Vichy Republicans

by Harry Caines
by Harry Caines

“Which side are you on?”

“I have no conviction, if that’s what you mean. I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy.”

—from the film, “Casablanca”.


Dance, you fools! Dance!

So, this is what it feels like to take pleasure in the misery of the Republicans. If I had known it was this much fun, I would have deserted the GOP years ago.

I would find much more entertainment in what has happened to the Republican Party in the time that Donald Trump has been given the moniker “presumptive nominee” if not for two salient facts. Donald Trump is mentally unbalanced and is dangerously close to being elected to the most powerful position on the planet.

My guffaw is not hearty, but disquieted.

Who among you really thought that Trump would act “more presidential”? Dopes. This unhinged lunatic does not live in your world. He lives in Trumpworld. In that bizarre fantasyland, world leaders would listen to every word Great Leader Trump had to say without dissent. In Trumpworld, CEOs follow Great Leader Trump’s instructions. Restaurants only offer Trump Steaks. Dehydration would only be squashed with Trump Water. All men would be forced to have cosmetic surgeries so as to have smaller hands than Great Leader Trump. And, women could never feel arousal unless they were thinking of him.

Meanwhile, back on the blue orb most of us who are sane inhabit, the leading Republicans in Washington fell in line to support—tacitly at best—this megalomaniacal charlatan.

Leading Republicans who had absconded from Trump’s misogynist, xenophobic, erratic, childish, verbal diarrhea by any means necessary now were forced to take the pledge to support their party’s nominee for president.

Why? Because Hillary Clinton is, as they claim, worse. I will try to destroy this argument in one rhetorical question.

Who can be worse to put in the Oval Office office than a man that is avaricious, unqualified and insane?

Somehow gay marriage, transgender bathroom rights and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants seem less important when countered by the ominous thought of a man nuking Great Britain because they didn’t agree to hold the British Open at a Trump golf course every year.

Still, Republicans are doing that dance. Put on a silly hat and sing an amusing ditty you feckless jesters. Great Leader Trump demands your loyalty! It does not matter that you would justifiably be filled with rage if a man spoke to your daughters the way Trump speaks about women. He is the nominee of the political party you belong to. The only other choice is…GASP…Hillary! As Metallica once commanded, obey your master!

I have a nickname for these Republicans, specifically Senator Marco Rubio, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. I call them Vichy Republicans.

This is not the first time I have used World War II as an analogy to Donald Trump’s campaign. A few weeks back I showed similarities between Trump’s rise and the political climate of Germany in 1932.

For those uneducated to the finer points of WWII, or for anyone that has never watched “Casablanca”, allow me to give primer on the term.

In June of 1940, the Nazis marched into Paris. An armistice was negotiated between Hitler and some breakaway members of the French government. Germany would allow for a “Free State” in the south of France while maintaining direct control in the north. The Free State’s main purpose was to police the citizens and take care of most administrative duties whilst taking orders from Berlin. The de facto puppet government was set up in the town of Vichy.

Originally accepted by most of the French people, the Vichy government were collaborators to the Germans in all their hideous endeavors. Included in this shameful capitulation was the rounding up of French Jews for deportation and eventual extermination; and defending France against an expected attack by the British.

Vichy France thought the Brits were worse than the Nazis. Sound familiar?

Vichy Republicans. They do not like Trump, but Hillary is worse! Trump has spewed vitriolic comments about many ethnic groups, but Hillary is worse! Trump has lied and deceived a multitude of people in his decades as a businessman, but Hillary is worse!

These collaborators have to stand in front of cameras almost daily to answer how they could legitimately endorse and vote for Trump whilst simultaneously repudiating his nonsensical bile. On Tuesday, Speaker Ryan called Trump’s recent comments about the impartiality of an American judge who is of Mexican descent “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” But Ryan still supports him.

On Wednesday, the New York Daily News—a tabloid known for incendiary headlines bashing Republicans—put on their front page a split photo of Trump and Ryan with the the headline, “I’m With Racist.”

And just think, it is only June! More to come.

Vichy Republicans. They think they are serving their beloved party by submitting to their deranged overlord. They think they serve the greater good by acquiescing to the Republican primary voters…a motley crew of angry, uneducated bigots easily hypnotized by a reality television star who has convinced them he is the model of success.

Vichy Republicans. Unable to fathom a world where Hillary Clinton is president; and, unable to conceive that a third party candidate like Gary Johnson could be more reasonable and approachable than the daft narcissist they pretend to support.

Vichy Republicans. They believe they have no other choice. But they do! When the Republicans convene in Cleveland on July 18th for their national convention, they could dissent. They can mark themselves present and refuse to vote for Trump. They could walk out. That would put the convention in chaos, but the entire GOP is in chaos right now!

Would it work? It could. But we will never find out. Because Vichy Republicans have no backbone, no integrity and no courage of their hidden convictions. Instead of fighting to save their country and their party from the tyrannical grip of a madman, Vichy Republicans will bow a knee and pledge undying loyalty to his self-serving will.

France did the same thing in 1940. History has been viciously cruel to them in the decades that followed. Cleveland may well be the new Vichy.


Originally posted in Cache Valley Daily. Reposted with permission. 

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