name of God, everything you do is, by definition, on the side of the angels. Racist, ignorant, hate filled angels.

The idea that federal elections should be decided by state legislatures, not popular vote, may now be the subject of court cases. This would be the only acceptable Republican position within a few election cycles. He would then move on to how those state legislatures are elected, including putting pressure on the states to be able to fulfill the dreams of their most disenfranchised.

Even more he is Not the end game, as the next step is to dissolve the federal government. There are probably more steps. They wouldn’t matter, except for serfs unfortunate enough to live in the Duchy of Florida or the Lone Star Kingdom.

Of course, there’s another option: make the Republican Party extinct.

This happens all the time in nature. An organism begins to exploit some unique feature of the current environment, becoming more and more effective and more and more extreme in its adaptations… until the environment changes, and the same specialization that was an advantage becomes a becomes an unsupportable limit.

Let’s hope it goes that way, because it really is us or them, where the “us” is America.


What happened while we were all on vacation? Something about Donald Trump being impeached not once, but twice! Also in the news: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign fails. There is so much happening!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *