Friday, March 18, 2016

Crackpot Party Crackup

Timothy Egan MARCH 18, 2016, NYT

Long ago and far away, in the days when white men in power ties and women in funny hats gathered in air-conditioned caverns to hammer out the Republican Party platform, it was a predictable affair. The G.O.P. was for less taxes and less government, free trade and free people, a scolding of victims and grievance-mongers, and a vision of social norms circa 1952.

As time went on, they let the cranks and the racists in, the fact-deniers and the extreme gun nuts, the xenophobes and the nature-haters, because the big tent could take in all that extra gas without overheating. They would tolerate those people, who you picture looking like that dude who sucker-punched a protester at a Trump rally, because they needed them.

Now imagine the Republican Party gathering for its convention in Cleveland and hammering out a vanity platform in Donald Trump’s image. It’s all walls and no bridges. Free trade is gone. Taxes? Who knows. There will be a call for more government, through a bloated military, and untouched benefits for seniors who must be pandered to. Most significantly, it’s a party of grudges and grievances, of anger and fear by that formerly detested class — victims.

It’ll be a personality cult, without a hint of optimism, and certainly no overarching governing philosophy. If you’re young, nonwhite, science-based and civil, there will be nothing in it for you. And it will be rejected in every precinct of the United States where hope still beats hate, which is a majority, albeit a shrinking one.

(More here.)

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