The Republican Debate of Texas

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Let the insults fly (Rubio and Trump)

W.J. Astore

Last night’s Republican Presidential Debate in Texas would dismay almost anyone interested in debates or politics.  Insults flew.  Boasts filled the air. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio postured about which could be meaner toward “illegals” (undocumented workers).  There was more talk of border walls, of higher defense spending, of cutting taxes, of eliminating Obamacare, of reanimating Antonin Scalia and restoring him to the Supreme Court (think of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” but retitled as “SCOTUS Sematary”) — OK, that last one I made up, but if they could, they would.

I took a high school course on “debate and discussion,” and later as a professor I graded my students on debates.  Remember rules like staying on subject?  On following the rules? On keeping to the time allotted, on being civil to your opponent, on sticking to facts, on relying on evidence?  If you don’t recall those criteria, join the club of Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.

Almost any objective observer of the debate would score a win for John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.  He was clear, passionate, and stuck mainly to the subject.  He stressed his executive and governmental experience, spoke in complete sentences, and avoided insults and sound bites.  I don’t agree with much of what Kasich advocates, but he has the temperament and qualifications to make him a sound choice for the presidency.

Trump, of course, plays up his business acumen as preparing him for the presidency, and his argument against bickering politicians like Cruz and Rubio is compelling.  But let’s face it: watch the debates for just a few minutes and you realize Trump is a bully whose main attribute is bombastic self-confidence. By temperament he is unsuited to be president. The grim reality is that Republicans appear to have no answer to him.

This is partly because the debates are about issues only in passing.  They’re mainly about show, and “The Donald” knows how to put on a show.  As Cruz and Rubio split the vote, and Kasich and Carson slowly fade, Trump tightens his grip on the delegate total needed to grab the Republican nomination.

The amazing thing is this: It’s now quite conceivable that come January 2017, we will see Donald Trump inaugurated as president.

4 thoughts on “The Republican Debate of Texas

  1. God help us all he just looks like a JERK not very Presidential the American people won’t be fooled by him and his follows which by the way probably don’t vote most come for the show remember his Job is to entertain he never says any thing on how he would govern not a world about education maybe because most of them are low educated like he said which troubles me

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  2. re: Republican debate-COMPLETELY AGREE! The “three arguers” will get us into WWW111. No diplomacy, no adult communication, no understanding of their audience- As a Past teacher- all 3 need a long “TIME OUT”! And two have immigrant parents– but no compassion for other immigrants!
    Also agree –Gov. Kasich: I am a democrat but of all 5 he is the only one who knows how to act and communicate. If it HAS to be a Republican President, it should be Gov.Kasich/Dr. Carson– the only two with enough intelligence and decorum for the job!

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  3. Ancient wisdom proclaims immitation: “the sincerest form of flattery.” I think that about covers what took place in Texas the other evening with the Republicans. Two candidates (one a Canadian) with immigrant parents immitating another candidate with an immigrant wife (his third). Farce doesn’t get any more flattering of fools than that. Sure glad I didn’t waste any of my time watching it.

    Unfortunately for the U.S. and the world, someone from the Janus-faced Republican/Democratic party (two puppet fronts for the corporate oligarchy) will wind up as President of the United States on January 21st of next year. The Deep State will proceed upon its bludnering imperial way, irregardless. Simple, mindless inertia will see to that.

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