"It's Not Politics As Usual"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, September 19, 2015

Polls are changing daily. No day passes without mention of Trump, Hillary, Jeb, Fiorina or Carson. Other contenders: Cruz, Sanders and less often, Jindal, and Santorum pop up occasionally. The polls are very important to the candidates because they determined whom would be allowed to debate and on which stage — early or prime time.

Rick Perry has dropped out of the race.

Interviews of candidates has influenced their standings in the polls. Ben Carson has been interviewed frequently and answers questions directly, without mentioning faults of his opponents.

The problem most of those in the running face is they want people to know they are qualified politicians. What they are discovering is people don’t want the same thing they have been so dissatisfied with the past several years. They are tired of hearing a very critical bill in Congress won’t be considered until after the members return from their vacations. They do not want to hear a nursery rhyme filibuster on the floor of Congress to prevent progress. They do not want to be threatened with a shutdown of the country.

I promised to relay some opinions I gathered about the candidates — all of them were enlightening and often surprising. Most of the opinions referred to Donald Trump.

A couple from Connecticut had a unified opinion: they believe it is time to change how the government works. They have heard Trump say it must change and they agree with that philosophy. They will support it until they hear a better idea.

I asked a young man celebrating his 21st birthday what he thought of Trump: “We need to change the way our country is run and Trump is putting forth ideas of how to achieve that.”

When I asked a woman who has cast her vote for president over a five-decade period she said: “At first I thought of him as a flash in the pan and I suspect his motives. ... Now that he is building so much support, it will be interesting to see how he plans to accomplish his ideas.” For now, she likes Carson.

A retired veteran I asked who also has been casting his vote for many years simply told me: “Trump is not qualified to lead this country.”

I was able to ask a physician, born in the Middle East, what her opinion was of the front runner: “He should take care of his own finances. ... Why can’t we find one person of quality to lead our country.” After living in the Middle East and Europe, she said she was grateful to be able to raise her family in the U.S. and recognizes how lucky we are to live in a democracy, even if it is too liberal.

Although my inquiries were not about Trump, most of the responses referred to him. It proves the theory I have that he does not have to campaign because of the coverage he is receiving in the press. He certainly doesn’t have to spend much of his stash.

Trump’s unique style pleases many, but others see him as a loaded gun half-cocked in the firing position.

With the withdrawals beginning in one party and questions about who is running in the other, it’s a good thing they all got an early start to determine whom the party candidates will be. I don’t think the selection will be made on the strength of a party. It would not surprise me to see the next president elected by non-partisan voters. Many citizens still have a party loyalty, but are looking for better leadership and new ideas.

I keep reminding everyone there are only 418 days until the national election. However, the die will be cast in just 323 days next July when the Democratic Convention concludes — one week after the Republican convention.

The serious campaigning will commence after that and we should all be watchful and try not to form any alliances until we see who is left standing.

I viewed the debates Wednesday night hoping to gain some guidance.

Wow — five hours was long, observing and listening and much of it was boring. The first two-hour debate, with four members, began with each stating what they would do if elected. All agreed they would strengthen our military. This theme was repeated by the 11 candidates on the next debate stage.

Trump was the main topic of discussion and, because of that, he had the greatest opportunity to speak. One of the most important questions asked of all candidates was would you trust candidate Trump with the button to launch nuclear weapons? I found this question very important and had never considered it myself, have you? There were no affirmative responses. Trump stated our country does not get along with other countries, including Russia. He named countries and leaders saying he would be able to communicate with them just fine. After a discussion on special interest groups and lobbyists, Carson, who stood next to Trump as second in the polls, stated he was not in anyone’s pocket and did not expect that to change. He has accepted small donations but none from large contributors who might view them as a payment toward the future.

Carly Fiorina expressed her opinions strongly saying Iran is set to weaken the western world. She drew lots of applause after telling Trump the women of the country have heard what he had to say and he should stop name calling because it reveals his true colors.

Heated discussion surrounded the topic of immigration with most agreeing the time has come to take action, but none could agree on what that would be. Trump suggested he would build a wall. Ron Paul stated that would be too expensive to erect, secure and maintain. Each candidate had their own idea about whom to deport among the illegal immigrates in our country. Trump wants to send them all back initially then let them re-apply to enter legally if they can present a clean record and a prospective job. Carson remarked that after talking with farmers, he learned workers in our country do not want the jobs they offer, so illegals are put to work. Discussion of birth-right citizenship was also heated. Women come from countries all over the world to have their babies here to establish legal residency for them. Many entered the country on a legal visa but when it expired they never left.

Taxation was a hot topic with lots of opinions. Paul suggested a 14.5 percent flat rate for all, business and personal. Many of the candidates agreed with his idea.

I learned a few things while watching and got some ideas of how the various candidates would lead our country. I also sat so long I could hardly get up. The summation was, they all had ideas that might work, and some that obviously won’t. They also all like to argue and berate each other. Sort of like our current Congress. A tip for a political wannabee — hang by your arms daily because you need long arms to pat your own back.

As I see it, Fiorina, Carson, Christy, Paul and perhaps a couple more should be put in a room together and told to come up with a plan to save the USA. They could all provide that plan to Trump because he has one he could compare it to.


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