Our brother and sister-in-law have been in town this week, and we’ve been spending time with them and our parents, but we’ve nonetheless been keeping up with the news. Our family is as weirdly obsessed with politics as we are, so we wound up spending much of Wednesday night together eating Schlotzsky’s sandwiches and watching the second episode of the second round of the Democrats’ presidential debates.
None of us were the debaters’ intended audience, so it was hard to assess who won. Our brother is willing to defend almost anything President Donald Trump does or says or “tweets,” our parents more reluctantly go along with most of it, although he did admit he didn’t like Trump trying to interfere with the Federal Reserves’ fiscal policies, and our sister-in-law is more reticent and circumspect and therefore seems our sort of old-fashioned Kansas Republican. as much as we dislike Trump we have to agree with all of them that these damned Democrats are arguably even worse. Every time we all found ourselves in agreement with any of the candidates we figured he or she was losing points with the more important audience of dumb-assed Democratic voters.
So far as we can tell the from the many press reports Tuesday night’s first episode of the second round of the debates had the same flavor of the little-known relatively center-left candidates warning about the far-left front-runners dragging the country into bankruptcy and even worse a loss to Trump. We’re holding out hope that one of those relatively center-left candidates will prevail, but given even our brother’s reluctant enthusiasm for a couple of them they probably stand no chance of a Democratic nomination.
Some Republicans out there are hoping the Democrats will go whole hog with the free this and free that and open borders and handcuffed law enforcement talk, figuring that even Trump could beat that, and they might just be right. It’s plausible enough that we’re warning all Democrat friends about it, but they don’t seem to be listening. Those Republicans who also desire the most far-left Democratic nominee should be careful what they wish for, though, as it’s not out of the question that he or she could beat Trump.
Trump’s got a very low unemployment rate and the usual low inflation rate and an economy that seems to be churning along at just below the 3 percent gross domestic product growth rate he’d promised, and while his best friend in North Korea is testing new nuclear missiles and his sworn enemies in Iran are doing the same no new wars have yet been started, so any Republican president who didn’t make a point of pissing many people off every day should be riding high in the polls. Trump is a different type of Republican president, though, and even the most recent Fox News poll shows that 47 percent of the public already wants to impeach him, with only 45 percent objecting to the idea. He’s not yet topped a 50 percent approval rating in any public opinion poll, including the infamously skewed Rasmussen Report, and he strikes us vulnerable to anyone the damned Democrats might come up with.
There are only two or three contenders in the Democratic field that we’d consider voting for, but that means they have no chance of getting the nomination, and yet there’s still no one so awful in field that we’d cast an affirmative vote for Trump. For the second presidential election in a row we’ll probably wind up throwing away our vote on some futile independent nominee running on what used to be the Republican platform, and we’ll let the rest of the country decide how badly things turn out.
— Bud Norman