If you had to choose one word to describe the Republican party of today, what would it be? Not just any word now, but one which would accurately and honestly describe their party platform, the way their elected representatives as well as presidential nominees conduct themselves, both in private, in debates, and in the media?
This word, I think, is the perfect umbrella term to define what the once honorable and proud party of Abraham Lincoln – the party that fought to end slavery and save the Union – has become. I truly wonder what Lincoln would think about his party today and how it has comported itself, not just recently, but in the course of the last 8 years.
Why vulgar? Where to even begin. Let’s start by seeing the Obama presidency during the last 8 years from an objective stance. The decision on day one, January 20th, 2009, For the GOP top brass to meet privately and vow to oppose and obstruct the new president at every turn, even as Obama was celebrating his historic inauguration at one of the many balls held to honor this milestone moment in American history. This meeting was being held mere hours after POTUS 44 was sworn in was a harbinger of just how low and dirty the opposition party was willing to go so long as Obama was in the White House.
Not just utter vulgarity now, but sedition and treason; to basically conspire against a democratically elected president and attempt to undermine him to the peril of the country and all 300 million + of its citizens. You don’t have to like the occupant in the Oval Office personally, but if you consider yourself patriotic and an American, you maintain at least a basic decorum and respect for the Office of the Presidency for the good of the country.
Opposition and a solid wall of obstruction at every turn, on domestic issues that the conservative movement had even sought and fought for. Such was the dislike and hatred for this president that the Republicans would not budge on the Affordable Care Act, a law which in fact originated as a Republican idea by The Heritage Foundation back in 1989. As mentioned in the accompanying article, Mitt Romney was all for it when he implemented “Romney Care” in Massachusetts during his time as governor. Suddenly, when this president wanted to enact what’s essentially the very same law, all those conservatives who were for it were now fighting it tooth and nail. What could it be I wonder? What makes this president different than all the others that this is now an anathema to the Republican party?
“Other”. The Tea Party movement forming right after “Barack Hussein Obama’s” inauguration, turning his middle name into a dog-whistle coded slur that frankly, doesn’t even try to be subtle. This along with 8 years of Tea Party people posting overtly racist pictures online of black stereotypes, showing up to protests with picket signs depicting a sitting president as a Kenyan with a bone through his nose, pictures of watermelons on the White House lawn, and even showing up to these events with the “N word” misspelled. If there is anything funny to all this it’s in seeing just how ignorant and stupid these people are in that they can’t even spell correctly when trying to show their hatred to the world. The reality though is that for the past 8 years, this group has grown more and more fervent in it’s hatred and racism and it has completely spilled over into the current presidential election cycle and threatened to completely and permanently poison politics.
Vulgar is what I’d call a major political party of this country and its representatives largely doing absolutely NOTHING to stop this, and in fact, stoking the flames of hatred and division even more all in the hopes this man, whose middle name is “Hussein” and didn’t quite look like the rest of them didn’t get a 2nd term in the White House. Birtherism was part of the toxic mix of xenophobia and racism that spun out of control when none other than Donald Trump put it out as something even worth discussing.
Is it a wonder that the bar has been set so low and you have this same carnival barker as the very likely nominee of the Republican party riding high in the polls, having coasted to where he is because of the last 8 years of incessant racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, attacking minorities, etc.
What did other despots do in their time to garner popularity and shift the blame off themselves when the country had problems? Hitler pointed to the Jews as “the problem” and the “reason for Germany’s problems”. And yes, a Hitler analogy is apt here because this is what Trump has been doing for the past 6 months since announcing his candidacy; Mexicans were rapists and the problem, Muslims had to be banned, “others” were the problem. Trump, once again flirted with birtherism, loudly announcing Cruz’s Canadian roots and how it could ruin his chances for winning. Cruz was all in on the birther stuff when it came to Obama and now he’s getting a taste of his own medicine. How deliciously ironic, no?
Again, this would all be more funny and amusing if not for the very real potential of this kind of demagoguery permanently poising the well of American politics. The problem is when the goal posts have been moved this much, it’s often very hard to get them back to where they were.
History will not be kind to the “leadership” of the Republican party and it’s obscene and completely vulgar behavior. The problem is they don’t really seem to care, but as a result, the rest of us who ARE sensible and lucid will be paying the price for this bigoted nonsense for a long long time to come. It could well be that the damage is already done and the seeds of hatred sown have already taken root and things will only get worse, come future elections.
What would Abraham Lincoln say about the state of affairs today of the party he founded? The mind reels.