Republicans

Trump's skippin' the debate, and he's got something special in the works. Are you ready for weirder and weirder?

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Right from the beginning, the candidates in the South Carolina Republican debate brushed aside President Obama’s hopeful State of the Union message, doubling down on their apocalyptic vision of America.

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Could Rubio save the GOP from its third consecutive humiliating defeat in the quadrennial struggle for the White House?

art by mike tofanelli

“Do you have any thoughts on why, for the first time in American history, polls are showing that roughly half of Republicans want a minority for their nominee?” I ask.

Illustration by Mark Fiore

The logic seems to be that as long as you’re not Donald Trump, you must be sane and a few steps closer to a smart, reasonable candidate.

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In the Republican presidential primary, they put smiley faces on policies that would be devastating to all of us.

Photo by DonkeyHotey

We shouldn’t be surprised that the wheels are coming off of the poorly built Ben Carson bus.

 

It’s not saying much, but Tuesday’s Republican debate in Milwaukee was the most substantive discussion by the candidates so far.

The Fox moderators started with the minimum wage and moved on to income inequality and regulating the banks, in questions that could have been scripted by Bernie Sanders.

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Neither candidate mentioned the large protests outside the building as the debate began.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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