Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GOP Scare Tactics and Drivel

One thing that was noteworthy on my recent travels in Europe was the contrasts in outlooks between people and cities that we encountered and what one finds within the so-called conservatives in America. The Europeans honor and protect their heritage and historic buildings yet are extremely forward thinking in the approach to where they want their countries to go in the future. They embrace the best of the old but realize that to thrive in the 21st century one needs to embrace facts and reason. They also seem to grasp that all citizens are in a common boat so to speak. In contrast, here in the USA, conservatives seem to be in a frantic race to see who can drag the nation backwards in time the fastest and most thoroughly destroy the social safety nets and toss the most people to the economic wolves. Given these backward thinking efforts, it's no wonder the USA is falling behind in life expectancy, educational achievement and a host of other measurements. Blather about "American exceptionalism" doesn't change the reality that other nations are moving forward while the USA dithers and lags behind. An op-ed in the Washington Post looks at the scare tactics and drivel that now pass as policy in the ranks of the GOP presidential nomination contestants. Here are some excerpts:

Rick Perry should have backed off. Instead, he doubled down, and in a way that was doubly illuminating — about Perry himself and the degraded state of modern politics. The issue, amazingly enough, is President Obama’s birthplace — months after the release of his long-form birth certificate should have laid the matter to rest.

Is this a presidential campaign or a middle-school playground? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours? By the way, if I had Perry’s grades, I wouldn’t be mentioning them. Certainly not if I were running against a former president of the Harvard Law Review.

Now we have Perry, who has a decent if fading shot at the Republican presidential nomination, openly practicing politics as poke-fest. The point isn’t to debate whose solutions are best for America — it’s to get under the other guy’s skin.

2012 is shaping up to be an astonishing campaign. Witness Herman Cain’s bizarre, substance-less new ad in which the candidate is endorsed by, yes, the candidate’s campaign manager. Who is actually smoking (literally) during the ad. “I really believe that Herman Cain will put United back in the United States of America,” says the aide, Mark Block.

The country is facing serious problems. This will be a fateful election. Voters deserve better than scare tactics and drivel.

I cannot in honesty say that I am optimistic about America's future if something isn't done to drive the crazies and Christianists back into the political wilderness where they belong. Sadly, the GOP seems to be swinging further and further into lunacy. The rest of the world must be appalled as they watch such ignorant political discourse.

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