It's been a break from blogging lately, and I see the last time I blogged was right after the 2012 election. Oh, how much hope we had then! Everyone figured the GOP couldn't get any nastier than the Romney/Newt/Santorum sniping, and the hilarious lack of qualifications of Michele Bachmann and Herman "Nine-Nine-Nine" Cain would never be matched. Hispanics would never hear anything quite so offensive as the suggestion that illegal immigrants "self-deport" and Cain's suggestion that he would not put Muslims in his cabinet was about the nastiest bit of religious discrimination we would be subjected to.
And Trump--well, the worst we could say about Trump is he was the sort of nut who believed Barack Obama was born in Kenya. He had reached a low point, and that would be that.
As the gourmand said after eating a Dorito Taco Loco, never assume you just had the worst because there's an enchilada made of Cheetos waiting to mock your assumptions. We now have the GOP going down the road of a European-style nativist party, jettisoning libertarianism and the rule of law for the idea of a strongman who would make us all "safe," both from the dangers of foreign competition and foreign people.
And with Bernie Sanders offering a western-style socialist vision--and Hillary Clinton essentially saying "me too, but not so much"--it feels a lot more like a choice voters have in western European countries. Trump vs. Clinton is a lot more like LePen vs. Hollande than anything we've seen in this country, at least in the past several decades.