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Under the Influence of Delusionaries 

Taking a Gander: The Grand Old Party heads for a fall.

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The notion that Utah Republicans have any vestigial moral rooting can now be viewed as ridiculous.

What happened at the recent Utah Republican Convention was more than just a black eye on the decency of our state. It was the confirmation that Utah is no better than Florida, Wyoming and Texas—to name a few—when it comes to corrupt political alliances. We can now safely declare that the core of the Republican Party—including Utah's own—is composed of liars, delusionaries and thugs.

I know. Those are strong words, but they're justifiable descriptions of those who are failing to uphold the principles of our democracy. The catch-all use of "delusionaries" at least allows the possibility that some of the treason isn't intentional, but merely the product of a fatal misguidance.

Are we so weak that we have to take our cues from the likes of U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, scumbag extraordinaire, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a chief defender of the Trump Lie? Their publicity stunts create headlines only to lead the stupid astray.

How can this be happening? The depravity of a former president is still embraced by a bunch of scared little ninnies who seem to be unable to think for themselves. The booing of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was about as low as it can get. Frankly, it stinks of treason: Loyalty to a toppled would-be autocrat who sought to destroy our nation can be labeled nothing less. One cannot be a real American and deny the voice of the people in the presidential election, and that's exactly what Republicans are trying to do.

The tragedy of the past four years is obvious to all who wish to see it, and the horrifying figure who occupied the Oval Office during that time remains the de facto leader of Elephantville. Trump's term may be over, but Republicans seem to be on autopilot, continuing in the same direction of moral destruction. Somehow, they've entirely lost their way.

A party that, at one point, had been one to choose the high ground has turned into America's destroying angel. What was sacrosanct for America's first patriots has been desecrated by the likes of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Reps. Gaetz and Greene, Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham and numerous others who seem fully committed to following a monster at the expense of our republic. Moderates like Romney and Wyoming's Rep. Liz Cheney are the Davids in a Goliath's arena.

It's worth asking: What are Americans' most precious freedoms, and is the Republican Party upholding the fundamentals of democracy? And just where does the GOP stand on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

Government by the people? The GOP wants everybody to be able to vote, conveniently, for his or her favorite candidate. It imposes only one condition: Those voting conveniently must be Republicans. And, of course, people of color weren't meant to have a say.

Freedom of speech? This may be the most precious of inalienable rights, but Republicans don't seem to have an inkling of what it's about. Their take is that there's no limit to this essential right—lying and incitement are very much part of that freedom.

Freedom of religion? With a Supreme Court packed with Christian moralists and multiple recent incursions of religion into government, religious freedom has been severely compromised; the separation between church and state has been seriously breached.

This is not to say that all Republicans are bad—that would be an unhealthy generalization. But, if the Founding Fathers were in the business of founding, the far-right core of the GOP is definitely in the business of dismantling. They fabricate their own truths, obstruct application of a fair and accessible voting system, subscribe to conspiracy theories that delude vulnerable minds and parrot the same lies that Trump spews at those who oppose him. It's hard to imagine any political organization stooping to such record lows, but the fear of opposing the party's greatest-loser-ever is what's powering the GOP.

Amazingly, though, Trump is just a step away from facing charges. Yet, he successfully intimidates anyone insecure and weak enough to believe that the ghosts of his administration will come back to life. Right now, that's really all he is—the lingering essence of something dead and vile—but the far right of the party has grown to like the odor of decay. Oh, it's amazing how the fragrance of an outhouse charms the Grand Old Party.

If indeed the party was ever really "Grand," Webster would have to re-define the word to be a proper descriptor of what the party is today.

Even the most loyal Republicans must understand that if this hideous masquerade continues, it will spell the collapse of the party. When every iota of integrity has been lost, delusional zealots are Trump's only real supporters. Are our legislators' jobs really so precious that they are worth selling out to the devil?

America's future may well be in the hands of the "delusionaries." Delusion is not a choice, and the simple truth will prevail. Trump lost; he is a loser and has no place in the future politics of our country. The Liz Cheneys and Mitt Romneys of the Republican Party are its only possible salvation.

The author is a retired businessman, novelist, columnist and former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and the beloved ashes of their mongrel dog.

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