Perhaps it is because this primary season has been so long and overblown, I found myself a little bit less on the edge of my seat, and frankly slightly bored about halfway through last night’s debate.
Accordingly, I’m not going to dissect the finer points of the content or the storylines. I’ll just include a few takeaways about where I think we are now.
- We have seen enough of these candidates. It is definitely time for several of them to throw in the towel. I hate to suggest this, because many would argue that my own personal favorite candidate should be one of them due to his recent low polling. I disagree with that suggestion for a few reasons, but there are several candidates who have seen no momentum, or they peaked early and fell quickly. I don’t know why they hang on at this point. In my opinion, Fiorina, Carson, Kasich and the entire slate of undercard candidates should just walk away.
- Ironically, just three days after revealing my affliction with Trump Derangement Syndrome, I have been cured of it. I can’t quite explain it. Something about Trump was just less obnoxious to me last night. He was slightly less arrogant and he refrained from the playground attacks on his opponents. I still rank him pretty low on my list of options because I am looking for a more serious candidate, and one with a better understanding of the constitution and a stronger commitment to limited government, but I do not see him as a destructive force as I did before. At least for last night, I … almost … liked him. Maybe if he can go a few days without inciting violence I can start to take him a bit more seriously.
- Rand Paul had his best debate. In the past his eyes have been glazed over and he’s looked angry and quirky. In this debate he did not back off his position, he was clear, and his eyes were wide open. He rattled Rubio and demonstrated a masterful understanding of the lesson we refuse to learn. My concern is that voters in this election do not want to learn this lesson. I think I am starting to understand why people do not want to accept the reality, and I will write something about it very soon. That being said, I do not think Rand can expect to have a better showing. Therefore, if his numbers don’t see a spike, I don’t think it’s going to happen this time around, and we need to focus on a conservative education campaign for future generations. This is the man who can unite the country, bring in young thinkers to the party and restore the idea of individual liberty through limited government, if we could only get over our obsession with foreign entanglements. Let’s hope we see a #randrally.
- Bush and Christie were more of the same. Sadly, if I were going to pick an establishment candidate, I would pick either of these guys over Rubio. ‘The die is cast’ though. I didn’t include them in the ‘walk away now’ category, because statistically they did well in the eyes of their supporters last night and could see a spike, but I think they should walk away very soon.
- Rubio established himself firmly as the unashamed establishment neocon standard-bearer. He will carry on the proud tradition of GWB, Mccain, Graham, Cornyn and Mcconnell. It is ironic that so many see foreign policy as his strength. He is a slick little dictionary of rehearsed pseudo-patriotic platitudes. He all but promises war. In a Rubio administration, we would see an increase in the size of government and an expansion of our overseas presence, if we are lucky enough to avoid all-out World War III. There is likely to be no difference whatsoever between a Rubio and a Clinton presidency other than different shades of rhetoric.
- I have often considered Cruz my second choice, but he is really starting to annoy me with his fence-riding ‘analytics’ campaign, in which he tries to cover all bases and avoid making a single mistake. I know that deep down he is a constitutional conservative, and perhaps the best equipped of all to select supreme court justices, but I am concerned about his authenticity. I will be writing something very soon concerning the ‘analytics’ approach to a presidential campaign.
That’s it for now. Simply put, not much changed after last night, except for, in my view, Rand Paul completing a hail mary pass to the end-zone. A shake-up is necessary. Let’s hope we see it soon.