Friday, January 15, 2016

The Birther v. New York Values Debate: Is This What the 2016 Election is About?

The Birther v. New York Values Debate: Is This What the 2016 Election Has Devolved To? Today’s commentaries on yesterday’s Republican debate had Ted Cruz winning on points until he was trumped by Trump when tagging the Trump with New York values. Trump won that point by bringing up the brave New York responders on 9/11. The economy is stagnant. Half of the recent college grads, many deeply in debt, can’t get jobs. The military is shrinking. The middle class is shrinking. The Justice Department is politicized. The VA is still incompetent. The IRS continues to sandbag Congress. Our foreign policy is in shambles. ISIS and other Islamic militant groups are striking globally. Iran is sticking it to the United States and President Obama. ObamaCare is despised as Americans realize it represents high costs, high deductibles, and limited coverage. Congress is apparently out of touch with the American people. Our Southern border remains wide open as do the exit gates of GITMO. The Democratic primary is a contest between an avuncular socialist and a chronic liar. Yet, Donald Trump is recycling the same birther issue he raised against President Obama eight years ago. Senator Cruz answers by calling Donald Trump a New Yorker with New York values. These two smart graduates of Ivy League schools are debating birther and New York values. Style points are not a test of leadership. Senator Cruz presumably believes that by essentially calling Donald Trump a Damn Yankee he will reap the benefits in the South Carolina Primary and then the “SEC Primary.” Donald Trump presumably believes that he wins by creating doubt in Senator Cruz’s legitimacy. Both candidates knew these accusations were coming. Neither was a surprise. They were both prepared. My response to Senator Cruz would have been: “That’s a cheap shot by one we expect more of.” My wife is a New Yorker. Her values, her New York values, are American values. My response to the Donald would be: “Get real.” 2016 is not the year of the Gotcha Campaign. The immediate losers in this silly debate are Governor Bush and Ben Carson. Governor Bush’s persona is not to throw red meat at the audience. He looks awkward and inauthentic when he tries. Dr. Carson is too nice and concerned with the real issues to engage in such frivolity. The real losers are the American people who deserve a debate on the issues. Senator Rubio manages to rise above the fray while Carly Fiorina continues to run against Hillary Clinton. Chris Christy continues to be himself. The pundits 17 days before a vote has been cast have reduced the race for the Republican nomination to either the dueling duo or the fearsome foursome of Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Christy. No votes have yet been cast by the American people. If the polls at this point in the election cycle had probative value, Howard Dean, George H. W. Bush. Edmund G. Muskie, and Thomas E. Dewey would have won their elections. Hillary Clinton would have been the President the past 8 years. Let’s see how the American people vote.

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