Frisch: Party of Reagan now the party of Trump
If you are under the age of 40 and have ever discussed politics with your peers, you have no doubt encountered those who identify as Republican but are quick to tell you that they are not like those other anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-science, anti-Muslim, right-wing extremists. They only vote Republican for the tax cuts.
It is time for those who share this faulty outlook to finally acknowledge that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan has become the party of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Fox News. It is time for them to leave the GOP.
Such a departure should not be particularly difficult. It is not as if Republicans in Congress or their leading presidential candidates have been working hard to earn the support of those who belong to the party simply because of tax policy.
On the contrary. These White House hopefuls and their Congressional allies have been treating us to a master class in pandering to the most extreme elements of their base for quite some time.
In November, GOP hopefuls Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee were introduced to speak at a conference in Iowa organized by pastor Kevin Swanson, who would go on to tell attendees that gay people should be executed. No one should have been surprised. In the past he has said that Christians should attend same-sex weddings and hold up signs telling the couples they "should be put to death." And yet there Cruz and Huckabee were, courting the support of Swanson's bigoted brethren. Should they get a pass because they support tax cuts too?
Republicans in Congress have pursued a fact-free vendetta against women's reproductive freedom, zeroing in on Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides "sexual and reproductive health care" to millions of women each year. The fact that Planned Parenthood uses zero federal dollars to perform abortions has been ignored by Congressional Republicans. And now, these anti-choice crusaders have taken a page from their Benghazi obsessed colleagues and created a select committee to investigate Planned Parenthood's support of scientific research involving donated fetal tissue. But because they want tax cuts, we should just ignore their assault on women's health?
When it comes to climate change you would be hard pressed to find a leading Republican who accepts the scientific consensus that climate change is real, made worse by humans, and that we must act soon to slow and reverse its impact. If anyone, you would expect Marco Rubio, a Senator and presidential candidate who prides himself on his youth (he listens to hip-hop!), to break the GOP mold and instead align with his generation. But even Rubio cannot bring himself to accept the scientific reality. Should we just his ignore his climate ignorance because he wants to cut taxes?
Then there is billionaire birther bigot Donald Trump. He has spread racist propaganda online, articulated a xenophobic hostility against Mexican immigrants and participated in an ongoing battle with reality. Most recently he said Muslims already here should have to register with the government, their mosques should be monitored, and that new Muslims should be barred from entering our country. First Trump came for the birth certificate, then he came for the Mexicans, then he came for the Muslims, but then he cut your taxes. So everything is cool?
At this point no one should support the Republican Party simply because they want lower taxes. You can have your tax cuts and a sane social and foreign policy. When Democrats controlled Congress and the White House in 2009, President Obama signed the largest tax cut in history — more than $280 billion over two years targeted to 95 percent of all Americans.
You have a choice. Tax cuts for nearly all Americans with a sane social and foreign policy versus unfunded tax cuts targeting the wealthy coupled with absolutely ridiculous social and foreign policy.
The truth is, there is a lot more room to maneuver economically in the Democratic Party than there is room to be moderate, let alone liberal on any issue in the Republican Party.
What are you waiting for?
You may not think Democrats are perfect but Republicans are getting nuttier by the day.
Karl Frisch is a syndicated columnist and longtime political strategist.