Monday, August 1, 2016

How the GOP became The Party of Stupid and embraced Trumpian titanic ignorance

The Republicans have historically ridiculed intellectual elites, but they populated their administrations with some serious thinkers, so goes the argument in a NY Times op-ed. Now, however, the GOP is no longer pretending to be the Party of Stupid, it is the Party of Stupid. Trump is the most recent manifestation of the Republicans' embrace of anti-intellectualism. Check out the op-ed for the historical account supporting the op-ed's conclusion.

The Trump acolytes claim it doesn’t matter; he can hire experts to advise him. But experts always disagree with one another and it is the president alone who must make the most difficult decisions in the world. That’s not something he can do since he lacks the most basic grounding in the issues and is prey to fundamental misconceptions.

In a way, the joke’s on the Republican Party: After decades of masquerading as the “stupid party,” that’s what it has become. But if an unapologetic ignoramus wins the presidency, the consequences will be no laughing matter.

Even if we can avoid the calamity of a Trump presidency, however, the G.O.P. still has a lot of soul-searching to do. Mr. Trump is as much a symptom as a cause of the party’s anti-intellectual drift. The party needs to rethink its growing anti-intellectual bias and its reflexive aversion to elites. Catering to populist anger with extremist proposals that are certain to fail is not a viable strategy for political success.

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