With a song in my heart…

I remain, for now, a card-carrying member of the Republican Party. How much longer that remains true depends largely on how Republicans respond in this moment. The decision now is simple, does the Republican Party of Eisenhower and Reagan continue to follow a disgraced carnival barker ex-president down the path towards its eventual destruction and historical irrelevancy, or does what’s left of the sane center manage to haul in the reigns and rebuild a Republican brand that’s focused on rolling back creeping socialism, confronting growing international threats, and presenting a clear-eyed conservative vision for the future of America.

The Republican Party can’t and shouldn’t survive a transition to standing only for “Trump good, everyone else bad.” A modern political party should have a vision of America’s future beyond perpetually rehashing the 2020 election while excluding such inconveniences as science, evidence, and basic common sense. 

With razor thin margins in both the House and Senate, Republicans stand a fighting chance of retaking one or both houses of Congress in 2022. History says it’s fairly likely. If those seats are filled by slavering conspiracy theorists, the long-term fate of the party could likely be set. Retaining Representative Liz Cheney as chair of the Republican Conference presented Republicans with an opportunity to save ourselves from the ascendency of the small, but vocal batshit crazy wing of the party. It could well be the last viable exit ramp and we’ve now put it squarely in the rear view mirror.

I don’t expect many of our elected representatives to have the personal courage to take that kind of stand. Going along with the lie is far easier than speaking out, standing up, and making yourself a target of lunatic outrage. To quote Liz Cheney, though, “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former President’s crusade to undermine our democracy.” 

I’ve served the republic nearly all of my adult life. If the price I pay for continuing to support it now in opposition to a loud and determined cult of personality is dirty looks, angry comments, and “unfriendings,” it’s an easy cost to bear – and even if we reach a point, perhaps during the 2022 election cycle, where I can no longer in good conscience do so under the banner of the Republican Party, I’ll pay it with a song in my heart.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Team Building Activities. It’s pretty rare that I run into a topic on which I can’t speak with at least some degree of confidence. I discovered this week while developing and delivering a group presentation titled “How to Change a Diaper” that almost anything related to the care and maintenance of a human baby is apparently one of those topical areas with which I am completely unacquainted. I’m happy to give the presentation, but ecstatic to leave the details and task execution to others. In this case, ignorance truly is bliss.

2. Sleep. Yes, I know this is one that crops up from time to time, but it’s been worse this week than most. In your standard day, you only get 24 hours and to be frank, I’m not willing to give up any more than 1/4 of it on just laying around essentially unconscious. It’s not that I’m exceptionally busy or feel that anything I’m doing is especially important, just that I think there are better ways to spend the day that being quietly tucked into a warm bed. Lately, though, the standard six hours hasn’t really felt like enough. I probably just need to find a way to crank more caffeine into the system to overcome the increased coefficient of drag.

3. The media. Again. For the last week or so, they’ve been filling the television set with the story of an overzealous and potentially crazy neighborhood watch captain gunning down an innocent kid on his way home from the corner store. Other outlets are screaming that the kid wasn’t as innocent as we’re being lead to believe. Either way, it makes a good story and a nifty bit of narrative for the media to run with. What none of the stories do, though, is tell me exactly what happened. Personally, I’m reserving judgement until more than speculation is known. We were once a nation of laws rather than a media drive lynch mob. It’s a pity that’s not still the case.