qazulight,Wow, I know yours is a re-post, but wow. I'm an atheist (even though I'm more Christian in many ways than all of my relatives, which run the gamut from slightly less atheist to born-again Christian). So it was easy for me to see, in real time, everything you have documented. I didn't have any sacred cows to worry about. That you were able to see it is tremendously more impressive. And what it makes me realize is my post is sort of besides the point. We need a root cause analysis. And in the end, the problem is that the Republican party has been taken over by grifters. These grifters have been trying to pander, ever more so, to various shades of extremism, in order to make money or stay in power. Economics extremists (no new taxes, ever! tax cuts always pay for themselves!), military extremists (torture! WMD! we never met a war we didn't like!) and yes, sorry to say so, but also religious extremists who wish to impose their will on all of us. Of course these grifters don't really care about deficits, or keeping America safe, or states rights, or morality. They care about power. And keeping it. Period. I would say also money. Except money is power. So, returning to my root cause analysis. The root cause is the Republican Party has been taken over by power hungry grifters. In the service of their goals, the party pandered to, and, perhaps to an extent they did not intend, empowered, various flavors of extremists. This leads directly to my point number 1, a party intolerant or even openly scornful of non-traditional groups. It also leads, especially, to point number 2, a party way out of the mainstream on the issues (as illustrated by the 2012 Republican Party Platform). Because the Republican party is out of the mainstream the issues, they draw joke candidates to their primary like moths to the flame--my point number 3. And also because of this, such candidate run stronger than moderates, who all but one drop out, my point number 4. So the Republican Party is left with terrible positions on the issues, and a terrible candidate. Now what? Running a normal, reasonably honest campaign is doomed. So, better find ways to keep Democrats from voting. That's point number 5. And better lie your ass off, because lord knows you have no chance whatsoever if you're constrained by telling the truth. That's my point number 6. So, in the end, that's the real problem to be solved: How to wrest the party from cynical, power-mad, grifters. Maybe losing 5 of 6 Presidential elections, as happened to Democrats from 1968 to 1988, could make it possible. Wouldn't that be great. A Republican I could think of voting for in 2020. We can always dream. Gordon66
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