The Tweet That Launched
Monday August 1, 2016
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I really was standing at my kitchen counter on Thursday night of Hillary Clinton's convention listening to Gold Star Father Khizr Khan, Retired Marine General John Allen, and Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Florent "Flo" Groberg when I wrote that.
If, one year ago, I had written:
"At one of the national conventions the delegates will be calling for the arrest of the candidate of the other party; at the other party's convention they will be repeating USA! USA!"
I would have been wrong about which set of delegates would be chanting what.
It was the Republican delegates chanting "Lock Her Up!" and the Democrats chanting "USA!"
Where has the GOP gone?
I am not supporting, much less defending, everything that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats said during their four days - nor most of what Clinton and Bernie Sanders supported during their campaigns over the past year.
Neither, will I decry everything Donald Trump and the Republicans said during their convention a week earlier.
Over the years a few readers have written to me "Are you a conservative first or a Republican first?"
I have spent most of my adult life working to get Republicans elected to office. Not Christian Republicans nor Jewish Republicans, nor Muslim Republicans. Not conservatives, moderates, nor liberals.
But, where has the GOP gone?
Over those many years I have worked as diligently for a "Rockefeller Republican" running in the Northeast as I have worked for a "Gingrich Republican" running in the deep South.
Governor Mike Pence is a good example of how far things have gone off course.
I remember the outrage in the early 1970s when, in his song Imagine, John Lennon sang
"Imagine there's no countries;
No countries? A One-Worlder! Cancel his visa!
Yet, Pence has said a number of times since his appointment as the GOP nominee for Vice President:
It isn't hard to do…"
"I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order."
I don't doubt for one second that he is being honest about that. But, it would be nice if he could shoehorn "American" somewhere into that list.
Where has the GOP gone?
On the other side, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine is a Senator from Virginia. And, not even Northern Virginia at that. He isn't nearly as pro-choice, as anti-trade, or as committed to maintaining or expanding Social Security benefits as Hillary Clinton.
Kaine could just as easily have been the GOP nominee.
Hillary Clinton is never not going to be Hillary Clinton. She has, for her entire public life, trod atop of the bright line between right and wrong, legal and illegal, and; too-smart-for-her-own-good and just plain stupid.
As we know all too well, public officials who try to balance on that narrow fence will occasionally fall off on the wrong side.
Donald Trump is a singular case. In his acceptance speech he intimated that only he could fix what's wrong with the system. "I will be your voice," he said.
That whole "Government of the people, for the people, and by the people" doesn't work in the board room at Trump Tower.
Based upon how the campaign has been run, and how the convention was run, it may be a government of the Trumps, by the Trumps and, for the Trumps.
Where has the GOP gone?
Where Hillary Clinton is seen as the plodding darling of the establishment, Donald Trump is seen as flailing around in a universe defined by 140 characters.
The Founding Fathers warned us about political parties. James Madison wrote:
"All civilized societies would be divided into different sects, factions, and interests, ...of rich and poor, debtors and creditors, ... the inhabitants of this district or that district, the followers of this political leader or that political leader, the disciples of this religious sect or that religious sect. In all cases where a majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger."
We have gone from a warning against any political parties, to two dominant political parties, to the election of 2016: Two cults of personality.
Where has America gone?
Lad Link: @ReedGalen's brilliant column looking back over the decades to spot the path that got us to where we are today. HERE.
One the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the lyrics to Imaging, to the differences between Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton, and to the Library of Congress' discussion of political parties in America.
The Mullfoto is of my donation to the Miss America Pageant.
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