Dark Times to be a Republican

Friends from the blogosphere. Let me start off this post by saying that this article is not intended in any way to trash or censure folks with conservative ideas or who strongly support the Republican Party. In fact, I’ve chosen to write this piece because I feel we need to start a dialogue about the state of a party that, for better or worse, has had a tremendous impact on public life in this country. I myself was a firm supporter of the GOP when I started to take an interest in politics. The whole idea that people can strive on their own and that they are capable of behaving responsibly with their own money by putting it to good use without the need of taxing them resonated with me. Unfortunately, that’s not what Republicans advocate anymore. Ever since the Tea Party took over the GOP, the party of Reagan has transformed into an ultraconservative, anti-immigrant, gay-bashing, hate-filled political organization. Sure, there might still be a moderate or two left somewhere, but in today’s Republican Party being a moderate is no longer the rule. It is the exception to the rule. How could I continue sympathizing with a party like that? They believe in small government, but at the same time they want to use that same government to curtail people’s rights and freedoms. It makes no sense to me.

How my own political philosophy has evolved over the years is scarcely the point, though. The reason why I’m writing this is because the Republican nomination process has turned into a sad, sixth-grade food fight (to quote Bernie Sanders) rather than into a serious political campaign for president of the United States. The people and their voters deserve better.

While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are often seen sparing over education, healthcare, and financial policy proposals in their commonly heated but polite political debates, Republican contenders don’t seem to get away from the temptation of quarreling over each other’s looks or even over the actual size of Donald Trump’s privates. But that’s not all. This week Ted Cruz and Donald Trump went on to set the bar even lower. The GOP frontrunners engaged in an ugly dispute that got extremely personal when the National Enquirer accused Cruz of having had extramarital affairs with up to four different women. Cruz made Trump responsible for the libelous publication. The squabble reached its lowest point when Trump tweeted this after he’d threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife:

Snip20160328_1

So, I guess that’s it folks. Eight years waiting in line for a shot at the presidency and this is the best the Republican Party has to offer to the American people.

But wait, this isn’t over yet. Now the GOP has been put in a sort of compromising position after an online petition, which has already been signed by tens of thousands, asked the party to allow the open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention in July. Can you all picture this? Thousands of party delegates celebrating their right to bear arms by holding their pistols, shotguns or whatever up in the air before the eyes of potential future presidents of the USA. Daunting. Fortunately for all, the Secret Service has already announced they will forbid guns at the event.

I see all this craziness emerging from the campaign trail and I ask myself: Can’t we just have a serious conversation about what the candidates plan to do as president? Isn’t all this just a little embarrassing? Don’t you think long-time voters of the party deserve a little better?

The United States is one of the most powerful nations on the planet and presidential campaigns shouldn’t remind one of a bunch of kids fighting in a sandbox. It’s fine if SNL does it, but this is real life guys. Let’s try and raise the bar a bit, shall we?

Whatever the Republican primaries hold in store for the next few days, one cannot deny that these are indeed dark times to be a Republican.