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hay rick

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Member since: Thu Jan 31, 2008, 10:08 PM
Number of posts: 5,389

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Presidential politics: R vs. D looks like kids vs. adults.

Watching the presidential primary campaigns, it's difficult to resist the notion that one of the main differences between the parties is the difference between adults and children. The Democratic presidential primary contest looks like a traditional, civil discussion among adults vying for the support of other adults. The Republican competition is a completely different beast- it looks more like juveniles acting tough to impress the other kids.

Donald Trump's popularity soars every time he insults another woman. It has taken the rest of the field a while to catch on, but now they are making up for lost time with a vengeance. Huckabee and Cruz are falling all over Kim Davis while Scott Walker tries to one-up Trump by calling for a wall along the Canadian border. Lost in a wilderness of 16 candidates, they are crying out for attention. It's funny because the foolishness is obvious. It's awkward because the Republican candidates' antics are grossly unpresidential. It's terrifying because this could be a preview of the extinction of a once-great democracy.

Commentators express astonishment when Trump shows he doesn't know Quds from Kurds from a hole in the ground and his supporters show they don't really care. Then the talking heads move on to their regular programming and blandly suggest that climate change denial is just "the other side of the issue." They routinely navigate an alternate reality in which Benghazi is an outrageous scandal which has morphed seamlessly into their current preoccupation with an email server.

American media folk cling to a self-image of professional objectivity but their journalistic standards appear to be subordinate to corporate censorship and messaging needs. Dr. Frankenstein doesn't recognize the monster he helped create. It should be no great surprise when many voters are uninformed and unconcerned about substantive issues and are attracted instead to the domineering personality of a bully. Many of Trump's fans are people who routinely offer sneering references to "Obama" for imaginary misdeeds and expect to be rewarded for their ignorance and spiteful disrespect with hoots of laughter and approval.

Republican voters have been gorging themselves for years on a steady diet of fluff, bile, and sideshows served up by the media. Many have abandoned any pretense of trying to pick a president who would address our country's most pressing needs. They are resigned to picking the chief corporate apologist and all they demand in return is somebody who "feels like I do." George W. Bush was the guy we were told we would enjoy having a beer with. The Republican candidates are too embarrassed to say his name in public, but they all desperately want to be him now. He is their proven gold standard.

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