Author Archives: J. Allan Wolf

About J. Allan Wolf

J. Allan Wolf is a writer, a physician (OK, retired), a nerdy ham radio operator, and a bad guitarist. (The groupie thing just hasn't worked out very well.) Read his two books, Spacebraid and Other Tales of a Dystopian Universe (very science fiction-y) and Zendoscopy (very, very funny but also serious in places and explicit -- don't read it if you're a prude). If you buy my books (print or e-book format at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and elsewhere) I won't have to go without lunches or clean underwear. So, thanks in advance.

Some Thoughts on Returning from Cuba

It’s been several weeks since I’ve blogged. Most of that time my wife and I were on a People-to-People cultural exchange visit in Cuba, a place not many Americans have been privileged to visit over the past fifty-plus years. Perhaps like most Americans, my view of Cuba was pretty black and white: a communist country under the iron thumb of Fidel Castro until more recently, when his somewhat more enlightened brother, Raul, took over the reins. And, like most Americans, I was wrong.

Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 as the result of the Cuban Revolution tthat ousted Fulgencio Batista, a corrupt dictator supported by the U.S. At that time, Castro was a young man, politically inexperienced and highly averse to dealing with a country that had thrown its support to Batista. Enter the Soviet Union. If Castro wasn’t a committed communist, the deep need for economic support offered by the Soviet Union clearly made an association a marriage of convenience as well as a contrast to the prior U.S. supported corruption, aided and abetted by the extensive Mafia presence in the country.

Moving ahead (and well past the Cuban missile crisis) to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba suddenly faced economic disaster. With no support from the defunct Soviets, the country entered disastrous economic times. The U.S. failed to make a case for assistance acceptable to Castro, and so the economic hard times have largely persisted to present day. Well, except for some two billion dollars that annually enters the otherwise failed economy from Cuban Americans who in addition bring in a variety of consumer goods, from other countries (including England, Spain, and Israel) who provide tourists, and from a gray and black market that just about every Cuban knows how to access to advantage.

Fidel has done some good things over the years. The population is well educated and has guaranteed health care for all (U.S., take note). Of course, by educating the public, and through information that is only now beginning to penetrate into the population via the internet, the country is beginning to emerge from its dark years of relative isolation. Fidel’s advancing age and poor health have resulted in ascension to power of his more liberal-minded brother, Raul, and Cuban society is now beginning to open up. People feel free to express their opinions, to associate with an increasing number of American visitors, and to sit at hotspots in public parks with their cell phones, surfing the net.

We wanted to visit Cuba before Starbucks contaminated the country with an outlet on every corner, and our visit enabled us to do just that. We found the people to be open and friendly, the scenery to be wonderful, and our visits to all sites free of the watchful authorities we thought we might see. Cuba is not black and white; it’s a many shaded place that’s negotiating its place into the global economy. We look forward to seeing those changes, even knowing that some of what makes Cuba unique is likely to vanish. Progress, and the people, are demanding it, and it’s time for the U.S. to recognize the need to engage with this hemispheric neighbor only 90 miles from Key West.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Edited Videos

I watched most of the first Republican debate (the “grown-up table”), and all of the second (again, the leading contenders). It’s all so very depressing. You may think otherwise, but here is my take-away:

  • Donald Trump is a schoolyard bully and, amazingly, a self-professed know-nothing who says he’ll learn what he needs to learn when he’s elected and get all the right people together to solve the country’s problems. And people actually support this guy?
  • Ben Carson seems like a nice man, but he espouses a religiously rooted radical conservatism that’s frightening, especially for a black man. Anyone remember Clarence Thomas?
  • Jeb Bush can’t decide whether he wants to defend his brother or not. He wouldn’t have gotten us into Iraq but he says George W. kept us safe. Does he recall that 9/11 happened on his brother’s watch, and how late to act he was after being informed that the country had been attacked?
  • Carly Fiorina came prepared and loaded for bear but, unfortunately, she spouted the big lie like red meat to the faithful. How, you ask? Well, there is NO Planned Parenthood video of a live aborted fetus, “…heart beating, legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” The video simply doesn’t exist, although one of questionable origin does exist that shows a fetus with some movement. It’s important to remember, however, that research demands fresh tissue and, as uncomfortable as some may be with this fact, research into Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other devastating diseases depends upon obtaining this tissue. If fetuses are to be aborted, at least we can gain some positive outcomes by using the tissue to further medical research.
  • There is no Planned Parenthood video indicating that the organization is selling fetal body parts. Such payments as are made are reimbursement for expenses incurred in harvesting, preserving, and transporting tissue. The videos may show some Planned Parenthood staff making casual or insensitive statements, but there is no evidence to support the allegation that the organization is selling body parts for profit, suggestively edited videos notwithstanding.
  • The contenders leap onto the anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood bandwagon may represent their opposition to abortion, but their sanctimonious statements come across like pandering to the religious right.
  • Mike Huckabee is an idiot. See my recent blog entry for more on this but, suffice it to say, the man’s statements simply prove that he has never read the Constitution or, if he has, he didn’t understand it.
  • Scott Walker. Scott Walker? Really?
  • John Kasich seemed the most moderate of the group, but even he seemed a times to pander to the extreme right. At least, he was the only one who didn’t say that he’d try to kill the Iran anti-nuclear agreement.
  • Rand Paul actually made some sense at times, which rather surprised me, but he’s so far behind the pack that any sense he made won’t make a difference.
  • Ted Cruz is a lunatic. No more needs to be said.
  • Chris Christie is an aggressive blowhard who sometimes sounds reasonable. Then, he blocks traffic on the George Washington Bridge. He doesn’t have a chance.
  • Marco Rubio was impressive. Too bad I’m a Democrat. I could never support Rubio, but at least he’s articulate and doesn’t come across as either an idiot or a lunatic. He could be President someday. I just hope he’s not next.
  • On balance, the current crop is frightening for what they believe. Worse, the luster seems to be off Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a chance even though he’s the one saying all the sensible things (Bernie, please stop calling yourself a socialist. It ain’t helping), and Biden, were he to run, would likely lose. So, look at those guys who were at the podium this week. One of them could be taking office in January 2017.       In the words of the late William Bendix in The Life of Riley, “What a revoltin’ development this is!”

Mike Huckabee is an Idiot

MIKE HUCKABEE IS AN IDIOT

Mike Huckabee is an idiot. As the most vocal, active supporter of Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Kentucky who was jailed for a time for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays, he (as well as Ted Cruz and several other prominent Republicans) has demonstrated at least four major dysfunctional behaviors: hypocrisy, action from ignorance, bigotry, and creation of false equivalency. Allow me to elaborate.

Hypocrisy: Republicans believe in the strict rule of law as well as individual autonomy. Unless, it seems, someone wants to act in a manner incurring their disapproval. Thus, any act to stop the unwanted behavior is justified. In this case, Huckabee et al. throw out the rule of law in support of an elected clerk who, in accepting her position, agreed to uphold the law and now says she won’t. That’s hypocrisy.

Bigotry: Huckabee’s and his cohorts’ basis for supporting Davis is rooted in fundamental Christianity, In other words, their religiously based antipathy toward homosexuality is being used as the justification for supporting Davis’ flouting of the law. Worse, the self-righteous Huckabee says that one only needs to obey a law “if it’s right”. Apparently, he can justify anything if, in his opinion, it’s not “right”. In the present circumstance, that’s bigotry, exercised discrimination against homosexuals through illegal action.

Action from ignorance: Conservative Republicans always like to stress their adherence to the Constitution. The problem is that they neither understand the Constitution nor the history that has flowed from it down from the time of its adoption. Thus, they seem completely unaware of the Constitution’s position with respect to religion, and the consequent long history of separation of church and state that has been so critical in fostering American cultural openness from the very earliest days of the country. That’s ignorance in action.

Creation of false equivalency: Huckabee seems to think that there’s no difference between Davis’ situation and that of, as one example he has given, a pastor in church. He’s apparently too stupid to understand that there is a big difference between what is required of a public servant (performance in accordance with the law) and the position a pastor may take in his own church. There is no equivalency here. Mike, that’s separation of church and state. Duh.

Hypocrisy, bigotry, action from ignorance, and creation of false equivalency: bulwark thinking of the modern Republican party as it pushes ever harder to create a Christian theocracy little different in character from the Taliban. And given these extreme positions that are not being repudiated by most Republican politicians, it may even be worse than the Taliban. Does ISIS ring a bell? It should. White supremacists are having a field day with the current crop of GOP idiots and, chief among them, Huckabee. If that doesn’t frighten you into placing your support elsewhere, perhaps nothing will.

Book Review: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Book Review: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, is a difficult book to describe. At least, I find it so, even if other reviewers have not seemed to have any problem characterizing it. Furthermore, the book seems to have polarized reviewers and, I would presume by extension, readers as well. Let me, therefore, state where I come down on it up front: I really enjoyed it, even though I did find it occasionally unfocused and digressive.

So, what is The Night Circus? Well, it’s part fantasy, part romance, part mystery, and a curious mix of adult, and young adult fiction. The story’s main protagonists are two individuals innocently bound into competition with one another, one by his guardian and one by her father, in early childhood. The venue for their competition becomes a circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, but one unlike any conventional circus. The competitors are at the outset unaware of each other’s identity, and the circus, beyond some of its basic physical characteristics, is mostly created, energized, and sustained through the magical abilities of the two competitors. The circus only opens at night, and its movements from venue to venue are not published or advertised. Only certain followers, self-described rêveurs, receive enough information to follow it wherever it goes; the remainder of the public is simply surprised by any local appearance.

To describe specifics of the multifaceted plot would be to spoil much of the fun that’s to be had as the reader becomes progressively more deeply involved in what develops into a complex set of events with many interacting characters.

From the outset, the writing takes on a somewhat mysterious, almost Gothic tone which inconsistently appears throughout the book. Somewhere about three quarters of the way through, the writing takes an unexpectedly and unabashedly romantic turn which I found a bit jarring but, in reality, not altogether inappropriate to the overall tone of the tale. The specific scene in which this occurs never sinks to the level of bodice ripper, but little is left to the imagination during the brief and isolated episode.

Toward the end, I found a chapter or two to be somewhat digressive from the slowly developed but ultimately linear stream of the tale, and it seemed as if perhaps Ms. Morgenstern felt that the story needed some additional padding, although it’s unclear why she should have felt so given the 400 page length of the book and extreme detail in the book’s every scene and set piece.

As an absorbing, escapist read, The Night Circus certainly fills the bill despite its few shortcomings and, as I noted, one or two editing misses. You may find, as did I, that you wonder why you can’t seem to put it down even as you question why you’re spending the time to read it in the first place.

Bottom Line: Worthy escapist fare.

Scapegoat Politics

This is how it started in Germany, only now it’s here, among us. The politics of hate and scapegoating, brought out from under its slimy rock in the Republican Party by Donald Trump and made all the more evident by his fellow nomination seekers following his lead to the right. Yes, Latinos have become the new Jews. Oh, and according to Jeb Bush, so have Asians.

At the risk of getting our hands filthy by prying the rock clear of its underlying muck, let’s take a closer look at what’s going on.

In this blog, I’ve previously pointed out that Republican political ideology requires the maintenance of class structure and, specifically, the ongoing presence of a lower socioeconomic class. There is a systematic failure to acknowledge society’s responsibility for elevating that class, which is viewed by the increasingly, radically right wing Republican party as somehow both morally and biologically inferior to the white, right, old guard and otherwise economically privileged. This blaming of the victims of economic, racial and ethnic discrimination coupled with unmitigated greed in the pursuit of self-interest has kept inner cities ghettoized, minority area schools inferior, and decent employment with upward mobility an incongruous reality in a country that hypocritically espouses equality of opportunity for all. (I’d include women in those being discriminated against, but that’s a subject for another whole article.)

The Republican right, aside from being nearly all white – where the hell did Clarence Thomas come from? — is also overwhelmingly Christian. Not in the “do unto your neighbor” kind of Christianity they pray for on Sunday, but in the day to day kind of Christianity that thinks there’s a “war on Christmas” (there isn’t), that the country was founded as a Christian nation (it most certainly was not), and that there should be no such thing as separation of church and state (the negation of a fundamental principle of our nation).

Taken all together, the Republican philosophy has unsurprisingly led to a paranoid set of beliefs characterized by increasingly mean spirited xenophobia with an overlay of anger over the fact that the country is changing before their eyes in ways they are powerless to prevent.

Beware the actions of ignorant, angry, paranoid people in large groups, because they will be easily goaded into destructive actions by the demagogues that will inevitably emerge. And so, enter Donald Trump, part schoolyard bully, part bigot, and catalyst for the irrational scapegoating of Latinos, Asians and anyone else they suspect of subverting “the American way of life”. And don’t confuse him or his followers with the facts. Illegal immigration numbers are down, and no white citizens really want to take all those jobs picking fields and paying three bucks for a cucumber.

The bad news for the misguided right wing is that from very near its origin America has been a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-racial society, and the increasing proportion of non-white and ethnically diverse people is simply the manifestation of that fact in the twenty-first century. The country is changing because it is always changing, and in general we have been a better people because of that fact and not in spite of it.

The danger we face today is that our failed educational system, our factionalizing churches, synagogues, temples and mosques, and our enforced and entrenched class system all threaten to transform the country into a nation more closely resembling a Middle East war zone than the bastion of freedom and justice that we claim as our (albeit imperfect) heritage. We cannot allow the demagogues to steer the sheep, most of whom have deeply rooted views that we cannot hope to change. What we can do is encourage those of greater intelligence, perspective, and realistic views to stand up to the demagogues and inspire vigorous enough electoral expression to prevent America from becoming a right wing theocracy. Donald Trump and those who would follow his lead, including his cowardly fellow nomination seekers, need to be marginalized, branded for what they are: ignorant bigots. The country deserves better than these cockroaches, and if we don’t shine a light to scatter them, the blame will fall solidly on us.

Don’t let it happen. Please.

I Hate iTunes

I hate iTunes, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one who swears a blue streak at what can only be described as the software application from hell. Here’s my litany of complaints:

  • Every now and then, it just refuses to acknowledge my password, resulting in the need to do a password change before I can log in.
  • Photo management is a nightmare. Some pics cannot be offloaded from my iPhone and iPad into regular .jpg files while others can. Syncing rarely gives me the results I’m looking for, and when pictures do transfer more or less as desired, their display order is totally f***ed up.
  • I play the guitar and often want to transfer backing tracks from a variety of sources to my iPad. The process isn’t consistent, and every time I attempt to do it, it takes me as long as 10 minutes to figure out how iTunes wants me to do it.
  • No really good support manual exists for the application, leaving users at the mercy of Google searches.

What’s wrong with Apple, anyway? How can they make such terrific hardware and screw up so badly on their software support? Or is it intentional? Maybe they want it to be difficult? How else to explain such a rotten piece of cybercrap?

Unfortunately, the only alternative is a move to Android, which has its own limitations and problems. And, besides, I’ve got so much stuff on my iPhone and two iPads right now that a switch simply isn’t a palatable alternative.

Now, if you think I’m the only person in the world who thinks iTunes is a horrible example of ergonomic design, just Google “iTunes is shit” and watch what comes up. Yeah, there are a lot of us out there. How about you?

Post-Op Pain, Creativity, and Productivity

Seven weeks ago I underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I’d always heard that the pain following repair and the ensuing recovery period with physical therapy were difficult to bear, but even though I am a (retired) physician, I had no idea how much pain I’d actually experience and how completely wearing it could be. The baseline pain is a 24 hour burden, exacerbated by movement, lack of movement (yes), torturous physical therapy, and the exercises that must be done two to three times a day. The prognosis: 80% recovery in three to four months and whatever residual recovery I’ll see by six months.

Now, you might think I’m complaining about all this, but you’d be wrong. I was warned, I underwent the repair because it needed to be done, and I’ll get through the next several months whatever it takes. Not to do so would be to live with restricted mobility in my arm for the rest of my life, and that is flatly unacceptable. No, then, no pity. That’s not the purpose of this week’s missive. No, the real purpose is to discuss the effect all this has had, and is having, on creativity, productivity, and, specifically, my work on the loosely related sequel to Zendoscopy.

It’s not surprising how physical pain can sap the urge to express oneself creatively, especially when the accompanying physical limitation precludes doing much writing by longhand or typing. For weeks following surgery, I had to type by left-handed hunt and peck, and it’s only recently that I’m back to some limited two handed touch typing. Even that is limited, though, as my right arm will only tolerate so much before needing a rest. This paragraph, for example, is being written 24 hours after the preceding ones.

Last week, I got permission to restart playing the guitar, and I expect to get back to more extended writing soon. In the meantime, I’ll try to be terse and pithy in my blog entries. In that spirit, I offer the following:

  • I’m going to miss Jon Stewart.
  • Donald Trump is the poster child for what’s wrong with the Republican Party, even as the Party would like to get rid of him for revealing its true colors.
  • We must be well into summer. Look at all those criminally stupid people leaving their kids and pets locked up in broiling cars.
  • While climate change continues to manifest itself in terrifying ways, the deniers continue to do nothing about it.
  • Guns, guns, guns. While the mayhem continues, Rick Perry voices the imbecilic opinion that one partial solution would be to allow patrons to take guns into movie theatres.
  • As fuel prices are starting to come down, gas guzzler purchases will surely rise.
  • Republicans, in their opposition to all things Obama, would rather see Iran get a nuclear weapon in two months than approve an agreement that would prevent it for at least ten years.
  • Oh, and did I make the point strongly enough that I’m going to miss Jon Stewart?

Verbal Vomit, Hypocrisy, and (What Else?) Politics as Usual

Politics has always been a nasty business. Here are few examples from history:

“… a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor, whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any?” Thomas Paine’s insult to George Washington.

Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Monster, Ignoramus Abe, Old Scoundrel, Perjurer, Robber, Swindler, Tyrant, Field-Butcher, Land-Pirate.” Harper’s Weekly editorializing about Abraham Lincoln.

“He has a bungalow mind.” Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th American president opining on Warren Harding (1865-1923), 29th American president.

    And so it has been, and so it is and may always be. Those who long for the good old days are simply ignorant of what they were really like. And that’s not to mention the lack of indoor plumbing.   Well, the point of all this is that now, mired in the spectacle of Republican scrambling for the party’s Presidential nomination, we’re starting to see vitriol and hypocrisy once again entering high gear. The most obvious manifestation of this has been the oral dribblings from Donald Trump’s stunted brain.

By now, you’d have to have been somewhere off-planet not to have heard Trump’s comments about John McCain. Of course, Trump was right, sort of. McCain is not a war hero because he was captured and became a prisoner of war. But that is a straw man easily taken down by the fact that McCain truly is a war hero because of his conduct while in captivity. Trump’s failure to acknowledge this is despicable enough, but even more despicable is the hypocrisy oozing from the pores of the other Republican hopefuls.

All but Ted Cruz seem to have jumped on the bandwagon to defend McCain’s honor, as well everyone should, regardless of whether they agree with McCain’s politics. (I don’t, but I respect the man.) But this outpouring, no matter how justified, reveals the abjectly pathetic level of these guys’ hypocrisy. How, you ask? Simple. Where were they when John Kerry suffered the same defamation during his campaign for the Presidency? Yes, remember how he was “swiftboated” during his campaign for the Presidency? So, it was hunky-dory to lie about Kerry, but unacceptable to put down McCain. It reeks.

And then there’s Ted Cruz, demonstrating not hypocrisy but, in fact, his own rotted soul, siding with Trump.

Yes, politics is a dirty business, and what makes it worse is that there are so many bigoted sheep with deficient education in this country willing to listen to and believe the verbal vomit coming from these guys. Why else is Trump leading in GOP polling? Why do people still think President Obama’s birth certificate was forged? That he’s actually a Muslim? That the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy? That the second amendment guarantees every private citizen the right to bear arms individually instead of as intended, namely, as part of a “well regulated militia”?

I am frightened by the level of ignorance, bigotry, and religious superstition having an impact within our government. Add to these factors the simple fact that we now have what is essentially a corporate bought and owned Congress, and things could hardly be on a worse track. The only answer is for rational, objective, empathic humanists to vote the rascals out. But it had better be soon, because right now it looks like we’re headed for big trouble.

Judy Collins Who?

Judy Collins Who?

Five weeks ago I underwent repair of a torn rotator cuff. The pain has been awful, but that’s not what this is about. No, not at all. This about the recognition that one’s repository of knowledge is rapidly becoming irrelevant to the advancing world.

Yes, I will explain.

Several years ago. I suddenly noticed that young female coworkers who formerly would never have paid any attention to me were stopping by my office with increasing frequency to spill personal details, including such matters as their sex lives, and to seek my advice, say, as to whether they should undergo breast enhancement (OK, I’m an MD). Sometimes they even flirted a bit. I was puzzled but flattered. Until, that is, I came to realize that the reason this was happening is because they had come to perceive me as harmless. Yes, I was entering that phase of life, and the realization came as a brutal shock, let me tell you.

This morning, I was listening to a discussion on NPR about the Watts riots, which occurred here in Los Angeles fifty years ago. The discussion suddenly came to a halt for a moment when one of the journalists remarked that neither he nor the other fellow had been alive at the time.

During a recent conversation, with a young fellow about guns in America, he casually mentioned how Jack Ruby had assassinated Robert F. Kennedy. I will not detail the history lesson I subsequently delivered to this misinformed twenty-something.

Well, anyway, in the aftermath of my rotator cuff surgery, I’ve been getting physical therapy. During one of my two formal torture sessions this week, I was hauling my pathetic arm to as vertical a position as I could manage with a pulley setup when Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, began playing on the facility’s music system. Without giving much thought to it, I blurted to the young PT tech watching me sweat, “That’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Stephen Stills wrote that for his girlfriend, Judy Collins.”

And the tech replied, “Who’s Judy Collins?”

Yes, I’m sure every generation faces the inevitable reality of of eventual cultural irrelevance. As a leading edge baby boomer, I guess it’s my generation’s turn now. I can’t help wonder, though, about all that’s been lost from generations before mine, and all that will be lost from current and future generations.

I didn’t tell the nice young PT tech about Judy Collins or her wonderful music and how much it evokes in me. After all, someday he’ll probably get the same reaction from some youngster when he mentions Katy Perry. So in the end, all that I could think to say to him was, “Your time will come.”

The Donald

Unless you’ve been living in a Lower Slobbovian cave for the past couple of weeks, you’re well aware by now that Donald Trump, has entered the Republican race for the party’s 2016 nomination for President of the United States. And I say, “Whoopie! This is GREAT!!!

Why, you may wonder, would I be so delighted over this arrogant, bigoted, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal’s Presidential quest? The answer is straightforward and simple: because finally a candidate has stepped forward who is unafraid to bare (dare I say flaunt?) the repellent underbelly of the Republican Party, and having it exposed for what it is is truly a marvelous thing.

Lest you disagree with me about this, simply look at what the other GOP nom-seekers are saying. What, you say? The silence is deafening? But then, of course it is. They mostly all agree with him and are simply afraid to say it. Well, except for Ted Cruz, who’s gutsy and idiotic enough to defend the indefensible. And then there’s Jeb Bush, who might just also secretly agree with the bad-haired one but who out of fear made a wimpish, pandering pronouncement in Spanish only that, well, Trump’s ideas aren’t his own. What? Maybe he just borrowed them from someone else? And what about other Republicans? Where are they in all of this? Hiding, it seems, nakedly unmasked for the detestable specimens of humanity they are..

The ugly truth is that the Republican Party has become a slimy right wing backwater wherein dwell bigots, the religiously misguided, the terminally selfish, and a wealthy class of economic narcissists who’ve turned the U.S Congress into their private sandbox. And who out there in the wider public votes for them in election after election? I’ll tell you. Double-wide dwellers who wrongly think their candidates actually care about them, and those who know no better than to follow the lead of Fox demagogues and ignorant imbeciles like James Inhof and his fellow buffoons.

Climate change? A hoax!

Obamacare? Socialism!

Women’s rights? Keep ’em barefoot and pregnant!

Immigration: Rapists!

Infrastructure maintenance: No new taxes!

The Middle East? Bomb it!

The environment? Frack, baby, frack!

The sanctity of life? Long live capital punishment!

Gay marriage? An abomination that will destroy our country!

And there you have it: most of what the GOP stands for today. So, Donald, keep up the good work. It seems that the heavy weight of responsibility has settled upon your shoulders. Yes, only YOU can ensure defeat of the party in 2016, so keep up the good work, because only you are getting the true Republican word out. A lot of us are depending on you. Don’t let us down.