We’re at a new low in modern American politics— but how did we get here?
The last 7 days have been an absolute circus in American politics and Donald Trump is the ring-leader. From the release of the Access Hollywood tape last Friday to the very dark and disturbing Presidential Debate on Sunday — the last few days have been rough for Donald Trump’s campaign and a low point for politics in general. With new allegations of sexual misconduct emerging from 11 women (at last count), an important question must be asked; How did the party of “family values” become the party of Donald Trump?
The dark turn in tone in political discourse can be traced back directly to the series of Republican Debates that spanned much of 2015. We all watched in horror as the 17 Republican Presidential hopefuls went at each other like immature school children. The substantive issues were buried and lost in what instead became an exchange of personal attacks and bitter insults. What should have been a contest of ideas became a tragic political reality show. And like most reality shows, the loudest, most scandalous contestant won the whole thing.
This isn’t surprising, however. What we have to remember is that Donald’s candidacy is a natural evolution of the GOP. For years the GOP danced with the crazy fringes of the electorate (see: The Tea Party)— all in an effort to accumulate power at local and state levels. They were largely successful with that strategy and have, for the most part, been able to co-opt and ride the wave of populist anger while keeping the fringes at bay. All it took was an occasional dog-whistle to keep the base happy.
This all changed with the arrival of Donald Trump in 2015. He out-angered every single Republican challenger by doubling down on what worked so well for Republicans in the past. He tapped into the fringes of the Republican base — but he did something different. He turned the dial up to 10. The deep-seeded anger bubbling just below the surface of the Republican party boiled over because Donald stirred the pot. He knew how. The man who single-handedly led the birther movement suddenly became the leading voice on the right, because he was louder and more opinionated than his competitors. Demagogues usually are. The upper-echelon of the Republican party saw a show-pony they couldn’t ignore and rather than denounce him (and risk losing the crazies), they tolerated him with the hopes they could control him like Romney3000. They sold their souls to the devil to stay in power.
The GOP used to be a party that prided itself on self-proclaimed moral superiority. The religious right used the GOP platform to propagate “pro-family” legislation and the majority of our population had to deal with it. They claimed to be looking after family values by opposing same-sex marriage, and voting to de-fund planned parenthood, and the majority of our population had to deal with it. Millions of real lives were affected and rights denied because of the righteous convictions of a small segment of the GOP.
Flash forward to today. Where are those righteous convictions now, when our country needs them? Where are the pro-family values now, when we have a self-admitted sexual predator as the Republican nominee? (not to mention the dozens of other serious scandals)
We are 24 days away from election day and the Republican party is less of a party and more of a grease fire. The Grand Ole Party has traded in their moral high-ground for political expediency. They traded in the subtle dog whistles for the blaring racist tropes of the alt-right and David Duke. The party has always been full of shit, but they used to be good at hiding it. It’s now all out in the open, and it’s fucking messy. Make no mistake. Donald Trump is destroying our political system because Republicans want to stay in power. We’re talking about sex tapes and sexual assault on a daily basis because Republicans are too cowardly to denounce their years-in-the-making creation. It’s too late now anyway. They’re losing. Badly.
Every day that Republican leaders continue to support Donald Trump is another day the GOP unravels into what it actually is. A group of hypocrites that will say and do anything to stay in power. At what point does being a decent human being supersede being a Republican?
I guess family values only matter when the GOP wants to take away someone’s rights.
Do your part. Vote on November 8th.