This is part one of a two-part article which examines the direction the country is going. In part one, we take a look at the country through the Republican prism.
Survey (1 question): http://bit.ly/24x1PWl
Per any Republican – regular citizens, politicians, think tank, Rush Limbaugh, Fox Opinion (referred to by most as Fox News) and pundits – the country is moving in the wrong direction. What does it really mean that the country is moving in the wrong direction?
One Presidential election after another, there has been a rather common refrain, almost like a chorus, that “the country is moving in the wrong direction” by the party which wants to occupy the Oval Office. Nobody really cares to ask the obvious question, what does that really mean? Understandably so! After all, it is a simple English phrase any third grader should be able to explain. So, instead of pretending to grasp its meaning, I decided to act like a second grader, mainly to avoid weird look and humiliation; I set out to ask the geniuses in the Republican party. Thankfully, it’s easy this time of the year; it’s the elections season. There is no lack of smart people out there (Republicans have been showcasing “their smart”) who are ready and willing to hold my hand and explain very slowly in more complex language, all the while giving me time to process, the very simple notion that the country is moving in the wrong direction.
Because we were so lucky, we found quite a few smart Republicans who were most too eager to school me on that.
Joe (not his real name) is only twenty-five years old; a senior in college, majoring in political science with a grade point average of 3.3/4.0 – certainly a smart guy – Joe aspires to run for public office someday. Joe is very involved in the political campaigns this season, learning from the candidates, observing and hoping to run for a vacant senate seat in the future. Joe is a staunch supporter of John Kasich, the Republican candidate, also current governor of the state of Ohio. Joe has been supporting the governor since the beginning; as Joe put it before Kasich used the line at a rally in Massachusetts, “he is the only adult in the room.” According to Joe, the country is moving in the wrong direction because “we have lost our way” – what in the world does that mean? I thought. Besides, Joe is only 25 years old. – To make it easy for me to understand, Joe noticed I had a blank facial expression, he made use of examples to really bring it home for me.
JOE: For instance, Obamacare is not good for the country; I see I nodded. Another good example he continued, all excited that I was now getting it, is every time there is a shooting, Obama blames the gun industry, that’s no good for the country, right? And here is another great example, Joe proceeded to explain, Obama doesn’t get along with the Representatives in Congress. But here is the worst part, he plunges the country in a downward spiral, he spends so much on useless stuffs. Such as, I asked. Obamacare, welfare recipients you know a whole bunch of other things. I see I nodded along the way.
After a much needed refresher course on the phrase (the country is moving in the wrong direction), I couldn’t let Joe go without asking him to give his thoughts on how the country did under the Bush administration. I wished I never asked; I learned that Bush got the country respect in the world stage, created Homeland Security to keep the country safe and removed the worst dictator in modern time. I wished I didn’t ask.
So, I walked away knowing beyond a reasonable doubt that “the country will always be moving in the wrong direction” unless a Republican is in the Oval Office.
Unsatisfied with Joe’s take on the topic however, – after all, I owe it to myself to investigate a little bit further, right? – I decided to find someone who is smart, smarter than Joe perhaps, someone who is no longer in college, someone who graduated with honor, someone who is mature, someone who has been in and following politics for a while, a veteran so to speak. Lucky me, I met Julia (not her real name). Julia initially supported Marco Rubio but switched her allegiance to Ted Cruz, and shortly thereafter to Donald Trump. Maybe Julia is not as smart as I initially thought; instead of speculating, I asked why she’s been switching allegiance every so often. Glad I asked! I would have been so wrong speculating.
JULIA: “First and foremost, Marco Rubio is just a ‘pretty boy’; (gasp!) I was attracted to him because he looks nice, seems smart and is somewhat charismatic. At times, he even sounds presidential but unfortunately he has no substance. He simply repeats a bunch of nonsense his campaign get him to memorize. To me, that’s a big turnoff. But I was willing to give him a pass until the debate in South Carolina revealed who he really is. Much like everyone else could see, Marco is simply a ‘pretty face’ with a hard drive, someone who stores talking points to repeat over and over. So, I’m uneasy about everything he puts on his website as his idea, his vision for the country.”
I was getting an earful about Rubio unfit to be president, I needed to move the conversation forward.
PB: So, why did you switch to Donald Trump, I asked?
JULIA: “Well, before I decided to support Donald Trump, I switched to Ted Cruz. – Oh boy! I thought. I asked the question to skip over Ted – Contrary to Marco, Ted is his own person. I am sure he has help but it is very obvious what he says comes from inside; he is not scripted, at least not as scripted as Rubio but Ted is too extreme – I almost swallow the world around me just like a gigantic black hole. You don’t understand, she is now supporting Donald Trump because Ted is too extreme! – Ted says a lot of things but he won’t be able to implement most of them if he were to be elected; that’s why I decided to join the Trump movement.”
Julia smiled as if she could read my mind. Before I even had a chance to ask, she said
JULIA: “I know Donald is extreme too but it’s not the same as Ted; Donald is loud, obnoxious most of the time but he is able to get things done. That’s what we need in a president.” My facial expression, which most people say conveys nothing most of the time, must have said something to Julia. She continued that “Donald Trump is not a politician; I like the fact he is not taking money from anyone. So, he will be able to do what he says. He doesn’t owe anybody anything. In all fairness, the country needs a president who can do things for the people, not for special interest groups or lobbyists. Donald Trump is the only candidate who fits that description.”
PB: Would you vote for Bernie Sanders if Donald Trump doesn’t make it?
JULIA: Well, Bernie Sanders is a socialist; I would not vote for a socialist.
Okay, I thought, Bernie brought that to himself; Bernie is no socialist. He could have inherited Julia’s vote. That was a perfect segway to go back to my initial topic.
PB: Is the country moving in the right direction?
JULIA: No! The country is moving in the wrong direction. Have you noticed that the country seems to always be moving in the wrong direction whenever a Democrat is in the White House?
Gulp! Gulp! Gulp! My eyes widened.
JULIA: For starter, Democrat presidents always want to fix something; look at Obama, he wants to fix the gun industry, what’s wrong with the gun industry? The constitution gives us the right to bear arms, right? If you put any Democrat in the White House, the country will continue to move in the wrong direction. I will do everything I can to prevent another Democrat in the Oval Office. I did not like the Nuclear deal agreement Obama made with Iran; he makes the United States look so weak in the world. That’s the other thing, Democrat presidents always make us look weak. If you remember during the Bush administration, the world respected the United States. Obama has abandoned Israel; Israel is our friend; we should always stand with Israel. And look at the North Korea guy that’s messing with us, that would have never happened under a Republican administration.
And Julia went on and on and on, throwing everything at me as if she were on a mission to confuse me or she simply wanted to give me enough examples to convince me that the country is indeed moving in the wrong direction. Well, I was overwhelmed but Julia seemed to have more to say.
JULIA: … You see, she concluded, that’s why the country must elect a tough president to the White House and Donald Trump is that tough guy. He will not compromise here at home, he will not compromise in the world stage. He is very good at negotiating and winning; that’s how he built the Trump’s empire. We need someone like that in the Oval Office to move the country in the right direction. Have you ever asked yourself why they call Republicans “right wing party”? Let me tell you, it’s because Republican presidents move the country in the right direction, get it? Democrats are called “left wing”; I think they should change it to “wrong wing”, don’t you think?
Survey (1 question): http://bit.ly/24x1PWl
In a future column, we will explore what it means that “the country is moving in the wrong direction” from a Democrat or a Democrat leaning perspective.