While Wednesday night’s CNN Republican presidential town hall was filled with plenty of lies, with Donald Trump part of last night’s “day two” event, I expected more of the same. After all, most of Trump’s campaign has been based on and driven by blatant lies and ridiculous statements.
First up on CNN last night was John Kasich who didn’t say or do anything of note. While he is undoubtedly a conservative and I’d never personally vote for him, he at least strikes me as someone who has the ability to use common sense once in a while. That’s not something I can say about any of these other Republican candidates. On top of that, I’ll always give him credit for being the first Republican candidate to publicly say that basically everything Donald Trump was saying was fictional nonsense.
Second on the stage was Jeb Bush, and what a disaster. This was the first time I’ve actually watched him speak for an extended period of time and it’s easy to see why his campaign has been a train wreck. He has almost no charisma or leadership traits and nearly bored me to tears. While I don’t think a president needs to be an “entertainer,” I do think they need to at least project a sense of leadership. Too much of what Jeb says sounds like his “plan” for his presidency would be exactly what we saw during his brother’s eight years. In case you’ve forgotten, those didn’t go so well.
Finally there was Donald Trump. No matter how much I see this guy speak, I can’t believe there are millions of people dumb enough to think he would make a good president. It’s so blatantly obvious that almost everything out of his mouth is complete b.s. you really do have to be willfully ignorant to believe him. He repeats the same talking points that he’s used for months and almost never gives a specific answer to any question he’s asked. Ask him a question about the economy, he pivots to China. Ask him about how he would handle ISIS, he brings up that he’s run successful businesses. Ask him about health care and he’ll just ramble on and on about – nothing. He basically said he’s going to get rid of “Obamacare,” but cover every American with his plan that will be “much cheaper” (though never said how)… but it’s not “single-payer.” He just says – stuff. He’s the only candidate I’ve ever seen who really couldn’t care less about facts or reality at all. While all politicians lie, Trump literally just makes stuff up as he goes along. Hell, he just recently tried to put my words in the mouth of former Republican Senator Tom Coburn, so there’s really no depths to which the Trump campaign won’t sink to pander to voters and lie about basically anything.
The truth is, if Republicans were smart, they’d nominate John Kasich. While he’s still a Republican, and I still disagree with him on many issues, he’s the only one of these candidates who seems genuine with his answers. Unfortunately for him, he’s a Republican with signs of compassion, common sense and the ability to think rationally. This means he stands almost no shot at becoming the GOP nominee. In today’s political world, Kasich would actually do better as a moderate Democrat than he does as a Republican. (Make no mistake, however, I’m not trying to heap nothing but praise on John Kasich – he’s been a nightmare for women’s rights in Ohio, among other things.)
As I say after each of these events, we cannot let any of these Republican candidates win the White House this November. If we do, we’re going to set progress in this country back decades. With women’s rights, abortion rights, gay rights, climate change, health care and the Supreme Court basically all on the ballot this November, we must get out there and make damn sure our next president is a Democrat. I’m really not sure if this country will be able to recover from giving Republicans complete control of Congress, the White House, and the potential to select between three and four Supreme Court Justices that will rule for the next 20-30 years.
If there’s one election we can’t afford to mess up, it’s this one. Once a nominee is picked, we all need to come together and make sure we #VoteBlueNoMatterWho.