As a neo-Kenyan Boulder socialist/commie/nazi with no birth certificate, I hesitate to offer my opinion about the rich spectacle of the current Republican presidential nominating process. However, I think the moment is a rare one for American politics, so here goes.
The miracle of Republicanism since Reagan has been the party bosses’ ability to persuade people of average or below average means that millionaires and billionaires actually give a damn about them. They accomplish this by diversions: interjecting social issues like racism, religion, abortion, and more in order to distract very sincere people of the non-wealthy class from the rampant rape they are committing on the body politic and the economy, exclusively for their own gain in the long run. This helps contextualize the appalling rightward shift of this year’s Republican rhetoric.
I don’t want to denigrate people who sincerely hold passionate beliefs about social issues, to the extent that they will vote against their own economic self-interest, but they seem to believe that a majority of their fellow citizens agree with them. And cynical candidates (except perhaps Pope Ric) are more than willing to use this fervor to advance the pro-wealthy, exclusionist, militaristic goals of the rich (nothing stimulates the economy and increases profit like a nice war, after all: are you listening, Iran?).
So the misinformation goes on, the birthers won’t go away, the implicit racism in the far right’s hatred of that middle-of-the-road non-liberal Obama surges ahead, and all of the little right-wing social fantasies continue to be advanced as majority opinion.
This election, I say let’s have it out, Republicans: please nominate the most conservative, social issue-oriented, intolerant person you can find (I think that’s Santorum, but keep turning those rocks over), and let’s see what percentage of the electorate really takes that point of view in a modern, pluralistic society, as opposed to a fantastic, Ozzie and Harriet imaginary 1950’s forever world that never really existed.
Milquetoast or madman: let’s choose, America!
And if the fanatic right loses, please shut up. If you win, in my capacity as a lunatic leftie, I will.