Quora Query: As Someone Who isn’t a Conservative, What Do You Wish All Conservatives Would Start Doing?

I normally don’t venture into this area on Quora, sticking to health care and science. However, events of the past several days have unnerved me, so I respond – more or less – to the query. In reality, I wanted to post something like this for a while but have not had the opportunity nor inclination.

More than “What do I wish conservatives would start doing…” is a related question “Where do you think the behavior of the Republican Party and Trump will get us?”

Since the release of the memorandum (not transcript) from Trump‘s call to the Ukrainian President, and the letter of concern by the Whistle Blower, thereafter released as an issue of “grave concern” by the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General, what has been in the press is disturbing.

An evangelical “pastor” stated that if Trump is removed from office – remember such removal is allowed under our Constitution – it will “…cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal…”; Trump then re-tweeted this statement. One Republican, as of this writing, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill), has condemned Trump. From the others, either silence or support. Trump would rather see the Country bathed in rivers of blood than accept he is not a king? Rather than recognize he is merely the Chief Executive, subject to removal by the People?

Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) warns that “…red states have 8 trillion bullets in the event of a civil war…” This is a representative of the Government of the United States? Calling for insurrection?

So to my Republican brothers and sisters, I would simply ask: What is it you really want?

You are willing to accept a lawless and corrupt “President” in office so you can have your Tax Cuts (these are for the 1%, not for most of us, the 99%); your semi-competent Judges; banning of a woman’s right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term, and on and on?

You are willing to accept a man – and as a man I hesitate to use this descriptor for Trump – who brags about his sexual assaults; belittles the disabled; insults our Country’s ethnic minorities, and so forth?

You are ok – do you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews – with a scientific illiterate who is happy to watch our planet die so his uber-wealthy “friends” can extract more from our dying planet?

You are willing to accept Trump placing refugees and immigrants – including children – into cages? There is a word for these places: Concentration Camps


Since 1968 – with Nixon’s Southern Strategy – the Republican party has slowly but surely moved to retain power by non-democratic ends.

“Dog whistles” about African Americans, Arabs, and Latinx are now shouted calls from the White House.

An odd evangelical-love-of-Israel is tied to an antisemitism that is as unacceptable as it is remarkable. Or maybe not so odd.

Gerrymandering voting districts so that with a minority of votes the Republicans can stay in power. Yes, the Democrats have done this in Maryland, but this is the exception for them, the Republicans have made it the rule.

Using lame-duck sessions to change laws so a newly-elected Democratic Governor – I am looking at you North Carolina and Michigan – is hobbled in their ability to govern.

Ignoring science to promote your anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, anti-women’s health agenda. My dear Republican brothers and sisters, do you not have daughters, wives, mothers, nieces?

Anything to stay in power, even if it means the destruction of our Republic. This is ok to you?

Why would Mitch McConnell think it acceptable to announce – when Obama was first elected – that the Republicans would make him a one-term president?

Why would the Republicans think it acceptable to oppose – while our Country and the world teetered on the edge of a second Depression – Obama’s stimulus plans?

Why would the Republicans think it in any way acceptable to destroy the unwritten conventions that govern our country, such as holding the nomination of Judge Garland for almost a year, not even giving him a hearing for the Supreme Court? It is these unwritten conventions that allow a democracy to flourish.

Why would McConnell hold up a stack of Legislation passed in the House – legislation we need – rather than give it any kind of a hearing? Because, as he says, “Trump won’t sign them.” Isn’t that why we have Veto overrides?

I am not sure I can answer the queries I have posed. I am unable to get into the head of even my own relatives who support this behavior, but it seems – at least in the case of my relatives who live in California – tied to a brand of Evangelical “Religion” that is as far from the Gospels as I understand them (see Matthew 25:31–46) as can be.

What has been done over the past 32 months by Trump and his enablers is the slow and painful dismemberment of our democracy, of the conventions and unwritten rules that are its oxygen; these continue now, today.

As the grandson of immigrants; as the son of a WW II combat veteran and a Coast Guardswoman; as the father of three wonderful children – a teacher, a Marine, and a physician – as the grandfather of three brilliant girls; as a physician and Professor, I am telling you: Stop. You are driving us over a cliff. The damage being caused will only be notable – and noted – when it is too late. And the hour is late.

About AJ Layon

AJ Layon was, for 28 years, at the University of Florida College of Medicine, in the Division of Critical Care Medicine, in Gainesville, FL. For the approximately 10 years until September 2011, he was Professor and Chief of Critical Care Medicine at UF; In September of 2011 he became System Director and Co-Chairman of Critical Care Medicine in PA; this ended in 2017. He served as a Physician in the Surgical Group with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) through 2018 and is presently an intensivist in Florida, struggling through the SARS-CoV-2 crisis. While his interests are primarily related to health care, health care reform, and ethical issues, as a citizen of our United States and our world, he will occasionally opine on issues of our "time and destiny". Follow on Twitter @ajlayon
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