I’ve tried hard to stay away from blogs about the current presidential races, especially the debates. To say we have become an embarrassment on the international stage is a gross understatement. People in other countries now tune in to the debates; particularly the Republican debates, rather than watch reality television. When did our political system degenerate into a name calling free for all?
I remember the first televised debates between then Senator John Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon. They debated issues. At least that’s how I remember it. Of course I was less than ten years old at the time. But I think I would remember if Kennedy called Nixon shifty or commented on his debate sweating. I don’t think Nixon said anything about Kennedy’s father being a rum runner or being friends with organized crime members.
Over the past few races things have slowly but surely sunk into the mud-slinging debacle we now deal with. Donald Trump, being what he calls himself, a “businessman”, knows nothing of political politeness. I’m not talking about political correctness. I’m talking about the way people address one another in general. Most of us, when disagreeing with others, do not refer to them as “stupid” “losers”. However, Trump tosses insults around like candy from a busted piñata. He has insulted Mexicans, John McCain (a war hero), a disabled reporter, the Chinese, the Japanese, women, the Pope, and every candidate who opposes him. He swears during debates, interviews, and any time he pleases. Yet when the former president of Mexico drops the “f” bomb in discussing Trump’s infamous wall, Trump demands an apology.
One by one, the other candidates have gotten down in the dirt with this so-called “well educated” “businessman”. Personally, I would love to see his college transcripts, his tax returns for the past ten years without the nonsense of waiting for an audit to be completed, and transcripts of all HIS speeches and e-mails for the past five years.
Jeb Bush tried to take him on but frankly he was too classy to get nasty. And the voting public apparently wants nasty. Ted Cruz has laughed at him and taken a couple of well aimed potshots at the belligerent loudmouth. At last night’s Republican debate, the last one before Super Tuesday, Marco Rubio stepped up to the plate. In all honesty I enjoyed watching him laugh at Trump and actually make the old man sweat. Trump may think he won that debate. I think Rubio mopped the stage with him. In retaliation Trump dragged out the equally nasty Chris Christie as his newest supporter. Personally I suspect this last ditch effort to derail Rubio was made along with a hint to Christie he could be Trump’s Vice Presidential candidate. Just what America needs, two obnoxious, loud mouthed fools with their fat fingers casually resting on the red button that could send us all to kingdom come.
This isn’t just an attack on the Republicans. I admit I am a registered Liberal. But I have been a little disappointed with some of the trash talk I’ve seen coming from the Democrats. Mostly this applies to Bernie Sanders. I started out this presidential race with an open mind. No, I am not thrilled with President Obama. I was open to any possibility. So Sanders and Hillary Clinton weren’t shoe-ins on my ballot. I liked what they were saying. They could certainly talk the talk, but could they walk the walk? In recent weeks my estimation of Bernie Sanders has declined. Suddenly this seemingly fair minded man has begun to toss out personal insults at Clinton.
I’m left asking, what the heck is going on? Is this behavior the result of some deterioration in our society as a whole? If so, is it happening in other countries as well? While we are being laughed at by other countries, are we so consumed by our own ridiculous behavior we don’t see it elsewhere?
Many readers will see this as an attack on Donald Trump. I admit I find him exceedingly distasteful. I think he is dishonest and I believe he would destroy our country. I confess I have seriously considered the option of leaving the US if he is somehow elected president. But this is more than a shot at “The Donald”. I could write about the times I saw him strutting around his Atlantic City casino before it fell apart. I didn’t like him them; nose in the air and unapproachable unless you were a scantily clad female who would fawn over him or a man who would practically bow to him. It was apparent Trump loves his sycophants. However, this is my observation of a political process that has run seriously amuck.
I don’t want to hear rhetoric about “losers”, “crooks”, or any of the other personal insults lobbed about like giant softballs in a pick-up game. I want to know what a candidate plans to do for our country. I want to know where they stand on the economy, education, poverty, healthcare, gun violence, racism, and other vital issues. I don’t want to hear the thirty-second sound bite we have been reduced to. I don’t want to hear they are keeping it under wraps until they are elected. You won’t get my vote until you can lay out some kind of plan that has a reasonable possibility of success. I want to know how you will get the opposing party to work with your party to save America. Because America needs saving. We need to be saved from the loud mouthed and bombastic wannabes whose goal is to be called “President” and not to make positive changes for all of our citizens. I want a leader I can be proud of. I want someone who will leave a country where my grandchildren and great grandchildren can live safely and happily. Is there anyone who can do that for me?