Hats in the Ring

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A few weeks back I offered some advice to Hillary Clinton for her campaign for the presidency. In honor of July 4th and in an effort to be fair and balanced as they say, I’m going to offer my services to the Republican candidates. Of course, bear in mind that when I ran for student body secretary back in high school I was soundly trounced so I may not be the best critic but one might say that I learned a bit from defeat.

There are so many Republicans running for the presidential nomination that I’d like to begin by suggesting that a few of them just go ahead and drop out right now. The first to go should be Donald Trump who has managed in only a couple of weeks to turn his campaign into a clownish fiasco and he’s not doing much to help his party either. It’s one thing to be transparent and speak the truth and quite another to be hyperbolic and mean. Some of his comments have been so bizarre that there are some who think that he is actually a secret weapon of the Clinton campaign given that he and Hillary are friends from way back when. He certainly can’t think that he is doing himself or anyone else any favors with his obnoxious descriptions of Hispanic immigrants. If he really does believe what he is saying that’s even more evidence that he simply needs to go.

Others that just don’t seem to have a reasonable place in the race are Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. They are so yesterday’s news. We the voters pretty much let them know in 2007-2008 that we weren’t much interested in them. Mike is too corn pone and Rick is just “ick,” I actually love Chris Christie but it seems to me that his time has come and gone. He has way too much baggage not the least of which is a state government in New Jersey whose credit rating has been downgraded during his tenure. I don’t even know what to say about Rick Perry. The honest truth is that he never has seemed smart enough to run the country. He should just come back home and retire to his ranch or wherever he plans to eventually ride off into the sunset. Unlike Perry, Bobby Jindal is incredibly bright but I don’t think that he is ready for a national arena. He serves a good purpose as governor and that is where he should stay.

There are probably others who should just clear the decks to make room for those who have a chance but honestly I can’t even keep up with all of the people who have decided to run and even more are getting ready to throw their hats in the ring. The last that I heard there were fourteen or fifteen of them who the audacity to think that we might be interested in voting for them. While I really don’t like the idea of an essentially unchallenged candidate like Hillary Clinton I also think that the Republicans are reaching the tipping point of ridiculous with the historically high number of candidates. Perhaps I should file for a chance to win the nomination. After all it seems that anybody can get his/her name on the ballot. Why not mine?

Ted Cruz is a darling of the tea party but he’s just too darn divisive to be the leader of the country. I always feel as though he is patronizingly lecturing all us when he presents his opinions. He has a place in Congress where I actually applaud those who are willing to argue the pros and cons of each vote. We don’t want a bunch of mindless robots there and Cruz has played his role of watchdog quite well, even though I generally disagree with him in most instances. I just can’t see him in the White House. He’d have us all bickering constantly. (Oh yes, I forgot that we are already doing that but he might make it even worse and that’s not what we need right now.)

Some say that we have had enough of Presidential dynasties and therefore Jeb Bush should never get the votes that he needs. The sad aspect of that argument is that I think that Jeb just may be the most intelligent son in his family and one heck of a good executive. He appears to be someone who stands up for his beliefs even when they cross the swords of the various conservative and religious wings of his party. He was a good governor in Florida and he has a number of great ideas. It’s just too bad that the party is more dead set against him than the general public. Also, he has that Bush name to contend with and there are too many citizens who want to cast him in the same category as his brother. I’d tell him to just be himself nonetheless. Who knows? Being honest just might be the ticket. (I know that I said that the Donald is too honest. There has to be a bit of decorum and Jeb actually has that.)

Dr. Ben Carson is such a sweet and brilliant man. There may be no more genuinely fine and sincere Republican in the race. I’d tell him to shift his focus from so many of the social issues. I realize that his religious beliefs have guided him through life quite well but frankly a good president weighs the beliefs of all citizens and not just his own. Instead he needs to keep talking about the economy and the ideas that he has for improving things for everyone. He actually has a plan or two and he should reveal those to the populace. He really has nothing to lose. Nobody expects him to win so he may as well get out there and shake things up a bit. He might surprise everyone.

I actually like Carly Fiorina. We could use a woman in office and in many ways she is even more accomplished than Hillary Clinton. She has run a big company, a task made even more difficult by the mere fact that she is a woman. She is rational and well spoken, a great debater, more so even than Ted Cruz. If the country is in the mood to finally elect a woman then Carly would be a great foil for Hillary. I’d love to see those two go head to head in a debate. It would be a sight to see for all women everywhere.

Lot’s of folks love Scott Walker but there is something about him that bothers me. It’s not that he doesn’t have a college degree because he has proven that he doesn’t really need one. I suspect that it is something quite silly on my part but I have to say it. His eyes are just too small and they make him appear to be shifty. I can’t see him capturing the attention of a majority of the American people. He is just way too conservative on so many levels. Some Republicans seem to think that the country is ready for a far right politician but I really think that they are one hundred percent wrong. The conservatives are a hard headed bunch and maybe if they suffer a massive defeat with a darling like Scott Walker they will finally understand that they need to move back toward the middle of the road.

Perhaps the most unusual candidate is Rand Paul. He is a hybrid of many different philosophies, a creation of his father’s thinking. He follows his own drum beat more so than anyone on the political scene either Republican or Democrat other than maybe Bernie Sanders. He may be interesting to a number of people but in the end, like his dad, he is just a bit too much of a kook.

Honestly my favorite candidate among the Republican pack is Marco Rubio. I love the idea of having an Hispanic President. Perhaps he might consider running with Carly Fiorina or even Dr. Carson. Now that would be a powerful ticket. I’d tell Marco not to let the right wingers dictate to him. He need not pander to their demands. In fact, doing so will only bring him down. Despite what anyone in his party or the media says he had a great immigration plan a few years back. It was humanitarian and may have worked to solve the problems that have occurred because nobodyhas been willing to create legislation that might put the issue to rest. He caved a bit when criticism was heaped upon him. Even though nobody ever seems to bring up the chronic flip flopping of Hillary, Marco has been skewered by both liberals and conservatives alike simply because he ultimately agreed with critics that his idea for immigration was not perfect. Still it was a step toward a permanent solution. Not even President Obama has offered that. He is simply looking the other way until the end of his tenure knowing full well that the next person in office will be able to issue a different kind of executive order. He has given immigrants the impression the the issue is settled when he has actually done nothing. In essence everyone in Washington D.C. other than those who joined Rubio in attempting to find a solution has purposely avoided tackling immigration and then complained loudly one way or another.

Rubio is also well spoken and his story of being the son of immigrant parents is inspiring. He and his family came up from nothing. In many ways his is the true American story. He seems to understand the need for both parties to quit sniping at one another so that the country might finally come together. I can see him as a great diplomat who knows how to heal the ever growing divide that has opened up within the populace. He is someone whom I would genuinely consider as a viable candidate.

I know that I’ve missed a few of the contenders in my discussion which probably means that they are so forgettable that they don’t have a chance anyway. I just hope that the Republicans present us with a team of candidates that seem serious and up to the task of governing this great nation. I’d love to see a real close race. I think it’s better for the country when nobody is deified or inevitable. I like it best when we really have to think before pulling the lever. As a died in the wool independent the center right or left candidates are the most appealing.

We still have big problems with the economy whether anyone chooses to admit it or not and things might become worse if certain European countries don’t find ways to take care of their own financial woes. We need someone who will be able to keep our country safe in a world that sometimes seems to have gone mad. The next President needs to be there for everyone. The Republican who will have the best shot at winning will need to understand that for most of us the social issues are far less important than the business and the safety of the country. Anyone who is willing and able to offer viable plans to fix the things that are broken will have a head start over the others. We the people have grown weary of rhetoric. We would like to know exactly what a candidate has in mind. It’s been a long, long time since we have witnessed transparency in our leaders. Anyone willing to be up front with us without sounding angry, patronizing, or insulting just may have a shot at being a worthy competitor against Hillary Clinton. I hope that the Republicans choose their candidate well so that the race will be more interesting.

No matter how things go the USA seems to somehow always find a way to continue to rock along.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

 

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