I have spent most of this week trying to forget that America has fallen to such a sorry state that a despicable douche like Ted Cruz could be considered a serious presidential candidate—all to no avail. Trying to forget about Ted Cruz is like trying to forget that your sewer line has plugged, sewage is backing up into your basement, and your whole house smells like ... well, it's just hard to forget, let's leave it at that.
So yesterday, I took a new approach. I asked Okay, Bill, is this despicable douche so different from other despicable douches who have run for president in America's past?
and I immediately felt better—somewhat. Truly, America's history is full of despicable douches who ran for the presidency—some of whom actually won. Andrew Jackson, for instance. Ol' "Twenty-Dollar-Bill" Andy, we call him—and by the way, I heartily support replacing his mug with anyone, male or female, who didn't perpetrate mass murder and genocide. (reference: "Trail of Tears-1831")
Aaron Burr ... now there's a despicable douche who ran for president as far back as 1800. He didn't win, but at the time, he was a far more viable candidate than anyone the modern Republican Party has offered up recently. He actually tied with Thomas Jefferson, and without the intervention of Alexander Hamilton, he might have been our third president. (reference: "U.S. Treasury Secretary killed in duel by U.S. Vice President.")
I admit, the GOP doesn't have a monopoly on despicable douches running for president. However, there does seem to be a heavy concentration, especially in the 20th Century, of despicable douche presidential candidates from the southern states. Strom Thurmond and George Wallace, both Democrats who ran as independents, were as douchey and despicable as a presidential contender can get, both running—1948 and 1968, respectively—on a platform to keep African-Americans in a perpetual hell of segregation.
While I don't consider Barry Goldwater a despicable douche, we have to concede he blazed the trail for dozens of despicable douches in the years since his run (1964). Richard Nixon, say. And Pat Buchanan. And of course, Ronald Reagan.
But it is in recent years that it has become a prerequisite
for candidates of one whole political party to be despicable douches. Seriously, where would the Republican Party be today if it weren't for Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Huckabee, Trump, Bachmann, and, of course, George W. Bush? (I do not include Mitt Romney among these latter-day despicable douches. He is a douche, no doubt about that, but in my estimate, he's too dumb to be considered "despicable.")
So as you can see, when put in proper perspective, Ted Cruz is simply another in a long line, though he seems determined to take it to a new level. I know it's unfashionable to compare today's most reactionary figures to personalities from the good old days of fascism, but at a certain point, the similarities must be considered more than mere coincidence.
Should I continue to be worried he could actually win the nomination and the presidency? ... yes and no. I predict the Republican nominee will be the man who says the most deplorable, disgusting, dishonest and despicable
things about Barack Obama. After all, that race hate is about all that's left of the Republican Party anymore, and Cruz is working hard to be the most offensive. So yes, with any momentum from the crazies of Iowa and the loons of New Hampshire, I could easily imagine him abandoning all decency and coming out of the GOP convention the Big Ugly.
But I have enough faith in the non-Republicans of this country to believe they would never elect a man so nakedly, cravenly ambitious—a man who has demonstrated repeatedly that he would sink this nation with his douchey tricks and greasy schemes, if only to grab attention and approval from the shuffling white trash of the Republican base.
Of course. my faith is contingent on non-Republicans being able to vote. And the shuffling white trash seems determined to prevent that from happening. (reference: "Voter I.D. Laws, Elimination of Polling Places in Democratic Precincts, Purging of Registered Voter Rolls, Restricted Early Voting, Closed Primaries, etc. ... etc.")