I am a political junkie! I admit it! As a teenager I watched the first televised presidential debate back in September of 1960. I was impressed. Both candidates, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were well informed and presented themselves as being astute and intelligent on the issues. They appeared to be calm and reassuring about the dangers that we faced. The 50’s after all had a child like myself learn about what we were supposed to do if we were part of a nuclear attack. Communism was to be feared, but be assured if each were elected, the ship of state would have a person who would be calm and steady at the tiller of our ship of state. I even had to go and check my atlas after watching the debate because I had never heard of the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Both islands were part of the debate of what to do about Taiwan and China in their dispute over who had a proper claim to each island. I could see both men as Presidents and ironically both became President of the United States. Both became well respected on the international stage.
After watching last night’s debate I am confused. I thought the discussion was about national security. I came away feeling insecure. Pity poor me, I have always thought that part of being a leader was to calm the fears of the citizens of the United States. After watching the debate, quite the opposite emotion resonated in me, fear. The candidates on the stage played on the understandable fear that each of us might have due to the unprecedented attacks that the group called ISIS does on innocent civilians. But instead of allaying a person’s fears be afraid be very afraid if any of these so-called gentlemen and not so gentle lady become President. Instead of being called the Republican Party they should change their name to the WAR PARTY.
Instead of being a calming influence they were enough to make me want to either buy a gun, because ISIS was going to attack us at any moment or for a fleeting moment I thought of leaving the country to join my daughter in England in the relative safety of country living.
I could see three of the candidates on the dock of a war crimes trial. First their was Ted Cruz who insisted he would carpet bomb civilians. Gee, I mistakenly thought that a country should be careful on who we bomb. You know like pick a moment when the members of ISIS are marching in their black outfits down the middle of a street. The problem with killing innocents is that someone usually survives and becomes your enemy, determined to reek revenge on your killing of their family.
But no he was not alone with the conviction of killing innocent people. Donald Trump trumpeted the idea of killing the families of terrorists with the claim that somehow that would stop future or current terrorists from being part of the gang of thugs who kill innocents who are not part of any army. Gee, wouldn’t that make us the same as them, the terrorists. And hell, I grew up believing that we were the good guys, you know the ones who put the awful Nazis away for committing genocide. My mistake I guess!
Then you had Ben Carson who I swear has no idea what he is talking about. He was a brain surgeon. Last night he compared his experience of removing a cancer out of a child’s brain to the cancer of ISIS. Declare War he cried! Carson wants to watch people and listen to what they say in a mosque, a house of worship. He reminds me of a poor man’s Joe McCarthy. May I see your papers please, and be sure to organize your neighborhood like a good Gestapo man to tell on your neighbor.
At least I learned something from two of the candidates, Kasich made me want to make sure we knew how to deal with the encripted messages on the internet so we can know what is going on with our enemies, ISIS. At least that makes sense. He also let the audience know that Saudi Arabia had formed a military coalition to attack ISIS. That brightened my spirits because that might mean that our men and women won’t have to be the boots on the ground. But no, Governor Kasich assured us that we will have boots on the ground in harms way. Again, I must have been misled as a student into thinking that one should never get involve in someone else’s Civil War. The Participants always resent it, and it is sometimes hard to decide which is the good guy or maybe both sides are bad. I can understand arming the Kurds, though, because they just seem to want to be autonomous and left alone by the Assad government.
The second lesson learned, came from of all people Carly Fiorina, who suggested that increasing the technological ability of our homeland forces could indeed help us keep safe. Good idea! Her performance, other wise was again disturbing in that she seems surly, with her face in a permanent snarl. I did not feel safe.
Then there was the performance of Chris Christie, who for the umpteenth time told us how he was a Federal prosecutor. I get it! He gives the impression of being not a very friendly pit bull, you know one of those dogs trained to kill. He assured us that he would shoot down a Russian airplane if one flew into a no fly zone in Syria.
Wow! I am glad he was not around when the Cuban Missile Crisis took place. He would have undoubtedly sided with Curtis LeMay and nuked the Russians. Then I thought, none of us would have been sitting around watching what passed for a debate. Putin is a bully, and you are going to play Russian roulette with Putin, Mr. Christie. Be afraid, be very afraid!!!!!
Mr. Trump, is one of a kind! I have been reading history and political science my entire life, but never have I heard of such scary stuff coming out of a person who would be President, or oops a dictator. I still think that when he pouts he looks like Mussolini but with some kind of hair flaying about. Let’s make a list. You need to be strong, very strong. There are the bad guys. We must kill the bad guys.
At least Rubio sounded and looked Presidential. I was the least afraid of him. He didn’t seem like an ideologue.
Jeb Bush finally arrived at a debate prepared to make his case for being a thoughtful person capable of being a President. After being an empty suit for the 4 previous debates it might be too late for him. But who knows Americans have a very short memory.
My final question to the readers of blogs out there, was any plan offered for Peace. I must have missed it, but we will defeat ISIS and when we do, we need to have a plan so we do not have another ISIS come around to make our lives one of worry and fear.