What Hath the GOP Wrought?

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On display in the current National Review magazine with wringing hands are 22 conservatives desperately disparaging a Donald Trump nomination for the presidency.  An action that perhaps comes too late to thwart the masses they have in part created.

From the days of anti-government rhetoric during the Reagan administration came people like Grover Norquist who instilled a fierce hatred for what he considered big government, vowing that he would work to shrink it to a size that could be drowned in a bath tub.

Ignoring that the biggest recipient of government largess was the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us of, conservatives sought to regain their lost glory days by disparaging the social welfare programs of FDR, Truman and JFK, hoping to entice weary, white working families to climb on board their trickle down train to prosperity.  A train to nowhere we would eventually find out before realizing that the great post WW II middle class of the 1950’s and ’60‘s were losing their jobs to foreign labor markets, all while corporations moved abroad to avoid taxes and the higher livable wages that Americans had come to expect.  This downward slide continues today.

The bumper sticker claims that bemoaned regulation was intended I suppose to curtail expanded federal expenditures but they were instead carried over by an unsophisticated lot to despise anything that reduced their payroll earnings as a tax, even when it contributed to social safety nets that many of them and their families benefitted from.

Emerson’s warning about moderation in all things was tossed aside for rampant reversals in policy by Reagan-era conservatives.  As people climbed on board with even meaner renditions of perceived government excesses, the hyperbole was ignored by many of the same people who now bemoan the Trump Frankenstein they have fostered.

The Tea Party would likely never have come to fruition had John McCain won the presidency in 2008 yet many of the policies they railed against would have been furthered at an even faster pace under a Republican administration that would continue to advantage the wealthy by acceding to corporate desires that eliminated job benefits and staved off wage increases even as wealth accumulated to fewer and fewer people.

It should come as no surprise then when one of the 22 conservative critics, Michael Medved, notes that “Trump is the living, breathing, bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans.”  The fact that voters within conservatism, albeit on the extreme fringe, have chosen Trump is testimony to the fact that they have been long exploited by the powers within conservatism.  Failure by the GOP leadership to tamper the excesses of the Ted Nugent crowd and the Cliven Bundy vigilantism is now costing them to meet their expectations to gain full control of government at all levels

And though I take some delight in their misfire to eradicate their political foes I am also anguished by the fact that we all suffer now from the hands of people who are steeped in the past, with no real desire to help shape a future controlled by forces apparently beyond their comprehension.  There is no going back to from where we came and with only hindsight to guide them we are sure to be led to the precipice of near extinction.

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15 responses to “What Hath the GOP Wrought?

  1. I understand the anger….but the stupid is what really amazes me…..can stupid be the deciding factor in this election? Makes me cringe….chuq

      • Not just stupid…but intellectually lazy. Voters just do NOT want to put any more effort into thinking about politics than listening to a 7 second soundbite.

        I mean, they’ve got phone-fulls of “really important” texts & Tweets to keep up with. I mean, a Kardashian may have farted in public, or something! They could miss that and be caught out of the loop.

        These are the people who decide elections.

  2. I agree completely except with “The bumper sticker claims that bemoaned regulation was (sic “were”) intended I suppose to curtail expanded federal expenditures….” The anti-regulation attitude came straight from businesses not liking that the federal government could interfere with their chosen route to profits. Consider the coal industry and coal mine safety regulations as an example. This was not about shrinking the federal government, this was about getting the feds out of their way of their making money.

    It is fascinating that the GOP’s apparently racist policies, their loathing of government, and their desire for businesses to profit unhindered is now coming back to haunt them. Their anti-government attitude and anti-Obama stance has created a generation of politicians, GOP politicians who have done nothing for people. And when you cannot run upon the “goods delivered” as politicians used to not that long ago, you can only appeal to voter’s baser or better instincts. You can see what the current crop of GOP candidates has chosen. The baser instincts of voters inspires considerably more passion that the better instincts, consequently the siren call of those interests has sucked all of the GOP candidates to their doom.

    Good job!

    • “The anti-regulation attitude came straight from businesses not liking that the federal government could interfere with their chosen route to profits”

      True dat Steve

  3. Great to see you around, Larry.

    What i find fascinating is the GOP establishment (whatever that means) is attacking both front runners: Trump and Cruz. These two are hated, which is hilarious!

      • Poll watchers have surmised that they will not regain control of the Senate but the House of course is there’s for a few more years. If either Cruz or Trump is the GOP’s presidential nominee most of us would be surprised if they won the election

  4. The fact that voters within conservatism, albeit on the extreme fringe, have chosen Trump…” -Woodgate

    While I’ve ignored all 2016 election coverage (No 2016 until 2016!> I haven’t seen any breakdown of Trumps voters. But I wouldn’t think Trump’s support comes from “the fringe”. I wish it did. Many supporters may be extreme, but I consider most of them to be “the guy next door.” (Or at least “My idiot neighbour.”)

    We live in a society where The Riches are worshipped as gods and where empty, mindless, mean-spirited, bullshit like Reality TV & Twitter dominate our culture. Even CNN reads tweets from The Twit Zone as if they held any actual meaning.

    Well guess what? Trump is a rich asshole who has a Reality TV show and….despite running a multi-billion dollar company AND running for President….somehow manages to spend several hours a night throwing his (Orangutan) dung at people in The Twit Zone.

    We can try to marginalize him all we want, but Trump is more mainstream than democratic elections are now. The reality is that voting is an activity for those “on the fringe”. Trump is perfectly suited to appeal to today’s society….and we deserve no better than Trump.

    This day of reckoning has been coming for 20+ years and, unfortunately, we’re alive to see it happen.

    • “Many supporters may be extreme, but I consider most of them to be “the guy next door.”

      You may be right there SM but at least such incivility has been restrained in previous years by such crowds. Now they have been given permission by Trump’s behavior to unleash their dark sides.

      • The damn Internet strikes again! I remember back when only handfuls of people (mostly nerds) were on the Internet. Most where there to vent. Thanks to the anonymity, they could pretend they were the kid who GAVE wedgies not the kid who GOT wedgies. People said stuff there nobody would ever say in public (usually for good reason) and usually in the nastiest (and well written) manner possible. But then they’d turn their computer off and return to the real world and its social norms.

        Unfortunately today, that no longer happens. Every idiot is on the Internet now and nobody turns off their Internet connection. Greater society has accepted the Internet…and its “values” & “standards”. As a result, people have gotten used to saying whatever the fuck they want in the nastiest way possible and without a shred of evidence to back it up. No matter how stupid or wrong they are, there’s always idiots on the Internet to back them up. (Unfortunately, as it gained in popularity, the intellect and writing ability has all but vanished from the Internet.)

        Additionally, the overall culture has changed from one valuing (if not practising) things like intelligence & restraint into a “Just Do It” culture of total mindlessness & self-celebration. Connect this to the Internet and you’ve got a powerfully destructive force.

        Now mix in the mass media’s growing failings; the lack of professionalism, the change in mentality from information to entertainment, etc. These days, they’ll just stick a microphone in front of anybody and let them say anything completely unchallenged. They don’t filter anything anymore. People now expect this. They expect everything to reflect, not facts or truths, but what they “think” or want to hear. Something that will make them cheer, or at least “boo”.

        Everywhere you look, all the filters & quality controls have disappeared. The days of aspiring to be better are over. People aren’t just stupider, they’re prouder of it than ever. They don’t want boring “smarty pants” who will make them feel stupid. They want somebody who thinks just like them. Enter The Trump.

        Donald Trump is the perfect candidate for a bankrupt media and a mentally bankrupt population. Trump is a natural salesman. He finds a customer and gives them what they want. He gives the media what they’re looking for; bombastic, ratings-generating, entertainment without them having to lift a finger. And he gives large swaths of the public what they want; blunt, super-simplistic, politics in an entertaining package. The last thing the public wants from their politicos is stuff that makes them think about shit.

        This is how far we’ve fallen. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever return to a civil society, or anything close to one. Society is now just one big dung-throwing competition, one giant Internet flame-war.

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