Yes, I know my parents were both Eisenhower Republicans back in the 1950’s when I was born. But Iowa was always far enough removed from the racial tensions of the South and the Southwest to keep me mostly insulated from the politics of hate. Besides, the bad guys were Southern Democrats back then. John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson turned them all into Republicans by declaring that black people and Hispanic people were a part of that “All men are created equal” nonsense referred to by left wingers as the “Civil Rights Movement”. Dwight Eisenhower warned us against “the Military-Industrial Complex”. In the 80’s the Reagan Republicans embraced the “M.I.C.” as an essential part of free-market capitalism. Poor President Eisenhower would not recognize his party today. Today they stand for giving tax breaks to the wealthy and the corporations that make them wealthy. As well as standing for taking food stamps away from poor families who haven’t earned them because they only work two or three minimum-wage jobs. We can’t afford to be giving money away to people who probably do work harder than corporate CEO’s who make tens of thousands of dollars a minute, but their work is obviously not as valuable.
Sarah Palin says the front-runners in Iowa, (Donald Trump and Ted Cruz) would both make a good next president from the Republican-Tea-Party point of view. Horrors! The scary thing is, not only do these Republican opinion-leaders really believe things Sarah Palin says, they may actually be less intelligent than she is. Ted Cruz would like to implement a uniform 17% flat tax. This actually sounds good to Republican ears. Poor Republicans don’t seem to realize that it will allow the wealthy to pay even less in taxes. Paying 17% instead of 35% means millions, if not billions of extra dollars to pocket for Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, and the Koch Brothers. It will also mean that middle-income and poor people will be paying a larger percent of everything the government spends. Hence, reduced spending falls on social safety-nets and anything else that costs money but benefits people who are not rich. In fact, Republicans will insist on increasing military spending, so the economy is probably doomed to depths deeper than the Great Recession of 2008.
The issue of immigration is still the thing that galvanizes the Republican base the most. Fear of foreigners, Muslims, and Mexicans are equated with fear of murderers, rapists, and terrorists. It is a roaring flame of fear that is being fanned not only by Donald (ook!) Trump, but also every Republican candidate. Some of them, though, use slightly less oily words than the Donald (ook-ook!) when fanning those flames. The good news for people like me who hope no Republican can beat whoever the Democratic nominee is, resides in the fact that Marco Rubio, the candidate most likely moderate enough to win it all, will never be the Republican nominee because he’s too soft on immigration (“too soft” meaning that he actually wants a process approved for immigrants to become citizens, something the Republican base fiercely opposes.
I really think the only way a Republican can win the Presidency is if they start slicing and dicing the candidates they have, and sewing up a new composite candidate that has the best of all of them. John Kasich’s common sense is only 25% evil. They could use that. Rubio’s immigration views are only heartless when it comes to Muslims. They desperately need a heart, even if it does only beat half the time. Ted Cruz could contribute the fearlessness needed in a leader, although to use the immense brass balls in the construct would require an almost anatomically impossible large empty space to keep them in… like maybe Donald Trump’s head (although the ego would have to be extracted from it to make room). They could also use Rand Paul’s hair for comic relief. The only drawback to the plan, as made obvious by the most recent debate performance, is that their candidate would be made entirely from monster parts.