If the Republican and Democratic conventions have proven anything, it is that Americans are generally full of shit when it comes to their political views.
Folks will stand passionately by a candidate until the cows come home and yet when the political winds shift, they will suddenly advocate for the totally opposite thing like it’s been the bedrock of their beliefs their entire life.
In Cleveland last week, we watched an entire party commit harakiri by embracing a self-promoting, serial liar with tiny fingers who stands for just about everything the Republican party has traditionally stood against.
For example, weren’t Republicans the party of family values? The party of church on Sundays and family game nights that don’t end in someone flipping the monopoly board? I thought so, until they nominated a man who has repeatedly said how much he disdains parenting and is married to his third wife 24 years his junior. For pete’s sake the only anecdotes his kids could muster about their father’s parenting were about them sitting in his office or visiting construction sites. This is a man who patted his daughter in a way that was barely appropriate for a football field after she introduced him in front of an audience of millions.
And what about Trump’s favorite issue of trade, that wonderful consequence of globalization that Republicans have long championed. Now what if I told you that they just chose a candidate who says that trade deals are “raping America,” has advocated for isolationism, and has said that the TPP would ruin America. Remember his almost-running-mate Bob Corker? He spent years advocating for the TPP and then almost signed on to a team that made killing it their main priority.
Republicans have also spent years criticizing President Obama for being weak in terms of projecting military power and letting down our allies overseas. Want to take a gander at the position they now support? If you guessed leaving NATO allies to fend for themselves and withdrawing troops from abroad, you’re a winner!
Yet, conservatives everywhere have put on their red hats and blanketly stated that he’s their guy, that he represents the values they care about and is the right man to represent the United States of America.
Can you really blame the average pickup-driving, rare-burger-eating, Fox News-watching ‘Murican for throwing everything they stand for out the window when they’ve watched their party leaders and talk show hosts do the same?
Last week, Jon Stewart made a glorious reappearance with Stephen Colbert and spent thirteen minutes highlighting all of Sean Hannity’s wild reversals of opinion on the character qualities that he always hated about Obama, but now loves in Trump. Hannity even went so far as reverse his position on the use of teleprompters. Are teleprompters now a fringe issue in our elections?
Sadly, Republicans aren’t alone in their ability to be full of shit. Bernie Sanders supporters have been raising hell in Philadelphia this week as they refuse to accept that their revolution has come to an end. Many have gone on camera to say that they will refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton in the fall, because that makes sense.
Let’s follow that logic: They support positions that are a “12” on a scale of “1-to-socialist,” so rather than accept an “8,” they want to abstain and tacitly support the guy who is a “-65.” If they really supported the issues they say they care so passionately about, they would devote all their efforts to electing Clinton, who by the way, supports nearly everything they do. As Obama said earlier this year, “it’s steak or fish” and these guys claim to be vegan.
The truth is, I don’t think the majority of people are as principled as they claim to be. Trump’s base of support has grown like the White Walker army in Game of Thrones, killing good Republicans and reincarnating them as Trumpians. If the conservative electorate really believed in trade, or military alliances, or really… anything, they would never have cast over 13 million votes for him.
Sanders’ supporters are no different. They subscribe to an ideology that anyone with government experience knows is impractical, yet instead of using their momentum to accomplish realistic ends, they plug their ears and stomp around with the rationality of a third grader, all but assuring the impossibility of their stated agenda.
Winston Churchill once said that the greatest argument against democracy was a five minute conversation with the average voter. I’d venture to bet if he were alive today he’d tell you that conversation would only need to be thirty seconds.
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