We’re officially just under a year away from Election Day 2016.
We’ve already been bombarded for months with red-hot anti-tax, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, and anti-poor rhetoric from a fool’s dozen Republican candidates. Can we really take another 12 months of this?
Here are some bright ideas for moving the country forward from the GOP’s finest.
This month’s frontrunner, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, wants to base our tax system on the Christian tradition of tithing. Everybody — from paupers to plutocrats — will pay a 10 percent flat tax if he’s elected. Never mind that the deficit would explode to unsustainable levels that not even our great-grandchildren could pay for.
Carson’s undoubtedly counting on God to take care of that. Time to start squirreling away some grain in those pyramids, kids.
Second-place candidate Donald “yuge blowhard” Trump has no appetite for details. That wall he wants to build to keep immigrants out? The Mexican government would pay the bill, he says. If it refuses, Trump probably assumes he can fire Mexico’s president.
I suppose he thinks governing is no different from a reality show. Too bad Trump’s racist comments about Mexicans got him fired from his own reality show.
As for the other so-called top-tier candidates — meaning they have between 5 and 10 percent support — Jeb Bush is throwing tantrums because the electorate associates his name with his kid brother, who got us into a war we’ve yet to get out of. Yet Jeb’s still standing by George W., who wants to keep boots on the ground in Iraq as long as there is an Iraq.
Marco Rubio, meanwhile, can’t be bothered to show up for his job as senator — he’s missed more votes than anyone else in the chamber. But he wants us to believe he’ll do better if he’s promoted to the White House.
Let’s hope female voters — the majority of the electorate — don’t give him the chance.
Rubio opposes abortion rights, even in the case of rape — “legitimate” or not. Even so, he clearly believes birth control isn’t the answer. The Florida Republican introduced a bill allowing any corporation to deny contraception coverage in its insurance plan as long as the company leaders cite a religious objection. This provision would apply even if they’ve never darkened the door of a church.
So, will Senator Ted Cruz ride in to save the day? Could be.
The Texan lawmaker wants to do away with the IRS, and a majority of Republican voters might think that’s a great idea. Paying less taxes would mean there’d be less government messing up their lives. Good thinking. A Kickstarter campaign will probably do just fine to keep the fire department open.
And who needs police anyway? Or highways? Or those border patrols Cruz loves?
So there you have it. Even when the field thins out as the wannabes fall away, we’re stuck with a gaggle of these so-called leading candidates at least through next spring.
It’s enough to make you want to hibernate until it’s all over.
Martha Burk is the director of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) and the author of the book Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Power, Politics, and the Change We Need. Follow Martha on Twitter @MarthaBurk.