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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Republicans lost in echo chamber, send help

While the majority of the country celebrated last week as marriage equality finally became a reality, Republican presidential candidates took the opportunity to share their disappointment with the ruling.

Though not all of these responses were necessarily hateful, most reinforced the current GOP pastime of being as out of touch with the American public as possible. Ted Cruz went so far as to say, “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history,” a statement which, taken at face value, indicates that Cruz finds affordable healthcare and equal protection under the law to be on par with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

With Donald Trump announcing his candidacy June 16, the current roster of GOP presidential hopefuls has become an undeniable farce, with moderate (read: electable) candidates such as Jeb Bush gaining little publicity.

Indeed, Bush had perhaps the most reasonable Republican response to the marriage equality ruling.

“I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments,” Bush said while still voicing his disagreement. And yet, despite this fairly rational platform, radical party members continue to leave Facebook comments for Bush such as “the ONLY people who want you to win the GOP nomination are the Democrats!”

How is it that Republicans have arrived at a point where their 2016 chances are so minimal that even conservative publications such as the National Review are willing to run columns with headlines that read “Five Reasons Why Hillary Wins in 2016”?

Welcome to the Republican echo chamber, where, as PolicyMic’s Mike Young once put it, “Republicans live in their own right-wing world devoid of the reality.” This is a party that has relied for years on hot-button issues such as gay marriage and abortion, issues that, for the most part, have been decided in courts of law rather than on the legislative floor.

This realization is nothing new. Pundits have noted the Fox News effect ever since the last presidential election in which President Barack Obama led prediction polls throughout election night only for Republicans to awake the next morning and become legitimately surprised at their rather handy defeat. Of course, many will recall the election as closer than that, but considering that Obama is the only president since Dwight Eisenhower to receive 51 percent of the vote for both terms, it’s hard to view the 2012 race as a close call.

Astonishingly, it’s three-and-a-half years later and Republicans continue to beat the same old dead horse. Responses to last week’s marriage equality ruling serve as a flaming example. Beyond Cruz’s aforementioned hyperbole, candidates such as Scott Walker began calling for a constitutional convention.

“The only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage,” Walker said.

While it’s difficult to imagine anything more banal than an attempt at creating the first-ever amendment to actually restrict American freedoms — unless you want to count the 18th Amendment, which was, naturally, repealed — several other Republican candidates are now campaigning with this exact stance.

What can the Republicans do to possibly have a chance at winning in 2016? Drop this entire aspect of the platform, for one. Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham put it best.

“I don’t believe there is any chance for a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman to get a two-thirds vote in the House or the Senate and be ratified by three-fourths of the states,” Graham said.

Furthermore, they can stop making “Nobody would vote for Hillary if she wasn’t a woman” their chief argument against the current presidential front-runner and start producing practical alternatives to her popular stances on immigration, healthcare and education.

If Republican candidates continue with their bizarre fixation on issues over which they frankly have no control, then the country is likely to go another couple of decades before seeing a conservative back in the White House. 

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