There have been a few articles lately that began appearing last October making a compelling case that while the 2016 Presidential race might look promising for Democrats and it appears that Republicans are in disarray, Democrats, liberals, or progressives, take your pick, are actually in deep trouble everywhere else. There is no doubt that the presidency is an important race, but not so important as to forget every other non-presidential race and not so important as to divide Democrats; a trend that is extremely disturbing.
As noted here,
“There are also thousands of critically important offices all the way down the ballot. And the vast majority — 70 percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governors, 55 percent of attorneys general and secretaries of state — are in Republicans hands. And, of course, Republicans control both chambers of Congress.”
Now, it is probably true that statistically there are more Democrats than Republicans, but that does not, and has not translated to more Democratic victories in the states and Congress for a couple of reasons unrelated to gerrymandering and voter suppression.
First, Democrats do not vote in the same numbers or at the same intensity as Republicans, especially religious Republicans. And second, there is a little-addressed issue of the nineteen percent of Democrats that claim “conservative Democrat” as their self-label; a conservative Democrat is likely what normal people would consider as centrists.
Tragically, and it is a monumental tragedy, the Republican successes in congressional races and, more importantly, state-level races have brought the nation closer to facing a serious threat of a Koch-ALEC-driven call to rewrite the Constitution to comport with an Ayn Rand, libertarian, and evangelical theocratic vision of America. This was at one time an evangelical, libertarian, and conservative fantasy, but today it poses a clear and present danger that will change the law of the land and make America unrecognizable as a representative democracy.
As noted above, with Republicans controlling a majority of state legislatures, the conservatives are just 7 state majorities away from giving the Koch brothers and their corporate cohorts, as well as evangelicals, exactly the corporate and theocratic law of the land they have lusted after for decades. According to Article V of the currently-endangered U.S. Constitution, either two-thirds of both houses of Congress can call to create amendments for a new Constitution, or
“Two thirds of the several states shall call a convention for proposing amendments which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution.”
Any pie-in-the-sky liberal who claims it can never happen in America is unaware that there are already 27 states that have non-expiring active calls for an Article V convention to create a Koch dream; a balanced budget amendment that forces the federal government to pass budgets that do not create national debt. It is noteworthy that since its founding, America has had a national debt. The Koch’s purpose is to abolish all government spending save oil, corporate, and religious subsidies and the military industrial complex.
With 27 red-state official calls for a new Constitution, Republicans only have to win control in seven more states to convene a meeting to rewrite the Constitution in Republicans’ image; an image that will create more devastation than just a balanced budget amendment.
Republicans have intimated repealing, or at least revisiting, the 1st Amendment to abolish the religious clause prohibiting Congress from establishing a state (Christian) religion. They have also called to abolish the 14th Amendment to justify denying millions of Americans their current Constitutional equal rights and abolish citizenship rights. Equally high on their list is repealing the current Constitution’s “Supremacy Clause” effectively neutering federal government and Supreme Court authority entirely. There is no telling which corporation will buy authority to control the military.
Besides the current 27 states, this year alone at least 10 states have legislation pending calling for a new Constitution. It actually gets more frightening according to a Center for Public Integrity review of 2015 Republican legislation found that state lawmakers introduced 190 bills last year about a new Constitution on a range of issues.
It is noteworthy that there has not been such a meeting to change the Constitution since the nation’s founding. However, there has also not been such an anti-American political party and religious movement panting like rabid dogs to fashion a new Constitution in their image.
Some of the GOP presidential candidates have already seized on the “burgeoning movement” and are “rallying their supporters to press the new Constitution issue” when state legislative sessions started this year. What is telling, and informs the Koch brothers hand in this movement, is that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is both behind and leading the push for a new Constitution.
ALEC has been crafting “model legislation” over the past decades to assist Republican legislatures to use their state power to change the Constitution to fit “corporate and free market” policies; new theocratic policies will certainly be included. This movement is not a grassroots effort and besides ALEC there are several “national groups holding workshops, publishing tips, and writing legislation to change the law of the land.” At the December ALEC conference, in fact, there were two special sessions to inspire corporate Republicans to pass legislation calling for a new Constitution in their respective states.
Americans often hear that “elections have consequences” and this year is no different. What is disconcerting, to say the least, is that there is an inordinate amount of apparent enmity on the left percolating over the race for the presidential nomination. It is troubling that the same emotional (angry) pretend progressives are pledging to sit home if their candidate is not the nominee. Fine, most Americans have had to interact and suffer petulant children at some point in their lives, but the consequences of petulant pretend liberals is just terrifying for America’s future if 2010 was any indication.
However, if emoprogs and disgruntled Democrats feel they have to stay home like they did in 2010 and 2014, maybe they can swallow their anger and emotions just long enough to go to the polls and vote against Republicans at the state and congressional level.
Americans have already suffered six years of Republican destruction and obstruction since the 2010 midterm debacle. Unless centrists and liberals get out the vote in the states, they will suffer from a new Constitution created in the biblical corporate image of the religious right and the Koch brothers. Yes, the presidential race is important, but Democrats, progressives, and liberals are being crushed in the states and the consequences could not possibly be more Constitution shattering.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.