As I return to the wider world after a weekend mostly ignoring the news, it’s hard not to remark on the level of fuckery my former political party seems to be engaged in at the moment.
In setting itself up as the party that opposes all forms of abortion, seeks to stringently regulate free speech, and continues to call for Russian appeasement, I’m left to wonder if the Republican Party is actively trying to lose the votes of everyone under 25 years old for the rest of recorded time. Has anyone at the RNC looked at any demographic or polling information about anyone born after about the year 2000? They seem determined to stake out the positions almost precisely designed to antagonize this rising block of voters. It feels like a sure recipe for trading some short-term wins for long term electoral obscurity.
A million years ago, I was attracted to a Republican Party that stood for strong defense, lower taxes, and government that got the hell out of people’s way. That same party now, with its traditional principles hollowed out by MAGA, runs hard in the other directions – seeking to give aid and comfort to Russia, threatening to blow up the economy by refusing to honor the country’s lawful debts, and attempting to involve government in the very core of individual healthcare.
Cowering in the face of foreign adversaries is a bad look. Claiming you don’t want the government meddling in healthcare decisions (i.e., Obamacare) while intentionally meddling directly in actual healthcare decisions between doctor and patient would be absurdist schtick if it wasn’t so damned dangerous. Staking out an infinitely irresponsible position on the nation’s fiscal issues makes elected Republican officials look like nothing so much as modern know-nothings placing the entire post-World War II global financial order in jeopardy.
I can’t remember a time since I started following politics seriously in the mid-1990s, when one of the major political parties was so determined to be on the wrong side of so many important issues – and so determined to make itself irrelevant to entire generations of the voting public. It’s a hell of a thing to watch this kind of self-inflicted immolation. It’s also a sadly predictable side effect of the misguided belief that “democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”