Janesville, Wisconsin—Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are running a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination that is at once ugly and devoid of meaningful options for responsible voters.
As they take each other apart in a Wisconsin primary clash that could decide whether Trump can be prevented from securing the nomination, Trump and Cruz are plumbing the depths of American politics. The blowhard billionaire and the shut-the-government-down senator are literally reinforcing the revulsion at their respective candidacies.
While it is true that both contenders play fast and loose with the facts, there is no reason to doubt the basic premises of what the candidates are saying about one another. Trump calls Cruz a liar, and portrays the senator from Texas as a sleazy political careerist. Cruz dismisses Trump as an “out of his depth” pretender who is waging a “disgusting” campaign. They’re both right.
In Wisconsin, they are both ranting and raving about insulted wives, alleged infidelities, and every other soap-opera scenario that can be imagined. It’s gotten so bad that the National Enquirer has shoved aside Hollywood scandal stories for politics. And Ohio Governor John Kasich, the last adult standing on the Republican debate stage (if they have any more debates), describes the last round of Trump-Cruz bombast as “sort of a knee-jerk.”
That’s putting it mildly.
The Wisconsin immigrant rights group Voces De La Frontera—which has encouraged multi-racial, multi-ethnic protests against the extremism of Trump and Cruz—is blunter.
“Trump and Cruz are calling for the deportation of all 11 million undocumented people, and Cruz recently promoted Sheriff Arpaio-style policies of mass racial profiling and police harassment of Muslim communities,” says Voces de la Frontera executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz. “We have a moral obligation to defeat this dangerous hate before it grows and becomes a strong political and social movement. This Frankenstein is a creation of right wing mainstream politics that promotes rhetoric and policies that scapegoat immigrants, minorities, poor people and union members to the benefit Wall Street, the banks, and corporate America.”