Friday, March 11, 2016

Republican Primary Debate Postmortem

I finally watched a whole Republican Primary Debate last night. They keep scheduling them on Thursday nights which is when my favorite TV shows come on and I can only DVR two shows at a time, so I keep missing the debates. Not that it has hurt my feelings. It sounds like the previous debate was a PG-13 event. But, as a good Republican, I figured I should know what was going on. (And I just realized that this last paragraph shows just how shallow I can be . . .)

So, I watched it. Along with Wild Man. He won't be old enough to vote in the primaries, but he's interested in the decline of our political system just like anyone else.

Here are my thoughts - in ascending order of probability of voting for them.


  • Debate - Did remarkably well for the first 20 or 30 minutes last night. I almost thought I liked him a little bit. Then his circular reasoning kicked in. Wild Man said his English teacher would never accept a paper with those kinds of arguments. His main argument throughout the night seemed to be that we just need to make better deals and "make America great again" (how???). He doesn't seem to have very solid ideas or policies. He would like to use more torture techniques if they could be legalized. He also didn't forcefully speak out about violence at his rallies and then actually defended the violence, explaining that people are just having strong feelings about this country. No. Just no.
  • Overall - Trump is xenophobic, misogynistic, materialistic, and racist. We have no business electing a man like this to be our president. He encourages violence. He does not have an overarching philosophy of politics which means that he doesn't have any real ideas or policies. He's a bad choice for the US.
  • Debate - I wasn't impressed. He's an excellent debater, but he was the first to attack another debater instead of debate ideas. Not good. He does have a strong ideological base and has specific policies that he would implement. That's really where he shines. He's still a bit xenophobic, but not nearly as bad as Trump. He can at least see the difference between Islam and Radical Islam. He also is all for torture; I'm not OK with that. Nonetheless, I think he had a good night.
  • Overall - There's no way that I'm voting for Trump. Glenn Beck is one of his major supporters, and I'm no fan of Beck. Cruz's Keep the Promise PAC is run by David Barton, a pseudo-historian that is one of Beck's favorite people to get on his show. Barton has been discredited by real (Christian) historians numerous times, but he continues to peddle his lies about the US being a Christian nation and the Founders being Evangelical Christians. Cruz also has a liability in his father and other far-right Christian dominionists who are claiming that God has chosen Cruz to be president to usher in the end times or some such nonsense. Anyway, I'm not voting for him.
  • Debate - He had a great debate last night. The last time I saw a debate, Rubio was repeating the same points over and over. This time, he actually sounded intelligent. He didn't articulate an ideology, but did have particular policies to discuss. He didn't attack people, but ideas. Very smart.
  • Overall - I like Rubio. I probably won't vote for him in the primaries, but I like him. I'm concerned that he has Wayne Grudem as his faith and values adviser since Grudem is very complementarian and believes in very limited roles for women. Rubio has also only had experience in the Senate. But, overall, not too bad.
  • Debate - Kasich is just not a great debater. He doesn't jump in when other people are talking and he doesn't attack other people. So, last night wasn't as good as his rallies. But, it did point out a few things. One of his main ideas is to get as many federal programs back to state level as possible. It seems that he thinks that some things are still best done by government, but done by government closer to the people. i.e. education. He also emphasized his experience in the Senate - balancing budgets, working on the defense committee - and as governor of Ohio - balancing budgets. It wasn't a bad outing for him; he's just not as strong a debater as the other three.
  • Overall - I'm voting for Kasich. I like that he has a lot of experience. Polls show that he can beat Hillary Clinton in a general election. He's a Republican, but more moderate than the other three candidates. I like that he wants to put more power in the states. Kasich is clearly the best candidate for the Republican nominee.
What did you think about the debate? 

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