Republicans Are Scaring Me Again

Kasich, Bush, Rubio, Trump, Cruz, Carson, Christie (left to right)

W.J. Astore

I watched last night’s Republican Presidential Debate from New Hampshire.  And then I slept poorly.  John Kasich and a subdued Ben Carson excepted, all of the candidates were determined to frighten me and mine.  As they shouted and gesticulated, I wrote down some of their words and some of the thoughts and feelings they generated.  It went something like this:

We’re in danger!  Obama’s gutting our military!  Muslims are shouting “death to America”!  China!  America is weak!  We must build a HUGE WALL to keep out illegals! Abortion is murder!  Take their oil!  Chopping heads!  Dying in the street! Waterboarding isn’t torture, which doesn’t matter, because we need more torture!  Respect the police! People need to fear us again!  We don’t win — we need to win again!  Iranian and North Korean nukes!  America must get back in the game and be strong!  Tough!  Win!

Well, you get the picture.  The prize for most obscene statement of the night (among a wealth of obscene statements) was Ted Cruz’s claim that America’s possession of overwhelming airpower — its ability to carpet bomb enemies into oblivion — is a blessing.  A blessing — I’m assuming he meant from God, not the Dark One, but who knows?

My wife’s impression?  She said the candidates reminded her of low-blow fighters, or teenage boys in high school.

It’s simple, really: If you want more bombing, more killing, more war, more torture, more police, more walls, and lower taxes on corporations (yes — that came up too), vote Republican in November.

My nightmare scenario: this is exactly the vision Marco Rubio had in mind when he repeatedly called America “the single greatest nation in the history of the world.”


26 thoughts on “Republicans Are Scaring Me Again

  1. The scariest part, to me, is that none of the candidates – regrettably not even Sanders has voiced anything otherwise – have the earnest desire to “wage peace, not war” … Sanders is right when he calls for a “revolution” but he doesn’t go quite far enough in his comments or his reasoning

    Our nation is indeed one of strength, but to maintain that strength through peaceful acts and kindness towards others, even those who disagree with us, is the best and yes, the most difficult method of assuring world peace and prosperity for all … the lack of voices for peace rather than war leads me to the sad conclusion that our leaders don’t even want peace: after all, war IS good for the economy …


  2. Bill.

    You are reaching on this and unfairly condemning Republican candidates for truthfully stating what Depublicans and Remocrats have already delivered: war and more war. As proof, I offer Obama’s undeclared war in the Middle East, now gone on as long as GWB’s, and Hillary’s warmongering facilitation of regime change in Libya. Bottom line is that It took bipartisanship to send the Constitution of the United States to the dead letter box, but hey, who cares!


    1. That’s true, Walt. Never-ending war has become bipartisan. My comments are directed at the mood or tone of the “debate,” which was consistently bellicose. More torture? Carpet bombing as a “blessing”? The American military as “gutted”?

      Ted Cruz’s comment about the blessings of airpower reminded me of that old poem from Colonial days about the Maxim machine gun. About the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, the poet Hilaire Belloc wrote, “Whatever happens, we have got/ 
The Maxim gun, and they have not.”

      For Cruz, it might read: Whatever happens, we can carpet bomb them/make their sand glow/and they cannot.


      1. When Trump proclaimed North Korea to be China’s problem, I heard a version of TR’s “speak softly and carry a big stick.” China need the US one hell of a lot more than it needs North Korea, and China could fix the problem with a 15-minute phone call.


  3. The bickering between Trump and Jeb was revealing. Trump is not a statesman, and perhaps not even a gentleman. Jeb for his part, is not a leader, and struggles to say something relevant. Rubio has no qualifications for the office, and is a clearly a company man. I appreciate Christie bringing that to light so directly. Kasich did not disappoint as an oracle of party rhetoric, and I hope both he and Christie understand that being a governor, while helpful, is by no means bootcamp for the nation’s highest office. Ben Carson is a smart, decent, solid human being who has the potential to be president, but has not been able to convince us he can truly be effective. Carly should have been on the stage – she is being quietly pushed out by the lefitist media because she’d clean Hillary’s clock, and they know it. If the situation was reversed, it would be a clear case of sexism, now, wouldn’t it. That leaves Ted Cruz. Ted is smart, and has demonstrated skill in the Senate. He was good in the debate, and had the lowest percentage of “content free” responses. He skillfully dodged the baiting to defend his “out of context” assessment of the other candidates. The moderators seemed obsessed with the topic of military intervention, and Cruz responded presidentially by citing the need for intelligence and collaboration with advisors. Cruz’s reference to “carpet bombing” was finally put into proper context. In Sun Tsu’s “Art of War”, the author notes that the best way to win a battle is to avoid it. The fear of an overwhelming response can be enough to thwart an aggressor – exactly what Obama has chosen not to do, with his annoying little air strikes. Cruz understands that when a battle is required, massive retaliation is the best approach. Anything less is like negotiating with terrorists – you invite more trouble when there might be something for them to gain. Ted Cruz may not be the ideal presidential candidate, but he’s the best the Republicans have. Can he beat Sanders or Clinton? Who knows, but one thing we do know. Ultimately, the country will get the leader it chooses, and thus the leader it deserves.


    1. Carson may be smart but not anywhere outside his profession, neurosurgery. Yes, he might even be a decent solid human being, but he has shown to have NO qualifications to be president. In fact after his performances he doesn’t even seem that smart. Like the other commenter said, Carly has no qualifications also. She ran HP into the ground, it’s amazing that someone would see themselves being president with her limited knowledge and political background. She might “clean Hillary’s clock” only because she has proven herself incapable of telling the truth throughout this election period. Cruz? Smart? Well, yes he certainly has the educational background to prove he has some intelligence. Unfortunately in his politcal dealings he has shown at best, that he can make enemies, even among his own, plus he can waste a lot of taxpayer money, 25 billion, because of a government shutdown. He might be the best choice because it doesn’t seem like the Republicans have much to offer.


      1. Dr. Carson, “decent solid human being,” was the first to endorse torture. I glommed onto that immediately in the first GOP “debate,” the only one I watched almost in its entirety. I guess he was anxious to establish himself as being as hideous as his fellows (at that point, there were still about 16 others trying for GOP nomination). Ho-hum, so much for the Hippocratic Oath.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “she is being quietly pushed out by the lefitist media because she’d clean Hillary’s clock”

    That’s hilarious. As a Canadian with no * in this race, this comment is a symptom of living in an echo chamber where only the information you like gets in. From what I can see from here, Fiorina has few qualifications other than being a woman and a Republican, which is great, but otherwise she’s just a rich person who wants to be president. Oh those leftist media!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hypothetical question: After President Cruz’s carpet bombing of the Middle East FAILS to obliterate “ISIS,” what excuses will be made for the disastrous failures of the US military? “Oh, the politicians had their hands tied, they weren’t allowed to really try to win”??? Yeah, let’s roll the calendar back to 1975’s aftermath of the Vietnam fiasco. The US bombed virtually every building in “north” Korea to rubble by 1953 and guess what regime survived to remain a thorn in the US Empire’s side? Of course I am not calling for an “improved military,” I am merely hankering for an end to empire.

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  6. The Republican candidates for POTUS would like to appear frightening, Bill, but why would you wish to cooperate by finding them fearsome? Personally, I find their antics rather pathetic, if not ludicrous. True, they want to scare the bed-wetting American public into collectively soiling its diapers — shadows and closet monsters will normally do the trick. And usually this Wizard of Oz routine takes little, if any, effort. Still, I would expect a steely-eyed former Air Force officer like yourself to laugh at these haughty pretenders, not feed their outsized egos and boundless cynicism by claiming to find them “scary.” Try a little ridicule, man, or even better, a lot of it, as in:

    Batman Sleeps with a Nightlight
    (From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

    The fanboy fascist, Prince of Gotham geek,
    Up late at night, both hands beneath the sheets;
    His Batman Bible urging him to seek

    An ideal evil that he never meets:
    A super villain menacing his race
    Within his fearful chest a faint heart beats;

    Vicarious, it ticks a timid pace
    His vaguely apprehended angst demands
    Revenge for all the acne on his face,

    Exacted by some super hero’s hands
    While safe at home, a nightlight by his bed,
    Imaginary navies he commands:

    A vigilante fleet launched in his head
    That cut and ran before the fight he fled

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2006

    Works for me …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair point, Mike. I’m not really “scared,” so maybe my title should have read: Republicans are trying to scare me again.

      But in some sense they are “scaring” me, and that is how much they embody the decline of public service in America — the decline in political discourse.


      1. On my ride home tonight from a volunteer activity, there was really nothing on the radio worth sticking with so I went to an NPR station which was covering New Hampshire Primary results. I was “privileged” to hear ‘The Donald’ ranting about how the US military has been decimated (Obama! Hillary! Who else to blame?!?) and once he’s C-in-C he’s gonna “rebuild” (his exact word) said military to the point where absolutely no one will dare to mess with USA!! Is this ultra-jingoist talk scary? It’s all too predictable and hilarious. Now here’s what’s in fact scary: millions upon millions of my fellow citizens swallow this crap hook, line and sinker. I warned some friends not to get cocky about the Carolina Panthers easily winning on Sunday, and now I’m warning progressives everywhere: Don’t get cocky about Trump’s “inability” to win come November!! You read it here first.


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