Republicans drink the Kool-Aid

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.)

images-1I 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.

images-2Mencken 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.

images-3Not 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).

images-4Not 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.Unknown-1


* 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.

15 Responses to “Republicans drink the Kool-Aid”

  1. Scott Perlman Says:

    I am wrestling with the decision about who, or if, I vote.
    While I do not despise Hilary or think that her being elected President will be the end of the world as we know it (as many of my conservative friends believe), I do not agree with many of her positions and I question her sincerity given how many times she has changed positions on important subjects. So do I cast a vote for her as an “anti-Trump” vote? Do I write in someone I believe would be a more effective President but in reality, “waste” the vote because there is no chance for a write-in? Or, as a protest do I just not vote for someone in the Presidential election, leave that one blank?

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    I too am agonizing over this, and will address it in a later blog post.

  3. stickygirlblog Says:

    stickygirlblog on May 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm
    The way I look at it … I don’t care if Mr. Trump has switched sides. I don’t care if he’s done so more than once. He looked at political parties and politicians as MOST business men would. Whatever helps them in their endeavors. That’s just the way the business world works. Perhaps he was part of the problem and perhaps he has made mistakes. Maybe even big ones. I believe that politics wasn’t all that important to him because America was thriving. Heck I didn’t pay attention to the cares of the world until I was in my 40’s. So I can at the very least understand some of his past actions. I don’t know when or how his realization occurred and I don’t care about that either. I picture it something like this …
    Going about his business in a meeting one day he says … Well, I think we should use the contractor who did the Jersey job. No? What happened to him? And what happened to that furniture manufacturer from Ohio we used in the Vegas job? What? Really? And it dawned on him. He knows only In America, the country he loves, could he have accomplished what he has. He takes a look around and is disgusted. Personally I don’t care if he’s a little late to the party … I’m just grateful he has shown up now. It reminds me of how the BLM movement responded to Ray Lewis wanting to support them NOW. They wanted to shun him. “Where have you been?” I say who cares? He’s there now. EMBRACE HIM.
    Same goes for Trump. I don’t care about how he made his money … he’s being selfless NOW. I don’t care about the stupid stuff he may have said. I say toughen up and listen to his policies NOW.
    No more Sanctuary Cities? Sounds good to me.
    No more Obamacare? In favor of Health Savings Accounts. Great!
    No more Common Core? Sending control of education back to the states … fantastic. Perhaps we can also send our kids to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich again?! Good Lord Michele Obama just shut up!!
    He’s going to build up our Nation’s military. When have we ever been so weak? What a shame!
    Looking to defeat ISIS. What an awesome idea! Wonder why our Muslim anti American President didn’t think of that!? Oh and he’s not in favor of broadcasting our every military move to the entire world. A novel idea I think.
    He’s going to spend less money, make government cuts and try to balance the budget. Hmmm heavy burden. Good thing he’s smart enough to surround himself with competence.
    And lets not forget about him wanting to secure our borders and PROTECT AMERICANS and at least close shop until we can figure out how to vet these people. I say HOORAY! Should have been done 15 years ago!
    It’s been 8 years since a President has cared about the American people. Donald Trump DOES. You can think of some hidden agenda I would like to know it!
    For those who think he doesn’t respect women … he has many extremely bright and competent women working for him every day. Perhaps he forgets to take the “hard hat” off when one walks into a room. Who cares??!!!
    He has self funded so far and is not subject to owing anyone any favors and apparently you’d need over 10 BILLION to buy him off. Always a good thing No?
    And how about the fact that he will Work For Free. Run the United States of America … a VERY THANKLESS job for NOTHING.
    Now, I respect those ultra conservatives for sticking to their beliefs, and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel as though they are betraying those beliefs. However, I do think you can rationalize to yourself AND to others he may not BE my first choice but I’m okay with his plans for this country. We need to regain control FIRST AND FOREMOST! AT ALL COSTS! And start grooming a more suitable conservative candidate for 2020.
    Judge, I’ve said my peace. I hope in some way my words help lighten the heaviness in your heart. I’ve been there. Since 9/11 its never gone away. I’m including something I wrote a few months ago when all my friends were pro Trump and in my heart I knew Cruz and Rubio were the better choices. I guess it’s how I BELIEVE Mr. Trump was raised and how I believe he feels the way he does for this country. Its just my ramblings … eh, good bathroom material perhaps.
    With my deepest respect,
    Diane Gorman =)

    Country – Conflict – Confusion … Concessions

    When I woke up yesterday morning, I knew exactly who I wanted to become the next President of the United States. Marco Rubio! Yes! When I listen to him speak, I get the goose bumps. I hear passion and strength and his purpose. And above it all, I hear the love he has for this country. It’s something that’s been missing for a very long time!
    8 years now. 8 Long years without the President of the United States saying he’s proud to be an American, 8 long years without a single service man or woman in any capacity getting a simple “atta boy”. No praise, for doing a job that 98 percent of the American people just won’t do! Him purposefully making it harder and harder for them to do their jobs every step of the way. Reducing the forces, depleting our assets, commanding service men and women on the front line to STAND DOWN when facing our enemies! 8 years of utter insanity. 8 years of watching a man strip away any symbol of American pride and strength. Can we be proud … that we’re “friends” now with Cuba? That our President spies on our trusted and valued allies? Can we appear strong when after 15 years, the President releases the imprisoned terrorists with NO consequence for the loss of American lives on American soil!? And then gives them a ride home!? Well, he did. And he sent them on home with 150 BILLION dollars that he admits, he knows, will be used in the future to bring terror and death to the world. Can we be proud that our President has completely forsaken the victims of 911, and their families? That man is a G-d dam traitor and truly, from the bottom of my soul I believe he should be publicly lynched!
    Marco Rubio’s words give me hope. Hope that the country I grew up in, the country the entire world has relied on time and time again, the country who supplies doctors and food and comfort to those in need around the globe, my country, the greatest most wonderful country to ever exist, the country that was … before a man named Obama infiltrated her … hope that THAT country will someday return. Marco Rubio’s words make me so very proud of my grandparents. Odd, how I never really thought about how strong they must have been, to come all the way across the world, alone, with nothing in their pockets and speaking a different language! I could not even imagine how frightening that would be! I want to thank them every day!
    His words make me appreciate and love my grandparents so much more
    and I never even met them.
    That’s Marco Rubio.
    And then came Trump.
    Yikes! What a buffoon! Will you please complete an entire sentence already? He has no class, no experience, no clue how to be a politician! He doesn’t deserve to be President because he hasn’t committed his life to public service. You don’t get to live a life of utter luxury and then get to be President too. Haha, no, it doesn’t work like that. Geez, he just loves attention, always has, and decided to get it on a grander scale, I guess.
    But, wait a second… Didn’t Trump graduate from The Wharton School of Business? That’s Ivy League right? Yeesh, they’d never accept me into an Ivy League school. And yeah, his daddy did give him like a million dollars, but honestly, he’s been able to turn that into a net worth of over 10 BILLION. He must know something about something. For a chatty, politically incorrect buffoon with poor articulation … that’s not so bad. I definitely have to do some research on this guy but one thing I’m sure of, Donald Trump loves this country like I do. We grew up during the same era and in the same part of the world, just a few miles apart actually. Boy, that sure was a different time. I wonder if he remembers that speech Ronald Regan made the day after the Challenger exploded. The entire world was waiting and watching with us, as the United States, once again, did something outstanding, and once again, we were gonna be the first to do it! Put a civilian in space. How exciting! And the entire world gathered thinking celebration time, and witnessed with us, The Challenger blow apart, shatter into nothingness, the lives of seven brave Americans, their families, NASA and of course a very expensive space ship. NO. We can’t accept that. We all wept! You couldn’t help it. Not only did we fail miserably in our endeavor, but we killed our own courageous men and women. It was a horribly dark time for America. But back then … in the 80’s … the world was rooting for us to succeed. So when we cried, they cried with us, they cried for us and beside us.
    The next day a very solemn and relatively soft spoken President Regan held a press conference. Of course the world wanted to know what had happened. We all did, but it really didn’t matter. It didn’t even matter that we failed. What mattered most was that we had All gathered, mothers and fathers and children and the school kids IN THE classrooms watching their teacher rocket into space live on TV! Oh boy … we were devastated, totally crushed. Yet somehow, President Regan lifted our spirits if only briefly, and filled us with hope. He assured us that together we’ll get through this. He reminded us how proud HE was to be an American and how honored he felt to be our President. Even when we failed and we did fail big this time, he was still proud of us, proud to be us. And he promised that the Space Program would regroup, and refocus and continue to do great things. And ya know what, it did. We all did. But why I remember that day so well, is because I felt connected. He brought the entire country, hell the whole dam world together. And he inspired all of us! Strengthened ALL of us! Uplifted and encouraged All of us. Yeah I’m sure, I’m positive that Donald remembers that speech. Who could ever forget it?
    Anyway, Trump talks about President Regan an awful lot … so that’s good. The Good old Boys in Congress don’t care for him … and that’s always good. Hmmm, apparently you’d need around 5 BILLION dollars if you were gonna try to bribe him, so I guess he can’t be bought and that’s good. He’s willing to completely walk away from all his companies to help America fight to remain free. So, he really has no other agenda? None that I can figure out. So far, no one has even suggested a hidden agenda. He’s worth 10 Bill … what could he possibly need or want that he can’t get? He must have realized what happened. Found out the truth and wants to act on it. Hell I want to act too but I don’t have the means. Dam he’s doing what I wish I could do! He realized we had a Muslim in the White House who was slowly killing America. Well, no wait, that’s not entirely fair, I’m not positive he actually “realizes” because he keeps saying O made a terrible deal … when in fact, it wasn’t a deal at all. It was part if the master plan. Like releasing the beasts back to the wild to rejoin the forces who spew hate and bring death around the world. That was going to happen all along. O knew it in 2007 when he was campaigning, but he wasn’t inclined to share that with us just yet. Yes, part of the plan to infiltrate America. Like Gitmo closing. Like the phony capture of sailors, the airing of the phony apology. The world’s awatchin and there’s our loyal humble servant, the President in Cahoots with those who want to convert us or kill us all. That’s just awesome. NO, there’s simply no other reason for Trump TO BE DOING THIS … he simply loves this country.
    I never thought of it before but, Donald Trump is like me, only I have better hair, he’s afraid of never seeing that country again, the country of our youth. Haha, yeah we did walk proud back then! It was an amazing time! He’s smart enough to know what he doesn’t know … another good thing. And he definitely surrounds himself with those who do. He doesn’t like to lose and he has no reason to take crap from anyone! So, really why can’t he? I bet he could even get some of that 150 BILLION back! Man, I’d love to see him try.
    Ya know, I do think Marco Rubio would make an awesome President! I really do. I think if it was any other election … and the same thing I believe about Jeb Bush. Hey, stop that,, I like the Bushes! But this year … this one is too important. If a Republican doesn’t actually become the President, the future will NEVER EVER be as bright as our past. It can’t. It won’t. We will have failed again. The world is still watching, we’re still center stage, but this time we’re very alone.
    To witness my own countrymen, hell the kids I grew up with, to see them chant for Socialism instead of fighting against O and Hillary. I’m finding I don’t even have the words. I will never understand the lack of honor and duty to our forefathers. Dam, I cry every time I say it or even think it. Hang on I need to find some tissues. Our founding fathers … they wanted the very best for the people of this great new land! They didn’t want us being just like every other mediocre European country. They planned for greatness and posterity! And they got greatness .. the rest is unknown.
    No, this one is too important.
    Dammit! I so very much love the country I grew up in. I so very much miss her … and the leaders who feel like I do. No doubt Marco gives me hope. His words remind me of the great Presidents who came before him. Among them, there is no Clinton and there is no O.
    Marco Rubio might be among them. Something tells me his parents gave him the same speeches my dad gave me. Be grateful of who you are. Be proud, because we really are … just that special. There’s NONE like us. No one has what we have and we’re born with it all. It really is great to be an American! I pray, and I do NOT pray often … but I pray your children and their children are able to receive those speeches as well. They made me realize what I had. They made me aware of what others don’t. They made me charitable and empathetic. They helped to build my character. All that from the silly “speeches.”
    Yes, I do hope Marco Rubio runs for President again someday. America needs him. Needs his passion. And she’d be lucky to have him.
    But this time we can’t take any chances.
    Americans are rallying around Donald J Trump to be the 45th President of The United States !!
    So must I

  4. jmrussell Says:

    Consider voting Libertarian. I will.

  5. rationaloptimist Says:

    Thanks, Diane. I’m glad you supported Rubio. So did I. I’m sorry you don’t see that Trump is a fraud, totally unsuited to lead a great nation.
    (P.S. I fixed the mess you apparently accidentally made when posting your comment.)

  6. rationaloptimist Says:

    Trump just said he wants to “renegotiate” the U.S. debt. And that he’ll bring back all the coal jobs. This is a so-called businessman who is supposed to have some economic understanding? Please. It’s a joke, but I’m not laughing.
    jmrussell: stay tuned.

  7. stickygirlblog Says:

    Yeah sorry started reading the other and decided to reply before I got myself distracted. Guess that didnt work.
    I loved the passion in Rubio … others did not. Something about Cruz rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was the “dramatic pause”. Yuk!
    Realizing we MUST NOT LOSE … I had to find somethings to believe in I guess. Was hoping to rub a little off on you.
    Be well,

  8. rationaloptimist Says:

    If “we” means Republicans/conservatives, we HAVE lost. It’s a suicide. The chances of Trump winning in November are zero. Another thing his supporters refuse to see.
    It’s tragic because any halfway reasonable Republican candidate would have beaten Hillary.

  9. stickygirlblog Says:

    Soooo if WE don’t vote for him you are certainly correct. If we DO we at the very least regain some control while we groom a proper candidate for 2020. Judge, I don’t see any alternative. If the you and I and other Cruz/Rubio supporters DONT get on that stupid train … arent we as much to blame for our future?

  10. rationaloptimist Says:

    You can vote for whomever, but Hillary is the next president. And a big vote for Trump will not help the Republican party recover from this bout of madness. Better that he’s humiliatingly defeated. Maybe that will bring Republicans to their senses.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    But Your Honor! Dont you fear what will happen to our Country with Hillary? It’s not their fault … they are rightfully pissed off! … Yet misguided. I see a lot of hard working, law abiding, America loving people facing the hardest years of their lives. I can’t be part of that equation. I need something to believe in. I choose to believe whatever Trump does or doesn’t do during his term, it can not be worse than Obama! Heck Judge, most people could do better. I understand and respect your position. I wish I could have lightened your burden.
    Highest regards,

  12. rationaloptimist Says:

    I just heard P.J. O’Rourke on “Wait, Wait, Don’t tell me,” saying Hillary is “wrong about everything — but at least she’s wrong within normal parameters.” Hillary as president won’t be the end of civilization as we know it. Trump, on the other hand . . .
    No, I refuse to drink this Kool-Aid.
    You need something to believe in, Diane? Politics is not everything. I have many positive beliefs. That’s why I call myself the “Rational Optimist” (and wrote a book arguing for that position).

  13. Lee Says:

    Historically, Clinton is fairly conservative for a Democrat. Sure, she moved left for the primaries, but that will fade. She’s not ideal — who is? — but maybe you could vote for her, needing to cover only one nostril.

  14. rationaloptimist Says:

    Both, surely. But stay tuned regarding my voting decision.

  15. ryan71 Says:

    I’m just curious if anyone has read Machiavelli: The Prince. If you have you would totally understand politics. Chapter XXI: How A Prince Should Conduct Himself As To Gain Renown lays it out for you.

    If you can’t see how the candidates are using these teachings you might need to follow the candidates more carefully.

    Which drives to the point that we (the public) really don’t know the accomplishments or failures that either candidates have really done. We hear what the media says but that too is different depending on the media outlet.

    Do your own research, validate your sources and make an educated decision.

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