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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Can you say something good about Donald Trump?

 Can you say something good about Donald Trump?

Guest Post by Ally MacRae, Studied American history many moons ago, keen observer of current world affairs.
  1. He can multi task: he can be conceited, arrogant, racist, sexist and odious all at the same time.
  2. He has no shame whatsoever: anyone who can become bankrupt four times and still claim to be successful is pretty special kind of stupid.
  3. He’s excellent at the whole bankruptcy thing too, some only manage it once!
  4. He’s confident: anyone who continues to be a complete cretin but thinks that they are a ‘really smart guy’ is nothing if they’ve not got positive mental attitude coming out of their toupe.
  5. He’s half Scottish. (No sorry, that’s a joke. I’m ashamed he has Scottish blood in his tiny hands)
  6. He has quite a hot wife, who has struggled through race issues during her life.
  7. He’s prepared to use nuclear weapons only 50% of the time to solve foreign policy issues………which I guess is better than 100%.
  8. He is completely success driven and absolutely 100% committed to throwing anyone under the bus to make sure he succeeds.
Ed Caruthers, living with the results of US politics every day

You mean, how did the GOP wind up with the majority of GOP primary voters thinking Trump would make a good President? And the majority of the GOP still supporting him?
There are plenty of candidate actions for the title of “Most At Fault”. But it’s really the sum of the lessons taught by all the bad actions that has drifted the majority of the GOP into crazy land.
Bad actions — and their lessons
The GOP has tolerated racists, because, as one Republican believes, “You never tell anyone not to vote for your party.” And now the GOP supports voter ID laws that make it especially hard for poor people to register, where most poor people are black. — The lesson is that it’s OK to dislike people who are different from you. And that it’s OK to use government power to hurt those people.
The GOP has actively courted religious fundamentalists. To get and keep their votes, Republicans oppose legal abortions and every kind of equal treatment for gays. More recently they’ve added support for teaching creationism in schools. Now, GOP dominated state legislatures are filling the courts with laws designed to make abortion as difficult as possible. And several have passed laws legalizing discrimination against gays as “freedom of religion”. — The lessons include, believe what you want, whatever the science; reject laws you don’t like; and use government to hurt your opponents.
The GOP has actively courted the support of gun owners, the NRA, and gun manufacturers. To get and keep their votes, Republicans have fed the paranoid beliefs that even the smallest regulation of any kind of gun will lead to confiscation of all guns, that regulations can’t possibly keep criminals from getting all the guns they want, and that private gun owners are all that prevent dictatorship in America. Mass shootings are dismissed as statistically insignificant — compared to all the other crimes that involve guns. — The lessons include, everyone is out to get you; strangers’ lives don’t matter; and it’s you or them.
The GOP has actively courted the rich, advocating policies that would clearly make the rich richer and reduce social services for the poor. The claim is that these programs will make the middle class better off, although there’s no evidence for this. — The lessons are that rich people are better than poor people; that the rich should be recognized as authority figures; and that wishful thinking is as good as evidence.
The GOP, and especially their spokesmen on radio and TV, have attacked their opponents, and the attacks have gotten more dishonest every year. All democrats are called socialists. The President and Secretary of State are called America haters. And public money is wasted in hearing after hearing whose only function is to charge someone with doing something bad, no matter the lack of evidence. — The lessons are, hate your opponents; your opponents are your enemies; and the intensity of your hatred is more important than facts.
But my favorite candidate for “Most At Fault” is the six year long temper tantrum by House Republicans. They explicitly rejected compromise and working with opponents in favor of ideological “purity”, obstruction, grandstanding, and political theater. They did nothing at all to help middle class and working class Americans deal with the Bush recession. But they voted many, many times to repeal Obama Care. — The unintended lesson was, establishment Republicans won’t help the rest of us.
Add all these together and it’s completely understandable that GOP voters nominated an outsider because he’s an outsider. And because he’s rich. And because he’s willfully ignorant. And because he’s bigoted. And because he’s over the top angry.


 Where did the GOP go wrong?

When Johnson decided to give support to the Civil Rights Movement and called the Civil Rights Act a 'memorial' to the assassinated President John F Kennedy, he knew that he was alienating the racist white Democrats that controlled the South. For nearly 100 years, white racists in the American South had voted for the Democratic Party because Lincoln was a Republican and the 'Reconstruction' period after the Civil War was primarily a Republican policy.
The white racists did not want equal rights for black people in the United States - and when Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2nd, 1964, they had no party that reflected their views.
The Republican Party's mistake was giving these people a home. "The Southern Strategy" was championed by Goldwater and (more famously) Nixon, and it served the party very well for a while. But providing a home to white racists alienated minorities and changing demographics have made it impossible to reach the Presidency without at least *some* minority support.
In the mid-1990s, the Republican Party made efforts to court minority voters In 2005, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman formally apologized to the NAACP for the 'Southern Strategy' - but the party refused to disavow its more racist and white nationalist members. Furthermore, they have doubled-down on the Southern Strategy with redistricting and voter suppression laws that masquerade as voter ID laws.
Trump, who has alienated just about every type of non-white-male group that exists, is the natural culmination of the 'Southern Strategy'. But the Republican Party still has significant power in Congress (mainly due to its redistricting efforts which allowed them to retain control of both houses despite having one million fewer overall votes in the 2012 election), so there are still some Republicans who cling to this failing strategy, even as it dooms their party.
After the 2016 election is over, the Republican Party needs to decide if they still want to be the party of white nationalism, conservative Christianity , or if they want to return to being "The Party of Lincoln". There was a Republican 'post-mortem' done after the 2012 election, which emphasized the need to reach out to minority voters, but every single one of its recommendations was ignored. Maybe they'll revisit that post-mortem in 2017. In my not so humble opinion, they would be wise to give the white nationalists the boot and let them form their own party, so that the Republican party can return to its core values.


This is going to take a long time to answer if I'm going to go all the way back to Nixon's "Southern Strategy" that started the downhill slide. So let's skip that, even though it's important.
Let's instead start at Ronald Reagan. Before you cry foul, yes, I know Reagan won one of the biggest landslide victories in presidential history and I know that he is an icon in the party. I, too, admired his abilities as a communicator. The man had a gift and a simple charm. However, it was Mr. Reagan who embraced the evangelical wing of the party and put the lunatics in charge of the asylum. Barry Goldwater - the man known as "Mr. Conservative" - warned against embracing them years earlier, but Reagan did it anyway.
“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” - Barry Goldwater
Goldwater nailed it.
The GOP went wrong when they became the party of God. (Thus becoming the American Hezbollah.) No compromise. Stand on principle. Claim to have God's blessings. Attack your opponents as doing evil. It started when the evangelicals took over and it's only gotten worse.
Add in a 24-hour-a-day outrage-generating machine like FOX News, and you have the recipe for the rise of Trump. FOX News was created to keep the base angry - and they're good at that. Angry people get out to vote. However, FOX created a voting bloc monster that they can no longer control. This bloc put Trump on the national ballot.
In the days of Eisenhower, the GOP was a party of sanity and balance, aside from a few very bad ideas (Wetback, intervening in Iran). Every president makes bad decisions, but lately, the entire GOP is like a laundry list of everything that is wrong with the United States. That's my opinion, anyway.
If the GOP wants to ever get elected again, they need to jettison the evangelicals and start wooing the centre and the centre-right to come back to the party.

 Robert Iodice,
When they nominated William Howard Taft for President in 1912 instead of Theodore Roosevelt. It’s been downhill ever since.

P.S. Folks, I keep getting important messages from the director of the FBI and even though I'm a Canadian citizen, I am afraid to open them in case they don't like some of the stuff  I've written on this blog!!!!!!