BY RICHARD L. FRICKER
The run up to the South Carolina Republican primary conjures an image of someone getting drunk, the jokes and funny quips eventually, after the fourth telling, become tiresome. The debate roadshow, having a certain Jerry Springer quality, has been a national political embarrassment.
Republicans have failed to articulate any viable platform or policy, other than how they would get even with the poor and disenfranchised for being poor and disenfranchised. They have, however, managed to degrade each other with personal attacks and outlandishly stupid statements.
It is a shame, given the candidates supposed education level, that the best this group can come up with are loony-tune statements such has having judges arrested for unpopular rulings, dismantling the government for the sake of corporations, blaming the unemployed for the economic woes created by the last administrations and any number of other goofball comments.
And now we are promised a “blood bath” in South Carolina as the ultra-right third tier loons attempt to push frontrunner Mitt Romney off center stage. That is not to say that Romney is a stellar choice, or that he has managed to articulate any particular policy or program that would lead the republic forward.
Romney has merely managed to appear less nuts than the attack pack gnawing at this ankles.
Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and, yes, even poor old Rick Perry, the candidate everyone would like to forget, are now going to out-conserve each other for the benefit of the most base elements of American political thought.
Michele Bachmann had the good graces, along with Herman Cain to leave the field. Bachman retired from the contest because people got weary of her anti-gay, god-based uninformed campaign. Cain left because, well frankly, he got caught pinching fannies and having his physical self in places it shouldn’t be.
The super PACs supporting this circus of political drunks seem to have millions to spend on promoting the degrading of unemployed Americans, fostering ill feelings for non-white, non-conservative Americans. But this basket of millionaires, oft referred to as “job creators,” seems to have no money with which to “create” jobs but lots of filthy lucre with which to try and purchase the government.
It is time for rank-and-file Republicans to step forward demanding an end to degrading of the political process. It is time for the rank-and-file Republicans to demand policy and programs not based on hate or revenge but rooted in political philosophy.
When looking at what the Republican Party has allowed itself to become one can only feel a sadness that penetrates the entire electoral process. With the exception of Jon Huntsman and Romney this primary cycle has been a disgrace that will only worsen in the hills of South Carolina.
It would not come as a surprise to see an ultra-conservative third party effort emerge after South Carolina. The evangelical Taliban, Tea Party and neo-libertarians just cannot accept that voters, Republican or Democrats, do not want what they see as their vision, if in fact it is a vision and not a drunk hallucination, for America.
This effort to take America across the line into the realm of self-liquidation based on a twisted and unreal idea of what is conservative must stop. Just because a journalist says you are a loon does not mean you are NOT a loon.
What supporters, such as those of Ron Paul, call bias may well be nothing more than honest assessment. Journalists spend a lot of time around candidates and staff; they are tasked with reporting what they see; and loony is loony.
It is time to return to politics. ‘Tis better to have “Bad Bob” the biker, tattoos head to toe with a Billy Gibbons beard and a can of beer in his hand, if he has a sound program, than what has been presented in this primary freak show.
America can only wait to see what comes out of the South Carolina primary campaign. If it is the blood bath as predicted? America will be the worse for wear.
America deserves more than loons drunk on politics waiting for last call.
– Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Martian Llama Racing Explained, is available at http://www.richardfricker.com.