If there is one question I’d like asked of any other Republican candidate besides Donald Trump, on any debate stage that may or may not come to exist during this neverending circus, it is this:
How are you different?
I don’t mean in demeanor. Lots of you are nicer than Donald Trump. Lots of you use fewer ALL CAPS or exclamation points in your Tweets. Lots of you say things about accepting those that are different from you, loving the sinner, replacing Obamacare, having compassion. Lots of you speak with a softer voice.
I mean in position.
Do you believe America should build a wall around itself, and blame recent immigrants for its crime and drug problems?
Do you believe the only solution with regard to other countries — Japan and China in particular — is to “beat them?”
Do you believe Obamacare is “amazingly destructive” and will result in “disaster” for the country?
Do you believe waste and fraud in government programs comes primarily from poor people who benefit from those programs?
Do you believe the greatest problem in American education is the demon known as Common Core?
Do you believe there are “degrees” of rape, and that marital rape is basically a fiction?
Do you believe all of those things?
Because when I hear Republicans bemoaning Trump’s candidacy, when I hear all this disingenuous longing for the good old days of The Real Serious GOP, what I really hear is this:
I long for the good old days when we could be bigots, without being so LOUD about it.
I long for the good old days — when we could claim Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond as our own, run the war on drugs, and ignore the AIDS crisis — because back then Republicans were intelligent, thoughtful people.
I long for the good old days, when stupidity at least could be cloaked by a degree from an elite university instead of stuffed under a bad hairpiece.
When I hear Republicans talking about how Donald Trump is making them look bad, all I can think is that that happens, often, when you forget to keep using your Company Voice and start slamming back tequila shots.
I would love for someone to ask one of the so-called serious candidates, one of the real candidates, one of those who merely believes teachers’ unions are the root of all evil and black people don’t really have rights in the face of police authority, exactly how Donald Trump is any different from them.
Aside from the toupee, anyway.