Thinking Citizen Blog — Donald Trump, the Kidney Punch, the the Death of the Republican Party

John Muresianu
4 min readDec 3, 2023

Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day

Today’s Topic: Donald Trump, the Kidney Punch, the the Death of the Republican Party

Yes, physical violence on the floor of Congress is nothing new. We all, I hope, remember the caning of Charles Sumner. However, the kidney punch former Speaker Kevin McCarthy allegedly landed on Rep. Tim Burchett is a sign of regression to darker times. As is the moment when

“MMA-fighter-turned-Senator Markwayne Mullin readied himself for a brawl with Teamsters President Sean O’Brien in the middle of a Senate hearing.” Is this the death knell of the Republican party? Today, excerpts from a recent article in Politico in which Yale historian Joanne Freeman is interviewed on the topic.

Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

UNITED YOU STAND, DIVIDED YOU FALL — below Tim Burchett, US Rep, Tennessee to the right of Kevin McCarthy, US Rep.from California, and former Speaker.

1. “They’re not a single party. They’re a divided party.” (Freeman)

2. “Even if a party is fractured, normally it can discipline its members in one way or another. Right now, I don’t think there’s much discipline of any sort going on.”

3. “We have a divided Republican Party that doesn’t have party discipline, doesn’t have a shared mission, doesn’t have a shared message, at a moment when there’s a whole slew of crises surrounding us. This is the kind of moment precisely when that behavior would erupt.”

A GENERAL BREAKDOWN IN ACCEPTABLE LIMITS TO ANY SORT OF BEHAVIOR

1. “Right now we’re at an interesting moment politically in the United States where there isn’t a lot of accountability for anything right now.”

2. “We’re in a climate where it’s unclear what people can and can’t do or what they can and can’t get away with.”

3. “Some of the behaviour we’re seeing, there’s an assumption that people will get away with it because all kinds of people are getting away with all kinds of things right now politically.”

NB: Is the “shoplifting epidemic” another sign of the disintegration of norms?

TRUMP IS PART OF THE PROBLEM BUT NOT BY ANY MEANS THE WHOLE STORY

1. ”He’s not helping. But I think at this point, ideas about violence have become so normalised, partly because of him, partly because of the way in which they’re being discussed in the press or by various political figures or even pundits. We have forgotten how shocking those kinds of ideas should be.”

2. “We’re at a point where some fundamental assumptions about democracy in America and what democratic politics means are really up for debate. And they’re up for debate in a dangerous way. And I think that that’s increasing the heat surrounding everything politically that’s happening at this moment.”

3. Do you find this blurring of the distinction between right and wrong disturbing? If so, what is the best piece you have read on its causes?

Why Republicans Are on the Verge of Fistfights

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My spin — then periodically review, re-rank, and exchange your list with those you love. I call this the “Orion Exchange” because seven is about as many as any human can digest at a time. Game?

LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

ATTACHMENTS BELOW:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, (11/17/20)

#3 Israel-Palestine Handout

NB: Palestine Orion (Decision) — let’s exchange Orions, let’s find Rumi’s field (“Beyond all ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. Meet me there” Rumi, 13 century Persian Sufi mystic)

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to political process or campaign strategy or 2020 candidate selection or anything else for that matter.

This is your chance to make some one else’s day or change their thinking.

Or to consolidate in your own memory something worth remembering that might otherwise be lost. Or to clarify or deepen your own understanding of something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.