Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dangerous Times Call For Cooler Heads And The Top 3 Republicans Aren't It

By D. DiFrancesco

As we encroach on a new year which will bring us a short eleven months until the 2016 Presidential election, I have to admit I am dismayed by what I am seeing out of the candidates on the right and by what I am seeing in the behaviors and attitudes of my fellow Americans.

In full disclosure, I am a liberal, progressive, lefty or any of a dozen other names that you may wish to use, but I am not unrealistic nor uncompromising in any of my views if they will benefit the majority of Americans in a positive way without taking a step backwards in time.  This brings me to my concerns as they relate to the top three candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Let us start with the GOP front runner, billionaire Donald Trump.  Mr. Trump is running a self-funded campaign which he claims makes him beholden to no one.  While this may be true as it relates to
Image Courtesy: slate.com
external entities, he is beholden to the only person that he truly cares about and that is himself.  This self-funding, although refreshing seems to have granted him license to say whatever crazy misguided thoughts that happen to come into his mind at any given time. There are numerous examples of this such as his statement that he will build a tremendous wall on our southern border and have Mexico pay for it, he will deport all 12,000,000 undocumented immigrants that reside in this country, Mexico is primarily sending us their rapists and murderers and his latest, he is going stop all immigration of Muslims into this country.  None of these things can or will be done, they are impractical, unaffordable, un-Constitutional and or just a lie, but he has, as he refers to them “fans” that believe in him 100 percent.  He includes in this group blacks, women, Muslims and the LGBT community claiming that they all love him all-the-while spewing hate speech toward them.

Beyond this, Donald Trump is above all else one of the 1 percent, the economic elite.  He is about as self absorbed as one can get. What makes these blue collar working class people fall in love with someone who is part of the cause of our nation’s dysfunction and their downfall? It can only be ignorance in my view. If they believe that Trump cares even a little bit about their condition they are blind, mark my words, he only cares about Donald Trump and to Hell with the rest of us.

Politifact took a look at all of Donald Trump’s statements thus far during his campaign and found that exactly 0 percent of his statements were completely true while only 7 percent of what he says were mostly true.  This is capped by the fact that 22 percent are “Pants on Fire” lies and 39 percent of his rhetoric is completely false.  I suppose that we could refer to him as the Teflon Don since nothing he says, no matter how outrageous, inflammatory or an outright lie seems to affect him.  This in my opinion make this man very, very dangerous.  What he says not only brings out the worst in our fellow citizens, but he is setting us up for a foreign policy disaster all before he has even become his party's nominee.

Next on the list is the fiery evangelical Christian from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz.  The combination of evangelical Christianity and national politics is a highly volatile combination.  Mr. Cruz’s religious beliefs along with his unwavering views on everything from women’s reproductive rights to gun rights makes him a dangerous exclusionary force.  His views do not come close to representing the desires of the majority of Americans, but as he has shown over the past number of months, he does not care.  He has gained ground on the formidable Donald Trump, and has recently passed the former number 2 Dr. Ben Carson in the national polls. The draw of Cruz is quite perplexing in my mind; his ideas are fringe and will take civil and women’s rights back to the 19th century, he along with Trump want to pack the Supreme Court with ultra-conservative right wing justices that will only represent a small minority of Americans while reversing many progressive decisions that have been hard fought for over the decades, he is an extreme gun rights advocate, just look at his machine gun bacon video and he would love to inject theocratic ideals into the White House.  This will be the downfall of America as we know it.

Lastly, Dr. Ben Carson, what can be said about him?  Dr. Carson is a different breed of candidate, he is a renowned neurosurgeon and 7th Day Adventist with strong religious views that he spouts at every opportunity.  He has no political or foreign policy experience which I can only assume makes him attractive to many Americans who are looking for a Washington outsider.  He certainly is not like anyone we have seen before in modern day politics.  

This uniqueness may also prove to lead to his ultimate demise.  His lack of experience and peculiar mannerisms and views are gradually causing his poll numbers to drop.  Concerns over his lack of foreign policy experience and his unassuming personality do not lend well to a persona of strength.  Over the next few months we are likely to see Ben Carson sink in the ranks making room for a more seasoned politician, such as Marco Rubio to rise into the top 3, but we will have to wait and see if Ben can make a comeback...my bet is against him.

Whether you like our current president or not, I firmly believe that he has tried to do what is right for this nation.  No, he has not always succeeded, nor has he been perfect, but I believe history will show that he tried and had some great successes.  Let’s face it, he has been hammered by the media and the right wing since the very first day he took office.  I don’t know if it is because he is African-American, or that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, or that he had little prior political experience, but regardless, he has been far less destructive to this nation than any of the Republicans mentioned above will be.  

America has a very short memory, Bush and Cheney got us into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they toppled leaders and destabilized the entire region, they are the reason that we have got ISIS to deal with today and for what...oil, oil and more oil.  There is no other reason that we would have an interest in that region of the world unless there was something economically beneficial to this nation.  These wars were started under false pretenses and yet when it came time for a change of administrations, Bush and Cheney were ushered out as heroes while Obama was inaugurated as the villain.  How does any of this make sense.

Now as we approach the end of President Obama’s second term there is little that can be done to right the wrongs that he has endured or to unchain the obstructionism that he has faced his entire presidency.  Instead we can only hope that cooler heads prevail in the upcoming election and that we elect another democrat, either Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley in 2016.  None of the democratic three are perfect, Hillary comes with an incredible amount of baggage and history, though much of it I believe is fabricated for political gain by her opponents, Bernie proudly wears his democratic socialist badge as he always has which is a misunderstood by much of America and Martin is relative unknown, but a staunch progressive.  

No matter how you slice the political pie, any of the democratic candidates are immeasurably better than anyone being offered by the Republican Party in 2016 whether you choose to believe it or not.