The paradox of Conservative morals
Ah, the Grand Old Party! The party of Lincoln, founded in 1854 as a combination of the Conscience Whigs and the Free Soil Democrats, originally rose to prominence by opposing slavery. This was a pious bunch. They truly saw their marching orders as purging the “great sins” from society – alcoholism, polygamy, and slavery. Okay, so far, so good. I mean, what civilized person wouldn’t be against these things, right? Right?
Along the way, something clearly went off the rails. Fast forward to today, and we have the GOP standard bearer and his team of derelicts, who collectively go against everything the party of Lincoln stood for. Let’s take them down one by one.
First, we have the sitting governor of New Jersey, one Christopher James Christie. Once a rising star from the Garden State, a moderate Republican who often reached across party lines to get things done, Christie is now embroiled in Bridgegate, which could potentially lead to his indictment. Best case scenario, little children will run away at the sight of the governor (they probably already do). Mind you, this is the man that incited adoring throngs at the RNC convention to “lock her up.” Now wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony?
Then we have the former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, that daring swashbuckling hero of 9/11 fame that all of New York, no – all of the country, looked up to for his strong leadership and decisive actions in the aftermath. These days Giuliani resembles Edvard Munch’s character from The Scream (complete with bald head). Remember his fiery speech at the RNC convention? It was less a speech, and more a Godzilla re-enactment. After the first presidential debates, Rudy called Hillary Clinton “stupid” for staying with Bill – effectively accusing her of marital fidelity. Seriously, Rudy? Did you not cheat on your own wife as she was in the hospital being treated for cancer? And then you dumped her at a press conference, without even the courtesy of telling her in private first? And suddenly you’ve become America’s moral authority?
And finally, there is the Donald himself. A man with five children from three marriages. A man who cheated on his first wife in a very public way. A man who acknowledges discriminating against African Americans, defending himself by effectively saying, “They were all doing it,” and, “I settled it without admitting guilt.” A man who gloats at having paid no income taxes. A man who delights in demeaning women and calling them disgusting names. A man who shows no level of tolerance for non-whites or non-Christians. And a man who promises, at the next debate, to go after his opponent’s husband’s infidelities. You cannot make this stuff up. This is the “clownish demagogue,” as Vox’s Ezra Klein referred to the candidate – an appropriate title for the caricature masquerading as a contender for the U.S. presidency.
Hey GOP – this is your guy! The natural successor to Abraham Lincoln. You – Boehner, McConnell, Ryan, and the gang – you created him. You created him by stonewalling the sitting President at every turn, by your inaction to fund projects, by your fierce partisanship. You created a divide in America out of which this creep rose up. And when you say that you find more common ground with him than with the Democratic contender, you’re putting party before country….which is exactly how we got here in the first place! I’m sure you’re making Abe proud!
Okay….off my soap box…..what do you think? Comments welcome.