We Are All Spartacus Now – Cleaning Up The GOP

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In 1960 Stanley Kubrick directed the historical epic “Spartacus” starring Kirk Douglas. The film was based on the life of a slave and former gladiator who headed a slave revolt against the Romans in the 1st century BC. The climactic scene in the film comes after Spartacus has been defeated and he and his men captured. The Romans, unsure what Spartacus looks like, demand that he identify himself. Instead, they find that all of the captured men in Spartacus’ army claim to be him. They will all suffer the fate of execution rather than break ranks and give up their leader.

It is a powerful moment. It is also bad history. There was a Spartacus. He was defeated by the Romans. He died fighting, though, and his body was never found.

Still, the power of the scene is undeniable. The captured slaves are saying in the most meaningful way possible that they are all in this together. This is not about one man. This is about much, much more.

For those Americans who count themselves part of the populist movement championed by Donald Trump it is a particularly important and timely message.

Yesterday, Donald Trump spoke at CPAC. The crowd in great anticipation waited for him to speak and answer the questions they had. Would he run again? Would he found a new party? What would Donald do next?

The questions are natural. Trump has been the standard bearer for the movement for the last five years. Still, none of these questions were the most important one every true member of the movement should have been asking.

What are we going to do next?

Donald Trump is a transformative figure. He is perhaps the one man who could have successfully led the 2016 campaign for the White House. He will remain a standard bearer for the ongoing populist revolution.

That does not mean he is the revolution. That does not mean it falls to him to be the one who takes this struggle to the next stage. That will require all of us.

Seven Republican Senators sided with the Democratic Party and voted to impeach Donald Trump. They did so despite the fact that he was no longer in office and that an effort to impeach him was clearly unconstitutional. They did so despite the fact that the claim that he had incited and encouraged violence on January 6th was patently false and unsupported by the facts.

These Senators sided with the opposition, because they are part of the opposition. They want Trump as close to politically dead as they can get him. If they could somehow magically roll back the clock and wipe the entire MAGA movement from history, they would do so.

Every single one of these Senators should be censured by the GOP in their home states. Every single one should be challenged, defeated and consigned to the dust bin of history. The job of doing that is not Trump’s. It is ours.

We have just finished an election marred by widespread allegations of voter fraud. The rapid and uncontrolled move to mail-in voting in particular means we don’t really have any clear idea who just won the most important election in the Free World. Job number one then is make sure we never do this again. That we eliminate mail-in voting and move to in-person voting with ID and using hard copy, paper ballots, thereby eliminating virtually all of the issues we now know we experienced in November 2020.

Yet, movement to do so remains sporadic. In Pennsylvania a GOP controlled legislature shows effectively no interest in fixing the electoral system. The official word from GOP leadership in Harrisburg is that the state will have to learn to “live with” mail-in voting going forward.

The task of waking the GOP establishment in Pennsylvania to reality and getting it to do its job does not fall to Donald Trump. It falls to the Republican voters of the state who need to remind their representatives and senators who they work for and, if necessary, replace them with men and women who reflect the will of the people.

All across this nation, the GOP establishment at the state, county and precinct level is filled with individuals who have held those positions since long before Donald Trump arrived on the scene. They were just fine with Republican politics when George W. Bush was in office, we were starting a new war every few months and we could not possibly climb too far into bed with Communist China.

The politics of these party apparatchiks have not changed. They may have waved Trump flags at rallies when he was on top, but deep down they would be fine with a return to the pre-2016 status quo. That has to change, and the only ones who can do that are rank and file members of the MAGA movement who will replace these functionaries, one man and one woman at a time, all across this nation.

Looking forward to 2022 and 2024 and beyond, the task is not to replicate 2016. It is to take this populist revolution to the next stage, beginning with taking control of the GOP and cleansing it of establishment turncoats and functionaries. That is not Trump’s job. It is a job for all of us. If you are committed to this struggle then it is time to stop asking what Donald is going to do. It is time to take a look in the mirror and ask what you are doing to do.

We are all Spartacus now.

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