The lie of a stolen 2020 election has, so far, cost at least five lives, and will surely cost more as Republicans’ radicalized fringe engages in stochastic terrorism to overthrow our ‘illegitimate’ government.
Trump’s insurrection threatened the lives of the next three elected officials in line of succession, creating a massive national security risk for our governmental stability.
Trump’s insurrection has profoundly damaged our credibility and authority as a leader of the democratic world, as enemies scoff at our diplomatic admonitions and warnings with barbs about the stability and legitimacy of our own government.
But the scale of Republican threats to our national security is even broader than a deadly insurrection and nurturing and empowering a right-wing domestic terrorist insurgency. It encompasses our bio-security, cyber-security, traditional alliances, and relationships with our neighbors that have kept ourselves — and the free world — relatively safe for the past 80 years.
Republican perfidy caused our utterly incoherent and incompetent response to the global pandemic. We undeniably have had one of the worst governmental responses in the entire world.
The lies that underpin Republican denialism regarding the seriousness — or very existence — of COVID-19 cost us our chance to minimize this pandemic and consequent loss of life. Trump’s politicization of non-pharacuetical pandemic control interventions, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and the shut down of activities that present the greatest threat of rapid viral spread, has cost many thousands of Americans their lives. We are officially approaching 400,000 Americans dead, with 500,000 dead pretty much baked in by the current trajectory of the epidemic. We have millions of infections that have left untold thousands of Americans with potentially life-long sequelae from their infection. What burdens this will place on our fragile and irrational healthcare system and the economic futures of those Americans remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable, without much time and study.
And what did the Republican Party gain with these lies that led to so much death and untold suffering of Americans? Only greater division in our politics that they could exploit for political advantage, and the approval of their clownish ghoul of a President. They gave absolutely no thought or care to the security and well-being of the American public, but attended only to the whims and caprices of Trump.
They have done no better at securing the modern foundations of our prosperity and economic innovation, leaving our digital frontiers woefully undefended.
Even as members of his own Administration admitted that Russia attacked us in the massive SolarWinds hack, Trump has lied about Russia’s culpability for the biggest penetration of our governmental systems in history, deflecting blame to China, instead.
Trump has refused to recognize and credibly punish Russia’s cyber-aggression across his entire term for unknown reasons, but many in the know speculate that his behavior is consistent with his being compromised by Russia with financial or personal compromat. The result has been to free Russia to attack us with utter impunity. His lies, denial, and servility to Russia have undermined our preparedness to counter their on-going attacks our digital infrastructure and our democratic process.
Yet, the Republican Party has remained utterly silent in the face of Trump’s dereliction and has left us without a credible deterrent to Russia’s ongoing aggression against the foundations of our economic prosperity and innovation.
Republicans cheered Trump on as he alienated, derided, undermined, and weakened our traditional alliances around the world, leaving our allies bewildered and confused about our intentions and capacity to uphold our obligations as the leader of the free world.
A bi-partisan succession of American leaders have sacrificed countless lives and immeasurable treasure to create those alliances securing our leadership, ensuring our security, and keeping global conflicts largely peaceful. But Trump and the Republican Party suddenly knew better how to manage the world. How did that work out? Not well. Luckily, Trump didn’t get four more years to continue to undermine and destroy the major foundations of our peace and prosperity such as NATO, the EU, the world trading system, and the Paris Accords, but he did plenty of damage to our credibility and commitment among our allies.
Trump denigrated and alienated our neighbor Mexico, one of our main economic and security partners in the world, with his racist and inane plan to “build the wall” and “make Mexico pay for it”. Neither came true, but both antagonized our partner and created a massive humanitarian and human rights crisis that has blackened our reputation — rightly — for many years to come. The racist and vicious policies Trump adopted at our southern border have severely impacted our relationship with Mexico, not mention with our own internal population of millions of Mexican and other Latin American nationals, for years to come.
Republicans have demonstrated they either don’t understand national security anymore, or don’t care enough about our security to check a reckless and arrogant President of their own party.
Republicans seem not to understand our world where a virus, a line of code, or the credibility of your word can radically undermine your security and cost American lives. They have instead made national security the handmaid of domestic political gestures to their most nativist, racist, and radical base.
The Republican Party has proven over the past four years of misrule that they cannot not be trusted to keep America safe in this modern world. We have plenty of American corpses to prove it. Republicans should not be given the opportunity to safeguard our security any time soon: they have proven unworthy of such a sacred trust.