They had their chance.

In the face of their party’s hijacking by extreme elements, often detached from what we journalists call “reality,” the Republican Party has chosen to wall itself off from most Americans rather than deal with our insistence on liberty and freedom.

In the scrum that’s formed around the 2016 presidential nomination process, the party faithful has elevated the most clueless candidate in many generations in Dr. Ben Carson, who lacks even the most basic understanding of history and global politics. He’s polling at 22 percent, 10 points behind angry blowhard Donald Trump, who has sounded so much like Adolf Hitler in the last week that newspapers like this one are calling off moratoriums on comparing things to the rise of the Nazi regime and suspending the benefit of the doubt when it comes to GOP candidates.

Trump’s suggestions that we create a registry of American Muslims, his false memory of Arabs celebrating in Jersey City, NJ on 9/11, his suggestion to bring back waterboarding and his abject, xenophobic fearmongering should be enough to turn off any and all rational Republicans left in the ranks.

But that’s not what is happening.

After his incendiary and provably false remarks in the wake of the Paris attack, Trump’s numbers among Republicans actually went up, regaining an edge lost to Carson earlier in the fall. And now, like lemmings — or lab monkeys that have undergone shock treatments — they’re all doing it.

This plague of ignorance among the GOP has manifested in North Carolina, where Gov. Pat McCrory is attempting to thwart the laws of the United States by requesting that no Syrian refugees, no matter their age or gender, be admitted into our state — a state that, some will tell you, is a beacon of Christian values.[pullquote]After his incendiary and provably false remarks in the wake of the Paris attack, Trump’s numbers among Republicans actually went up.[/pullquote]

But that must not be true, because McCrory’s 2016 Democrat challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, also suggested that we do the exact opposite of what the Bible, the Statue of Liberty and the law say we should do with victims of war and its attendant suffering: Keep them out.

It says a lot about the way these two men view the electorate of our state, which to them seems to only espouse Christian values rather than actually live into them.

What it says about us, the actual people of the great state of North Carolina, won’t be evident until Election Day.

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