Friday, January 15, 2016

The Dark, Ugly World of the Republican Party

As my post last evening indicated, the GOP debate last night gave a view of the dark, ugly world of the Republican Party where all is darkness and the nation is on the verge of collapse.  Driving this view are several factors, not the least of which is Republican candidates to say and do anything to prostitute themselves to the increasingly repellent party base.  Driving the base are at least to trends that terrify those who find thinking for themselves abhorrent.  The first is the reaction of angry, generally low education whites who see their white privilege drifting away as the multicultural nature of the population increases.  Going hand in hand is the reaction of evangelical Christians - another low education population - to their decreasing ability to inflict their horrible version of Christianity on all of society. A column in the Washington Post sums up this dark and ugly world into which a fuhrer like figure like Donald Trump can thrive.  Here are highlights:
President Obama suggested Tuesday that the United States may not, in fact, be on the verge of total collapse. The Republican presidential candidates responded in Thursday’s GOP debate by painting an even more dismal and dangerous picture than they had in the past. The president is a traitor. The military is a shell of a fighting force. The economy is a shambles. Average families are in grave danger. If Democrats win, the country is lost. 

With only a few weeks left before the first primary contests, the GOP race has devolved into a competition for who can squeeze the most political advantage out of voter fear, no matter how over-the-top they sound and no matter how much damage they do by darkening the national mood. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) “won” the latest round of this increasingly disgusting show, with Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) coming in second.

Donald Trump added: “Our military is a disaster. Our healthcare is a horror show…. We have no borders. Our vets are being treated horribly. Illegal immigration is beyond belief. Our country is being run by incompetent people.” Migrants, he also said, “could be the great Trojan Horse. It could be people that are going to do great, great destruction.”

If “a progressive gets in there and they get two or three Supreme Court picks, this nation is over as we know it,” Carson warned.

Here is a dose of reality: It is possible to disagree with the GOP base and be a patriot. The nation faces many challenges, but it is stronger economically and more secure from various foreign threats than nearly everywhere else in the world. In many ways, Americans are better off now than they ever have been.

[T]here were a couple of somewhat encouraging moments Thursday night. One of them: Bush insisted that Trump is “unhinged” for insisting that no Muslim should be allowed into the United States, arguing that the country needs to build relationships with peaceful Muslims. 
But that moment of moral competence was only impressive by comparison with practically everything else the candidates — including Bush himself — said Thursday night.

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