More interested in hearing directly from the candidates; let’s stop being world policemen and nation builders…

The so-called Democratic presidential candidate debates don’t do it for me. Too many candidates and the moderators to me play too big a part in it. I’ve never felt news people should be part of the story — facilitators in telling or relaying the story yes, but deciders of who gets asked what or who gets to talk in a debate no. I don’t mean to put the blame on the messengers, though. It is an unwieldy mess having so many candidates. We were probably better off when the political parties pretty much chose the candidates on their own in the smoke-filled rooms rather than the direct primary system.

What I am trying to do now is look up the candidates on the computer and watch interviews with them. Of course there the interviewer, the journalist, does play an integral and necessary role, as long as he or she asks good questions that are neither statements in and of themselves nor partisan softballs pitched to the candidate.

Eventually I would like to see the leading contenders go one on one with their opponents. You see flashes of that in the 20 or so free-for-alls. But a prolonged debate, between just two people, with either participant having to state his or her case and back it up with evidence and face rebuttal would be better — with the moderators simply being moderators.

But we have what we have.

It seems the choosing of the candidate over these past decades has slipped from the grasp of the political parties to every man or woman for themselves, forcing candidates more than ever to chase after money and to fall into the grip of the big donors. Some of the candidates supposedly are only accepting smaller individual donations — I have not kept track (I should consider that, though).

I’m looking for a good middle of the road candidate, however, I also realize that even one who leans to the left (or right for that matter) will be tempered by the reality of the makeup of congress. So I could, say, vote for an Elizabeth Warren, who is seen as too left (although I am not sure that really fits her politics). I just saw part of an interview with her and her ideas about breaking up big tech are the same as the old Teddy Roosevelt trust busting moves (and of course TR was a progressive Republican (an extinct breed now I guess). Enforcing fair rules on the markets to even the playing field is not really so leftist. And Medicare for all has been around as an idea for a long time, but under various names, such as “socialized medicine”. It is not as sinister as it sounds. The intent is to supply the populace with healthcare on a more equitable basis. I personally cling to the idea that expanding Medicare or Medicaid to those who could not otherwise afford private insurance or qualify for government-funded coverage is probably the most practical approach in the U.S. Obamacare probably just needs to be improved (not dismantled or chipped away at). But I am open to ideas.

I am also receptive to foreign policy proposals that bring us back to better relations with our traditional allies and that at the same time rid us of the obligation of being international policemen and nation builders. It’s time that the people of the world fight their own fights against dictators and against religious zealots or those who hide behind the shield of uncompromising religious creeds in order to subjugate others.

We are in a quandary in Afghanistan for sure. Afer some 15 years there we seem forced fo negotiate with the Taliban (that hurts). If they take over again I feel a deep sense of sadness because women there will face subjugation, violence, and death — they will be once again by law second-class citizens (if they are not already). But the number-one job of Americans is to protect ourselves. The free world can lead by example. As an example of that, peoples of Russia and Eastern Europe broke the chains of communism after finding out the West had it so much better. Eventually those in the Middle East will turn against their religious and so-called religious dictators. We only serve to confuse things by going over there and inadvertently killing innocent people along with the not innocents.

I am not on President Trump’s side but I think he has a point about a deep state wanting to perpetuate the Cold War strategies (do U.S. and world-wide arms dealers have anything to do with this? You think?). Unfortunately he is on the wrong side in so many other things, such as the notion that starting trade wars is beneficial and his denial of climate change and its threat to the world. Moreover, he is wrong in character. An ignorant bully is not something or someone we want representing the United States. I realize that some people will say he cannot be ignorant since he is so rich. Makes no sense. People get rich in various ways — the old fashioned way, inheritance an example — including dishonest means. Maybe clever applies to Trump. I don’t think clever and smart are exactly the same, depending upon what our definition of smart is. Or maybe he is a smart but dishonest person. And he is rumored to not be as rich as he claims, one reason he is so protective of his tax returns.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. It is called the presidential election of 2020.

p.s.

I actually began this with the intention of saying something about Pete Buttigieg, the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana who has received quite a boost in the polls recently. He certainly seems articulate and seems to have a reasoned middle of the road approach. Can he surmount the homosexual thing — in today’s ever-more progressive climate perhaps. I admit to having my own personal discomfort with the idea of having a homosexual leader and the prospect of having him share the White House with his mate of the same sex. There, I have said it. Could I vote for him over Trump? Of course.

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