This phenomenon is becoming more apparent to many people; especially in the last 3 years. They are playing dirty, with more lowdown tricks and fraudulent schemes as they plainly cheat right in the faces of the people. And the media is allowing them to do so.
We view politics through the lens of our expectations, grounded within the supposition that we are all playing by the same set of rules. That in turn colors how we view the actions of the opposition. We speak of Trump as being illiterate, uninterested in facts, a liar, possessed of a short attention span, ignorant, cruel. We speak of Paul Ryan as lacking a backbone, being a fraud and an elitist. We say that Mitch McConnell is power hungry, unethical, a brilliant and fierce tactician. We say that Republican legislators in general are bat shit crazy stupid liars.
But that all assumes that the Republicans are playing the same game that we are playing, what we call democracy practiced within a two Party system. But what if they are not playing that game at all? What if they are actually pursuing an entirely different set of goals with an entirely different set of rules? What if we could propose a different game is being played that better explains what we are seeing?
For decades, going back to Richard Nixon, top conservative strategists and their billionaire backers have railed against our government, saying it was the problem not the solution, stating that their goal was to shrink it down small enough to “drown it in a bathtub”. And their policy tropes are consistently loaded with images of taxation as theft, the common good as a direct threat to individual freedoms.
They view democracy itself as being inherently corrupt, incapable of producing legitimate outcomes despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They reject the fundamental principle of one-man-one-vote, arguing that only voters who believe as they do are entitled to vote. And they use that as justification to do anything it takes to enforce that view in an Orwellian circle of illogic.
And I have not even mentioned all of the violations of norms that we are seeing from every level of the Republican Party now, violations so flagrant and numerous that I would be further taxing your patience going through them once again.