What Republicans?

There was a time in my life – not too terribly long ago, in fact – when I still identified as a Republican.

I was never a “card-carrying member” of the party by any stretch of the imagination. Truth be told, even going back to the seventh grade, I would have told you that I was a little-L libertarian if you had asked about my politics beyond party affiliation. But “Republican” was the quickest, best-understood descriptor of my political point of view: limited government, individual responsibility, fiscal conservatism, national defense as opposed foreign intervention, and (despite the religious right) enough sense to know that legislating morality was a bad idea.

Now sure, some of those ideals were adjusted and re-adjusted within the organization over the years, but until… oh, say, 2006 or so… they were still mostly true of the Grand Old Party.

They’re not anymore, and anyone who denies that is a damned fool.

Michigan votes in its presidential primary election today, and the Republicans in this state – the state in which the GOP was founded in 1854, at a convention "under the oaks" in Jackson – are poised, by all accounts, to pick a Nazi as their presidential candidate.

That’s right: a Nazi.

No, I will not apologize for saying that, because it’s not a comparison, it’s a fact. Read Donald Trump’s platform side-by-side with the National Socialist German Workers’ Party’s 1920 25 Point Program and replace the words “Jew” and “Jewish” with “Muslim” and “Islamic.” There are practically no discernible differences.

Donald Trump is literallynot figuratively, literally – a Nazi.

I could go off on Trump entirely in this piece, but that’s not what this is about. Trump isn’t the cause of the Republican Party’s demise. Nor are any of the other candidates, who are equally despicable. They're merely the final symptom.

Let’s go back to 2006 and the phrase “a new way forward,” introduced by then-White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. The best possible way to describe the 2007 surge that the phrase pointed to is that President George W. Bush was forced to admit that he had no clue what he was doing in Iraq. There was no viable plan to win from the beginning. The surge (not to be confused with the Surge) was, to use a somewhat anachronistic phrase, essentially the moment when Bush "rage quit." Angrily launch everything you’ve got left, then exit the game and let the wounds fester.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully supported (and still do support) the decision to go to war in Iraq. Despite the lack of domestic media reports, the military did find the chemical weapons that justified the war. There were weapons of mass destruction, no matter what anyone opposed to the war tells you.

The problem was in the execution, and that was not by mistake. Bush had no real military experience to speak of, at least not in combat or any sort of life-threatening situations. He was no military strategist. He was sold a bill of goods by the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about – and, in typical American political fashion, we stared at Ike blankly for a moment, shrugged, then proceeded to completely ignore him. Iraq was never meant to end. It was intended to set off the chain reaction of perpetual wars that we’re now fighting.

And it was the Republicans who sold it to him, all too eager to go bash some heads in because “national security” and “better to fight them over there than here at home” and “Have You Forgotten?”  (Fair warning: that last link contains propaganda in an unbearable country music form.  Click at your own risk.)

When the initial effort proved to be a bust, the surge was the Republicans’ lame attempt at proving to the American public that we were in this to win it.

You can see how true to their word they were. Not even King Barry, despite claiming that the war is over, can bring himself to actually end it.

Then we have the late-decade financial “crisis,” which was, in reality, a result of government meddling in the free market dating all the way back to the foundation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. The Fed doesn’t actually level out the boom-bust cycle as promised, it just makes it much, much slower… and twice that much more painful when a bust occurs.

So, of course, being the small-government, free-market-minded conservatives that they are, the Republicans dismantled the Federal Reserve, let the free market correct itself, and we had the most prosperous—

What’s that? Oh, right, sorry, I was off in my little fantasy world there for a moment.

No, of course, the Republicans under Bush led the charge in the exact opposite direction, using federal funds to bail out the very criminals who colluded with the government to prey on those who were all too easy to lie to. The Harm Principle was very clearly violated, and the Republican-controlled government protected those who violated it.

The 2008 election saw the party begin to unravel. John McCain – Republican darling of the left, and everybody knew it – was the best candidate they could agree on… which by no means is to say that he was the best candidate, because he was not. That was evidenced by the fact that he had to pick Caribou Barbie as his running mate just to get any energy behind his campaign. Oh, I liked Palin for a while… until she turned into the exact parody of herself that the left had been falsely portraying her as the entire time – which didn't actually happen until after the election was lost.

And what was the party's platform back then? Anyone remember?

No, of course not. That's because the party didn't have a platform in 2008. The only thing they did have was “STOP HILLARY!” And, of course, that got shot all to Hell when it became clear that Obama was going to be the nominee. Aside from repeating the same old false promises and saying “we really mean it this time, you guys,” the GOP didn't have jack squat.

Fast forward to 2012, and that became “REPEAL OBAMACARE!” Again, with no real platform. Not to mention that they broke federal election law to nominate Mitt “Corporations Are People, My Friend,” Romney. No, Ron Paul wouldn't have won at the convention, but the party establishment was so scared of him (*gasp!* OH NO! REAL CONSERVATISM! PANIC!) that they felt the need to commit a crime just to keep him out.

In the time since, the Republicans have become completely unhinged. The seeds of theocracy that were sown in the 70's and 80's have finally produced fruit in the past four years, as the “religious right” fully took control of the party just in time to weep, wail and gnash their teeth over the Supreme Court's truly conservative decision in United States v. Windsor, and again in the truly conservative decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The law must be upheld equally to all people – regardless of their biologically-driven attraction to members of the same sex – according to the 14th Amendment, and the Supremacy Clause means that all states must abide by the Constitution first and foremost. That's the conservative point of view, and that's what the Supreme Court held in both of those cases.

But don't tell that to the theocrats and inverse fascists in the Republican Party. They don't care about constitutional conservatism, they just want to unconstitutionally enforce their brand of (supposed) Christianity on the rest of the country and their military-backed political will on the rest of the world.

So today we see a Republican Party that wants to:

  • Segregate marriage licenses along gender lines, instead of opposing segregation,

  • Legislate into effect the genocide of transgender people (and yes, it is genocide), instead of fighting to stop oppression of biological minorities,

  • Round up all Muslims – including U.S. citizens who were born here and have lived here their entire lives – and ship them out of the country, instead of welcoming those oppressed by tyrants elsewhere,

  • Build walls to keep out Hispanic and Latin American people, instead of reforming our maliciously exclusive immigration policies and tearing walls down to promote the freedom of all people,

  • Grow the military and continue wars of foreign intervention where we have absolutely no business imposing our will, instead of shrinking our military to fit its only constitutional role: defending these shores, and...

  • Continue the very same fiscal and government policies and collusion with corporate America that results in our current inverse fascist economy (government owned by corporations), instead of prosecuting the criminals in both the government and the corporations and reforming policies to prevent such criminal activity from taking place ever again.

No, none of the Republican candidates for president differ on any of this, save for the wall along the Mexican border and the more virulent anti-Muslim sentiments... but make no mistake, they believe those things, they just don't want to be seen as extreme as Trump.  They simply offer varying degrees of niceness in their presentation of these ideas, and the only one who actually is anything resembling nice about it is last-place candidate John Kasich. He's no traditional Republican himself, but he's the closest thing to it on those debate stages, and he's getting crucified by a party base that is now firmly rooted in hatred, bigotry and anger.

This is not the party of Lincoln. This is not the party of Reagan. This isn't even the party of George W. Bush anymore. This is now the party of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Mike Huckabee and Franklin Graham (whose father he ain't). It has been for some time now.

Not ironically, this is also the party of Dixiecrat clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky; Kim Davis.

Yes, this is where the Dixiecrats went, folks. When the Democrats shifted to supporting civil liberties instead of opposing them, the Dixiecrats had nowhere to go. That was why the “moral majority” was so successful. Who do you think these people are? They didn't just appear out of nowhere, and they certainly were not conservatives prior to joining the GOP.

The oaks have all been chopped down on the site of that first convention, and the symbolism of that fact should not be lost. The Republican Party is now fully and completely a liberal party.

Notice I didn't say the liberal party. Because they're not alone. The Democratic Party – about which there is nothing democratic – is an even more liberal party.

In the blue corner, you have Hillary Clinton, a supposed “Goldwater Girl” who stands for nothing Goldwater did, an American socialist and a war criminal who is on the verge of being indicted by the FBI for fraud and conspiracy, and that's merely among the most recent of her crimes.

In the red corner, you have Bernie Sanders, an avowed European socialist – who prefers the term “democratic socialist” despite the fact that slavery is still slavery whether you get to vote for your owners or not – and, ironically, the most truthful about his intents and the most consistent in his ideology over the years, which should scare the hell out of you, because he believes so strongly in his delusions that he's not even attempting to hide them.

The Libertarian Party, you ask? Well, despite the fact that I may end up voting for Gary Johnson again in the general election, the party proper has nothing going for it, either. They're true conservatives, but they're too disorganized and unfocused to ever make any real inroads as a group. The one percent Johnson won in 2012 was the best they've ever performed in a presidential election, and that was only because the Ron Paul supporters jumped over when Mittens was coronated. They don't have a snowball's chance in Hell.

So on the eve of this momentous election – the most important in a generation, as was the one before it and the one before that and the one before that and the one before that and so on (I do hope you pick up on the sarcasm there) – I must ask you, purple-tinted Hillsdale County: which Republican are you going to vote for?

Will you willingly vote for a Nazi?

Will you vote for Cruz just to screw Trump?

Will you vote for Kasich just to screw the other three Republicans?

Will you switch sides and vote for Bernie just to screw Hillary?

Will you vote for Mickey Mouse just to screw everyone?

Will you, as I may, vote for Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho to protest the fact that Idiocracy is turning into a shocking portent of things to come?

Will you vote for anybody?

In a country where the only viable once-conservative party has committed suicide, is there any point in voting at all anymore?