This opinion was posted in the NYT blog and is in response to an article in it today entitled "Poll Find Few Favorites as GOP Fights for Presidency" (link below)
The Republican Party of the Absurd: It is astounding to me that in a country of 350 million people, there is absolutely NO ONE, in my opinion, in the Republican Party whom I would deem a strong, smart, and credible candidate. I am not a Republican BUT if I were the major horror I would feel is that the party has turned into something uncompromising, extreme and alien. The Republican base, from which the candidate is chosen, is, in my opinion, representative in this country of all that is intellectually bankrupt and academically absurd.
Donald Trump, who is no doubt a smart man, as he so frequently reminds us, had to morph into a crank touting birther nonsense and pro life stances that heretofore he rejected. He voted for Barack Obama once. A man who held strong views on the culture issues representative of the extremist right in the Republican Party could, I think, never do that. Both he and Romney, smart men, flip flop because they know to be considered by the Republican Party one must reverse one's more liberal or moderate stands and therefore reject rational thought.
Even worse they must reject science. If Trump stands up in a debate with other Republicans he will be asked the inevitable absurdity does he believe in evolution. Science is abundantly clear on that non-issue but Trump will have to morph into some position that is palatable to the extremist religious fanaticism of the Republican base which thinks everything instantaneously was created by a sky god of myth. Denying evolution is much like denying the existence of gravity. There is no question in the academic world of scientific truth evolution is a FACT and not supposition. It can be proven over and over again in many of the biological, anthropological and other sciences but the Republican presidential possibilities must reject everything that social and cultural advancement bestows.
This is, as I see it, the ENORMOUS obstacle the Republican Party faces. It must rely on an ignorant base to choose a credible and worthy candidate to occupy the presidency. It cannot be done and still look rational and intelligent to the larger American electorate and to the international community with whom that candidate must work.
If I were Republican I would work within my party FAST to develop CREDIBLE candidates who possess solid economic and foreign policy awareness. I would make intelligence acceptable and even mandatory while I would rid the party thoroughly of those who want to regress to the Middle Ages or at best the 18th century. As much as many in our culture are sadly undereducated I still believe that a country of 350 million some of whom are historically normal Republicans and moderates can manage to do that and save its party from the madness of reactionary and regressive thought IF one is to live with 21st century truths!