These candidates have shown themselves to be anti-science, anti-education, anti-history, and anti-worker.
They lie about President Obama’s record every chance they get. They cheered for default and then criticized Obama for the nation’s credit downgrade. They flip-flop and pander and lie about their own record when it suits their purpose.
They favor corporate domination of our nation with one candidate even making “corporations are people, my friend!” a kind of campaign slogan.
They believe the disproven fairy tale that tax cuts lead to increased government revenue. They want to cut taxes even more for the wealthy while increasing taxes for the poor and middle-class. They coddle the super-rich and call them “job creators,” despite the fact that the only jobs they’ve created are overseas.
They see that the 2009 stimulus saved or created millions of jobs, preventing an all-out depression–and they call it a failure.
They demonize “illegals” but won’t do anything to stop corporations from illegally hiring them instead of American workers at living wages. They show extreme intolerance against Muslims and gay people.
They want to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid–programs that have kept millions of senior citizens from poverty.
They see earthquakes and hurricanes and want to get rid of FEMA and let people fend for themselves. They see people dying because they have no health insurance and call that “freedom.”
They claim that God has called them to run for office–several of them. God apparently can’t make up his mind which one to support.
They brag about how many people they have executed. They look back at the disastrous wars of the past decade and want to start new ones just like them. They question the patriotism and morality of anyone who disagrees with them.
They claim that government can’t do anything to help people, and they try to prove their point by sabotaging government in any elected position they’ve held.
They believe Americans are so lazy that they would rather be on welfare than work, and they don’t even understand the basic economic principle behind government assistance in tough times–that no jobs will be created unless people have money to spend on basic products and services. They don’t even understand the moral principle that government should help ease people’s suffering during difficult times.
Their personal character–supposedly a big-ticket item for Republicans–is often starkly different from their stated moral beliefs. (And I’m not just pointing the finger at Newt!)
So, when my conservative friends voice their dissatisfaction, I have a couple of questions: First, How are the current horrible Republican candidates any different from the mainstream Republican Party? Elected Republicans these days are unrecognizably extreme right-wingers from the presidential aspirants to newly elected congressional “tea partiers” to incredibly unpopular governors to state legislators attacking women’s health, voting rights, and trying to ban imaginary Sharia law. Ronald Reagan would be called a liberal by today’s Republican Party, Dwight Eisenhower would be called a socialist, and Lincoln … well, Lincoln would be a Democrat. So would Eisenhower. And Reagan might even be a Blue-Dog.
I tell my conservative friends that the Republican presidential candidates aren’t the worst of what their party has to offer. No, these candidates are the perfect statistical average of the over-the-cliff irrationality, greed, denial, and dysfunction of the Grand Old Party. And Palin, Ryan, Christie, and anyone else who might get into the race is no different–just more of the same Republican mainstream extremism in a slightly different package.
My second question is one that makes them very uncomfortable: If you don’t like the Republican candidates for president, and these candidates represent the mainstream of the Republican Party, then why are you a Republican? I get a lot of blank stares in response.
I tell my conservative friends that there’s only one presidential candidate out there right now who has proven to be reasonable, pragmatic, compassionate, tolerant, ethical, and connected with reality. That’s the guy running for re-election.