Tsar Nicholas II
There's a joke my college history professor liked to tell about Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. When Nicholas' aide told him, "Sire, the peasants are revolting," he replied, "Yes, aren't they?" The Republican Presidential candidates are revolting in the same manner the Tsar felt about the peasants.
The Bush Family Fantasy
In the Republican debates Jeb Bush had the gall to claim that his brother kept us safe, even though more than 3,000 Americans perished nearly a year into George Bush's Presidency. Trump had to remind him that in fact 9/11 happened under W's watch. We haven't been attacked since Obama became President. He also got Osama bin Laden. Republicans downplay the former as luck, and claim Obama took too much credit for the latter. Neither is true, but the Republicans never give Obama credit for keeping us safe during two terms, and not just after a major terrorist attack..
The Republicans blame illegal immigrants for America's problems, and Trump shamelessly labeled Hispanics, drug dealers and rapists, followed by, "But I'm sure there are a few who are good people." Now he's insulting Syrian refugees as terrorists, and he wants to bring back waterboarding. Perhaps he should ask John McCain, who he insulted by saying he prefers heroes who weren't captured, whether waterboarding is a smart anti-terror strategy. The Republicans need someone to blame for America's ills so no one focuses on their agenda, which is entirely aimed at the 1 percent. They create fear in the hearts of people who get all their information from Fox News to keep them distracted. But it's the Republican's lamentable lack of agenda that would benefit 99.9 percent of Americans that's to blame. The Republican candidates pledge to give their billionaire donors more tax cuts and to dismantle every government agency. How will that help the 99.9 percent?
The Republicans' political interests are at odds with those of nearly every American, and they hide this by promising the shrinking middle class they'll benefit from it too. They won't. Republican voters who aren't wealthy might want to stop voting against their own economic interests. Supporting billionaires' positions when you're struggling financially is counter-intuitive.The Republicans oppose a $15 an hour minimum wage by falsely claiming that unemployment follows minimum wage hikes. In fact it never has. And demonizing Black, Hispanic, and Middle-Eastern people won't create good paying jobs, but it occupies the Republican base by giving them someone to hate.
W. was shockingly unaware there are two Muslim sects, Sunni and Shia or that they detest each other. Isis and al-Quaeda were born from the chaos after Saddam Hussein's demise. Blaming Obama for not leaving more troops in Iraq to prevent the chaos falls on deaf ears since nearly every American wanted our troops out. For Dick Cheney and his friends the war was economically self-serving, and by the way Dick, stop telling everyone that Obama is the worst President ever because you were, without the title. Your continued justification for the Iraq War even pissed off Fox News anchors.
Chicken Hawks=Chicken Poop
With the exception of Rand Paul, an isolationist, the other Republican contenders are chicken hawks. Each is chomping at the bit to send troops into battle to satisfy the base. Trump says he'd bomb Isis into oblivion, but since we're already doing this he's just throwing red meat to the mob. Jeb insisted he'd go to war again in Iraq even knowing what we know today, and he wants to send ground troops into Syria, which in Yogi Berra vernacular is deja vu all over again.
Not Our Problem
The Middle East is a Muslim problem only Muslims can resolve. Our interference will never create peace between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and it won't make democracy grow either. If we overthrow Assad, a worse dictator or a religious zealot will move in. The slogan, fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here is meaningless and meant to put fear in American's hearts. Our safety is based on not being over there in the first place. And in terms of Israel, which Republican candidates fervently pledge to protect, no Democrat, including Obama ever suggested walking away from them.
Republican challengers adamantly oppose the anti-nuclear treaty with Iran for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is their obsessive hatred for Obama, who they've treated like a black interloper whose success must never be repeated. They publicly disrespect him, thus emboldening each other's racist attitudes. Their claim that racism is over is racist because it's not. Can anyone imagine the Koch brothers hugging Ben Carson? Yeah, sure you can.
Donald Trump's anti-immigrant lynch mob is proof that America's educational system is broken, because fanatical support for a racist businessman whose simplistic ideas best represent the world views of a comic book hero, is just ignorant. And his steady stream of racist lies is being gobbled up by his mob as gospel. Cheering Arabs in New Jersey after 9/11, a total fabrication is his latest red meat offering, along with America taking in 250,000 Syrian refugees when the number is only 25,000. I don't know if his adherents are the dumbest, most simple-minded Americans in history, but they're serious contenders for the title. Trump is an unconscionable narcissist whose only goal is to be admired, even if it's for all the wrong reasons. And let's be clear, he has no interest in becoming President. This is a game he's playing like opening casinos and bankrupting them. He's gambling with the lives of Americans who are rightfully concerned, but he offers nothing but egotistical rhetoric. The Republicans are in a Catch-22 with Hispanics. They revile them publicly but they can't get to the White House without their votes. Robin Williams delivered a line to an uptight Army Sergeant in, Good Morning Vietnam that fits Trump's myopic followers perfectly; they're in more dire need of a blowjob than any white men in history.
The Republican debates have the feel of the Roman circus. The gladiators try to bloody each other sufficient to get thumbs up from religious zealots, anti-evolutionists, racists, billionaires, homophobes, anti-labor activists, angry white men, xenophobes, and high school dropouts. Their attitudes about women are antediluvian, which I'll define for the Republican base; relating to the period before the flood mentioned in the Bible. And let's not forget the Republican's fake war on Christianity and Christmas, which they manufactured to distract the base and keep them fired up. That more than 40% of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim is an admission of ignorance that the base seems proud to display. Huckabee said yesterday that Obama will make Americans memorize the Koran. And remember the woman at the Republican town hall meeting who said she didn't want the government interfering with her Medicare? Some of the candidates proudly claim not to believe in evolution, climate change, or that the planet is billions of years older than their base insists it is. Anti-science is their true religion.
I admit I'm not an avid fan of Hillary's, but I'll support her because she's smarter than the bag of hammers running against her. And if there's one lesson we learned from the Bush years, it's that brains count in the White House. Electing a Republican means the dwindling middle class would vanish, the 1 percent will get richer, more military involvements, the planet will move closer to extinction, and not one job will be created. Sure, Hillary is supported by special interests too, but hers don't oppose a $15-an-hour minimum wage, believe that climate change is a hoax, fear the "browning" of America, or that Sharia Law is actually a threat to the American legal system. I've voted for a few Republican Presidents in the past, but the current candidates make them look like pre-pubescent Cub Scouts. The candidates pretend they're Ronald Reagan's successors. They're not, and he would be appalled by their simple-minded rhetoric.
Don't Waste Your Vote
Bernie Sanders is like the curmudgeonly uncle who pontificates over Thanksgiving dinner, and while he may have more egalitarian ideas than Hillary, he's highly unlikely to win. The last time Democrats stood up for their principles they supported Ralph Nader and we lost the White House to one of the worst Presidents in history. It's Hillary or disaster, so remember that when you're in the voting booth thinking about making a principled statement.