I took the “I Side With” quiz and discovered that I’m not imagining things — Ted Cruz is indeed the candidate for me, since I side with him (or does he side with me?) 92% of the time. If you have a chance, you should check out the I Side With site and see whether you’re supporting the candidate who most closely reflects your values.
Unusually for me, I had time to watch some of the debate and I had access to a television. (Yes, I can watch debates on my computer monitor, but I do my best debate watching stretched out on the couch staring at the big screen.) I lasted all the way through to the fight over trade with China, and then my family called me away. Once they were done calling, I discovered that I was too tired to resume. I just couldn’t get my head back in the game.
Since I wasn’t taking notes, I can only comment on a few specific and memorable phrases, issues, and arguments. Otherwise, the best I can do is give my impressions of the candidates.
Preliminarily, Kasich and Carson should not be on that stage — especially Carson. I like Carson. I think he’s a very intelligent man and a good human being. I thought his response about Obama’s rules of engagement against ISIS was spot-on. (Speaking of Obama’s refusal to bomb oil tankers that are funding ISIS, meek, mild Carson said “Tell them if you put people in them, we’re going to bomb them, so don’t put people in them.” Exactly.)
Other than that, though, Carson was passive. In response to each question, he basically said, “I’ll put the experts on it.” Well, yes, that’s what a manager should do, but a really good manager sits down with his experts and begins with his own goals and ideas, before then asking for ways his plan can be done or reasons it cannot or should not. Leadership begins with the leader, not the advisers. A bad manager, such as Obama, listens only to himself and ignores the experts entirely.
My favorite drug in the world is Valium. That’s the reason I never take it. I’m a fairly tightly wound person, and Valium is the only thing that leaves me slow and mellow. If I take Valium, I probably look just like Dr. Carson. Again, he’s a good man, but he’s not presidential material.
I’ve now had some time to consider the top Republican contenders for next year’s presidential election, and I’ve decided that nothing has changed my mind in the past few months — I still like Ted Cruz best. Based on what I perceive are the strengths and weaknesses of the various candidates, Ted Cruz comes out at the top.
Before I walk you through my thinking, please believe that I don’t mean to denigrate the other people vying for the nomination. They all have their strengths and, to a man (and woman) I can see why they have their supporters. I just think that, in the long run, Cruz has the most to offer, as well as the most carefully crafted path to victory.
In no particular order, here’s what I think of the other candidates who are still registering as blips on the radar:
Donald Trump: I totally understand the passion Trump’s followers feel for him. After decades of seeing Republicans run scared before the Leftist media, Trump doesn’t run. He doesn’t pussy foot around with political correctness and sides with Americans on deeply felt issues, especially the complete breakdown of sovereignty at the Southern border, something that exposes us to economic damage, terrorism, and the loss of our American identity. I wish the other candidates would show his fearless courage before the press. Having said that, I could not vote for Trump in a primary because too many of his economic and social views are indistinguishable from the Democrats’ views, including his support for varying types of crony fascism. I acquit him of hypocrisy. I think that he’s careless with his ideas and leads with his emotions, two things that would be disastrous in a nation’s chief executive. He’s also vindictive and hypersensitive, and we’ve had enough of that with Obama.
Carly Fiorina: The woman has balls and I love her for that. She’s incredibly quick thinking and, unlike Trump, she won’t back down. She also has a virtue Trump lacks: rather than just being reactive, she can articulate core conservative principles, which makes her an invaluable person for the conservative cause. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, while conservatives have some of the best and most articulate thinkers around, Newt Gingrich has been the only articulate, principled conservative since Reagan — and Reagan’s been gone from the political scene for almost 30 years, while poor Newt was savaged by ostensible friends and real foes alike. She’s good Veep material, though, although that may be a political dead-end for a genuine political talent.