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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Who Knows?

           Let me be right up front: I have no idea.

          There have been two Republican presidential debates as of this writing. I have watched neither of them.

Here’s my reasoning: This whole business of candidates getting into the race reminds me of a marathon race. The starting line is jammed with runners. Every single runner looks great, psyched, and ready. The starter’s gun goes off and the mob surges forward. Jackrabbit runners sprint out in front along with the best runners who are gathered at the front. The multitude of long distance runners stays loosely together for the early part of this 26.195 mile race. Gradually, smaller groups are formed, with the best runners gathering in the front setting the pace. Competitors begin to drop out for any number of reasons: cramps, dehydration, fatigue, lack of stamina, illness, injury, and so on. Inevitably, the field of athletes is pared down. Those who get to the 18 mile point often hit what is known in the marathon world as “The Wall.” You have been pushing your body to the limit for 2/3rds of the race, and now it is screaming at you to stop, even threatening to shut down if you do not stop. I’m told that if you can push yourself through, ignoring as much as possible the rebelliousness of your body, you’ll make it to the end.

It is this marathon race principle that is the manner in which I take an interest in a political race in general, and a presidential race in particular. All the candidates look and sound great at the start, but eventually they begin to drop out for any number of reasons. Most drop out early because the big money they need to support their campaign is going to other candidates. Others realize they just are not connecting with the electorate. A few do not have sufficient face/name recognition to garner support to continue. Usually one or two have skeletons in their closets that are found out (usually through the media) and remove themselves as quietly and quickly as possible. Then there’s the “dark horse,” the relative unknown, who comes out of nowhere to capture the attention of the people. Jimmy Carter was one. Barack Obama was another. Knowing that should be all you need to know about the folly of electing unknowns.

So I sit back and wait for the dust to settle. I’m watching to see who’s still standing next February. Most of those who are bailing out do so before the end of the year because the more serious contenders need the money that is going to the likely “also rans.” And make no mistake – this is all about money. If you, as a candidate, do not have a war chest of money funding your candidacy, you’re through.

 Several of the Republican candidates have already thrown in the towel (Don’t you just love all these sports metaphors!). Rick Perry and Scott Walker have dropped out. Rumors are floating about suggesting that Bobby Jindal and George Pataki are on their way out. Same for Rand Paul.

The dust-up over Dr. Ben Carson’s comments about a Muslim should never become our president, has brought out the nattering nabobs to be sure. “He’s offended all Muslims. He should drop out of the race.” And then there’s Donald Trump, often simply referred to as, The Donald. He made some suggestion about how to handle the illegal immigrant debacle. Yet again, the sensitivities of our mainstream media have been bruised. “He’s offended all Mexicans. He should drop out of the race.” It’s okay. The journalistic leftists (I believe that is a redundancy), will cry foul repeatedly regarding any Republican/Conservative candidate from now until the fat lady sings (a tip of the hat to recently departed Yogi Berra – one of a kind!).

Even though a number of folks have stopped me to ask my thoughts on the current Republican candidates, I have no idea what this field of wannabes will look like in six months. Trump has enough money to stay in it on his own dime. Carson has received a huge financial windfall following his remarks that a Muslim should never become president. Carly Fiorina did very well in the second debate and has steadily climbed in the polls.

I don’t think, however, that Mike Huckabee, nor Chris Christie will be around very much longer. Jeb Bush may be the choice of the Republican establishment in DC, but I don’t believe he is catching fire with the populace. Also, a third Bush presidency doesn’t seem to have much life with “We the People.” This is just my personal opinion.

In answer to the question that headlines this article, “Who Knows?” let me offer this thought. God knows! He knows who our next president will be, and these are words of advice found in the Bible (Psalm 2:10-12 Easy-to-Read Version) that should be heeded by that president and any other leaders. “So, kings and rulers, be smart and learn this lesson. Serve the Lord with fear and trembling. Show that you are loyal to his son (Jesus), or the Lord will be angry and destroy you. He is almost angry enough to do that now, but those who go to him for protection will be blessed.”

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