The Republican Party: A Collapsing Circus Tent
Recently, the spectacle that has been the 2016 Presidential Primaries, focusing on those running for the Republican Party, has been nothing but a series of mudslinging campaigns, in which candidates have been competing to see who can fabricate the most hatred towards imaginary enemies instead of those that truly matter in the world today. While harshly criticizing Obama and Hillary Clinton’s leadership within the last seven years of the current administration, the Republican Party has defended the political opinions of xenophobes, racists and those who ardently disrespect the foundations on which this country was built -- primarily attacking the idea of individual liberty and freedom for everyone.
Most of us are familiar with Donald Trump, who has singlehandedly stolen Republican favor, leading in the NBC poll at 21 points, but who has opened up a massive floodgate of Anti-Mexican and Anti-Latino sentiment in the very nation whose economic and cultural strength has come from welcoming all peoples. In addition to inciting hate towards Latinos, Trump has also made disparaging remarks about women to people like Meghan Kelly, spurring even more controversy as he insulted her on her appearance and her “feminine” health, Even other presidential hopefuls such as Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina are not safe, as Trump has also critiqued their outward appearances. It is truly perplexing that a man like this could even possibly be entrusted to have access to military power or that anyone could expect him to act with dignity when he has shown the American people that he is nothing but a demagogue that can only speak to the extreme American Id, the lowest kind of political thinking that we would like to assume has long disappeared from the face of our political system.
In the recent Republican Debates, this being the Second, I saw a menagerie of candidates speaking pettily of our current administration, while not proposing any actual change. Not stating any of the circumstances that President Obama has had to deal with, it was decided by Republican candidates that he shall be demonized over and over again for every change he has made while in office. The debates also ignored the real reasons for the crises he has dealt with as well as disregarding any of the accomplishments he has made while dealing with a legislature that has been determined to destroy this man’s legacy. In the wide array of political topics such as Planned Parenthood, climate change, gun laws, illegal immigration, vaccines, etc., it was made apparent that a progressive way of thinking was not a common thing in this arena. Instead, it was highly favorable that we focus on the past and revert back into less favorable times where the liberties of all people did not matter. Save for the few moments of rationality that occasionally peeked through, it was clear that reasonability and actual policy no longer mattered. Featuring statistics that were clearly fabricated, such as Walker’s boast of economic prosperity in his state, despite it being riddled with political faults, the debate was just a shouting match where the candidates all squawked over each other and were disingenuous. Once again, as in the last debate, Trump continued to bully everyone in the first few quarters of the debate, with a large portion of the questions revolving around his political campaign that has been characterized by his outrageous disrespect for other people that seems to resonate with his supporters.
With the polls reading that Trump is leading the Republican Party at 21, Dr. Ben Carson at 20, and Senator Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina each sitting behind at 11 points, it is unprecedented that three out of four of the top candidates, Trump, Carson and Fiorina, have never actually held a political office or even have run for one before. Perhaps it speaks of the age we are in, where the American people feel disdain for traditional politics and seek the advice of those who are separate from the broken political system we all are too familiar with.
It is also noteworthy to notice the political climate around us. Seeing former presidential candidate Scott Walker promptly eject himself from the race and watching the former Speaker of the House, John Boehner resign voluntarily, it sends a message that we as voters need to be aware of: the Republican Party is fractured. And aside from employing petty pageantry and hate mongering towards those who are not like them, the Republican Party is falling. Hard. In a country where we constantly look towards the future and what it holds for us, this party actively fights to stall the government instead of offering useful counter-arguments. The true meaning of a two-party system has been lost and instead of balance within the government, it has become a competition of who will seize the government for themselves, and sadly the ones that lose this competition are the American people who are lost in the throes of propaganda, media exploitation, and the willful disregard of information in an era where it is more readily available than ever before.
The only thing left to do is to force ourselves to be critical of everything we see and to make ourselves analyze thoroughly what the candidates of both political parties, whether it be Bernie Sanders or Ben Carson, can offer us and allow for a system where we as a country can prosper. Educating ourselves is all we can do as the collapse of the Republican Party leads to a complete shift in the paradigm of American politics that we have not seen the likes of in history. Let’s hope we are prepared for such a thing.