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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A bit of politics: The Republican field begins to take shape...Dr. Ben Carson.

Soon Americans will be bombarded with advertisements, billboards, television commercials and radio messages, explaining why one particular Republican candidate is the best choice to run against Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.  The majority of registered voters are Democrats, but the difference doesn't appear to be an issue for the GOP.  In fact, when Ronald Reagan was burying Walter Mondale in an electoral landslide in 1984, the majority of registered voters were Democrat. This fact speaks volumes for the idea that in some instances, you really don't know who someone is going to vote for after the curtain closes.  Along with many others, I thought Mitt Romney would beat Barack Obama in 2012; the polls showed Romney ahead in both Ohio and Florida on the day before the election.  Obviously, some persons who were projected Romney voters, closed those curtains and voted for Obama (not me, I promise).  The point being, that it is very difficult to handicap the U.S. Presidential Elections.  The primaries, on the other hand, don't present nearly as much of a problem.  Take for instance the Democrats in 2016; we have known that Hillary Clinton was going to be the Democratic nominee for years (provided she didn't unexpectedly expire or run off to join the circus).  True, the party pretends that a few other possibilities exist, including Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, and Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts who can occasionally be mistaken for Pocahontas.  But the nomination has been Hillary's since Obama took the oath of office in 2012.  In my mind, Hillary is a very flawed candidate.  If I were a Democrat, I would be very worried.  Hillary is dealing with controversies about emails and a private server, the Benghazi tragedy, the alleged "Quid Quo Pro" for companies and persons who contributed to the Clinton Foundation, and a less-than-impressive turn as Secretary of State.  But, to my surprise, HRC continues to lead all the GOP candidates in every poll I have seen.  This fact leaves me both disgusted as sad.  After looking at the Bushes and Clintons for decades, I would think that everyone would be as ready as I am for a new face, even if it requires taking a chance on an unknown.

The Republican polling machines already have created a two-tier separation between the candidates.  In the top five or six, we have Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee not far behind.  The next group is usually led by Dr. Ben Carson, famed Neurosurgeon and my personal choice, and former Hewlett-Packard/Compaq CEO Carly Fiorina.  The rest of the list includes the "unknowns"; those who have yet to decide, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor and another favorite of mine (sorry Jennifer!) Bobby Jindal, former New York Governor George Pataki and recently retired Texas Governor Rick Perry. A big question mark seems to follow former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 candidate Rick Santorum.  I really like Santorum.  I have tremendous respect for Santorum; he shows no fear when the time comes to stand up for this issues that are important.  When he is given an equal playing field and access to the electorate, Santorum does very well.  He speaks well and with conviction, and he is a very intelligent man.  Unfortunately, the media and the Democrats (and some of his former Republican opponents), have pinned the ultimate Scarlet Letter to Rick's lapel.  You see, Santorum is TOO conservative to be president.  He doesn't budge on any of the issues; he's against Gay marriage, pro-Life, supports the Second Amendment, opposes amnesty, and is strongly in favor of entitlement and tax reform.  To someone like me, Santorum is not TOO anything.  He is just the right amount.  He talks about the issues that just might be the keys to turning our country around.  No, my issue is not that Rick is too conservative.  Its that he is running for an office that he knows in his heart he can't win.  If Santorum were to get the GOP nomination, he would unite and mobilize the left in a way we haven't seen since Barry Goldwater.  We need a candidate that will appeal to the level-headed Democratic voters who  sense the need to abandon the current socialist agenda.  I am bothered that Santorum would take a chance on putting another Democrat back in the White House, which is what will happen if he wins the election.  It makes me consider that possibly he has fallen victim to the Bush/Clinton fog, which convinces every member of those two families that the United States CAN'T FUNCTION without them.

You probably are able to discern the reasons why I'm supporting Dr. Carson.  Many of you may criticize me by pointing out that Carson has about as much chance of beating HRC as Santorum does.  I don't accept that argument.  Once Carson gets familiar with the podium and the pace of campaigning, he will be a natural.  it may seem a bit strained at the moment because he is a neophyte.  I find his "newness" refreshing.  As for qualifications, Carson has written a number of wonderful books, he has spent a good part of his life caring for other people, and he has dedicated himself to public service OUTSIDE of his occupation.  You would be hard-pressed to find a more well-spoken, polite, learned man, and importantly, he is humble.  I had some questions regarding his grasp of the wide spectrum of issues that face the president (heck, ignorance of those issues certainly did not affect Obama's decision to run), but lately he has made a concerted effort to address foreign policy, economics, and the social troubles that seem to be about ready to catch this nation on fire.  Does it matter to me that he is African-American?  Yes, it does.  Only in the fact that it might provide him with more access into those communities that are bleeding and suffering the most.  I have heard Dr. Carson discuss the inner city neighborhoods of Baltimore, his home.  Dr. Carson did not grow up in wealth and opportunity.  He is a true American success story, as is Herman Cane.  But he never fails to discuss the plight of the poor, inner city youth, who wake up every morning to another day of no options, no opportunities, just suffering.  It will be a priority for Dr. Carson, who will, I believe, create a cabinet-level position to focus exclusively on the people who haven't been able to escape to the suburbs.  It is an issue worth serious attention and funding.

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