The demise of Amer­ica’s Repub­li­can Party

Malta Independent - - LETTERS - Jos Ed­mond Zarb

There was a time, not so long ago, that a nor­mal po­lit­i­cal party had an ap­pa­ra­tus of pro­fes­sion­als in its midst – ca­pa­ble and hon­est in­di­vid­u­als who have been around for a while and can get things done. But now, with the emer­gence of Don­ald Trump in the po­lit­i­cal arena, those peo­ple might as well not ex­ist!

There was a time when a nor­mal po­lit­i­cal party was united by a con­sis­tent be­lief sys­tem. For decades, the Repub­li­can Party of the United States of Amer­ica has stood for an Amer­i­can-led in­ter­na­tional or­der abroad and small­go­v­ern­ment demo­cratic cap­i­tal­ism at home. That cap­i­tal­ist ethos at least gave Repub­li­cans a fu­ture-ori­ented op­ti­mism.

It has been grue­somely fas­ci­nat­ing to see the Trump phe­nom­e­non eat­ing away the party of Lin­coln and Rea­gan. Trump is dis­man­tling all the good things Repub­li­cans stood for: NATO, en­ti­tle­ment re­form, com­pas­sion­ate con­ser­vatism and the rel­a­tively open move­ment of ideas, peo­ple and trade. Trump’s poli­cies – if they re­ally ex­ist – are de­fen­sive re­coils: build a wall, ban Mus­lims, with­draw from the world and unite with Vladimir Putin’s Rus­sia be­cause Putin is a great leader, much, much bet­ter than our Pres­i­dent Barack Obama!

Can any­one think of a po­lit­i­cal party or move­ment, call it what you want, that has de­voted so much time to ha­tred with­out be­ing blinded by it? For ex­am­ple, look at the way Don­ald Trump has been call­ing peo­ple of in­tegrity liars and traitors for al­most a year.

I have a strong feel­ing that this year’s Amer­i­can pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, come 9 Novem­ber, is prob­a­bly not go­ing to end the way an elec­tion nor­mally ends. It is go­ing to end cat­a­stroph­i­cally, in Novem­ber or be­yond, if, God for­bid, Don­ald Trump is elected 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica.

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