Have you given any thought to what you will do if they win?
You know who I mean.
Some of them are people who attended Kevin Swanson’s “Religious Liberty Conference” and followed him onstage after he pranced about admonishing people not to “carve happy faces on open, puss-y sores,” “don’t you dare carve happy faces on open, puss-y sores,“ and called for the execution of homosexuals. Yes, execution, not immediately, but after they have been given a chance to repent.
Execution. Round them up and put them to death. Because, well, Leviticus.
Bobby Jindal apparently had no problem with sharing the stage with this guy.
Mike Huckabee had no problem.
Ted Cruz had no problem.
These are candidates for President of the United States and members the Republican Party.
Bobby Jindal is a sitting governor of the state of Louisiana. Ted Cruz is a sitting senator. Mike Huckabee is a past governor. And they all consider themselves Christians.
Ted Cruz told Kevin Swanson that any man who doesn’t start every day on his knees isn’t fit to be Commander in Chief. Apparently you should pray before you get off your knees and kill gays. I wonder if you pray for forgiveness because you will be killing gays or forgiveness because you decided not to kill people who work on the Sabbath like the Bible also tells you to do. Maybe for ignoring the words of the Son of God in favor of the third book in the Hebrew Torah. Or do you pray for forgiveness at all? Do you just thump your chest and say, “Look at me, God! I’m your man.”?
President Cruz. What will you do then?
The Christianity exhibited by today’s Republican candidates is not the Christianity I remember. I went to church every Sunday when I was young. It made enough of an impression on me that I undertook a religion minor in college. The teachings of Jesus Christ are an excellent model for a life philosophy, whether you subscribe to his divinity or not. And if you do subscribe to his divinity and conduct yourself in a manner counter to his teachings, how can you demand respect as a Christian?
I don’t see that model embodied in today’s Republican candidates.
I see prideful men using other people’s sincere belief as a nose ring to lead them away from the actual teachings of Christ and toward what Pope Francis has called the new golden calf, the worship of money and power. I see pretenders and snake oil peddlers, using religion as a blunt force object with which to beat down anyone who disagrees with them.
Nate Silver, an extremely accurate pollster, currently gives the Republicans a 50-50 chance of winning the presidency.
There’s a 50-50 chance that a Republican will be president. If that happens, you can be sure the House and Senate will also be Republican.
Donald Trump says that we have to send 11 million illegal immigrants back across the border. Have to. We’re either a country or we’re not.
So what will you do when they come for the illegals? Where will they find them? Will they just knock on doors, asking to see your papers? What will you do when they knock on your door and ask to see proof of your citizenship?
What will you do when the Hispanic community fights back and the National Guard is called out to maintain order? And what will the local National Guardsmen do when asked to round up their schoolmates and neighbors?
What will you do when parents are plucked from their homes and deported while their children are in school and then become the problem of Children’s Services?
What will you do then?
Every Republican candidate wants to repeal The Affordable Care Act.
What will you do when someone you know loses their health insurance entirely? Or your child who just got out of college can no longer afford to remain covered?
Ted Cruz says that Black Lives Matter is celebrating the murder of police. Ben Carson calls the movement “silly.” Jeb Bush called it a slogan. After the Supreme Court gutted it, Republicans have refused to reinstitute the Voting Rights Act, Republican state governments continue to make it harder for blacks to vote in the south, and police continue to kill unarmed black youth without consequences. What will you do when blacks across the country finally decide that they have no hope for equality under our government and take to the streets en masse.
What will you do then?
Trump, Rubio and Carson all say the minimum wage shouldn’t be raised. Jeb Bush would abolish it at the federal level. All the while it has become increasingly difficult for minimum wage earners to afford housing at today’s prices. There is no longer any state in the country where you can afford housing at 30% of your income (the accepted standard) by working at the federally mandated minimum wage. In some states you would have to work over 80 hours per week. When someone you know becomes homeless or must make choices between rent and food, how will you react?
Republican candidate reaction to climate change ranges from flat-out denial to conditional acceptance with the caveat that we can’t sacrifice jobs to combat it. When it is too late for any meaningful action and millions are threatened by rising seas and mega storms, what will you do then?
And if the constant growth of fanatical right evangelical religion continues under Republican protection, what will you do when they come to take your son or your daughter or nephew or cousin or brother away to be stoned because he or she was born with different genes than someone else? Because the Hebrew Bible, 2000 years ago, called that a crime punishable by death, you know, just like planting two crops in one field or working on the Sabbath.
How about then?
And how is any of this different from other fascist states in the past or the extreme Islamic religious organizations that Republicans insist we must destroy before they destroy us.
The biggest unknown in election forecasting is voter turnout. The 2016 turnout is expected to be larger than 2014, but by how much? Enough? It will take a massive Democratic turnout to create change up and down ticket.
Nate Silver says 50/50 chance of a Republican president as of today. What if they win? What will your life be like in five years if one of the snake oil peddlers prevails because no one really thought about what life would be like when that happened?
What will you do then?
What will you do now?
Your Humble Servant,
Roger A. Shipley, The Willowbrook Curmudgeon