I'm apparently the opposite of "typical" (as if I need more reminders of that), because as I get older, I get less set in my ways and more convinced that ideological absolutes and extremes are the totally wrong way to go about life. Such is the case with current politics. I'm continually disappointed by the left/liberal/Democrat side that doesn't have the balls or moral leadership to actually get anything done, win elections or otherwise motivate constituents. On the other side, I'm completely fed up with the right/"conservative"/Republican schmucks who have been completely hijacked by extremists that appeal mostly to a vocal minority and have no sense of decorum or morality.
We're rewatching The Newsroom (I'm sure I'll write about it again), where Jeff Daniels' character Will McAvoy is an outspoken cable news anchor who also happens to be openly Republican. He's also a former prosecutor and exceptionally scholarly about American history and politics. Set during the 2010 to 2012 time frame, he declares war on the Tea Party and calls them the "American Taliban." During the newscast portrayed at the conclusion of the 2012 election night coverage, a guest analyst asks him how he can call himself a Republican while nightly attacking the GOP. He says:
No, I call myself a Republican 'cause I am one. I believe in market solutions, and I believe in common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that's about it. Problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats. And I have to hate Chris Christie for not spitting on the President when he got off Air Force One.
Now, take what he said and pile even more on: You also have to believe that immigrants are a scourge on the nation and the source of increasing crime, even though crime is not increasing and immigrants, legal or illegal are less likely to commit crimes than natives. You have to believe liberals all want your guns, when they just want them better regulated. You have to believe that victims of sexual assault are just making it up for political reasons. You have to believe that the press is the enemy, despite being so core to our democracy that it's protected by the Constitution. You have to think that tax cuts for corporations will trickle down to middle class workers (they don't), and that tax cuts are totally worth it no matter how much worse they make the deficit. But worst of all, you have to excuse the behavior of a president that, if it were any of us in any job, would get us fired without question. That's what it's come to.
Look, I find many of the Republican ideals completely absurd, but the core, old school beliefs around small government, fiscal responsibility and a market driven economy aren't all bad. The president and those currently in Congress don't subscribe to these values at all. They're Republicans in name, and that's about it. Where have the reasonable, old school Republicans gone?