We're almost a whole year away from the general election, and already we're starting to see major news orgs cover the various campaign trails being forged by the candidates.
And yes. This is a very, very big year for the Republican field. The candidates are about as wide-ranging as the right-wing special interest groups, or groups they're trying to court (Huckabee & Santorum for the evangelical block; Cruz for the Tea Partiers; Rubio for the Hispanics...etc etc). That said, even with so many candidates, I'm taking the Colbert approach to their field this year:
"Once all the votes at the primary are tallied, and someone has secured the nomination, I will discover my newfound love for this man...now that I have no other choice." (Or something like that.)
Who are you most likely to vote for (or if you are not voting in the 2016 US elections: Which candidate do you like best?)
Bernie Sanders. I was ecstatic
when I heard he was officially going to try and run for the Presidency. He's thrown the Faux News Crew into fits, and I'm more than willing to bet that he's going to give Hillary a run for her money, even if he doesn't
win. Plus, even if he fails, his ideas are getting out there. Ideas that are resonating with the common, sane
individual. And these are ideas that need to be heard.
I do have an honorable mention, but I'll detail them below.
What do you feel are the best qualities and policies of your favorite candidate? Their worst?
The best qualities for Bernie, from where I sit, is that he's A: not your typical DC politico, and B: his suggestions and ideas actually make sense
, compared to a great number of the candidates. I've heard of a lot of his policies, but the personal favorite I've heard from this election cycle is placing a modest - modest
- tax on the everyday transactions at Wall Street, to help students pay for college. I know a lot of guys who came out of university up to their necks in student loans they needed to pay off, and in a society where going to college means your employment options are not limited to working the drive-through at McD's, there needs to be a way for everyone who can get into college to pay for it.
In general, Sanders' policies represent the removal of special corporate interests, and the restoration of the American middle class, which was part of what made the lives of our parents growing up so good - the Long Boom that started post-WWII.
Who is your least favorite candidate and why? Do they have any redeeming qualities and policies?
This one is a bit tougher. It's actually a 3-way tie for me to my most least favorite candidate. (Yes, that makes grammatical sense. So does this: Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.)
Running in spot A for the least favorite is Jeb Bush, aka Bush III. Every Bush we've had in office has had some sort of major financial crisis, and some sort of war attached to them. Bush Sr's financial crisis was the S&L blowup, and his war was Desert Storm. W's financial crisis was 2008, and his war was Afghanistan (which we are still fighting, I think), and Desert Storm II (not the actual name, I know, but there is a strong feeling he went into that to 'finish what Dad started'). People wonder what sort of financial shenanigans that Jeb will get into, and if we get into a war in the Mid-East, hopefully it'll be against ISIS and not Iran. Plus, I'm just against political dynasties in general. The idea of electing
our leaders was to prevent the father-son passing down that happened with kings. Partly.
Spot B is Lindsey Graham. Part of what made me dislike him was his whining about the Fox News debate. "It's not fair that this news organization gets to pick only 10 candidates and leave us out in the cold! What about the primaries?" Whining that was entirely self-serving: in addition to New Hampshire and Iowa, South Carolina is another of the big early primary states. And where does Lindsey Graham happen to come from? Oh, South Carolina
? Where people will probably vote for him? How intriguing! The rest is that as a long-running fan of the Daily Show (Curse you, Stewart! Why are you leaving?!)...well, fellow fans will know that Graham is a favorite target of Stewart's, for a good reason.
Spot C is Scott Walker. He would probably be the frontrunner candidate if I actually lived in Wisconsin, and/or Bush III wasn't running, but as it stands now...I'm in education, and I've been hearing over and over again that Walker has been ripping the guts out of WI's public education system, in addition to driving the economy into the ground with his right-wing policies. I have friends who have family that live in WI, and I hear a lot about how people are having to tighten their belts because of what Walker's doing. Plus, the man couldn't finish a Philly cheesesteak! COME ON!
Are you surprised by some of the names who are running? Which ones, and why?
I'm with Sherlock. I had never even heard
of Lincoln Chafee up to this point, which is weird considering the field this year - both left and right - are filled with guys whose faces we've been seeing on the news during President Obama's terms. (People might not know Jim Webb, but I do, and I think he would be a good third-runner candidate, especially with his experience in Vietnam.)
Now, onto my honorable mention for best candidate:
you start hollering at your screens, hear me out
. I don't like Trump because I think his policies are insane. Here's the keys to Trump:
A - Trump's positions are the positions of a lot of people on the right. He's been leading
in the national opinion polls, for the last...however long this is.
B - Trump has no mouth filter. He's balls-out, says exactly what he means, doesn't try and couch it in the usual political language that guys like Graham and Walker and Christie and Bush and [Insert Names here] would. And since he has a pile of his own money to run his campaign on, he doesn't need
people to donate to him, which means donors can't control his message.
As a result, when he speaks these offensive policies, they sound offensive - which is exactly what we need.
People keep voting for Republicans for two reasons. A: easily exploited cultural resentment, and B: Republicans are really slick at disguising their policies in terms that make them sound reasonable, when they're anything but.
And while Trump may not be able to solve both, if the real policies of Republicans are brought to light, and people are made to understand them for what they are
, rather than how they sound
, it will go a ways, I would think, to help drive people away
from the GOP, which would either cause their collapse or for the party to re-evaluate their positions and policies for real
, rather than trying to keep to the same ideas while just changing the packaging, so to speak.
In short, Trump is a horrible candidate for President - but he is an excellent candidate for exposing the political right for what it is
, instead of what they pretend