I do not feel myself a part of any party. While my individual views on various topics make me slightly more aligned to Democratic positions, I do not feel aligned with most Democrats. I think neither side is uniquely wise or wonderful. Both sides are capable of good ideas and bad ones, good acts and bad ones. But these last ten or so years have mightily confused me, because the Republicans (meaning those who vote Republican as well as those who rule the party) have backed so many people who seem so glaringly unsuitable. I once read an opinion piece that suggested that Republicans (and conservatives generally) prefer candidates with whom they can strongly relate (people that seem like them, not higher in class, intelligence, etc.) and Democrats (and liberals generally) prefer candidates who they can look up to (at least in areas of intelligence and achievement). I'm not sure if that is true, but it made a certain sense.
George W. Bush may be a highly intelligent man, his Yale graduation would seem to demand that he is, but whenever I watched him speak or interact with people I cringed, feeling as though I was watching a person with some mental incapacity. His use of language, his expressed logic, his mannerisms, all suggested to me some sort of deficit. I never assumed Bush was actually not intelligent or capable, I simply assumed I was interpreting him incorrectly. My perception is not reality, and I know this. When I moved to London I remember being very confused at first because to me a very large percentage of British males seemed gay. The greater London male preoccupation with fashion seemed to be triggering my gaydar, and it took me some months to adjust my perceptions. So, likewise with Bush I have always assumed my perception must be inaccurate, that perhaps if I was from Texas I might not be thrown off. But my brain was never able to make the adjustment even after so many years of being exposed to Bush. But, perhaps it was still just my error of perception.
And then McCain chose Palin as his running mate. And I can find no way to rationalize or to excuse that, no way to explain Palin to myself as simply misunderstood. Sarah Palin seems to me totally and completely unsuitable to be president. She seems to me genuinely stupid and wildly ill- and under- informed. McCain choosing her made me lose a considerable amount of faith in the Republican party. That choice may have been a popular one, a well calculated one, perhaps their best shot at the office, but if they would be willing to do that then it felt like they had lost their sense of right and wrong.
And now Donald Trump is the Republican front-runner... leading in the polls by a considerable margin. The most fitting description I have seen of Donald Trump is that he is like a child in a man's body. He seems to reason and act and speak like a child trying to function in a world of adults. He is quick to speak, fast to attack, seems often to bypass thought or introspection, and regularly says things which seem delusional. He is dangerously unsuited to leading a country, and yet he is the current choice of Republican voters, if not leadership.
I can't help but feel like the Republicans / conservatives have lost their way, now routinely supporting, funding, endorsing totally unsuitable and "stupid" candidates. I hope they get back to the business of being serious and substantial leaders, with reason and sense equal to their glorious vision for American greatness.