Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Opinion: Conservatism has no one to blame but itself...
The Republican candidate for President is at a war of sorts against the Republican Speaker of the House.
Think about that.
The Republican party is in crisis mode with their whirlwind and morally repugnant candidate, Donald Trump driving the GOP train off the rails. Escape routes are nowhere to be found for the party members. Stay loyal to Trump - pay a price. Reject Trump - pay a price. Try to quietly take no stand - pay a price.
Most people wouldn't feel sorry for politicans, political parties, and those that glom onto them for self promotion, and neither do I. Politicans are typically their own worst enemy, so usually they deserve what they get. No tears from me, sorry.
Way back when Trump first made rumblings about seriously running for POTUS this cycle, people laughed it off as just another public relations stunt. As it became evident he was serious this time, they still laughed and called it a joke that shouldn't and needn't be taken seriously. When the Donald would tangle with serious, professional politicians he would quickly be cut down to size. Nothing to worry about, let's all enjoy the good laughs Trump is sure to provide.
No one's laughing now, are they?
I've felt from very, very early on that a candidate like Trump would be well-positioned to take advantage of our current political polarization.
Since the days of Reagan, there's been a steady drip, drip, drip of anti-government, anti-progressive rhetoric in the US. The merging of the conservative movement and the religious right, cable news outlets like Fox News, media outlets like Brietbart and right wing talk radio, etc... all stoked the divisions we have now.
The hard right, which preached the message of we're losing our freedoms, liberty, our country, etc.. staked out a very loud but very tiny sliver of the american electorate as they grew in influence over the last few decades.
As more and more people bought into the notion that all government is bad, the appeal of a true outsider grew and grew. Most weren't viable and faded away during general election campaigns.
This cycle, the far right voices demonized almost everyone, except for their chosen few like Ted Cruz. Enter Donald Trump who isn't a politician, but IS a celebrity and has great name recognition.
He jumped on the bandwagon the far right was preaching and scaring people with. He hijacked their movement and one by one, kicked another conservative, then another and another to the curb until only he and Cruz were left.
Ted Cruz, despite his education and his speaking skills is not well liked, by most people. He comes across like a dick to most people, so he didn't get the support he needed to survive.
By attrition, Trump prevailed as a true outsider who heard people's pain and had no fucks to give about running roughshod over the other GOP candidates.
Basically, IMO, the conservative movement and the religious right, cable news outlets like Fox News, media outlets like Brietbart and right wing talk radio, etc. created the conditions for a wildcard outsider with an appearence of ability to stroll in to american politics and win the nomination. When you lay down with the likes of Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Rudy Guliani, Breitbart, Rush, etc. did you really think you could walk away from that unholy union undiseased?
Put more crassly, if you willfully lie down with pigs in a pigpen, you will surely walk away smelling much like the shit you just embraced. What did you think was going to happen?
The GOP has no one to blame but themelves for the epic ass kicking Mr. Trump is about to receive.
They swore they were going to re-inivent themselves after the '12 relection of President Obama. They did a nice internal study, them tossed it in a drawer and kept going they way they had been.
If there's not a significant, meaningful self-examination of their party, their values and policy positions in the next few months, they deserve their demise.
America will be MORE diverse in the coming decades, not less and the Republican Party's myopic allegience to older Christian white males will come with a high price.
We need a vibrant, contempoary Republican party in the United States. The Democratic party has its own issues and a history of incompetance. A viable 3rd party option would be healthy as well. The dye is cast, and barring something utterly unforseen, Hillary Clinton will be our next President of the United States.
If the Republican leaders and party movers and shakers don't embrace new ideals and shun, publicly shun their rabble-rousers and fear-mongerers, they will move closer to, not further away from national irrelevance.
And it will be well-deserved...