The GOP Reality Show

Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie take the stage during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Instead of watching the Republican debate last night, I should have watched people who were watching the debate. I likely would have seen shock and awe of the really bad kind, boredom and disgust – a range of interesting emotions to be sure.

Words cannot describe the incredible spectacle that was the debate. This is Lincoln’s party? Lincoln must be turning in his grave.

Sixteen candidates, or is that fifteen after Rick Perry’s departure – whatever, all of them sounding clownish, most of them attacking the biggest and baddest clown of them all!  

There was not a Presidential man in sight among them. The only one who came across as remotely Presidential was also the only woman on stage, Ms. Fiorina. Of course, she has her own HP demons to conquer.

The line-up was composed of former and current senators, governors, congressmen, CEOs and even medical doctors – so you know that these are accomplished, intelligent people. But, it’s like something has happened to them by being in this Presidential race. They have morphed into strange people who have left their intellect, pride and principles at home. All except Trump. With him, I believe what you see is what you get, intellect notwithstanding.

I am about as far from the GOP ideology as you can imagine. I guess I should be happy with this clownish theater being showcased by the opposing party. It’s one that is more suitable to a reality show than to American politics. But, enough already!

As I write this, I am watching Wolf Blitzer interviewing Hillary Clinton, and like her or not, the depth and intelligence of her responses are in such stark contrast to the Republican sideshow I watched yesterday.

So, for me, that’s a darn good thing.  But.

Something about the low standards of American politics that we are all witnessing this year makes me sad and slightly sick to the stomach. It doesn’t matter which party it is.

Can we possibly hope that instead of being a sign of things to come, this atrocious lowering of standards ends up causing a major correction in politics and leadership?

You think?  

Nah. 😦

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In case you don’t buy what I’m saying, check out the cover from NY Daily News today:

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Racism Is Alive and Well – Here and There

“Maybe it’s time to just scrap the word “racist.” Find something new. Like Racial Disorder Syndrome. And we could have different categories for sufferers of this syndrome: mild, medium, and acute.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

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It’s a beautiful midsummer day, heading into the weekend. I am driving from one hometown to another in the scenic, green hills and dales of the rural south.  The sun is shining bright, the day is simply perfect. 

And then out of the blue, an ugly sight comes into my line of vision. It’s a huge, old pickup truck (nothing wrong with pickup trucks…) but behind it displayed rather proudly, swaying in the wind is a huge Confederate flag.  Very, very ugly.

Ever since Charleston, I have seen these “proud” displays of the Confederate flags, usually on pickups, and one time displayed on the front of a vintage Corvette, rather like some exotic headgear. I am pretty sure all of the vehicle owners were Southern red necks because after all, they were all spotted in the South.

What pleasure do these guys get to shout out to the world around them – “Watch me! I’m a stupid, ignorant, hick” ?

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Their lack of sensitivity and their blatant racism makes me so angry!

And then I got to thinking.  Why am I so outraged at this display of the Confederate flag?

After all, I come from a country that is full of racists.  I should be used to it. In India, racism exists in all forms. It is also much more blatant and overt, and even in the most liberal setting, it still exists.  

There is racism along lines of caste, religion, creed, class, region (let’s not forget the whole North-South thing), and yes, color. The list goes on and on. Nobody can deny it.

[You may want to read this: India is racist and happy about it  and India has Been Ranked As One Of The Most Racist Countries In The World, Here’s What Makes Us So ]

Here in my adopted country, I get so incensed when I see the mere display of a Confederate flag. 

Yet, to be perfectly honest, I don’t see myself getting as emotional or aggrieved in India where racism is more accepted and endemic in society and culture. How come?

Now, just thinking about this, it shames and saddens me greatly that I appear to implicitly be accepting of it there. But I truly don’t have any good answers as to why I do. Time for some deep introspection…

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“Beneath the armor of skin/and/bone/and/mind
most of our colors are amazingly the same.”
― Aberjhani, Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love

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Photo Sources:

By Donald Lee Pardue (Flickr: Still Waving) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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