To be clear from the start, my concern here is with my Republican representation, and the most conservative of it at that.
Modern Democrats can be assumed to be venal. Joe Biden, who recently proclaimed himself president, is as good an example as you will find.
But in Indiana, the land of the ever-so-conservatively postured Dan Coats and Eric Holcomb, there is no shortage of Republicans who claim to be “fighting” for our liberty and against the Bidens of the world. Indeed, you may have counted several among your friends. And up to this point, you had no reason to doubt they would do anything humanely possible to protect your constitutional rights — except, as it turns out, endanger their own status on Capitol Hill.
That truth comes hard. It is difficult to admit that all of our votes have been for naught, but when someone says they are going to “fight” it is reasonable to assume that a degree of personal risk is involved.
These last few months we learned differently. The Republican Party has known since September exactly what danger the new voting rules entailed. But we heard only the crickets as blank election ballots were scattered over the landscape.
Yes, they can claim they had no direct responsibility for many of these changes, especially at the individual state level. So what did we expect of them?
Well, considering that the loss of the democratic franchise, short of a foreign invasion, is as serious a threat to our liberty as can be imagined, we expected a courageous stand of some sort — heroic even, a hunger strike chained to the columns of the Supreme Court for starters.
For we sent them to Washington specifically to be on watch for this kind of treasonous crap.
But it was our necks, I guess, not their pensioned, fully staffed, insured, catered, expense-accounted and privileged ones. Now they are making lame noises about the need to reform the voting process. Do you think?
Again, some of you have known these fellows from the days they first began political careers in humble corners of their districts on salaries that we were continually assured were modest.
But in four or five election cycles, they are in a Georgetown townhouse, summering on the Gulf and climbing aboard junkets to Bangkok or the south of France. And those are the dedicated ones.
Still others make it a point to wear old flannel and drive pickups or motorcycles when they are in the district. Be assured, though, that today’s politicians have made a science of plausible deniability regarding illicit income. Ask yourself if you have ever heard of one returning to Indiana in search of honest work to make ends meet like the rest of us.
Why not? How do you become independently wealthy on $174,000 a year in Washington, D.C., one of the most expensive cities in the world? These are people, be reminded, with few marketable skills other than crass cunning.
Earlier, I touched on what I consider a key distinction. When a Democratic campaigns as an obvious crook and is elected nonetheless, well, that is on us. “Democracy is sometimes messy,” Joe Biden, one of those crooks, reminded us a few days ago. That is what Democrats do — win office and stay there by any means necessary, however messy. And this presidential election is as messy as it gets. But power is their goal, not liberty or even decorum.
Again though, shouldn’t Republicans be different? What about those conservative ones who promised to fight for us but didn’t?
Ditch them. After this horrible week, we can no longer indulge the charade of electing people who say they will represent us as friends and neighbors but spend their careers 450 miles away casting omnibus votes and maneuvering for reward and title in the artificial world of Capitol Hill.
The president of the Claremont Institute put it all into a sentence: “After the last six months, the last thirty years — the last damned century — conservatives and Republicans who lack steely resolve need to be called out and cast aside for those who will fight.”
Members of the Indiana delegation, without exception, would be wise to put that on the agenda of the next meeting of their reelection committee.
Craig Ladwig is editor of the quarterly Indiana Policy Review. Send comments to [email protected] mediaindiana.com.