The sixth Republican presidential debate last night in South Carolina was not much different from the previous five. Two common features of their debates have been the continuing demonizing of President Obama and the conflicts between the candidates. These two things are a manifestation of how divisive their politics has become.
It is hardly a surprise that the GOP seems to have this problem of unity within their party. Where there is a lack of leadership there is no unity. Going back to George Bush’s presidency, the party has had a serious leadership problem. This problem became more pronounced since 2008 when President Obama was elected the first black president. Instead of working with the president and showing him respect, the GOP made it their priority to demonize the president. In so doing they have neglected doing the work they were elected to do — serve the people.
President Obama is not the reason why “the country is headed the wrong way” according to the GOP propaganda. The reason is clear; it is the lack of GOP leadership and their obsession to destroy the legacy of President Obama.
Demonizing President Obama is so entrenched in the GOP’s psyche that it manifests itself the disrespect the GOP presidential candidates disrespect him. At last night’s debate the president was referred to as, “Barack Obama,” “Obama,” and ‘this president.” It is not just that they refer to him this way it is also the mean-spirited way they do it. None of the developed countries refers their president or prime minister this way. Sen. Rubio did this 8 times, Sen. Cruz 6, Gov. Christie 5, Gov. Bush 2, and Mr. Trump 1.
The GOP’s disrespect of President Obama is disturbing and unacceptable because it sends the wrong message to the world and to the enemies of the US. At home, it creates a toxic climate filled with mistrust, hate, anger, and cynicism of the political process.
With the political climate becoming toxic, it allows all kinds of political corruption to creep in. We have seen these corruption in voter suppression, increased propaganda, the undermining of democracy, and the divisiveness in the political arena and society. These serious problems might not be easy to reverse. The only way to revere them is for people to demand better.
- A President who Cares and Understands the Tragedies of Gun Violence
- Racism In America: From the Beginning to the End