Sam Smith - If most or the GOP candidates for president seem truly bizarre it is because they are. To understand them it helps to realize that they are not ideologues, they are merely using issues that seem most convenient to their real goal: personal power. Issues that will lead a large number of voters to believe mistakenly that they are on their side.
The closest parallel would be some Latin America's historic dictators like Somoza or Pinochet. As one account describes the former: "For almost fifty years, the Somoza family treated Nicaragua like their
own private estate, taking whatever they wanted from the treasury and
granting favors to friends and family"
This is a good description of what people like Trump or Cruz would like to enjoy and to discuss the campaign as though it involved serious conflicts of democratic or constitutional philosophy is badly misleading. It is really a conflict between the egomania of some men you don't want anywhere near the White House nuclear button.
The policies they promote have one common tendency: to oppose the interests of over half the population of the United States including women, blacks, latinos, and gays. Again this is not ideology; it is a assault on cultural values by an increasingly aged portion of the country that thinks it can still tell everyone else what to do. The result is an anti-democratic, anti-constitutional, and anti-civil campaign.
To understand it, it helps to know that, as Gallup showed in 2014, Republicans only outnumber Democrats in the age group of 69-83. Although the corporate media avoids telling you this, the GOP, as a leading group, represents only those past retirement age. In contrast, the Democratic Party most outnumbers the Republicans in the age group 19-44.
Thus this is not really about ethnicity or economics or major issues; it's a bitter conflict between the past and the present. The Republicans can't possibly win through civil, democratic argument, so they are resorting to bullying, scare tactics, lies and anger.