You know that sound of a rogue mosquito buzzing in your ear at night as you try to sleep? That’s what listening to Sen. Ted Cruz sanctimoniously make his case for the presidency is like during Republican debates. So this past Thursday, when Ben Carson started talking, like everyone else, I tuned out and thought about other things, like the causality dilemma of what came first, the mosquito or the 2016 Republican candidate?

It can’t possibly be a coincidence that swarms of blood-thirsty Republicans are stinging us relentlessly with harsh talk, competing for headlines with Zika-virus infected mosquitoes. Mother Nature is telling us something, folks. We elect any one of these guys at our peril.

Zika causes shrunken heads and incomplete brain development, but that’s not the only thing it has in common with the 2016 slate of Republican candidates. Both kinds of pests are particularly dangerous to women.

The front-runners on stage Thursday at the Big Boy debate confirmed that “conservative” has nothing to do with size of government, really, it’s code for sanctimony. Bret Baier of Fox News teed up an easy shrink-government question for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for example, but instead of talking about reducing corporate welfare or tightening the belt of the beltway’s bureaucracy, Christie went with a Hail Mary.

Baier: “Governor Christie, you talk a lot about entitlement reform and you say that that’s where the federal government can get savings needed to balance the budget. But can you name even one thing that the federal government does now that it should not do at all?”

Christie: “How about one that I’ve done in New Jersey for the last six years. That’s get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America.”

Yes, rein in birth control, because who doesn’t want an economy like New Jersey? The worst state in which to do business, according to the Tax Foundation, and the sixth-worst state economy overall.

Republican presidential candidates are crusading for evangelical votes and trumpeting their holier-than-Hillary creds louder and louder, and as they angle for the farthest right seat at the table, let us pray these guys are served their last supper come November. Otherwise I believe many women will die – and about this I’m dead serious.

Look at places like El Salvador and other Latin American countries where ultra-right, “religious” men govern. There the Zika virus is rampant, birth control is scarce and abortion is illegal. Rape of teenage girls is horrifyingly common. So that country did what any self-righteous ultra-conservative government would do under a Zika virus epidemic: declare that women and girls should simply not get pregnant.

Think about that for a minute, and then think about America under a Marco Rubio presidency.

What would “the Republican savior,” who’s made it clear he opposes abortion under all circumstances – with no exception for rape or incest – do if he were president and the Zika virus became an epidemic in the United States?

“In the end, my goal is not simply to live on this Earth for 80 years, but to live an eternity with my creator. And I will always allow my faith to influence everything I do,” he said Thursday, cementing earlier statements that under no circumstance should a girl or woman be allowed to end a pregnancy.

In other words, ladies, tough luck. Your constitutional rights be damned.

To listen to this season’s Republican debates, one must employ magical thinking or have a high degree of tolerance for group-think gone bad. Sure, Jeb Bush knows what he’s talking about and John Kasich isn’t a moron, but their voices are drowned out by bellicosity and bravado.

Trump: We’re gonna build a huge wall and be great again! I will make a deal with Putin and China. And so what? I called women fat pigs, slobs, dogs and disgusting animals – shut up, Bimbo.

Cruz: We shall carpet-bomb the bejesus out of ISIS. Amen.

Ron Paul: Zygotes will win civil rights cases in federal court if you elect me.

Chorus: More guns will make us safe. Climate change is a hoax. Income inequality is inevitable. White collar crime is a cost of doing business. Corporations are people.

What really bugs me, though, is the failure of the Republican Party to govern itself through this bizarre nominating process while maintaining the hubris that any one of its candidates deserves to occupy the most powerful seat in the world.

I watched the Republicans debate on Thursday and every time before that and I report to you that the Lord of the Flies is running for president while mosquitoes are taking over the world.

Americans everywhere, take cover or take action.

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights lawyer and former state senator. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: dillesquire

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