Nothing to Offer but Fear Itself: On the GQP’s Labyrinth of Bullshit

Barry Dredze
5 min readFeb 24
DeSantis signing the “stop woke” bill in Hialeah Gardens, FL, on April 22, 2022 (Photo: Daniel A. Varela, MCT)

“Woke!,” “wokeness!,” “wokeism!,” cry Putin’s little American fascists…. This is all we need to know about how Republicans will try to get us to vote for them.

The GQP has nothing to offer but fear itself. Which does not mean, however, that their policy priorities, such as they are, aren’t scary enough all by themselves. It is just that the only way they can sell those policy priorities is by scaring as many voters as possible into their death cult faith in the fundamental evil of their neighbors and fellow citizens who happen to be Democrats, liberal, queer, freaky, or simply not white or Christian enough to deserve a share in the rights enumerated in our Constitution.

We have been dodging both literal and metaphorical bullets on a fairly frequent basis all over America by now. In Kentucky, a Republican state lawmaker is trying to make abortions bring murder charges while an appellate court in Oregon just struck down a county’s declaration of itself as a Second Amendment sanctuary, where enforcing firearm regulations could have brought thousands of dollars in fines on “violators.”

Meanwhile, in the foreign policy arena, the former president and 2024 Republican nominee-apparent Donald Trump, the same guy who recently mused about adding public executions by firing squad and beheading to his public policy agenda, is on the loose in the nation trying to scare voters into appeasing Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. “If you watch and understand the moves being made by Biden on Ukraine, he is systematically, but perhaps unknowingly, pushing us into what could soon be WORLD WAR III,” he posted on his Truth Social network. “How crazy is that?”

“President Zelensky and all Ukrainians remind the world every day what courage is,” President Joe Biden said to everyone in the world while standing before an audience in Poland, including Ukrainian refugees of Putin’s war. “They remind us that freedom is priceless. And worth fighting for. For as long as it takes.”

And, in a stunningly Putinesque move, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in the process of exclusively releasing the entirety of video footage from the January 6, 2021, MAGA riot, including Capitol security video, to Fox News personality Tucker Carlson so his editors…

Barry Dredze

Just another mortal, tweaking my cognitive map on the fly.