Sunday, June 12, 2016

What Happened to the Republican Party?

You hear it a lot these days; that this (the Republican Party) is not the same Republican Party that Ronald Reagan belonged to.  And I have to agree.  The Tea Party Republicans are so far to the right that they have pulled the entire party away from the center which ultimately led to the election of Donald J. Trump as their presidential candidate.  But how did this happen?

As I see it, it all goes back to a handful of people, starting with Rush Limbaugh.  Rush and his big mouth have spouted hatred for decades.  He had a captive audience that continued to grow as he maliciously lied to them day after day.  Democrats didn't have a way of countering this because as (Air America found out), Democrats don't listen to pundits.  The reason for this is simple; we can think for ourselves.  Just give us the facts and we'll make up our own minds.  Republicans aren't like us.  They want someone to tell them what to think and Rush was happy to do that.

Riding on this new-found conservatism came Newt Gingrich and his "Contract with America" in 1994.  Six years later, Edward H. Crane of the Cato Institute called it a failure: "the combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%."  So, another lie by the Republicans but one that gave them control of the House and Senate.

On top of Rush Limbaugh we have Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter, all spewing hatred against the Democrats and all making matters worse rather than better.  Every one of these people has spent decades swaying the Republican voters toward their agenda of hatred against liberals.  They don't like gays.  They don't like immigrants.  They don't like atheists.  They don't like anyone who can think for themselves because if everyone did, they would all be out of work.

And all of that has now come to it's most illogical conclusion; the election of Donald Trump.  While those of us who do think are scratching our heads at this, I can't say we're really surprised, given the way the GOP has changed over the recent decades.  We have watched it steadily going downhill and to see it crash and burn is what we would expect.  And that's pretty much where it is now.

And yet, the GOP members of the House (like Paul Ryan) are still supporting "their" candidate, even though none of them wanted him in the first place.  They still speak out against everything he says (which means everything he stands for) but they continue to back him because, in their words, he would still be better than Hillary Clinton.  In fact, Paul Ryan recently defined one of Trump's statements as "textbook racism" but insisted that Donald would still be a better choice than Hillary.  Apparently, Hillary is worse than textbook racism, somehow.  He didn't elucidate on that any further.

Which just shows how truly misguided ALL of the GOP are.  To put an egotistical, megalomaniacal, narcissist into the White House for no other reason than that he is NOT a Democrat truly shows how much these people do not care about our country.  They would rather ruin life for all of us but be able to say they have the White House rather than support the one candidate who has proven herself as the most presidential simply because of her political affiliation.

This is truly not our finest hour.

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