When you claim the country’s been destroyed, when you cry apocalypse, you get an apocalyptic candidate.
Yesterday marked the first night of the Republican National Convention and it was marred by infighting, D-list celebrities turned religious bigots ineloquently musing, former mayors screaming and, of course plagiarism. Many Republicans seem to be outright dismayed by how undeniably circus-like the last few months have been. But this whole mess is self-inflicted—the call is coming from inside the house.
Donald Trump is a product, not a cause.
Trump did not ascend as some sort of aggressive, perplexingly-coiffed Phoenix—his path was pre-paved by the very party that now, at least partially, rejects him. The GOP electorate has, in the prior two presidential elections, chose rather moderate candidates. And both of those candidates (John McCain and Mitt Romney) lost soundly to President Obama. McCain never had a chance once Palin was calamitously dropped into the fray, and Romney failed to energize the base or slide back to the middle with enough conviction. So, this is what GOP voters have as recent evidence: two comparatively moderate candidates losing outright to a democrat.
From day one, the Obama presidency was mired by extreme opposition and incendiary rhetoric from the right. Both Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of this to varying degrees in the past, but the level of vitriol pointed assertively at this administration was entirely unbending and stoically polar. Over the last term and 3/4ths, the Republicans told us over and over again that our country’s core has been cracked-open, decimated and violently fractured by Barack Obama. They’ve been relentlessly painting the country as a smoldering pile of socialistic debris for years, claiming that the United States is doomed if we continue along this road.
The United States isn’t being meticulously annihilated by Barack Obama. But many Americans are convinced that it is. Let’s rattle of some entirely non-partisan data from FactCheck.org.
Under President Obama:
2014 was the best year for employment growth in 15 years.
Weekly earning are up 1.7%
6,371,000 jobs were created during Obama’s two terms, which is five times the total of GWB.
The unemployment rate went from 7.8% went he took office, down to 5.6%.
The rate of home ownership has gone down 2% over the last seven years.
The average healthcare premium has increased by 2% but will rise higher in 2015.
Corporate profits have almost tripled, and the stock prices have risen drastically.
Through any lens, and any way you choose to slice it, it’s clear: this United States is not circling the drain primed to be sucked down through dyptopiatic pipes. We still possess a strong military, our economy has been reinvigorated, gays can now marry and serve openly in the military, the historic Paris Climate Accord ― a massive victory for our environment ― was approved by a collective of 195 nations, 16.4 million people have insurance due to Obamacare, the world once again looks to us for guidance and, conversely, we still suffer from extreme poverty, radical income inequality, poor care for our veterans, racial injustice, mass incarceration, pervasive gun violence, and a myriad of other problems.
And maybe you ― appreciated reader ― are against all of these examples I mentioned in a positive light — that’s fine. This is America, and you’re entitled to have and hold your opinion. But the truth is, there is no real, non-partisan, objective evidence that this administration destroyed the country in any way, shape or form. Barack Obama is a liberal president who’s policies you do not agree with, he is not the a dedicated soldier of Cthulhu sent to dismantle the constitution letter-by-letter.
But the GOP, over the last 7+ years has painted a picture so grim, and so hopeless, that the only character large enough, and obscene enough, and boorish enough to bring us to salvation had to be Donald Trump. Jeb Bush, a mild-mannered, thoughtful and measured candidate never had a chance. When you paint with brushes dipped in eights shades of doom, you get a candidate that exudes the very same shades. This pickle-de-Trump the RNC currently finds itself in is, unequivocally, the RNC’s fault. And there is no way to backtrack now; there is no way to right the ship. The RNC elite has exclaimed ―as if from burning mountain tops ― over and over again, that desperate times call for desperate measures — and their wish has now been granted.
The Grand Old Party is now the Garish Orange Party.