The Anti-Democracy Party

Rodney Clough
3 min readApr 21, 2022


Oval Office scene, c.2018. Photo courtesy Vanity Fair

Holding onto power in America

The Republican Party is not acting ‘Republican:’

”Republicanism is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic. Historically, it ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular sovereignty.”


The moniker “Republican,” has been used to label the anti-fascists of the Spanish Revolution, the anti-monarchists of the French Revolution, and the American political party embracing anti-slavery.

And now the anti-democracy party?

In the interest of “brand awareness,” how might we refer to Republicans today because the historic trappings of ‘Republican’ ain’t doing it. (2)

We need to “brand up.”


Too benign. And its an acronym.

‘Party of Trump?’

Too retro, too revanchist. And Trump doesn’t ‘do political party,’ remember? He may be a suitable poster boy, but he pisses off party regulars who must ‘pay to play.’

‘Party of 45’ doesn’t work either — too cute. (3)


That’s an ideology, not a ballot entry. When was the last time anybody who mattered cared about conservatism, except during a Supreme Court Justice Senate confirmation hearing? Who is confident of what conservatism stands for, nowadays, anyway?

The “opposition.”

Granted ‘opposition’ may sound a bit vague, but I argue, there is a lot of ground to cover:

Eight reasons why “opposition” rather than “Republican” might stick.

1.’(Party of) opposition’ presumes a struggle for power, indeed, a forced choice.

2.’(Party of) opposition’ releases the animus to collectively block everything, the ‘opposed party,’ attempts to accomplish through the practice of governance. In other words what is there to explain to your constituents, if you vote against everything?

3.’Opposition’ can refer either to a group or to an individual and we know thanks to Citizens United (4), ‘that a corporation is an individual’ (Republican Presidential Candidate Mitch Romney, March 2012).

4.Being oppositional or contrarian helps explain why current day Republicans do precisely the opposite of what they say they uphold. They uphold nothing, except perhaps the opposite.

5.Using ‘oppositional’ to characterize these antics can save time navigating hypocrisy.

6.’Opposition’ will begin to pull the curtain on the Wizard-of-Oz-like governing aptitude in DC

7.There is no hint of a divide between culture and politics with the term ‘opposition:, ‘public’ is not part of the term, unlike “Re-public-an”

8.Our two party “system,” is easier to explain to ‘outsiders’ and school children by saying,

“Our ‘two party system’ consists of the Democratic Party and the opposition.”


“For fear of saying anything, they end up saying nothing.”

-Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow, referring to politicians’ reluctance to call out hate speech for fear of alienating their “base.’ April 24, MSNBC

April 21–24



2-An effort in the days before ‘brand awareness’:


I had been accustomed to vote for Republicans more frequently than for Democrats, but I was never a Republican and never a Democrat. In the community I was regarded as a Republican, but I had never so regarded myself. As early as 1865 of ’66 I had had this curious experience that whereas up to that time I had considered myself a Republican I was converted to a no-party independence by the wisdom of a rabid Republican. This was a man who was afterward a United States Senator, and upon whose character rests no blemish that I know of, except that he was the father of the William R. Hearst of today, and therefore grandfather of Yellow Journalism, that calamity of calamities.

-Mark Twain, January 24, 1906,


4-“On January 21, 2010, the (Supreme) court issued a 5–4 decision in favor of Citizen’s United that struck down the BCRA’s restrictions on independent expenditures from corporate treasuries as violations of the First Amendment.” (Wikipedia)



Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.