Thursday, April 16, 2015

Republican Candidates and The Great Divide

"You know in your heart he's right. Far, far right."

In 1964, Barry Goldwater ran for president against Lyndon Johnson and got crushed. He was by standards of the mid-60s very conservative. One of his campaign slogans was: 'You know in your heart he's right.' The quote above is what the opposition did with that suggestion.

Now 50+ years later, we are coming to grips with a completely different kind of conservatism. Thus far, we have Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul with their hats tossed into the far right side of the presidential ring. However, we all know as the tiny car rolls to center stage, there are more clowns candidates set to leap into our collective consciousness.

Let me propose a project in tolerance, understanding and borderline insanity to my liberal friends. Independents, middle of the roaders, moderates and rational republicans might try this as well.

As each candidate makes their announcement, I have been taking a day or two to read the websites, columns, pundits and even their own presidential page to find out what they say they stand for. Without the filter of the "liberal media" the picture is much more clear. 

Please note I am not saying you will find any of them more rational, sane, thoughtful or persuasive. What I will offer from my own first three forays into far right land is this:  Following such a perusal of the candidate's support and supporters, you will have a much better understanding of who these people are. And by "these people" I do not mean the candidates themselves. I refer to those who support policies and rhetoric that you probably find personally offensive or downright insane. 

This is a divided country. Severely, some say hopelessly, divided. I am finding this window into the "other" to be interesting, disappointing, educational and at times frightening. But it is where we are and ostrich behavior won't address the reality of this great divide.

1 comment:

Mike said...

They would tell you in High School debate class that if you couldn't argue convincingly for either side, then you didn't really understand the issue up for debate.