Why is My Hair on Fire?

By Carla Feinkind

The Republican debates, with or without the Donald, have been slugfests and hate orgies. Sure, we’ve had a few good laughs as the Donald attacked his fellow candidates and they pouted. But, let’s remember that every GOP candidate has ranted about baby body parts, and Mexicans that come here with drugs to rape and steal, and about 5-year-old orphaned Syrian refugees who must be barred because they might be ISIS. These kinds of wild toxic rants are already having severe consequences.  A well-armed lunatic shot up a Planned Parenthood site in Colorado mumbling Republican propaganda, and a local Sikh man was beaten by an ignorant Trump supporter. Daily, we see hate, fear and xenophobia growing. Spoken hate has an insidious affect. It poisons the national discourse and makes for dangerous times. All of the talk about our Christian nation could make it dicey for people who worship in temples or mosques, or for people who don’t worship at all. Republicans claim this “Christian nation” is under assault. Firstly, this is NOT a Christian nation and never was. Secondly, if it is under assault, it is by the 2016 GOP’s platform of hatred, fear, and racist xenophobia.
Haven’t we seen this hateful trend before? I am feeling very sensitive to the effects of this kind of rhetoric as National Holocaust Remembrance month comes to an end. Seventy-one years ago, American soldiers helped to liberate Nazi death camps. Let us remember that the Holocaust did not begin with death camps. The Final Solution was the end result of more than 10 years of messaging hate, fear and scapegoating. Additionally, the Nazi campaign played upon a centuries-old dormant distrust of outsiders. Once that hate was released, it was hard to put back. The GOP campaign is less “entertaining” when you look at it through the lens of history.
In light of the dangerous GOP in 2016, Democrats have to agree to keep the Democratic campaigns on the high road. Starting now, supporters of both Clinton and Sanders must STOP personally attacking each other. Keep the campaigns focused on the issues and talk about the Democratic agenda for 2016. We must not attack our own candidates. Keep in mind that it is not a negative to be a candidate who is responsive to what people want. Bernie is evolving on gun control? GREAT! He saw that gun safety is a big issue for the people in towns and cities beyond Vermont. Hillary evolved on Gay Marriage and the TPP agreement? GREAT! That means that she looked and listened and realized that Democratic grassroots movements were correct. To attack a candidate for evolving over a forty-year career is illogical, straight out of the GOP playbook, and frankly unacceptable.
In short, no matter who is chosen, every single Democrat has to rally for the nominee, ready to work his/her butt off. The alternative is too damn scary.
In 2016 the White House is at risk but it is even more than that. I shudder to imagine the Supreme Court should any of those GOP candidates become president!  So many of our hard won victories such as Gay Rights, Choice, Voting Rights and more will be at risk. 
In 2016 we must regain the Senate and make big advances in the House. Each of the would-be Republican Presidents would work with a Republican House and Senate to fight many more wars to show how strong and GREAT we are. Together they would work to defund Planned Parenthood and to end Obamacare
In 2016 we need to regain State Houses. Between 2008 and 2014, Democrats lost 12 Governorships. We know the people in Flint, Michigan are enjoying their Republican Governor’s callous disregard for their health. But it’s not just Michigan – there are statistics to prove that having a Republican state administration is bad for your health…no healthcare, earthquakes from fracking, poisoned water, the list goes on..
In 2016, we have to bury all of the toxic garbage from the Republican campaigns. Looking at history, we see the way first-world nations, educated and worldly, were turned into killing machines.  When good people are silent, lazy or apathetic, energized haters win, making it a LOT harder to bring sanity back. We need 2016 to be a victory for sanity, justice, empathy and opportunity.
So, fellow Democrats, work hard for your preferred candidates! Then, get ready to work
REALLY hard to elect whoever is the Democratic nominee!  We MUST beat back the hatemongering GOP in November because, literally, everything is at stake.