The view from my place: Reap what you sow
Leave it to Sen. Marco Rubio (or "Li'l Marco" as he's now known) to blame the rise of Republican front runner, Donald J. Trump (or Drumpf as was his family's name) on President Obama. Why not? Rubio and his party have blamed everything on Obama, except for the falling gas prices, the 14 million new jobs that have been created, the millions of people that now have healthcare and the shockingly low unemployment rate of 4.9% (Mitt Romney declared that he would bring it down to 6%, yet he, too, has been silent on this issue).
It's hard to recall the last time we witnessed a major political party working overtime to undermine and defeat its own front runner, but that's where the Republican Party is today. How did they get here? It's been a long and winding road that led them to this special place in which they currently find themselves.
Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George Bush worked hard to empower their evangelical supporters, yet according to Peter Wallsten of the LA Times when behind closed doors they acknowledged these folks were "nuts" and "goofy". That they were nuts was fine as long as they voted right.
A few ago years Dick Armey, the former Republican Majority Leader in the House, along with some financial help from the Koch brothers, started up a group known as FreedomWorks. You may recall that it was Armey who referred to Barney Frank; an openly gay Congressman, as "Barney Fag". You might also recall that years later when a dispute arose between Armey and FreedomWorks', Matt Kibbe, (the spooky guy with the sideburns) Armey, brandishing a pistol on his belt, attempted to stage a coup and oust Kibbe. Armey is also credited with helping to organize the so-called "Tea Party"; a nice group of angry people who in 2009 took to the streets in violent protests over Obama's proposed immigration reform. Supporters of reform were kicked and beaten by the enraged Tea Party crowd.
Let's fast forward to 2016. Some people are surprised at the rise of Republican nationalist, Donald Trump, and the tide of anger and violence that has lifted him to his new perch as front runner in the Republican Primary, but they shouldn't be. The once, great, party of Lincoln has been nurturing anger, hate and violence for the past decade and a half. It's been a methodical, well-funded effort designed specifically to divide and conquer our nation and it's working.
The battle cry is that you damn well should be angry, because your job has been shipped overseas and/or you've lost your home. The problem, of course, is that those making these claims are the same ones who cost you your job and your home. They have artfully tricked many people into believing that their woes are the fault of the black president; not those who have promoted policies that have cost us our jobs and our stability.
Trump lives in his own reality. The Republican frontrunner declares that he's a uniter; not a divider (does this ring a bell?), yet his rallies look more and more like Germany in the 1930's. He thinks he's just great and will make America great again. But he's not great and if his past record is indicative of what kind of president he would be he will not make America great. We will be lucky if he doesn't bankrupt us as he did with four of his corporations.
Let's not kid ourselves. It's not just Trump. Ted Cruz may very well be one of the most radical, and some might say "nuttiest and goofiest", politicians to appear on the scene. Many see him as a much more dangerous candidate. His radical views are extreme. He appears to be continuing the efforts begun by others.
It's hard to see how the bad seeds planted years ago will now yield a good crop.
— Bob Stannard is a regular Banner columnists who lives in Manchester.
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