By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
As we tool through the heart of Trump Country, I am struck by the sight of so many flags flying from businesses, lined up along private property lines and from passing motor vehicles.
I am aware of what the pundits say about places such as West Texas: It’s a heavily Republican region; the folks here just cannot vote for a Democrat.
Except that the argument breaks down immediately. Why and how? Well, I have maintained all along that Donald J. Trump isn’t a Republican. He’s a classic Republican In Name Only. A RINO if there ever was one.
Why do I suggest such a thing. Let’s see …
The Office of Management and Budget announced this week that the annual federal budget deficit is going to top $3.1 trillion, the largest by far in American history. Real Republicans used to rail against deficit spending. They ran against President Carter in 1980 by vilifying Carter for presiding over a deficit of $43 billion. Trump is silent. Now, you expect silence from Democrats, because they traditionally haven’t worried as much outwardly about deficit spending. Trump never says a word about the deficit.
Then there’s Russia, the country once known as the Soviet Union, aka the Evil Empire. There once was a time when the GOP would look for reasons to condemn the Russians. No more, man. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is Trump’s boy. Indeed, dictators were among the most hated men on Earth if you listen to Rs talk about them. These days we hear from the leading GOP pol, Trump, that he admires the “leadership” exhibited by Putin, by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and other despots.
The GOP believed in free trade … once upon a time. Trump now believes in launching trade wars.
Republicans once were the party of “family values.” Trump is the anti-family values Republican. He admits to philandering, which cost him two marriages. His behavior is boorish, snotty, disgraceful.
He ran for president as a Republican because he figured it was the path of least resistance to the White House. It turned out to be a brilliant strategic decision. The GOP swilled the snake oil he was peddling.
Here we are. He’s running for re-election. The GOP has lined up behind its Pied Piper.
He is a classic RINO.