Fox News’ GOP Debate Literally Became A Dick-Measuring Contest & America Has Officially Reached Peak Chaos

We've reached whole new heights when it comes to this election season. A plethora of new voters and those who hadn't previously been excited about politics have gotten involved in grassroots campaigns for the likes of Bernie Sanders and John Kasich, while many have attended the proverbial circuses that GOP front-runner Donald Trump has put on across the country. For those less inclined to leave their homes to get their political fixes, debates have offered a telling glimpse into the chaos each party is mired in. The Fox News GOP debate is a rude awakening to American voters that something desperately needs to change, and not just in terms of shaking up the establishment.

Sure, prominent politicians like Mitt Romney have condemned the direction the Republican party is heading in. So had many of the men onstage at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, albeit in frankly disappointing ways. Marco Rubio took to fighting fire with fire and used some of Trump's immature tactics to combat his fellow candidate, despite the fact that he explicitly condemned them. "The media has given these personal attacks that Donald Trump has made an incredible amount of coverage. Let's start talking again about the issues that matter to this country," Rubio said before entering into a truly bizarre exchange in which Trump referred to him as "Little Marco" and he dubbed Trump "Big Donald."

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Cruz took the condescension route with Trump, imploring him to count to 10 or focus on his breathing when locked in especially heated exchanges. The diplomatic tactic is certainly a far less aggressive way of handling the candidate, but it distracts from the many gains that Cruz has made on the campaign trail. He is firmly in second place and continuing to stand out from the remaining few candidates who aren't the real estate magnate. And yet the focus of the debate continued to be on insults, with Cruz being given the moniker of "Lyin' Ted" by Trump.

Kasich appeared to be the only candidate untainted by the verbal slugfest unfolding on Thursday night. He desperately tried to be the voice of reason, only to have his efforts trumped by the moderators conducting the debate. No matter how nasty the debate may have gotten, candidates vowed to support Trump if he were to win the Republican presidential nomination. Cruz's rationale for supporting the Donald was simply because he always stuck to his word, which isn't necessarily the most compelling reason. Rubio cited Democratic candidates as being his motivation. Kasich, frankly, didn't have a reason.

It appears as if, in the eyes of his supporters, the Donald can do no wrong. When his immigration policies came under fire, the Fox News Facebook page was alight with comments about how Trump had been targeted. The moderators weren't just out to plague Trump with "gotcha" questions, however. Cruz's policies were similarly called into question when it came to issues of same-sex marriage and his reaction to the actions of Edward Snowden. Rubio was not exempt and neither was Kasich, all of whom had not only interview clips and advertisements thrown at them to challenge their contradictions but voting records spanning years.

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The Republicans have become a party divided, with Trump acting as a wedge pushing the divide even deeper between typically moderate GOP members and the far more extreme candidates who appear to have only gotten more outlandish as the election cycle has worn on — all for the sake of somehow detracting from the very candidate whose tactics they've hypocritically mocked and co-opted. Rubio's best showings may have been his one-liners in which he cracked wise on Trump's flexibility with a yoga joke and questioned the candidate's intelligence. Each debate inches closer to reflecting the lampooning articles of satirical sites like The Onion.

Fox News may have won the GOP debate but there were no real gains made when the event devolved into Trump defending himself from Rubio's attack of his hands and genitals. The dick-measuring contest and distractions have turned Republicans glossed over the legitimate concerns for the country candidates are seeking to address when they vie for the highest office in the land. How many more warning signs and blatant displays of wholly disappointing conduct will it take before the country returns its focus to what it means to run an entire nation and not just humor the country?