Republican candidates field a resistance movement against change

October 30, 2015
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Trump speaks as Rubio and Carson listen at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder

Donald Trump speaks as Senator Marco Rubio (L) and Ben Carson (R) listen at the GOP presidential candidate debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Look at the slogans Republican presidential candidates are running on: “Make America great again” (Donald Trump); “Believe again” (Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal); “Reigniting the promise of America” (Senator Ted Cruz of Texas); “Restore the American Dream” (former Senator Rick Santorum)’ “Heal.  Inspire.  Revive” (Ben Carson).

Notice a theme here? They’re all about restoring and reviving something. That would be the Old America, when the country was whiter, men were in charge, government was smaller and religion more influential. And, Republicans would quickly add, the United States was more successful, more self-assured and a more powerful player on the world stage.

Democrats rally to the theme of diversity and inclusion. Sometimes they go overboard, like the San Francisco middle school teacher who refused to announce the results of a student council election because the winners were not diverse enough. Her critics howled, “Diversity trumps democracy!” — until she relented.

Republican U.S. presidential candidates Rubio and Carson look on as Trump shakes hands with Christie during a break at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder

Senator Marco Rubio (L) and Ben Carson (2nd R) look on as Donald Trump (2nd L) shakes hands with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) during a commercial break at the Republican presidential debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Republicans hate political correctness.  When challenged on his opposition to same-sex marriage, Carson said during Wednesday night’s CNBC debate that you “shouldn’t automatically assume that, because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, you are a homophobe.” The left, he added, tries to “frighten people and get people to shut up. That’s what the PC culture is all about, and it’s destroying this nation.”

The Republican Party has become a resistance movement. Republicans are resisting the rise of a diverse New America and its attempt to impose political correctness on U.S. culture. You can see the signs of resistance everywhere.

You see it in new voter-identification requirements that have been passed in many Republican-controlled states. Like the law in Kansas that requires people to provide written proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

Trump’s cause is resistance to illegal immigration. He warned that if he doesn’t get elected president, the Ford Motor Co. “will build a new plant in Mexico and illegals are going to drive those cars over the border.” He added, in defiance of political correctness, “They’ll probably end up stealing the cars.”

Carson’s cause is resistance to liberals who threaten traditional religious values. His call to “revive” is a signal to fundamentalists who have a long tradition of religious revival.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, calls for resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement, which he blames for rising crime rates. “Police officers are afraid to get out of their cars,” Christie claimed during the debate. “They’re afraid to enforce the law.” In his closing statement, Christie stated, “I am deadly serious about changing this culture.”

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Cruz speaks as Fiorina looks on at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder

Senator Ted Cruz speaks as Carly Fiorina looks on at the 2016 Republican presidential candidate debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Cruz’s cause is resistance to big government, which he defends as a populist cause. “The truth of the matter is, big government benefits the wealthy,” Cruz charged Wednesday night. “It benefits the lobbyists, it benefits the giant corporations.”

“This is how socialism starts,” Carly Fiorina warned. “Government causes a problem, and then government steps in to solve the problem.”

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was overthrown largely because he didn’t put up enough resistance to the Obama administration. “Boehner just didn’t seem to want to fight anything,” a Republican voter was quoted as saying.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida stood out at the CNBC debate because he didn’t talk about restoring the Old America. He couldn’t. He’s too young (44). His family came to the United States as immigrants from Cuba in the 1950s. “There’s a sense in this country today that somehow our best days are behind us,” Rubio said in his opening statement. “That doesn’t have to be true. Our greatest days lie ahead.”

Rubio talked about his personal experience of the American dream. “This is the nation that literally changed the history of my family,” Rubio said. “My parents in this country were able to give me the chance to do all the things they never did. We call that the American dream.”

He talked about expanding the American dream “to reach more people and change more lives than ever before.” Rubio’s answer to the immigration problem? “The ideal scenario is to train Americans to do the work so we don’t have to rely on people from abroad.”

Inclusion, Rubio said, should be based on values, not political correctness: “Whether or not you’re coming here to become an American, not just live in America, but be an American.”

The old saw about presidential nominations is that Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line. According to Rubio, the Republican Party establishment tells him, “Why don’t you wait in line?” His answer: “Wait for what?  This country is running out of time.  . . . The time to act is now. The time to turn the page is now.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush sees Rubio as a threat. He’s right. In a presentation to Bush’s top donors this week, his campaign staffers said, “We need to offer a contrast to the current president. Hillary [Clinton] will pitch competence and experience. Marco is a GOP Obama.” Meaning, he is inexperienced and will be in over his head.

There’s one problem with that argument. President Barack Obama won. Twice.

11 comments

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GOP is in a tailspin. It’s a race to the bottom. Who can be the most ignorant, paranoid, anti-science cry baby on the stage.

Luckily, none of this matters. None of them are leaders, and none of them are headed to the White House.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

I wouldn’t give too much credence to this author, or, to anyone encouraging me to translate ” “Make America great again” or “Heal. Inspire. Revive” as the hopes and wishes of only a few old white men. That’s just too narrow a definition by any dictionary and reads like a liberal talking-points list.

Most Americans can still remember a time when we believed in every individual’s promise to become better off financially and educationally through each person’s own initiative coupled with a culture of less dependence on government. It can happen again with focus and resolve and competent leaders.

Posted by hometown | Report as abusive

“coupled with a culture of less dependence on government…”

Wish someone would have told Bush and Cheney that… BEFORE they handed Halliburton a hundred billion dollars in “logistics support” contracts in Iraq. Then they took the money and moved the company (and the money) to Dubai. Haha. What a delusional joke, this republican self-reliance.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Shame on you Bill Schneider for making such an absurd leap here. Really Bill, a professor should know one of the core principles of logic/fallacious thinking….False Cause – ‘When one infers the presence of a causal connection simply because events appear to occur in correlation’. How can you assume that any of the specified GOP candidates base their respective fundamental principles on a statement such as those you mention above? If a Democratic candidate were to echo the desire to ‘return America to a time of prosperity, reduced violence and personal privacy and liberties, would you make the same claim? Making the assumption that ‘any’ person stating that the country has recently traveled down a dark road based on current national policy and political correctness, is surreptitiously professing bigotry, homophobia or the like, is not only fallacious, but academically irresponsible. Is this type of biased thinking what George Mason student are subjected to?

Posted by rdagan | Report as abusive

Wanna bet?

Posted by Sherpa1 | Report as abusive

I voted for Obama twice, and now I hope Trump is elected. I’d like to see the country “go back” to the way things used to be. It was vastly better than the current free-for-all. There was no “political correctness.” Life was, compared to the present, civil and civilized.

Posted by NBE | Report as abusive

Before they start to criticize the democratic process held by the fair press working for the people, the Republican party should spend their efforts to set core principles and select the candidates to provide specific plans for action. Current scramble with over 10 candidates going in different directions and criticizing each other for individual thoughts that are heavily biased against common public whose votes they need does not depict an organization of professionalism and direction needed for winning in any endeavor. Let the republican party come back with some organization. Until then all news media including Fox should work together in the interest of the people of the USA and refuse to organize another debate including for democrats. This will put pressure on both parties to come with fair proposals instead of bickering. The partisan bias tactics to lean on one party is despicable in country like ours considered a leader in democracy in the world. This is something the republicans should fix first if they want to go back to respected good old America again.

Posted by slnsimhan | Report as abusive

When will people ever learn that you can never “go back”?

Posted by Calvin2k | Report as abusive

Trump as a president and Rubio as vice president can bring change to bring America back.

Posted by gentalman | Report as abusive

Typical republican cry babies. “These questions are hard. You guys are laughing at me. Waaaaaaaa.”

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

“I voted for Obama twice, and now I hope Trump is elected.”

That’s clearly a lie. And a transparent one. No Obama voter would vote for Trump. Trump is an ignorant white supremacist who panders to Kentucky’s worst.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive