Posted: 09/29/16 22:01
by Dave Mindeman
In 2008, John McCain had a conversation with an older woman at a Town Hall, in which she declared that Obama was a Muslim. John McCain kindly and gently gave her the factual information.
But that woman has a new candidate, Donald Trump. And there are a lot more people like her coming out of the woodwork. The thing is, that under the same circumstances, Donald Trump would never correct her. Donald Trump would encourage the conspiracy lies, and then add a few more of his own.
We are getting a very close look at the fringe elements in the Republican Party.... the back to the hanger abortion haters, the gun crowd with their 150 gun arsenals, the out of the dark corner white supremacists, the confederate flag waving racists, the misogynist tough guys willing to sucker punch a 60 year old lady, the wall building xenophobic nativists, and the "look, its snowing" climate deniers. And yes, there are some normal Republicans that tolerate all of this nonsense in the guise of party unity - they might be the worst group of all.
Donald Trump attracts the ugly side of America. He encourages it. He baits and goads it. He dog whistles it. And all the while he is blending it into one of the two major parties that determine the President of the United States.
Donald Trump has a very dangerous view of America - his America can never be great again, it can only lead to our demise. And that is not hyperbole.
There is growing evidence that Trump cheats his way to wealth. That he ruins the lives of many people he comes in contact with. He can be flattered into policy changes. He is willing to "deal" with tyrants and dictators. That he circumvents the law as if it does not apply to him. And he could actually use the military might of the US to settle peresonal scores.
How did we get to this point? Well, you need to ask the Republican Party. They have slowly been gathering this warped coalition for years. They have duped Christian conservatives into thinking that the GOP is the only party they can deal with - even if they produce a pandering candidate like Trump. Who knows so little about Christian values that he truly feels he has never had the need to ask for forgiveness. They have dog whistled the racist fringe in the South, hinting that there support has a safe haven with them, but telling them to keep a low profile. They have manipulated policy on immigration to satisfy xenophobic attitudes along the Mexican border. They have touted symbolic patriotism to stir passions among nativists who think America is being degraded by its melting pot.
And then the Republican Party was surprised that all of these casual undertones of the party finds a way to surface under the bluster of a self-centered, greedy individual like Donald Trump.
What is the worst of all of it is this Party of Lincoln has surrendered all of their remaining principles to this new Party of Trump. The party of free trade is now the party of tariffs; the party of tough Russian resistance is now the party of appeasement; the potential leader of the western world is now a creditor calling in its "loans" for defense.
I have had a lot of policy differences with the old version of the Republican Party, but at least they seemed to stand with some semblance of rational principles. This new version of the GOP has no principles. They are standing on the quicksand of political expediency. Compromising the entire country for the sake of policy power.
If I were a Republican, I would be ashamed of this version of my Party. The party of Lincoln; the party of Reagan; the party of Teddy Roosevelt, has nothing left to stand on. Only hate misogyny, and isolationism is left.
Yes, the primary electorate chose Trump, but that doesn't mean that you cease to fight for your principles. You could refuse to participate. You could point out the many wrongs.
You could just take a stand.
But I guess that is too much to ask. Too much to expect from your country. If Trump wins, it is not just Democrats who will be hurt by a Trump presidency - it is everybody.