I’ve been oddly quiet about this election. In the past, the mere thought of an election year, let alone one coinciding with the presidential election, would fill me with exuberance. I’d be lying if I suggested I wasn’t excited at first, though. I sat down at my television a full half hour before the first GOP debate, overcome with tamed, but very present glee. That glee, however, quickly diminished. It became abundantly clear; the GOP is helpless.
To the many I may have just offended, I apologize. With time, I’ve realized that the GOP, the supposed party of “small government” and foremost protector of “states rights,” is nothing it claims to be. The party does not advocate government any smaller than those who find themselves on the other side of the isle, but instead advocate size merely distributed differently. Furthermore, that Republican candidates can stand on a national stage claiming to support state rights, while at the same time supporting nationalized restrictions on gay marriage and the abolishment of Colorado’s seemingly very successful marijuana legalization, just to name a few, is insulting.
Donald Trump, while endlessly entertaining, is ill-fitted for the job at hand. While it is easily understood that the general population has grown tired of the “career politician,” Trump has demonstrated that does not know how to conduct himself professionally in the political spotlight. In short, his campaign has been characterized by racism, sexism, xenophobia, and the fear of intellectualism. His run, at every turn, had been marred by mistakes and controversy.
Jeb Bush is a competent politician, but seemingly offers more of the same GOP politics many have grown tired of. He claims he is his “own man”, but associates himself with old hat members of the GOP. At times, Bush, like some of his peers, has foolishly fallen victim to what I’ve come to call the “Trump effect,” where instead of focusing on the topic or question at hand, Bush, and others, have gone entirely out of their way merely to level an insult at Trump. This does nothing but make him seem petty while only bringing more attention to the Trump machine.
I cannot say that I have been impressed by any of this years candidates. At times, some have caught my interest, but only for a short while. Dr. Carson is one such example. The problem at hand with Ben Carson is that there is not enough known about him. So far, he has spent most of his debate time clarifying what he has and has not said, often leaving more questions than answers. It is still very early in the election, so there is plenty of time for change. Chris Christie is the afore mentioned, and oddly oxymoronic, big government conservative. He justifies his stances by incessantly reminding his counterparts that he was U.S. attorney during the 9/11 attacks. Spoiler alert; he was appointed the day before the attacks, if you had not heard yet. Rand Paul recently pulled out of the presidential election, arguably because he was the libertarian candidate that never was. Lastly, Ted Cruz is the Tea Party candidate that does not support small government, but government obstruction and incompetence. Perhaps for some, the ends justify the means.
It will be very interesting to see how this election plays itself out. For the time being, Trump still seems to have the advantage among what can only be described as the fractured and obtuse political right.