Opinion | Politics

Steve Russell: Fear and aggression take center stage for GOP

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), second from left, surveys the stage before the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 15, 2015. Photo from Facebook

Steve Russell, a member of the Cherokee Nation, watched the Republican presidential debate so you didn't have to:
Once more, economic issues are masked by the culture wars, as the Republicans become the party of resentful and frightened white people.

To be nominated, a Republican must run against Hispanics, African-Americans, gays, Muslims. Indian policy is no longer front and center, but we have dogs in the fight. One of those dogs barked loudly when three Republicans engineered the gifting of an Apache sacred site in Arizona to an Australian mining corporation. Then there is the leading GOP candidate, Donald Trump, who does not “believe in” Indian sovereignty.

Reality TV star Trump remains stage center, having just cracked 40 percent in one national poll of likely Republican voters, flanked by eight others: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb! Bush, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. The eighth candidate did not make the main event by his poll numbers, but CNN apparently thought Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul should be included to make good television.

Paul was expected to be the libertarian contender who could expand the base created by his father, Ron Paul. Rand Paul has been unable to attract his father’s base, much less expand it.

Get the Story:
Steve Russell: GOP Debate V: Gorillas Pounding Chests (Indian Country Today 12/16)

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