Thought of the Day: Being Presidential


Do we want to hand over our nuclear launch codes to someone who is so immature and insecure that, when his policies where challenged and his record questioned, his first instinct was to make fun of someone else’s height and then claim that he has a big penis – on live, primetime television?

And for what it’s worth, “Little Marco” appears to have the bigger hands – at least compared to their relative head size. Not that there is anything to that myth, much like Trump’s blustery policy claims. And even if there were, everyone knows it’s not the size of the tool but how you use it that matters – and clearly Trump is a tool who is only interested in his own gratification.

America Has 99 Problems…

…But A Mexican Ain’t One Of Them

If you listen to any of the many Republican presidential hopefuls, the biggest problem America is facing today is illegal immigration from Mexico. It’s become the hot topic of both candidates and the media alike. By comparison, there’s been relatively little discussion regarding the candidates’ views on other topics such as the economy, environment, and foreign policy, let alone on issues like education, healthcare, tax reform, energy independence, and gun control.

I’m here to tell you, folks: America has 99 problems, but a Mexican ain’t one of them.

So why has the Mexican border become the primary focus of the Republican presidential candidates’ campaigns so far? Probably because it’s easy to oversimplify, meaning the candidates don’t have to put much thought into it and develop an intelligent, comprehensive policy to address what is actually a very complex and nuanced issue. They can simply say, “I’ll stop it.” And if you are a real lunatic, you can even claim – as Donald Trump does – that the money to do so will magically appear.

Plus, it plays to the fears of the base supporters of the Republican agenda. It creates an enemy, and positions the candidate as the savior. Which is a lot easier to do than addressing a real threat like ISIS or climate change, because those enemies are going to be hard to defeat. And the thought required to overcome such challenges, or to even intelligently discuss the options, is well beyond the intellectual capabilities of most candidates.

A Basic Intelligence Tests for Higher Office?
Which leads me to ask: why don’t we have an intelligence test to at least select our top presidential candidates? Would anyone have a problem with that? Seriously?

Assuming a candidate can pass a unilaterally determined level of basic knowledge, they would then be eligible to run for our nation’s highest office. I’d go for a mix of basic intelligence along with a rudimentary understanding of the issues of a the day: economics, science, political science, geography, and geopolitics. Maybe it would be wise to throw in a little history as well, since we are supposed to learn from it.

I’m not asking for in-depth expertise on the issues of the day. That’s why you hire experts (unless you are George W. Bush, and then you put a political crony, like the commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association, in charge of FEMA, leading to the worst domestic clusterfuck in modern American history). I’m just asking for candidates that have above average IQs.

It’s a hard job, and an increasingly complex world. We’ve tried our richest and slickest for some time now. I think it’s a time we gave our best and brightest a shot at running this country. Is that too much to ask?

Lessons Learned from the Fox News Republican Presidential Debate

FoxDebateesI thought the Fox moderators did an admirable job of asking some tough, pointed questions of each candidate last Thursday. Yes, you heard me correctly. I think Fox News actually did something right. #BlondesHaveMoreFun

Of course, conservatives are apoplectic because the Fox moderators did in fact do a decent job of questioning the candidates. I think they are a little miffed that the normally conservative cocoon of Fox may have exposed their entire field of candidates for the hypocritical buffoons they really are. #Irony

FoxRepThat said, few of the candidates actually answered the questions asked of them. Instead, they spun it around to recite the same canned message points each time they were called upon. And rarely did any of the moderators press them to answer the actual questions. #Weak

However, I thought the seven candidates in the first debate, those who hadn’t polled high enough to make it to the prime-time debate, did a slightly better job of answering the questions asked of them. #CandorDoesNotPollWell

All of the Republican candidates said they want to reduce the size and scope of government. And in particular, they said they want to reduce the amount of money our government spends. #AntiGovernmentPoliticianIsNotAnOxymoron?

Despite this aforementioned claim, all of them also said that they want to increase the size and scope of government – and particularly increase government spending – to do things like fight more wars, build and protect our borders, and enforce expansive immigration laws. #SpendThenBlameTheDems

In other words, all of the Republican presidential candidates are talking out of their asses. #Hypocrisy

And while all of the candidates professed outrage over our nation’s current debt, they failed to acknowledge the indisputable fact that much of this debt was created the last time a Republican was in the White House. When George W. Bush became president, our nation had a budget surplus, thanks to the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton (who, incidentally, had inherited a budget deficit from Republican George H.W. Bush). But thanks to eight years of a Republican in the White House, Democrat Barack Obama inherited yet another massive budget deficit. #NoAccountability #Hypocrisy&Denial #SpendThenBlameTheDemsAgain

I think the debate spelled the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. He came off even more dickish than usual, and that’s saying a lot. His spotty record as a businessman was exposed, including the fact that he has had to rely on government entitlement programs like bankruptcy as many as 4 times in past 25 years to make up for his management failures. And it didn’t help when the moderators reminded everyone that each time Donny shirked his debts he left a lot of loyal employees – hard-working Americans – unemployed as a result of his repeated incompetence as a leader. #DonaldRump #BankruptAmerica

FoxTrumpPlus, Trump made it clear that he’s more interested in Donald Trump than the Republican Party. In fact, he flat-out admitted that if the party chooses another candidate, he would continue to campaign as an independent. Which, of course, makes you wonder if he’d put the needs of the nation ahead of his own, should darkness sweep over this land and actually put him in the White House. #AllAboutMe

Though I think Trump’s popularity may serve as an important lesson for all candidates, but particularly Republicans. Republicans have falsely assumed that Trump’s appeal is based on their conservative ideals, when what people are really responding to is his unorthodox candidacy – the fact that he mocks the other politicians. Trump is walking proof that it’s really all about anger and rage against the system, rather than intellectual support for specific ideals or policies (especially since he has yet to articulate any of these). #WeHateBothParties

Ben Carson seemed to be largely ignored by the Fox moderators. Was this because he’s black, or because he’s smart? #SmartLivesMatter

And Lindsey Graham? All that guy cares about is starting a war. Look, we get it, you have invested heavily in the defense sector and want to make a killing – both in the market and on some battlefield. But try not to make it so obvious. Even Republicans have grown weary of wasting American lives. #WarMonger

For me, the brightest spot was Ohio Governor John Kasich. He’s what they call a compassionate conservative, and – despite his professions of faith – he sounded like a fairly reasonable, trustworthy guy. In other words, he seems to be the least bat-shit-crazy out of all the Republican candidates. I consider myself fairly liberal, but if the Republicans nominate that guy (which they surely won’t), I just might vote for him over Hillary Clinton. #VoteKasich

And speaking of Hillary Clinton, apparently she is far more qualified to be president than I realized. In fact, it seems she’s far more qualified to be president than any candidate on either side. You see, having listened to the Fox moderators and every single candidate in both debates, it’s clear that Hillary Clinton already is the President of the United States, a role she has apparently been sharing with Barack Obama for the past two terms. #FoxMisleads #PresidentHillary