Divide and Conquer
The Republican Party is currently engaging in political warfare against the Democratic Party. The goal of political warfare is to achieve political dominance over another group. It’s meant to degrade the political influence of a group you see as your opposition. It is often non-violent but can lead to violence because of the blowback that happens when the political fabric of a society begins to wither away. Like a domino effect, one thing leads to another and before you know it – well, read up on history.
The Republicans have been doing this for some time now. Historically, however, in America, it was less ‘warfare’ proper and more like a ‘scuffle.’ When Republicans used ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric as a political weapon against the Democrats and labeling them as ‘weak on crime’ is one example. That was soft political warfare meant to dictate how Democrats responded to the mass criminalization of overwhelmingly Black and Brown communities. It was meant to divide the Democrats away from their base so that the base could be more easily conquered. Not to mention Republicans could maintain control of the government even when they didn’t have a President in office by simply controlling the policies of Democratic administrations.
The Democrats, well – mostly went along with this. Historically, they’ve gone along with many things initiated by Republican administrations. Whether that be deregulation, the drug war or the war on terror – Democrats in recent history go along with many right-wing policy agendas. Some commentators have simply framed this as the Democrats allowing Republicans to frame the narrative. When really it’s worse than that and the Presidency of one Donald Trump has proven this.
Trump’s attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar have turned what used to be more of a political scuffle, into the closest thing to political warfare I’ve ever seen in America. What older establishment Republicans used to do with a velvet glove, allowing Democrats to feign “bipartisanship” as they gave in to all of the GOP’s demands – Trump now does with the political equivalent of a gun.
Trump has recently stated that he has “no regrets” for posting the racist, Islamophobic propaganda video implying Rep. Omar was somehow responsible for 9/11. This is the response from a man who does not care that Rep. Omar has had multiple death threats. He does not care that Democrats as a whole have had multiple death threats launched against them. This is political warfare my friends. If the lives of others are on the line, we cannot be afraid to call it that. Most importantly, the leadership within the Democratic Party needs to begin to act like this is being done to them because the gloves have been taken off.
Much like in the past, the goal is still to divide and conquer the Democratic Party away from their base. In the past, Democrats played into this and we heard the old sayings like “we have to look forward, not backward, “we have to hold the center,” “we have to be mainstream.” Most of the time, it worked sadly.
Well, the same game is being played right now as the right-wing tries to force the Democrats to go along with their framing of Rep. Ilhan Omar as anti-Semitic. The endgame is the same. Divide Democrats away from their base and make them weaker in 2020.
Republicans know their policies are trash and don’t help average Americans. So they have to divide and conquer the Democrats. They see the Left has all of the popular support. They see the Left has the energy and they know their side relies on mostly propaganda. So they will engage in political warfare as a strategy for winning.
Do not let them win.