Turkey Day Comes Early
Many have criticized the Republican Nominee Debates as being an exercise in helping Obama win a second term. It’s no secret that the nominees have been battling each other with a take no prisoners attitude. It’s the best and worst of American politics on display for the country and the world to see.
I think the debates are a good thing, wait, they’re a great thing. They bring out the dirty laundry, which is unpleasant. They exaggerate claims, jumping on a scintilla of truth and blow that truth out of proportion to fit the candidate’s agenda. Then there’s the issue of Super Pac, the Political Action Committees that are free to run as many ads in support of a candidate, using whatever dirt they can find, verifiable or not. Of course, the candidates have no control over what the Super Pacs say…wink, wink, nod, nod.
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But, by far the best part of the debates is just allowing those under the microscope to really show their political, social, intellectual and leadership skills. After all, we are talking about the possible future leader of the free world emerging from the pack. Mitt Romney is showing us that while capitalism is the cry of the Republicans, it can also be assailed by fellow Republicans when a candidate is just “too” rich. Newt Gingrich is showing us that he would be a poor player on a football field, more likely to grab the ball and run off the field when the criticism hits too close home. Santorum is showing that religion and politics is not such a bad thing in his world. Ron Paul is showing us that consistency can win votes…just not enough. And, then, there’s Perry who ended his campaign late last week. Now, Perry is a unique case.
The Governor from Texas is showing us that his mouth is big enough for several feet to fit into. His farcical performance in nearly all his debates and interviews (remember the three government agencies he’d like to shut down…even though he could only remember two..oops) show us that money still is no substitute for intellect. He has money, that’s for sure, but the thought of this buffoon ever making it to the Whitehouse as anything but a visitor is enough to make most people cringe. After his second stunning rebuke by voter in less than two weeks (first in Iowa and then in New Hampshire) the Governor announced that he was dropping out. A collective sigh of relief was breathed by most Republican voters who showed by their votes, that Perry’s star was doing anything but rising. He changed his mind and decided to weather another round of debates and campaigning to try and breathe his last hurrah in South Carolina where Southern Conservatism and Evangelical acceptance are friendlier to candidates than in New Ham
pshire. I guess he still had some money leftover and just couldn’t resist. But then late last week he decided to end his campaign again, this time throwing his support to Newt Gingirch.
The reason why the debates are important and why we should watch them closely are because it is under pressure that we see the true mettle, the true intellectual capacity, or the true grace that each candidate possesses. When you’re in the Whitehouse, decisions need to be made. Decisions that can lead to life or death for American citizens, decisions that can lead to prosperity or economic calamity, decisions that can affect generations of citizens.
Perry, in his usual shoot from the hip and answer critics’ later style, was talking about defense. He decided to take on that favorite whipping boy, Islamic Terrorism. Not a bad choice of topics and one that seems to resonate favorably with the debate audiences. This time, however, instead of railing against the Al Quaeda’s, the Al-Shabbabs, the Assads, the Lakshar e Taiba’s, the shoe bombers, the underwear bombers, the ISI…the list is truly endless it seems, Perry decided to attack America’s staunchest ally in the “Islamic World”, Turkey. Yes, this country which is an important member of NATO (and has been part of NATO since Perry was 2 years old) is also home to two US airbases and is currently the site from which NATO is deploying its Defense Shield. It has been the staging ground for numerous NATO and US military operations, and it conducts its own terrorism hunts inside and outside its borders. It’s not a perfect country – there are none of those anywhere in the world. But, to accuse Turkey as being a te
rrorist state or one run by terrorists is about as absurd and idiotic a remark that can be made. It shows only that people like Perry should be kept outside the fence at all costs. Luckily he’s made that decision for us.
We are at war on many fronts. That war requires us to identify our allies and our enemies, something we haven’t being doing very well at times. But, to attack our staunchest ally in the region, one that has a democratic constitution and government and one that was founded, in modern times, by a man who believed that secularism was the building block for his country’s future shows us that Perry and those who are as misinformed as he is, do not belong in the race for the Commander in Chief of anything.
So, let the debates continue and let the pressure mount. It may be very ugly at times and there might be a lot of garbage to sift through, but in the end let’s hope this process leads to right president.
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