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How others see the GOP race


Just a thought


January 04, 2012
Anyone with a lick of sense can surely see how ridiculous the race to be the next president has become. Of course, the entertainment value of the race has to be taken into consideration, but these guys are considered by many to be serious candidates to lead this country. It's amazing how far our standards have fallen.

Now, let's face it. If your neighbor told you he was running for a political office and believes that we should find a way to exploit the natural resources on the moon by going there, setting up mines to get to the minerals, then bring them back and sell them, would you vote for him? Or what if his priority was to focus on the possibility of a nuclear bomb going off high above the United States and how it would stop all communications and shut down power grids? Is that something you're really worried about right now, when so many people are out of work, we can't afford the financial support our schools need and our libraries are closing branches in order to keep at least some of the bills paid?

And that's the platform of only one of the Republican candidates. And the sad part is, the other candidates are trying to be just about as weird in order to compete with the craziness.

Another thing we have to consider is that we're surely hanging out our dirty laundry, and the rest of the world is watching. In a recent The Week news magazine, they looked into what the rest of the world thinks about the present batch of Republican hopefuls.

Stating that the Republican presidential contest in America is a "freak show," Marc Pitzke, who writes for the Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, said, "The candidates vie with one another to spew the most outrageous hard-right positions, denying evolution while endorsing torture and joking about electrocuting illegal immigrants. How did a major party in the world's sole superpower become a club of liars, debtors, betrayers, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses? These know-nothings are enabled by a U.S. press that has been neutered by the demands of political correctness so it can't say the obvious: These people are daft! Instead, it proclaims one clown after the next to be the new front-runner. The current favorite, Newt Gingrich, is actually considered an intellect merely because he can create sentences with multiple clauses. Scarcely a one has even the most basic grasp of foreign policy. One said Africa is a country, another that the Taliban rule in Libya. Collectively, they expose a political, economic, geographic and historical ignorance that makes George W. Bush look like a scholar."

Lorraine Millot, who writes for the newspaper Liberation in Paris, said that the scariest part is that, "The only GOP candidate who knows a single thing about diplomacy, Jon Huntsman, is dead last in most polls. The others careen to extreme positions that include starting new wars and abandoning old allies. And that's when they even have a position. Herman Cain, now out of the race, was the front runner even though he couldn't find a single coherent word to say about President Obama's policy on Libya. He even boasted of knowing little about foreign countries. And yet it was his adultery, not his astounding ignorance, that brought him down."

Max Hastings, of the London Daily Mail newspaper, said there was a simple explanation for this "bizarre phenomenon."

"In the lunatic, gun-toting badlands of America's Hicksville, Tea Party country, it's considered suspiciously elitist to show any interest in modern science or the world beyond America's borders. Say what you like about British politics, no MP of any party would dare to offer themselves as town dogcatcher while knowing as little about the world as the Republican presidential candidates. We take public service seriously. Yet, we in Britain, and everyone in the rest of the world, will suffer if one of the lunatics vying for the nomination makes it to the White House. The American political system has seldom, if ever, looked so inadequate."

But we all have to agree, these candidates are giving us what we want, and, right now, Americans want crazy. We must. We watch the debates and laugh at the candidates we don't support, even though the one we support is just as ridiculous. We don't see that "our side" can be just as crazy. We have surely lowered the bar when it comes to who we want for leaders. We will strongly support a candidate who says he is against abortion, even though he couldn't lead a horse to water without drowning it. We set religious criteria that candidates must meet then have no problem supporting a candidate like Gingrich who is a known — and admitted — womanizer. And, just think, if he's elected president, his wife will probably be the only first lady who dated a married man. And has anyone asked any of the present candidates to show their birth certificates? Wait a minute, I thought that was important. It was in 2010. And what about the Muslim, Catholic, Mormon, Buddhist, Hindu versus Christian thing? I want proof of their beliefs. Can't we find any of their pastors to harass like last time?

Yes, it has gotten a little silly, hasn't it? And the rest of the world is watching.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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