It is perhaps natural to view those who hold a different political view in a negative light, but the US Republican party has gone way beyond the norm, abandoned all reason, and more or less handed over the keys of their kingdom to a band of complete lunatics. This is perhaps something of considerable concern to us all because the potential candidates for election to office keep demonstrating a vast disconnect with reality.
Noted intellectual Noam Chomsky has made his views abundantly clear, and in this specific instance I do believe he is quite correct …
“Today, the Republican Party has drifted off the rails,” Chomsky, a frequent critic of both parties, said in an interview Monday with The Huffington Post. “It’s become what the respected conservative political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein call ‘a radical insurgency’ that has pretty much abandoned parliamentary politics.”
Chomsky cited a 2013 article by Mann and Ornstein published in Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, analyzing the polarization of the parties. The authors write that the GOP has become “ideologically extreme, scornful of facts and compromise, and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
Chomsky said the GOP and its presidential candidates are “literally a serious danger to decent human survival” and cited Republicans’ rejection of measures to deal with climate change, which he called a “looming environmental catastrophe.” All of the top Republican presidential candidates are either outright deniers, doubt its seriousness or insist no action should be taken — “dooming our grandchildren,” Chomsky said.
We live in a world where 99.9% of climate science scientists are quite sure that humans are altering the climate, and they base that upon cold hard data, not simply opinion. Yet as a stark contrast, many of the elected Republican officials reject this for no rational reason at all.
Mr Chomsky also points out the ongoing financial impact of the Republicans …
The policies that the GOP presidential candidates and its representatives in Congress support, Chomsky argued, are in “abject service to private wealth and power,” despite “rhetorical posturing” of some, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). GOP proposals would effectively raise taxes on lower-income Americans and reduce them for the wealthy.
He is no friend to the Democrats and has also criticised them, but faced with a choice between the Democrats and the current Republican candidates, then clearly some tactical voting is called for to address the real risk that a Republican win brings …
“I’ve always counseled strategic voting, Chomsky said. “Meaning, in a swing state, or swing congressional district, or swing school board, if there is a significant enough difference to matter, vote for the better candidate — or sometimes the least bad.”
… “The likely candidates are, in my opinion, extremely dangerous, at least if they mean anything like what they are saying,” Chomsky said. “I think it makes good sense to keep them far away from levers of power.”
The GOP Faustian pact
Historically, for most of the 20th century, the Republicans have been a minority, principally because they very much pandered to serving the interests of the 1%, but that changed in the 1970s when they started to bring into their tent others, such as the religious who have very specific agendas of their own, and anybody else who was not aligned with the Democrats, and so together they were then large enough to be a challenge. Much of the psychology at play involves tapping into fears … fear of “them” coming to the US and taking jobs, or fear of “them” who do not believe in what we belief and so “they” must indeed be evil and have to be opposed.
One thing that religious fundamentalists are very good at is organising and rounding up the troops to go out and vote, and with the opening of a door for them into the GOP in the 1970s they found themselves no longer isolated, but now part of the process. They brought to the table a deep passion and abundant energy to push for what they perceived to be a “Christian” party that was fighting for them, and so they stood for election to school boards and city councils under the Republican banner, and by doing so greatly increased the Republican grassroots footprint.
The tail now wags the dog, so who is now using who for their specific agenda?
The more traditional 1% was delighted to tap into this vast demographic and paid lip service to their specific agendas so that they could pursue a political agenda that enabled them to preserve and increase their wealth by basically obliterating the once very prosperous middle class. The fundamentalists were happy because they were empowered, and no doubt believed it to be the hand of god granting them a blessing to promote their specific whacky beliefs. Inevitably it has led us to where we are now, and so the leading Republican candidates for office are deeply religious, highly delusional, openly xenophobic, consistently anti-science, and very persistently untruthful in most of their rhetoric. It is almost a news event now for them to be caught saying something that is actually true, and I’m really not exaggerating … Trump … Cruz … Carson.
Will Trump or Cruz be elected to office?
No, they are simply not credible candidates and only enjoy support inside their bubble. They are so extreme that they are simply unpalatable to the vast majority, and will most probably end up splitting the Republican party. It is no longer a question about such a split being a possibility, but rather it is now an inevitable outcome and so we simply need to wonder when. Conservatism does have a political future, and remember that historically they were all about individual liberty so that historical vision is one that remains potent and viable, but until they dump the religious anti-science nuts, then the door to that future is now closed, for those are the people who are opposed to basic core conservative values and instead have wet-dreams about a theocratic dictatorship.
If you are wondering who will be elected to office then you need not consider if it will be a Republican vs Democrat contest, the only real question is which specific Democrat will it be. Personally I’d love to see Sanders, but in reality it will most probably be Clinton.