Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Take on the Candidates...So Far

After several debates, and no matter the amount of pain it may cause me personally (yes, I do have a candidate I like, but I don't do endorsements in the primary elections), I'm going to give my take on the current field of Presidential Candidates.  I will put their most recent polling numbers after their names.  If I cause you pain, because I've picked on your favorite candidate, please rest assured, I've also picked on mine.  Truth is far more important than defending one's personal choice at any cost.  Every single candidiate has flaws, and life will go a lot easier if we recognize them, rather than blindly defending any and all actions, because when "He's my guy" or "She's my girl".   So without further unnecessary bloviating (okay, maybe it's all unnecessary, but freedom of speech and all that jazz), here we go.

Donald Trump (38%) I have never seen him as a serious candidate, and I don't really care what his poll numbers say.  I still believe that his stance on immigration is the only reason he has the numbers he has, and the only reason he has so many conservatives backing him, despite the fact that just a short 18 months ago, he wasn't really a conservative.   He's going to build a wall, we get it.  I'm all for the wall, I just don't think Mexico is going to pay for it, and I still question the feasibility of kicking out 16 million people.  Outside of immigration?  He looks like someone who has some serious knowledge gaps.  He knows nothing about our nucleear arsenal and where it fits into national defense, he's talking about banning certain people from using the internet (who decides which people? And what right do they have to decide it?), his stance on eminent domain is terrible, and I'm really tired of hearing how rich he is.  I liked the analogy I heard last night.  He looks less presidential and more like he is trying to do an impression of Jim Carey circa Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Ted Cruz (15%)  I realize a lot of Christians like Ted Cruz, because, well, he's a Chrisitan.  Announcing his candidacy at Liberty University was a political move, sure, but a genius political move.  He knows where his bread is buttered.  There's just been something about him.  My husband and I have been trying to pinpoint it since the first debate, and what I saw of him last night, it's still lurking there, rubbing me the wrong way.   He comes off like a politician, slick, and sometimes a little smarmy.  My husband thinks he sounds like a televangelist.    His foreign policy occasionally rubs me the wrong way.  He seems almost semi-isolationist, trying to stay in the middle on issues like ISIS.  (No boots on the ground, we can do it from the air.)  He was  for legalizing illegals (2013) before he was against it (2015).   That was an outright lie he told last night in the debate.  I get the feeling he's taking whatever positions he can to try to siphon off support from other candidates, and I'm starting to wonder what his real views are.

Marco Rubio (12%) Marco has a couple of problems.  His immigration issues come up first, and they are big ones.  He was a sponsor of a bill that offered a path to citizenship for a bunch of people who broke the law to come here.  I think if you want to be a citizen, it starts with going through the proper channels to get here.  I also question his stance on the NSA program.  While I believe we need to do what we can to stop terrorist attacks, I don't believe that means we need to violate constituational protections to do it.  People who are not citizens of the US are not necessarily subject to the same constitutional freedoms as those who are.  You just can't have and retain the phone call records of an American citizen without a warrant.    Patrick Henry said it best.... "Give me liberty, or give me death".  I'm not giving up my freedom for safety.   I don't want Marco's NSA spying on me anymore than I want Barack's NSA spying on me.

Ben Carson (12%) I just don't think Ben is ready to be President.  I'm also not sure he has the ability to fight the way people have to fight to be President.  He's soft spoken, maybe too laid-back.  I know he stepped on the toes of the pro-lifers when he said that both sides of the abortion debate need to tone down their rhetoric, and I think that really had a negative impact on his poll numbers.  He needs more energy.  He tends to put people to sleep.

Jeb Bush (5%)  No more Bushes.  I'm almost positive we fought a war to get out from under the crown and the royalty, and between the Clintons and the Bushes, it seems like now we have dynasties and royalty.  Two was enough.  That whole family doesn't need to run for President to prove a point.  On top of that, a candidate needs to have both a good foreign and domestic policy.  Jeb Bush supports open borders, even if he won't admit it.  Jeb Bush lobbies for Common Core, which is No Child Left Behind on Steroids.  He's a big government Republican.  Just no more.

Chris Christie (4%)  I like Chris.  Too many people can not get the picture out of their heads of him hugging the President a few short days  before the 2012 election.  The media destroyed him during Bridge-gate, and it doesn't matter that there is no evidence he had anything to do with it.  Christie also doesn't play nice with the media, and while some of us really enjoy that, I'm not sure how negatively that reflects on him during a general election.  I think he will have trouble in the south.  It's very hard for northeastern politicians to make a big splash in the southern states. 

John Kasich (2%)  Most of the country still has no idea who this guy is.  Who is John Kasich?   He spends too much time at Republican Debates spouting Democrat talking points.  Not a good way to win this primary.  He's a major hawk on foreign policy, and a major progressive on domestic policy.  Neither one of those is going to play well.  Sorry dude, but when no one knows who you are, you should maybe slide off the stage.

Rand Paul (2%)  Domestic policy rocks, foreign policy is so atrocious, it disqualifies him from being President.  Donald Trump doesnt know much, but at least he pretends to want to make some changes in our policies over seas.  Rand Paul wouldn't lead from behind, he wouldn't lead at all when it comes to foreign matters.  I said about Jeb Bush that a candidate needs a good domestic and foreign policy.  It's still true down here. 

Carly Fiorina (1%)  She made a splash in the beginning, but we are getting tired of hearing about breast cancer and her HP experience.  It's not enough.  She lacks the knowledge to hold this job.  I like her, but liking someone only extends so far.

That's it.  No one else even deserves a mention, because they don't even rate a full percentage point in the national polls.  That's it.  I'm not doing the Democrats, because they all believe the same things.  Really.  They do.  Free stuff, higher taxes on the rich, open immigration policy.  The only difference is in their gender and age, and unless something big happens, it's going to be Clinton. 

There's my take.  You don't have to like it, but at least do yourself the service of not blindly following or defending any candidate.  Seek the real truth.    I just realized I had nothing positive to say.  My guess is we all know the positives, because we've staked our claim to a candidate already.  Positives?  Almost every candidate up there, with the excpetion of Rand Paul, recognizes our need for a strong defense, and most of them are willing to call our enemies by name.  Most of them, with a few exceptions, believe we need to strengthen our border.  Most of them realize that we need to cut spending, because we are broke.  It's the negative that makes the decisions people.