The current version of the GOP has been a mess for a while. We can almost exclusively thank the Trump Era for that.
When the 2016 presidential campaign began, the desire to beat Democrat Hillary Clinton fueled a type of rationalization that continues to this day. The problematic words and actions of Republican Donald J. Trump were quickly dismissed. If similar behavior had come from someone on the left side of the aisle, it would have quickly, and correctly, been condemned by Republicans.
But Trump was praised by the slobbering throngs for being an entertaining fighter and was given the party blessing. Such is tribalism.
Since that time, not much has changed. The presidential behavior is often anything but, and the deep wounds inflicted on conservatism will last well beyond the Trump term. The harm that has been done will linger, and Republicans will learn some hard lessons for their foolish and fickle ways.
On Wednesday, after a series of suspicious packages reached several Democratic politician and media targets, some of the loudest of the Trumpian GOP expressed skepticism on the airwaves and across social media. They were certain that the whole plot was orchestrated by the Left in a last-ditch attempt to hurt Republicans ahead of November 6th.
Trump backers who have suggested the bombs are a liberal hoax:
Mike Flynn Jr.
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) October 24, 2018
Not a surprising list. Political grifting and hackery is a lucrative business, something these sellouts and their ilk know well.
On his show, Rush Limbaugh, once upon a time a great voice for the conservative cause, appealed to the conspiracy theory side of his Boomer audience and concluded that the packages were nothing but a stunt.
Limbaugh suggested on his show on Wednesday — soon after reports that devices were sent to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, as well as to CNN’s New York office— that the act was committed to fuel support for Democrats two weeks before the midterm elections.
“It’s happening in October,” Limbaugh said. “There’s a reason for this.”
He added that attempted attacks were out of character for conservatives.
“Republicans just don’t do this kind of thing,” he said.
Elsewhere in the media world, Candace Owens, a young employee of the fetid KidCon group Turning Point USA, was her usual self. In a now-deleted tweet, Owens reduced the events to nothing more than fakery.
I’m going to go ahead and state that there is a 0% chance that these “suspicious packages” were sent out by conservatives. The only thing “suspicious” about these packages is their timing. Caravans, fake bomb threats—these leftists are going ALL OUT for midterms.
To these “leaders” and many of their followers, the worst possible outcome was not that the suspicious packages might hurt someone, but that this incident would negatively affect Republican chances at midterms.
Think about that.
By now, a little more than three years into the mania, many Trump Era Republicans are desensitized to showing concern for anyone outside of their circle. To them, the Left is evil and full of bad people. To them, the Right is made up of pure hearts and minds. But such extremes are nothing but emotionally-based and incorrect. As made evident by the bomb scares, partisanship is alive and well and Republicans’ concern for their fellow Americans is at an all-time and disappointing low.
Because of politics.
Some of the misguided disciples who are quick to defend Trumpism will say that they accept no blame for what happened. They may even defend their position by insisting that the Left is truly evil and some of them wish you actual bodily harm. But their tired protestations only serve to reinforce my point. Long ago, they lowered their standards just to win. Now, they take no ownership for the environment they helped to create.
They, along with the rest of the Trumpian GOP, are as much at fault as the Left for the toxicity that pervades the public square. It’s a sickness that says, “OMG. It’s a plot to harm the election!” before actual concern for their fellow man.
Shame. On. Them. All.
I’m well aware that this perspective is not popular among the Republican crowds that have given up compassionate conservative substance for insulting soundbites, but it needs to be said. I aim to discomfit in an effort to improve the side I once proudly called my own. Someone must.
The poison that has been steadily seeping into our national dialogue is not the product of only one political persuasion. It is a sickening mixture of the worst parts of each side.
So please, Trumpian GOP. Own your rotten contribution.