In keeping with my new tradition of watching the debates the day after, here we go again.  Last night, the leading GOP candidates gathered on a stage in Las Vegas to talk about stuff.  A few observations…

  • I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently America is a very dangerous place, because all the candidates are very preoccupied with keeping America safe.
  • American exceptionalism is alive and well in the mind of Marco Rubio.
  • Nobody has as much respect for Donald Trump as Donald Trump.
  • Jeb Bush calls Trump out for being full of one-liners. Trump responds with one-liners.
  • Giving up personal privacy for national security is a no-brainer to these people.
  • Agree with Ben Carson that the politically correct “fear of being perceived as Islamophobic” among liberals and others is stupid and counterproductive. (A side note: Obama’s refusal to refer to Islamic extremists as such bothers me a lot.)
  • I agree with Ted Cruz that political correctness is a bad thing in terms of the conversation surrounding radical Islamic terrorists. I do not agree with Cruz when he says that president Obama is perpetuating the idea that the terrorists are winning.  I think that responsibility falls with him and his colleagues on the stage, and other conservative pundits.
  • Trump got booed! Sweet music to my ears.
  • Trump, in a rare moment of clarity, said something that I agree with – that the US would be better off if we had stayed out of the war in the Middle East and spent that $4 trillion locally to fix things that need fixing.
  • Chris Christie just got away with calling Obama a pussy by using a word that no one knows what it means.
  • I liked Ben Carson’s “citizen statesman” comment. Totally agree.  Can we get some term limits in the congress?  Pretty please?
  • Shout-out to Reagan count: lost count a long time ago.  I’m pretty sure one of the pundit websites will release a figure in the next day or two.
  • I don’t think that the heroin epidemic as mentioned by Jeb Bush has as much to do how easy it is to bring heroin here as it does just about every other contributing factor to drug addiction.
  • Chris Christie really wants us all to know that he is a former federal prosecutor. He also doesn’t think that the federal government hides anything from the American people.  Is he joking?  Two words:  Edward Snowden.

So much of this debate was spent talking about keeping America safe and defeating ISIS.  That’s cool and all, but what about the rest of the issues? What about poverty, or health care, or veterans, or the budget, or our crumbling infrastructure, or corruption in government, or the deficit, or common sense gun laws, or taxes, or campaign finance reform? Would it be possible to alleviate some fear, rather than prey upon it?

If a Republican wins the white house next year, we can be sure of four things:  1) military operations in the middle east will not only continue but escalate until at least 2020, 2) mass shootings will not only continue but will see an increase (which might happen anyway), 3) poverty will not be addressed as a social issue (i.e. one of the root causes of homelessness, drug addiction, depression, suicide, etc.), and 4) more tax breaks for their rich buddies.  Hooray for progress.

———————————————

“Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die”

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