The Frightening Republican Failure to Understand Reality

What scares me about the presidential election a year from now is the possibility that one of the GOP candidates could win it. In every case, these guys fail not just in showing even modest ability to run the most powerful government in the world, but each and every one of them clearly demonstrates a failure to understand the real world.

Good grief, look at The Donald. Trump is an obnoxious billionaire egotist who’s not even good at his own business, reigning over one billion-dollar bankruptcy after another. His great answer to all the problems he would face as president is “I’m gonna fix that”, which includes everything from ending poverty to stopping (nonexistent) voting fraud, to making (private) health care affordable to balancing the budget. His entire foreign policy consists of deporting 11-million Mexicans because they are all rapists and criminals, and to prevent every single Mexican from coming north by building a 1,900 mile wall on the entire Mexican-US border. Maginot line, anyone? He wants the country to be all white again, just at the point where Spanish speakers are about to outnumber English speakers.

Paul Ryan is author of a budget proposal, one of the few from GOP candidates, but based entirely on fantasy. It depends on massive amounts of money in most categories, but fails to mention where this money will come from, a process Paul Krugman refers to as the “magic asterisk” and even government analysts can’t explain. One presumes Paul Ryan thinks it will come from dissolution of Social Security, Medicare, and other essential programs that serve over 300-million people.

Senator James Inhofe, although not a candidate, demonstrates typical Republican attitudes. He’s chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. He, like far too many Republicans, simply doesn’t understand how the world works. Despite tens of thousands of scientific papers demonstrating climate change and its dangers, and repeated calls for the US to do something, Inhofe’s most significant environmental act has been to bring a snowball onto the Senate floor, thereby “proving” that planetary warming is a hoax. He will be the single person most responsible for millions of deaths because he has refused all action, leaving us completely unprepared for climate change.

He is not alone in failing to understand science. Dr. Ben Carson, who somehow managed to remain not only ignorant but truly stupid in spite of his medical degree, has made a mini-career of dumfounding pronouncements. Among them: evolution is a trick of the devil; the Big Bang is a fairy tale; gun control is what caused the Holocaust; mass murders are the fault of victims; the Affordable Care Act is worse than slavery. He is also certain that prison causes homosexuality. The proof, he says, is that they go in straight and come out gay. Where he got this notion is anyone’s guess.

It’s not that Republicans are bending the truth a little bit. It’s that they have made outright lies and stupidity central elements of the party platform. My god, if one of these fools became president… 

No reasonable person has been able figure out Republican men’s obsession with women’s health, although quite clearly many of them don’t understand basic human anatomy and biology. White Republican males have proposed hundreds of laws to restrict and control women, but not a single one for men. And for irrational reasons they are determined to close down Planned Parenthood, which provides health care for 2.7 million women. They don’t want a single dollar of government money to provide abortion, something which does not occur. They don’t want PP to be able to sell “baby parts”, although selling “baby parts” has never been possible. In short, they want to end something that doesn’t exist, and punish 2.7 million women in the process.

Terrorists blew up the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on 11 Sept. 2012, killing ambassador Stevens and three others. Republicans soon launched an investigation, not to find out what happened, but hoping to find something they could pin on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Seventeen months of total failure at this goal and two significant and embarrassing public exposures of the real Republican motives behind the investigation—to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign—have not discouraged them. They continue their witch hunt in hopes that enough suckers will believe them to distort the election.

Every Republican president for at least a half century has promised to shrink the national debt, but always ends up increasing the budget by giving yet more billions to the very wealthy, thereby increasing the national debt. In spite of any evidence that it does so, Republicans continue to believe that great wealth will create jobs and bring affluence to all. This has been proven false numerous times. It’s worth noting that only Democrats have actually reduced the national budget.

If there is one favorite activity of every Republican it’s starting new wars. I suppose it proves that one’s testosterone level is more than adequate. Virtually all of the candidates think that bombing Iran is just about the best thing we could do. Most of them would also like to re-invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and send tens of thousands of troops and bombs to Syria and the West Bank.

Aside from almost daily stupid statements of various GOP presidential hopefuls, all Republicans believe in the efficacy of giving money to billionaires; that money would be saved by destroying everything that protects the average American, such as Social Security and the Affordable Care Act; and that military spending, now about twice that of China, and equal to the next dozen major military powers, must be increased. Every one of these beliefs has either proven false multiple times, stands no chance because what they want to kill protects 300-million Americans; or makes no logical sense.

And yet… Because their falsehoods are persistent over many years, True Believers might accept them as fact, and there is the scary possibility that one of these incompetents could be the next president. George W. Bush, who is without question one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had, was dismaying, but the current crop is truly frightening.

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