To most Americans, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are foaming-at-the-mouth fanatics far beyond the sphere of reason. To the media they are precious audience builders. A lot of TV viewers tune in to gasp at their outrageous ideas. That’s probably why you’re hearing so much about this awful pair’s chances in the 2016 presidential race.
I have no doubt that there are some voters who want America to end foreign aid and retreat into isolationism, who would welcome a society where it’s every man for himself, who view women as chattel and dark-pigmented people as inherently inferior to those with pinkish complexions. But I am confident those voters are a minority and I don’t see any chance of Americans electing Cruz or Paul as their president.
The Republican that makes me nervous is Chris Christie (photo above).
Larry O’Donnell aired a segment last night showing Christie and Paul exchanging volleys, and the MSNBC pundit concluded that there’s a civil war brewing in the Republican Party. If that’s true, it could make Christie look electable. The New Jersey governor could emerge as the “reasonable” Republican (an oxymoron if ever there was one).
Christie is anything but reasonable, of course. He is a hard-nosed conservative who disdains such frills as public education and trade unions – especially the unions representing government employees. And while he might exhibit a kind of no-nonsense modernism, his views on social issues are just as old-fashioned as the rest of his party.
No same-sex marriages for him. No women’s right to choose parenthood. No regulation for the big bankers who loot the country.
Fiscally, he’s a typical trickle-down, small-government guy, who would give more to the rich and take more from the poor.
But he puts on a good show. He’s an accomplished hugger, and he defied his party by cozying up to President Obama in exchange for federal aid to Hurricane Sandy victims in his state. Compared with some Republicans – Paul and Cruz, for example – that makes him look refreshingly reasonable.
But voters must beware this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Behind his regular-guy facade is an old-fashioned patrician intent on preserving the privileges of America’s ruling class.