Posted By RichC on February 14, 2016
Politics and the upcoming presidential election seem to be dominating the discussion in my online social networking circles … at least on my Twitter feed.
The news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on the afternoon of the South Carolina GOP Debate Saturday left most who appreciated his 30 years of conservative jurisprudence in a very somber mood (and concerned for the political make-up of the court). Not only did the Scalia family lose a husband, father and grandfather, but the Supreme Court and the nation lost the strongest voice for holding to the constitution as written … rather than interpretated based on current views. I for one prefer congress append through the process provided for in our democratic republic rather than legislating from the supreme court. Justice Scalia was an outstanding thinker and thoughtful conservative who was appreciated by all who served with him … something evident by the friendships he made regardless of personal political convictions – a lesson for all of us.
BUT that lesson of being “treasured by his colleagues,” as Chief Justice John Roberts stated, must have been missed by those debating before the South Carolina Republican primary; not many of the bloodied GOP hopefuls seemed to “treasure” each other at the moment. The personal insults were flying from several candidates (thanks to Donald Trump this year – cough, cough) and the rather small differences between Republicans were accentuated as if they all disagreed with each others core values and positions (there are no ‘liberals’ in this combative bunch). Of all the differences, perhaps the most notable is Donald Trump’s attack of President George W. Bush and his administration regarding 9/11 and the War in Iraq. Personally I sense the vitriol for a previous Republican president did not sit well with most Republicans … although just as with many previous statements by Trump … I could be wrong again – but, if Reagan was coined the “Teflon president” … then perhaps Donald Trump is the New York City version – “Gotham Steel president” (as in Gotham Steel Pans TV promoted cookware – very fitting for such a self-promoter!). Who knows if anything he says will stick or stand out as too offensive in the minds of voters?
Besides the insults, there was some new content and interesting back and forth. Most analysts that I read and heard agreed that Marco Rubio had a good debate. His knowledge and preparation was evident and he does exhibit the desire to expand the Republican party. Perhap only John Kasich currently demonstrated that ability … although probably at the sacrifice of a few more issues (personally speaking, that is going to be necessary to win, expand the party and get anything accomplished). Ted Cruz, for all his principled conservative values, is probably the least electable in a general election IMHO, although I admire his unwavering position.
Then their is Ben Carson … what an accomplished and nice guy. I suspect there are some who know him with a little more bite, but it is hard to see it. His softspoken nature just makes it difficult for him to go on offense in today’s “Rock’em Sock’em Robots” contest (not a reference to Rubio’s prior debate).
Where are we now??? Who knows … the Donald Trump lead and “Trump Train” of support looks hard to stop. Trump has demonstrated that no matter what politically incorrect comments he makes, his supporters don’t waver. In fact, they seem only emboldened by the fact he is willing to lead with such a populace message of “Making America Great Again” and this demostrates his supporter’s anger. As my son Taylor (a student of history) and I question: What is Trump is doing different from previous popluace leaders from history? (yes, the 1930 Adolf Hitler does come to mind – although that’s a bit extreme. I suspect Trump may have tapped into the “unity and Nationalism” component, but am hoping not the “conspiring, deceiving and persecution” … although we would all be wise to keep nationalism in check).