This isn’t your father’s Republican Party. Or your mother’s. Or your grandparents’. This is a whole new and hideous animal. And nothing proves that more than the death of the late, great Senator John McCain of Arizona.
To understand that, consider a recent piece in the Washington Post, In most of the country, McCain is being lauded as a hero. On Arizona’s GOP campaign trail, he’s a pariah, by Avi Selk. McCain was a good and moral man, and a talented Senator who served the people of his state well, bringing them millions of dollars in Federal funds over the years. Yet, the prophet is without honor. As Mr. Selk notes, all the major GOP candidates vying to replace him are doing their best to denigrate their former senator. Martha McSally, Kelli Ward, and (God save us) Joe Arpaio are Trumpsters to the bone, and they compete in the business of McCain bashing.
And the Republican voters…eat it up. Arizona’s GOP, even more than the national average, is a Trumpstarian party, delighted by Trump’s crudity, incivility, and overt racism. And thus, even though McCain was the very definition of the ethical and principled conservative, his state party now rejects him as a Republican In Name Only, a R(H)INO.
And what will this gain the great state of Arizona? McCain brought it wealth and stability. What will McSally, Ward, or Arpaio bring? One suspects not nearly as much.
But, perhaps, to a certain kind voter…a white nationalist, say, or someone terrified of any kind of change…then Walls, and Camps, and a morbid narcissist in the White House…
Are all to be preferred to mere health, wealth, and wisdom.