Everything you need to know about today’s Republican Party is summed up by a photo from President Trump’s political rally Saturday in Ohio. Two men in the crowd look defiantly at the camera, proudly displaying the slogan on their matching T-shirts: “I’d Rather Be A Russian Than A Democrat.”
The sound you hear is the GOP presidents of the Cold War era — Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and Reagan — whirring like turbines in their graves.
This is the state of derangement to which Trump has brought a once-great political party. Anyone tempted to dismiss these cult-of-personality rallies as freakish sideshows should keep in mind one sobering fact: An astounding 89 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s performance as president, according to Gallup. The GOP has lost its mind.
The Republican Party used to believe in fiscal discipline and worry about the mounting national debt; Trump has blown a trillion-dollar hole in the budget. The party used to believe in free trade; Trump is imposing tariffs left and right, including on our closest allies. The party used to believe in free markets; Trump clumsily tries to pick winners and losers, hectors the independent Federal Reserve board and uses his Twitter feed to attack individual companies for political reasons.
The GOP used to champion American ideals of freedom and justice throughout the world. Trump gives the back of his hand to the post-war alliance of Western democracies, and has nothing but praise for autocratic rulers who abuse human rights in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Philippines — and, of course, Russia.