Aristotle defined “contradiction” in his thesis “Metaphysics” thusly: “It is impossible that the same thing can at the same time both belong and not belong to the same object and in the same respect.”
Yet that conflict with reason has become the operating system for the modern Republican Party. What else could lead Republicans, self-described as “patriots,” to storm the Capitol with disdain for the Constitutional balance of power those halls represent?
How else could Ginny Thomas (wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas) think that far-right fringe evidence refuting the outcome of the 2020 election justifies a coup to “save America from the left”?
Betraying America to save America? That’s contradictory.
It’s what leads Ted Cruz to obfuscate reality and determine that President Biden emboldens our enemies when it was Donald Trump, Putin’s fawning pawn, who did his best to strengthen Russian imperialist goals.
If it’s the capricious actions of North Korea Cruz is talking about, Biden’s policy has been to oppose his predecessor’s infatuation with authoritarians.
Republicans criticize Biden’s foreign policy, but it was 2018’s failed trade war that deteriorated relations with China. Biden’s objective in Ukraine is to defend NATO territory, use sanctions against Russia and to supply arms, intelligence, and money to Ukraine. It is an intelligent and wisely cautious strategy.
I saw a post deriding Biden as a “rambling” orator, yet the same people praised a previous president who sounded like he was interpreting his own thoughts from cave paintings.
This disconnect isn’t just about Biden. Republicans have been devolving for decades from genuine American Conservatism to genuine American Contradiction-ism.
Today they froth at any suggestion of gun control, but even the NRA once supported mandatory background checks at gun shows. Nixon wanted a ban on handguns.
Today they fight against a woman’s right to dominion over her body even though a conservative Supreme Court in 1973 ruled to uphold “Roe’s” constitutional right to such privacy.
They are incensed by protestors taking a knee during the National Anthem claiming it disrespects our military. When, in fact, the protest was to show authentic respect for what they fight for- freedom and equality. And when American civilians trample those tenets, that is a genuine contradiction.
To correct this fall requires critical thinking the new Republican agenda has sealed away. That was evidenced as Republican Senators challenged Ketanji Brown Jackson for her position that judges should apply constitutional text in a way that’s relevant for modern realities the authors couldn’t have envisioned.
Jackson is simply using common sense.
Senate Republicans have joined those folks in MAGA hats with Confederate socks, who are blinded by their romance of antiquated societal precepts. In that fog, context, depth,and disciplines like science and logic, fly away as they rage against phantom issues.
I don’t know how this presidency, Ukraine, or even Hunter Biden’s laptop, is going to turn out, and I’m not about to say the “left” is beyond reproach. No, this democracy we claim to uphold works with opposition as its centripetal force.
What doesn’t work is demagoguery and the dismissal of logic. That’s contradictory to the function of our Republic and that is defining the modern Republican Party.