Although, I must confess mild interest in learning how the GOP debate goes tonight, I won’t be watching. My guess is The Donald will try to look presidential, but will not be able to resist the temptation to fire back at folks. I will look at the highlights reel of the fireworks.Yet, the answer to will anything substantive be discussed, is an easy no.
I say this for two reasons. First, you cannot glean any substance from ten people in that little bit of time. It will be a war of sound bites, yet someone who can coin a clever retort, is not correlated with being a good leader. It just means they had a clever retort. Plus, the leader in the GOP polls is big on saying outlandish things with very little data or substance backing it up. Some of the others have already sunk to his level, so I think you will see a lot of big swings being made tonight.
Second, the issues that are needing to be discussed are multi-faceted and complex, so sound bites won’t cut it. Also, as a former Republican, the GOP is on the wrong side of future history on so many issues, that the real problems are not being addressed by the rhetoric of the candidates. We won’t hear about the need to address man-influenced climate change, but will hear about the jobs being lost in fossil fuel industry. Note, the coal jobs have been going away more due to fracking natural gas, so why has that not been an issue before? Plus, the solar industry jobs are growing at double-digit rates and tally over 170,000 at year-end 2014, so it is not an either/or issue on jobs.
We also won’t hear about the ACA working and how it can be improved, as it is needed tool in the new sharing economy. Without the ACA, independent contractors would not have access to affordable care. We also won’t hear about the huge need for better gun control. We also won’t hear about asset based community development and investing in our infrastructure that will help change liabilities into assets and create jobs. We also won’t hear about how investing in family planning and birth control has reduced abortions, unwanted pregnancies and poverty. We also won’t hear how the economy and stock market have been doing pretty well and unemployment is low.
Yet, I am sure we will hear about the Confederate flag. I am sure will hear about denying rights and freedoms to the LGBTQ citizens. I am sure we will hear about how stupid the president is on immigration, Cuba, Iran, ISIS and Ukraine, yet I applaud his seriousness of purpose to address these problems and opportunities. I am sure we will hear about how the president has let down the African-American community, not admitting the huge role the GOP has played in disenfranchising this audience through unconstitutional voting laws, attacks on support programs, indictment of the ACA, lack of Medicaid expansion in twenty states, limiting wages and lack of investment in these communities and in public education.
So, I will watch the highlights, but avoid the watching their lack of attention to more important matters. I do like that John Kasich made the cut, as he is the best candidate in the bunch, but no one has heard of him outside of Ohio.