The proof is in the Trumping: the Republican Party of 2016 has shown itself to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.
The bungling of the Bush years you can chalk up to policies that, though misguided, were at least arguably well intentioned. However, once the American people had the gall to elect that nigger president, those good intentions evaporated. Starting with the “You Lie” blurted out during Obama’s first state of the union message, and continuing through today with their refusal to even grant Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing, the Republican Party abandoned all pretense of serving as a loyal opposition. The party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower has transformed into the party of obstruction, disfunction, willful ignorance, and blatant racism.
Trump surveyed the ground and found it well fertilized with resentment, misinformation and obscure conspiracy theories, including one absurdity he helped propagate. He seized an opportunity that nobody else seemed to understand, tapping into the fear and resentment that Republicans had cultivated over the years.
Frustrated by our failure to overtly embrace their agenda, Republican bigots have finally found a candidate who has dropped the pretense and run an explicitly white nationalist campaign. We are discovering that no one ever really cared much about abortion. No one cared about fiscal restraint, or tax cuts or nationalized health care. The Republican base we painstakingly assembled across fifty years is only really interested in one thing – preserving the dominant position of their white culture against a rising tide of pluralism. Other issues only mattered to the extent that they helped reinforce and preserve white supremacy.
Poor Paul Ryan doesn’t know what hit him. He still thinks “Republicans lose personality contests … but we win ideas contests.” This hasn’t been true for a long time. Certainly, George W. Bush didn’t win on his ideas, nor did McCain loose on his personality. If Paul Ryan actually gets around to making any of the positive proposals he claims to be interested in, he will find little support for them from the Donald. Trump has no interest in ideas, and he makes no pretense of appealing to the intellect. He succeeds because the party is intellectually bankrupt.
Make no mistake: Trump is danger to our democracy. Beyond his obvious lack of qualifications, he shows all the signs of a budding tyrant. A few with integrity are standing on their principles, but the large majority of Republican running for office are falling into line, putting party unity and their own job security above all else. Because the Republican Party is morally bankrupt, Trump will have little trouble in unifying it behind his candidacy.
The Republican base has chosen this narcissistic sociopath as their standard bearer, and it is now up to the American people to reject him and everything he stands for. However, Trump is just the symptom. In order to cure the disease, we must excise Republicans from power at all levels. America must reject those who put party loyalty above loyalty to their country.
Perhaps from the ashes of a crushing defeat we can raise a second party that is based on principles rather than ethnic identity, and America will once again be offered reasonable choices worthy of a vibrant democracy. But for 2016, vote straight Democrat. It’s the only way to make America great again.