It’s going to be a long political season. It would be under ordinary circumstances but this particular season is anything but ordinary. We have become a media addicted-celebrity watching-reality TV culture… and Donald Trump is the personification of that fact. But before I wander too far down that road, I’d like to take a quick look at the field of candidates in both parties. In full disclosure, I’m a former Democrat who is a currently registered Independent leaning significantly to the right. So you are free to take whatever I say within that context.
On the Democrat side of the equation, I can dismiss both Sanders and Clinton with one word: Socialist. Many, particularly the youth, are enamored with Socialism. Ask any of its supporters and they are hard pressed to define it…they just think free stuff and blaming the rich sounds good, as do promises to make someone pay for their own lack of success, wealth, or college tuition. I heard a great definition of Socialism the other day: “Socialism: about an hour and a half from Communism.”
On the Republican side, the analysis needs to be more on a case by case basis.
After Iowa, its Ted Cruz first. I like him. I don’t think he’s perfect, but I like him. Why? Because he’s got a proven record of battling the powers that be on behalf of our First Amendment rights (http://dailysignal.com/2014/03/25/ted-cruz-urges-supreme-court-stand-americans-first-amendment-rights/)as well as for justice, even when it’s been politically unpopular to do so (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medell%C3%ADn_v._Texas). Both links are worth taking the time to read if you really care about a candidate’s qualifications for President. Is he a bit too preachy and scripture quoting for me at times? Yes. But I’d rather have a man or woman in the most powerful job in the world who is certain they ultimately answer to a higher power than someone who says they have never done anything for which they need to seek forgiveness.
The perfect segue to number two in Iowa: Donald Trump.
I understand the attraction. He isn’t constrained by political correctness nor is he beholden to the Republican leadership (although he has been a “player” in the crony capitalism of both parties forever). He speaks his mind. He has verbally tackled some hot button issues of grave importance to the electorate. But as I watch him each and every time, I think of P.T. Barnum, that American showman and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum and Bailey Circus. In particular, I watch Trump and I think of that quote Barnum is famous for: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Trump is more than a tough negotiator. He’s an emotionally stunted bully who seeks revenge and the total destruction of anyone who gets in his way. The last thing we need is someone who ratchets up the hate factor…or an “us against them” mentality. Yes, the free world has real enemies. But Trump makes everyone who disagrees with him the enemy. Isn’t that exactly what Barack Obama has done…only with more finesse and less visible vengeance? Trump’s going to sue Ted Cruz for beating him in Iowa? Really? And in case you didn’t know, the stories about Trump’s lawyer of choice give meaning and truth to every shark lawyer joke ever told.
Number three? Marco Rubio. Strong on defense. He gets ISIS and Putin. I like that. He’s not so much my guy on the border, although I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt that times are different now than when he sponsored the Gang of Eight and amnesty, so changing his policy approach could be a legitimate occurrence. It’s a little disheartening that he has a habit of saying just enough truth about an opponent peppered with just enough un-truth to cast doubt where there should be none. It’s a sleazy tactic and he loses me every time he does it…most notably with Cruz. He’s a brilliant orator and debater who sometimes seems robotic to me. I’m just sayin’.
Truth is a quality never lacking in Iowa’s number four: Ben Carson. He’s an admirable man and a brilliant one too. I don’t aspire to the notion that he lacks experience for a crisis. His answer in the last debate should have silenced those doubters. (“I’ve had more 3a.m. wake-up calls with emergencies and the need to put a competent team together than everyone else on this stage put together!”). My concern is that he lacks the savvy to deal with the crooks and liars that are the leadership and the rank and file in both parties. We just gone through one “on the job training President.” I’m not up for another one. I hope whoever wins the Republican nomination and the Presidency utilizes the talents and character of this exceptional man.
Number five, Rand Paul has chosen to end his campaign. I think he had a connection problem with the voters, although his policies (other than foreign) are dead on for fixing the economy and big government encroachment. His is a voice sorely missed and, hopefully, heeded by future powers that be.
So, there it is. My take on 2016 as of this moment. We’ve got a ways to go yet. Too much, in fact. We will be inundated with ads and media coverage and yes, even blogs (oops!) until we are ready to scream for it all to stop. And stop it will on November 8, 2016. That’s the day that really matters.
We need leadership. Not compromise or deal making. Leadership. If you think we’ve had gridlock for the past eight years you haven’t been paying attention or you’ve bought the media spin. Obama got almost everything he wanted from both parties because we had too many deals and not enough principled leadership.
We need a principled, humble, intelligent, courageous leader with an iron core who understands that the Office of the President of the United States isn’t “Let’s Make A Deal” or “The Kardashians… but a stewardship bestowed upon him by We The People both obligated and constrained by the powers set forth in the Constitution.
That’s why I like Ted Cruz.