Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Editorial: This election, reject the Republican Party

<p>Donald Trump speaks with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on June 29, 2015, in Chicago.</p>

Donald Trump speaks with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on June 29, 2015, in Chicago.

Photo by Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/T | The State News

Since the 2016 election, one party has systematically failed to support a healthy democratic process. The Republican Party cut a deep divide through the electorate with a party-wide refusal to condemn the actions and rhetoric of President Donald Trump when sorely needed. 

Republicans’ dismissal of civil rights — and of democracy — means voting straight Democrat in the upcoming elections is the only option.

Our rejection of Republican candidates starts with their opposition — tacit or otherwise — to the rights of marginalized people in this country. 

By refusing to reject Trump, Republicans condone sexual assault. We will not forget Trump admitted to sexual assault on tape, nor the many credible accusations against him. The Republican Party fell silent after the election and sent a message that all of this is OK. It is not. 

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — after credible allegations of abuse were ignored and mocked — will not be forgotten, nor will accused child rapist Roy Moore’s near-win.

Vice President Mike Pence long opposed the civil rights of the LGBT community, ideals that fit perfectly within the party of Trump. Its attempts to define transgender people out of existence follow suit with its ban on transgender people serving in the military.

The Republican Party spares no opportunity to discriminate against people of color with blatantly racist policy and rhetoric, and party leadership idly watches as Trump continually refuses to unequivocally condemn hate crimes.

Even when Republicans feign respect for marginalized people in the wake of a major tragedy, they can’t get it right.

After 11 were killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pence brought Loren Jacobs, a Messianic “rabbi,” to a campaign rally in Michigan. 

First, Messianic Judaism and traditional Judaism — as practiced in the attacked Pittsburgh synagogue — are very different things.  Messianic Jews believe Jesus was the Messiah; mainstream Judaism says no Messiah has yet arrived. 

Rabbi Marla Hornsten, former president of the Michigan Board of Rabbis, told NBC News it was “offensive” to consider Jacobs, who referenced Jesus in a prayer at Pence’s rally, a rabbi.

What’s more, Messianic Jews don’t even claim Jacobs. In fact, they haven’t for 15 years, since he was found guilty of libel by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.

This is a party whose second-most powerful leader cares so little about an act of terrorism that he did not find a true representative of the targeted religion to honor.

The rest of our rejection of the party hinges on its dismissal of democratic process. 

The Republican Party’s continued attacks on voting rights are unacceptable. Earlier this year, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state — who refuses to step down as he runs for governor — improperly purged 340,000 voters from voter rolls, disenfranchising them. Republicans under Trump also favor restrictive voter ID laws and imposed limitations on early voting. 

Michigan’s Republican candidates are not Donald Trump; they are not Mike Pence; they are not Brett Kavanaugh. But they had a choice to distance themselves from such toxic people, and did not. They instead pinned their name to a party that props up bigots, misogynists, racists and homophobes, so long as they advance the party’s political goals.

This is not an endorsement of all facets of the Democratic Party. It is a statement that a Democratic vote is the only vote that even has a shot at improving the state of our democracy and the civil rights of those living in it.

The State News Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-Chief Marie Weidmayer, Managing Editor Riley Murdock, Campus Editor Kaitlyn Kelley, City Editor Maxwell Evans, Features Editor Claire Moore, Sports Editor Michael Duke, Photo Editor Matt Schmucker, Copy Chief Alan Hettinger, Diversity Representative S.F. McGlone and Staff Representative Anna Liz Nichols.

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