The Death of the Grand Old Party

While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are battling for the primary nomination using carefully sculpted rhetoric and logical arguments, the Republican race seems to be nothing more than a clown show. This election season has signaled the death of what was formerly called the Grand Old Party, or GOP. What is left is a broken and sorely misguided Republican Party. The six remaining Republican candidates are contributing very little meaningful substance to the political conversation and have become mostly a source of entertainment. The men filling the Republican ballot are nothing more than religious fanatics opposed to a woman’s right to choose, market conservatives advocating for deregulation and expulsion of government involvement in the economy, tax cuts on the wealthiest men and women in the country, and rampant xenophobes who want nothing to do with Muslims or Mexicans seeking refuge in the United States. This election has merely shed light on the problems within the Republican Party, and it is in every way a symptom of the implosion of the right, not the cause. The idea of a moderate Republican has been almost completely erased, and with it the memory of what the Grand Old Party used to be.

It’s disheartening to see the party take such a downward spiral. Political parties are a necessary part of the political process we hold so dear. With the lack of a firm base to unite conservatives in opposition to a liberal force that needs them to spark political conversation, there is nothing standing in the way of lunatics and the presidential nomination. Just take a look at any Republican debate. These candidates are not real Republicans, nor are they respectable political candidates. They seek to tear down what little progress Democrats have been able to make in turning the United States into a country that is concerned with the wellbeing of its citizens, and not just the wealthy, white  ones. What happened to the fiscally conservative, old school Republicans who balanced out the fiscally liberal Democrats? There used to be substantive debates over the best way to maintain economic stability in our great country, and those debates are some of the most essential ones we can have. But now the debates are full of empty rhetoric about the strength of America this, and the glory of America that, and the other party and other candidates are incompetent and the government has done nothing but make mistakes (If a democrat is in power). I now bid farewell to the conservatives of the past, and mourn the loss of meaningful political conversation from the Republican side of the aisle.

(A Facebook post by Robert Reich is the inspiration for this piece)

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Distractions, Distractions, Distractions…

campaign

Every election year, without fail, light is shed on some candidate’s involvement in something “scandalous”, or part of a candidate’s past in uncovered, in the hopes of discrediting them in the eyes of voters and consequently losing their votes. This year has been no differ. With the 2016 Presidential Election in full swing, some of the presidential hopefuls, along with the media, are doing anything they can to trump up stories and scandals about their opponents in attempts to gain more votes.

What makes me frustrated is that most of the time (there have of course been instances that have not followed this pattern), these stories can cause many voters to switch their allegiance, while it may have nothing to do with a candidate’s ability to run the country. For example, the Clinton email “scandal”. Firstly, and most notably, the kerfuffle raised by the Republican Party concerning the private server of Secretary Clinton (which had been approved at the time of it’s inception) is absolutely atrocious. The possibility that having her own email server could have compromised her ability as Secretary of State to keep national secrets is ludicrous, yet has enough of an inkling of reality that it has been able to sway some voters. Just recently, “highly classified emails” were found on Secretary Clinton’s server. But these emails were classified after the fact. When they were sent, they did not contain classified information. Let’s also keep in mind that the State Department already cleared all the emails the server contained months ago. While this may sway many voters who are undecided on their candidate thus far, I remain unfazed. I have no reason to believe that Hillary Clinton’s ability to lead is at all tied into how she handles her  emails. Aside from the recent allegations made towards Secretary Clinton, It seems as though very few of these controversies hold any real substance in terms of making or breaking a presidential candidate.

The media may eat up these stories, but, on a large scale, they do little more than distract from the real issues. Some candidates may be more absorbed in attacking their opponents than discussing topics important to the American people, which only serves to inflate their egos rather than contribute anything meaningful to the race to the White House.