I have refrained (resisted!) posting anything more here about the 2016 Presidential race. It seemed like overkill. We are only a little over halfway through primary season! Plus I've already pontificated about my reasons for supporting Hillary. I've expressed my shock at the selection of Republican candidates and the darnedest things they say.
I know I don't have to tell any of you how horrifying primary season has been so far. We don't have to look farther than our Facebook feeds to see the latest crazy thing one of the (many) GOP candidates has said. You don't need me to tell you that Trump is a racist, misogynistic prick or that Ted Cruz is creepy. It's all pretty obvious.
But what I do want to point out is this: the Republicans made this bed.
The Republican Party (most notably the Republican Senators) claims they are clueless how this could have happened; how the likes of a Donald Trump (for obvious reasons) or a Ted Cruz (one of the least popular and liked Republicans in the Senate by other members of his own party) could have risen to the top of the list of candidates to run for the nomination. How their Republican base could possibly support these wackos. They are aghast that two of the most uncooperative, polarizing characters are representing the GOP.
Aghast. Incredulous. In disbelief. According to a Feb 28 article by the NY Times: "the party has been gripped by a nearly incapacitating leadership vacuum and a paralytic sense of indecision and despair."
The Republican party has been dancing with the devil for some time now - whether it involved catering to extremists in exchange for their votes; birthing and festering the Tea Party Movement; or encouraging obstructionism when they didn't get their way.
They even made undermining and disrespecting the President of the United States standard practice. And what do you think that has done to the extremist base? A base of folks who still live immersed in a world of bibles, guns and racism? They are looking for any justification to let their freak flags fly. And now they have. And they are waving them for Donald Trump. Whoopsy.
But the GOP is acting like they have been caught off guard. That they have no idea how this happened.
I'll tell you how it happened. You've been perpetuating veiled (and at times not so veiled) discrimination as part of your rhetoric and values for years. You've supported using religious beliefs to impede on citizen's (especially women's) individual rights and personal decisions even though you believe as a party the government should stay out of our lives. You've encouraged stoppage of government, pigheadedness and child-like tantrums instead of working towards cooperation and compromise to represent your constituencies - the reason you were voted into office in the first place.
And so here we are. You've created a monster Dr. Frankenstein and now it's destroying your village.
NOT TO MENTION what is going on in the South.
These same party leaders, who so condemn Trump and bemoan having to support Cruz, are out there doing it again: perpetuating discrimination in the name of religion. Alienating the general public who they pretend to represent. Forcing businesses to seriously consider relocating from bigoted states in order to retain their customers and stay profitable. It sort of makes you think: is this yet another reason why corporations get the hell out of America?
It happened here in my current state of Georgia. The legislature passed one of these "Religious Freedom" bills. Fortunately though, after pressure from big corps like Coke and Disney and the NFL, our governor vetoed the bill. But that won't stop them from trying to override him.
It happened in North Carolina...and we've all heard the backlash from that. And Kansas. And then just on Tuesday in Mississippi.
It's interesting. I've always felt worried that people who are religious would judge me (a non-believer) for not being moral or a good person for not being part of a church or religious community. But here we are: people around this country are using religion as a means to "protect" themselves against people who are different than them. Using the Bible as justification for denying citizens of their own states access to jobs, education, public and private services, places to live and even just a basic wedding cake. That sounds like rather hateful behavior if you ask me. It sounds like your religion is hindering you from being a good decent person.
We've just come off a couple years where the Power of the People (and the Supreme Court and the President, might I add) has cemented equal rights in this country for LGBT citizens. The right to get married. To adopt children. To co-habitate in peace. But no, the Right Wing just isn't going to stand for it. Instead of accepting the reality of a shift on civil rights issues and accepting people for who they are, they instead have adopted the same rhetoric that bigots in the 60's spewed against integration and interracial marriage - "What's this kind of lifestyle going to lead to next?" "I am worried I am going to get assaulted." "They are perverts."
Hmm...we could say the same things about some members of the Republican party, no?
They've essentially set their states back over 50 years. And they should be ashamed.