Culture Magazine

Republicans Drink the Kool-Aid

By Fsrcoin

Unknown“Resistance is futile,” said Star-Trek’s Borg.

And so most Republicans are giving up – drinking the Kool-Aid.* Convincing themselves it’s not so bad. Maybe even a good thing. But anyway just go with the program. Stick with the team. Get on the bandwagon. Right over the cliff.

Some at least, like Paul Ryan, are holding back. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she’ll support Trump but not endorse him. A fine distinction. Rep. Elise Stefanik says she’ll support the nominee but won’t utter the name. A few – too few – Republicans outright refuse this Kool-Aid. (Bravo to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.)

I had said Trump was not entitled to the nomination if a majority of GOP primary voters opposed him. (His complaints against the system are bizarre since it’s actually given him a higher percentage of delegates than primary votes.) However, in each of the last seven primaries, over 50% drank the Kool-Aid. And now no candidate remains against him.

I’m a great believer in democracy. In voters, not so much. Too susceptible to demagogues. Like Hugo Chavez. Or in Brazil, where voters rejected really good alternatives and fell for Rousseff’s rubbish; now the country is predictably in deep doo-doo. Or the Philippines, with a presidential candidate, Rodrigo Duterte, who is Trump Times Three. It’s like he’s running for dictator; he promises a bloodbath. Literally. Commenting on a gang rape, he said he wished he’d been first in line. And this guy leads in the polls.

Mencken said nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. But at least we always elected serious, credentialed, more or less responsible people – we actually strove to elect our betters. Until now. Trump’s appeal is the opposite, as an avatar of his voters’ lowest impulses.

I’ll say this again. I get it that people want an outsider, who tells it like it is, and will shake things up. I’d vote for such a candidate. But not for an irresponsible liar, loudmouth, buffoon, whose policies (to the extent they can be dignified with that word), far from “making America great again,” would be ruinous, stupid, and un-American (like a religious test for immigrants).

Not for one who covered himself with shame promoting bogus “birtherism.”**

Not for one who (never having served) denied John McCain is a war hero because he was shot down and taken prisoner.

Not for one who vulgarly degrades women, mocks the disabled, and calls Mexicans rapists.

Not for one who falsely insists he saw Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.

Not for one who promises to pay the legal bills of people who punch protesters.

Not for one who advocates torture (waterboarding not enough) and murder (of innocent family members of terrorists).

Not for one Putin admires, and who admires Putin.

And just wait for the upcoming Trump University fraud trial.

How can Republicans overlook all this? Time was, any of these things would be totally disqualifying. What we’re seeing is a collapse of civic responsibility, at least (so far) within the Republican party. Citizenship in a great and good nation requires more from us.

I weep for my party, and for my country. I’m heartbroken. And I am one Republican who will never drink this Kool-Aid.



* For younger readers, the reference is to “Jonestown” 1978, where “prophet” Jim Jones convinced followers that drinking poisoned Kool-Aid was a good idea. Over 900 died.

** It’s actually Trump who lies about his origins, claiming Swedish, not German, ancestry.

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