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Ron Willis Ed.D.
This Week in Politics
Ron Willis Ed.D.

A crowded field of candidates

If I’m counting correctly, 17 Republican have declared their candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Of that contingency there are 14 white males, 1 white female, 1African American and 1 Indian American candidate. If you think about it, this is rather amazing. This is the largest Republican candidate contingency we have ever had and the in-fighting within the party has only just begun, thanks to Donald Trump. Trump made his presence known by, among other things, disparaging Mexican and Hispanic refugees.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has yet to do much more than try to explain why he opposes the Iran Nuclear Agreement -- even though, he admits, he has not read the document. Others seem to take their lead from Senator Graham demanding a better deal for the U.S. while never offering an alternative. Clearly their objective is to rely solely on sanctions which to date have done nothing to slow down Iran's development of nuclear materials.

Then we have former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee saying on Breitbart News that “the president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. He is naive to trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” With this crude and flippant statement, Governor Huckabee is linking President Obama and five other world leaders with the actions of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis during the holocaust. I find this to as contemptuous as Donald Trump’s remarks about Mexican crossing the U.S. border.

Did you see the Republican debates? If you are political junkies like my wife and me, it was like watching the first games of the NBA and NFL playoffs. In the first debate seven contenders faced off for about an hour and twenty minutes with Carly Fiorina holding herself well against her male competitors with short, sharp, clear responses to the moderator’s questions. Compared to what followed it was like watching a varsity team playoff followed by a junior wrestling match.

The ten marched in single file with Donald Trump center stage. Their moderators were FOX News show hosts Chris Wallace, Megan Kelly and Bret Baier. Baier started off the questioning by asking the loyalty question which was, who among you would pledge not to run as a third party candidate if not chosen to be the Republican Presidential Candidate? The bully Donald Trump was the only one to raise his hand. He wants to run as Republican if he is 'treated nicely' but he has to keep his options. Is this a threat? Then Kelly asked the “The Donald” about his unflattering comments about women. It was down hill for The Trumpster from there on.

Amazingly we are sitting here in mid August of 2015 and the Republican primary battles royal have already begun. The lust and vitality of some of the 17 Republican candidates makes the give and take of the five Democratic candidates look like a game of patty-cake.

I plan to vote for Senator Sanders in the primary, and even though she boarders on dull and is a bit worn out, I will vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election. The other three Democratic candidates seem to have come from Jeb Bush land, dull and unexciting. Lincoln Chafee wants America to adopt the metric system which, when President Ford tried it, went the way of the $2 bill. Former VA Senator Jim Web was a Republican and was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Reagan. He then switched to being a Democrat and served one term in the Senate and decided it was not exciting enough for him run for reelection.

In the end my sense is that Secretary Clinton will win the 2016 Presidential race and not because it's 'her turn', which is a mindless notion, or because her name is 'Clinton' or that ‘it’s time to elect a woman'. She will win because the Republican's message is angry and mean spirited. And its governance has one over-riding objective that was clearly stated and often repeated: a one-term presidency. To that end they pledged to block Democratic legislation. They regularly rejected proposals but offered no alternatives, refused to negotiate, criticizing the President for failure design a bill they would accept. The essence of compromise is negotiation. It involves give and take and active participation on all sides.

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