Our Take on Last Night’s GOP Debate
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Wednesday night’s fascist rally on Fox News — the first debate for the Republican presidential undercard — showed how tightly the party has shackled itself to the lies and criminality of Donald Trump.
But it also revealed that the Trump cult is in some ways moving beyond him — how this slide into madness has taken on its own momentum.
Immigration was the clue. The New York Times reminds us that it’s “Donald Trump’s signature issue.” In today’s G.O.P., nativism is the default. The border “invasion” is a given. And the only solution is violence.
Vivek Ramaswamy said we should stop sending war aid to Ukraine and use it instead at the border, to “protect against the invasion.”
Ron DeSantis said, “I believe in a culture of life.” Then he said he would invade Mexico to destroy the cartels on Day 1: “We’re going to use force and we’re gonna leave ’em stone cold dead.”
He got screams and whoops from the audience for that. It wasn’t the first time he has proposed invading a friendly country across our shared border, and he isn’t the only G.O.P. wannabe suggesting it.
Meanwhile, Chris Christie wants more prison cells. He said every unauthorized immigrant crossing the border needs to be locked up.
Tim Scott wants more troops. Let’s “double the number of Border Patrol agents,” he said.
Scott also said he would finish the border wall. The idea seemed to strike the Trump cultists as old news. They were unimpressed, according to CNN: “ ‘As the next president of the United States, I will make that border wall complete,’ Scott said, extending each word in that concluding sentence. He paused for applause. There was none.”
Because bombing Mexico is now the Republican talking point. Because as low as we’ve sunk since making Donald Trump our leader, we can always sink lower.
Trump has stupefied half the country, leaving it high on hatred and fear. And today’s Republican Party is there for it.