Help! We political wordsmiths are in urgent need of assistance from lexicologists.
The Republican presidential primary has gone so far out, so beyond accepted boundaries of civic and civil behavior, that we’ve run out of words to describe the extreme weirdness. Words like bizarre, loopy, grotesque, burlesque, and freak show just don’t do justice to it.
From the days of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, American politics has never been an endeavor for the delicate — it’s closer to a demolition derby than to a game of badminton. But still, the slur-fest and hate-mongering of the campaigns being run by Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Daffy, Sleepy, Dopey, Curly, and Moe are extraordinarily excremental.
Who could’ve thought that in 2016 a major party’s contenders for the presidency — not the presidency of some Phi Kappa Bubba fraternity, but of the United States — would degenerate into wholesale racial and religious bigotry, cartoonish xenophobia, crude misogyny, tabloid conspiracy theories, mocking of the disabled, and schoolboy taunts about each other’s sweating, wetting of their pants, and the size of their private parts?
Worse than an embarrassment, their asinine antics are preying on people’s legitimate anger about being knocked out of the middle class by today’s power elites and being consigned to a future of poverty. To distract America’s hard-hit majority from looking up at these moneyed elites, the GOP’s candidates are telling us to look down at “them” and to fear, hate, and denigrate everyone who’s “not like us.”
A politics that convinces people that their lives can be better by making other people’s lives worse is a path leading straight down into the hell of an American fascism.