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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hopefuls

             The weaning process has begun. The first GOP (Grand Old Party) candidates have had their initial moment in the spotlight. Republicans have lots of choices when it comes to selecting the next presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2016. But with so many contenders (I think they’re at 17) how do you begin to pick the next heir to the presidency? And that’s just the Republicans. There are a growing number of Democrats vying for this coveted position of power as well.

A number of folks recently have asked me what I thought about the debates the Republicans had last week. To be very honest, I chose not to watch them. You may be wondering why, especially since I am writing an article about this every-four-years gala where “We the People” get to vote for the leaders of our country.

Well, let me explain my reasoning like this. As is typically the case, the party that is currently not in control of the White House (read: Republicans), believe they have the answers to the country’s woes which are exacerbated by the current administration. It’s part of the political dance. The opposition party can’t say anything nice about the current president or his party for fear of aiding the other side in their bid to keep control of the presidential office. So most of the hopefuls (in this case – Republicans) talk tough, challenging certain “straw dogs” which in reality, if truth be told, neither party wants to touch.

There are several examples of straw dogs which every politician talks about and sounds deadly serious about when talking about fixing the mess, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. For example: Social Security. Congress has been robbing this piggy bank which “We the People” (you and I) have fed into our entire working lives, which now threatens not to be there in our retirement. Has anything been done about it? You know the answer.

Another example of a straw dog would be: Illegal Immigration. In particular, the porous borders of the American Southwest (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California). This has been a serious problem for at least a half century. When all the clamoring dies down, please tell me exactly what’s been done about it? Right! Nada.

Lastly for this article is: Health Care. Neither party wanted to touch this “third rail.” But, give credit where it’s due. The Democrats have made this a major campaign issue for the last 24 years. The problem is the way it has been handled by those same Democrats is deplorable. First under President Bill Clinton’s first term he appointed his wife, Hillary, to oversee a health care industry that supposedly would be in control of 1/6th of the Federal budget. Since she was not elected, “We the People” raised a ruckus and this problem went dormant. Under the current administration, President Obama presented the health care plan he was about to drop on the American people. The major problem was no one seemed to know what this health care plan was going to look like. Or as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, so infamously said, “We have to pass this bill first so we can find out what’s in it.” Well, Ms Pelosi, I did read the entire bill took me three days. It was a bad bill then, and it’s still a bad bill. Not to mention the phrases constantly repeated by the President, such as, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” And,  “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Sure we can. It certainly hasn’t worked out that way, and this “plan” is now an albatross hung around the neck of “We the People.”

Expect to hear a lot of hot air on these topics from the Republican hopefuls. In most cases, maybe all cases, it’s just that – hot air.

I could go on about the foolishness that passes for political leadership today, but then I’d only be working myself into a frenzy.

Here’s what I’m looking for in a candidate: 1. Honesty. If you’re not honest, any hope of support from me is gone. 2. Conviction. We may not agree on everything, but I can respect you for holding to your convictions. 3. Integrity. I need to know that you’ll do the right thing, every time, because it’s the right thing. 4. Character. Besides the traits listed in 1-3 above, I need to know you are even-handed in dealing with people; patient when faced with opposing views; and courteous to any and all, every time.

There is a weaning process of the Republican hopefuls which will take out those who simply do not have a chance of being selected to carry the banner for their party. And be assured, the weaning has begun. Some in the recent debates shot themselves in the foot, and will quietly close up their tent and disappear (literally!) from the stage.

Two candidates at this point have my attention. I will be watching them very closely. This would be my president/vice president choice as of August 2015: Ben Carson as president, and Carly Fiorina as vice president. Both were highly successful in their chosen vocations prior to entering the political arena. Now, one or both of these candidates could fall on their swords tomorrow or next month and be gone. But for now, I like what I see in these contenders for the top two spots of power in the United States of America. I’ll be watching!

Isn’t this a great country!

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