Readily Predictable Politics of Division at the Sixth Republican Presidential Aspirants’ Debate?

Keywords or Terms: Divisive Strategy; White House oval office; New Yorkers; South Carolinian; Canadian-Born Ted Cruz; American-born Donald Trump; New York Post Editorial; Advocated Trump’s tariffs against China; US Navy; Iranian water; Marco Rubio; Ben Carson; Jeb Bush; Chris Christie; John Kasich

For close to a century, the politics of race baiting, to differentiate American Political Landscape, has been exploited by both political parties; however, the Republican Party has benefited most especially in this realm, as its leaders had fanned aura of hate, divisions and or divisive variables that appear to have heralded their ticket to the White House Oval Office on a number of occasions. As the nature of this strategy appears to have worked rather well for Republican Presidential Aspirants in the past, one of the current front-runner for the 2016 Republican Party nomination, Senator Ted Cruz, attempted the strategy at the Sixth Republican Party debate holding at North Charleston, South Carolina; only this time, pitching the values of New Yonkers against Southern Carolinian came out flat or undignified. The strategy, based on long-standing apprehensions or bigotry, significantly modified to undermine another candidate's dominance of the race in the 2016 Republican party contest, nearly re-defined what it means to be cautious and circumspect as you attempt to bring down your opponent in a race.

A strategy Aspirant Donald Trump, a proud New Yorker, shut down with the following: ‘When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York’; and, the New York Post editorialized with this: “that line aimed to get Iowa voters to contrast him with Donald Trump and Hillary … rings pretty odd, once you know his history with at least two big New York Banks.” Both responses to division politics or political idol baiting were not only ineffective in the debate, they left the New York Post's-credited Canadian-born US Presidential Aspirant, running home with his tail between his legs. For once in the Republican Party, fanning flames of division, either by known demagoguery or self-chosen political prejudices that readily served bigoted or discriminatory politicians, turned out to be an albatross that may heighten questions regarding the qualification of Senator Cruz for the presidency of the United States. Simmering prejudicial problems have solutions, including demagoguery; and those who fan hate, occasionally find the guts to question that same affinity when found in their competitors.

At the beginning, Aspirant Ted Cruz would have loved to benefit from usual republican party strategy of pitching one group against another, or one prejudice against an unknown, a strategy that has been adopted ever so often by many Republican Presidential aspirants or candidates, including the party’s touted 2016 front-runner candidate, Donald Trump; however, this time around, the strategy that has often fueled Republican politics, was found abhorrent by same party member, past accustomed to demagoguery on the campaign trail, and one not shying away from making outlandish statements about minority groups. How about shutting the doors against Muslims and making American Muslims register in a new registry? Did you recall something about building a big and fanciful border against Mexican rapists coming from the southernmost borders of America; or, “probably some Black Lives Matter folks called them [Group of Black Pastors] not to support me,” as advanced by the front-runner candidate. However, with New York Post asking Senator Cruz to go back to Canada where he was born and offering the middle finger of lady liberty, one can only imagine how offensive this type of strategy is, especially with those at the receiving end of the dig. Maybe this occasion might make Presidential Aspirant Trump reflect on his strategy of divisiveness in the race for the White House; including other credited divisive comments of his campaign that appear to have catapulting him to the front-runner status among the slate of Republican hopefuls. One thing was absolutely clear and true on Thursday’s night tit-for-tat rhetoric between Senator Cruz and Real Estate Mogul Trump, the divisive strategy backfired big-time, as the latter invoked what would go down in the annals of Republican Party Aspirants’ debate as a ground-shaking smack down of a Canadian Texan over the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil.

Frankly, the salient and unchanging fact of prejudicial altercations between or among presidential hopefuls is that, party presidential aspirants’ debates cannot be attested as resolute in serving the needs of Americans, if aspirants are not able to articulate and discuss problems that directly impact the lives of Americans without pitching one group against another; or, running one group down for personal expediency or political point.  The tit-for-tat rhetoric between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is an example of this assertion or affirmation. While often you have witnessed the frustration of presidential aspirants on the status of governance in the past five Republican debates, and probably got the intuition that many Republican party presidential aspirants for the 2016 White House race wore their frustrations on their sleeves rather thinly, the inability of many of them to stay laser-focused in deliberating issues that truly matter to American lives in the debate, practically undermine the essence of the deliberations and or quality of the discussions and debate.

You can hardly attain magnanimity in advancing arguments tainted by attempt to undervalue your opponents or deride their credibility. Further, you can also hardly advance newer frontier or reasoning in resolving burning national issues of widening income inequality, unfair judicial system, sporadic or galloping unemployment, domestic and international terrorism; or, design best strategies to combat these and other problems, when all your choice of words or reflections are laden with unfounded prejudices and unwholesome classification of the positions of your opponents. If your political rhetoric is laden with innuendos and an attempt to hoodwink the public regarding your campaign finances or nation of origin, maybe it is in your better interest to advance statements that are not demagogic or wish-washy. Maybe you are better off interpreting the constitution as inclusive rather than exclusive; or specifically favoring desirable outcomes that are cost-effective for the management of public finances and national budget. To put it in Senator Marco Rubio’s words to Senator Ted Cruz: “This is not consistent conservatism, but political calculations.”

As in past Republican Party Presidential debates, the onus or challenge is to draw a clear difference in the campaign message of the individual aspirants, to develop a coalesce around consistent ideologies and further a fellowship of consistencies on most matters of social, political and economic priorities. However, if this fifth debate was meant to enhance chances of one candidate over another, one came out further confused regarding how each of these Republican aspirants defined their candidacies, as many if not all of them, left voters with unclear or little understanding of their positions on many national political issues. How about Donald Trump’s advancements or arguments for tariffs against Chinese products? Instead of taking the initiative to advance vigorous arguments for an alternative economic solution for challenging or reforming the trade surplus in favor of America against China, aspirant Donald Trump either confused the audience further or failed to secure a better understanding of what exactly he is proposing, and whether the former forty-five percent credited threshold as articulated by him in other forums is actually feasible or reasonable, to assuage this problem. Indolent or unimaginative arguments on public policies are never convincing to the seasoned mind. Even for the average mind that are slow to recognize when they are about to be hood winked, some of the emerging responses to questions from the moderator, showed an attempt to be evasive by some of the Republican aspirants. How about Governor Chris Christie’s allusion that Tin Pot dictators were taking over US Navy Ships or Senator Ted Cruz’s braggadocios that any country that makes US Service members get on their knees will feel the full force or the fury of the USA? Are we about to go to war again as envisaged by someone who never served in the US military? How do these advances address a circumstantial suspicion of incursion of American sailors into sovereign Iranian waters?  Would Chris Christie and or Ted Cruz take America to another war for a minor international disagreement that was resolved by diplomacy under twenty-four hours, using more disciplined communication tactic?

Maybe Americans watching the sixth republican party debate suffered some rude awakenings that some of the arguments advanced by the Republican aspirants were either disingenuous or close to being delusional? Did you hear Neurosurgeon Ben Carson comment: “We have the world’s best military, even though [President Obama] has done everything he can to diminish it?”  OR Donald Trumps’: Our military is a disaster? How about, every weapons system has been gutted from Governor Jeb Bush? It is on record that the US is expending more of its GDP on militarization, than the next eight nations collectively with huge military spending based on both public and private records of military equipment and ammunition builders' expenditures in America. How can these aspirants counter the fact that many military investments have been expended by the Obama’s Administration on special operations to combat the new faceless religious fanatical movement across the globe, which is using theocratic jihad-ism to fight western civilization? The choice to counter this canker-worm or close to universal world’s problems, by redefining where our military spending goes, has very little to do with the broadsided statement from Senator Marco Rubio that President Obama is undermining our military.

In case some of these Republican aspirants are forgetting, it is with inputs from Joint Chief of Staffs and professional experts in this realm that presidential positions and decisions are made, especially with the reorganization of the military and building a more agile force that can respond to issues of hostilities across the globe. The Military Honchos have recommended the modernization of all the arms of American Military, including re-allocation and increased expenditures in some key areas to solidify our progress and re-position our new military might to fight the new frontiers of hostilities or modern mayhem. How an uninformed or slimly debriefed shallow campaign staff of governors and senators running for the Office of the Presidency on cuts to military spending can be adduced to destruction of American military is not only baffling, but rather misguided, especially when made without justifiable facts. Maybe these Republicans want to look at how much harm they caused over 2011 defense budget, or the role they played in bringing America’s Military might to their whimsical discredited junction, especially the question of sequestration. Besides, both the old and new America’s military spending realignments are consequential to the need to re-purpose our military for a modern warfare; one that is agile than before and better responsive to hostilities across the globe.

Reasonably interpreted from the debate is that some Republican Party aspirants have embraced divisive strategies and embraced demagoguery to advance their candidacy in the race towards 2016 White House. What we witnessed at the sixth Republican Party debate is that, one leading aspirant is nervously trolling the same strategy as the most advanced leading Republican aspirant at the polls, based on divisive principles. This strategy is hardy new and has long been used by other Republicans who came before these new presidential political fortune seekers. History of presidential political campaigns is hardly written or explained by political misspeaks or delusional assertions at debates that could hardly stand the litmus test of fact-checkers. Many American voters are not oblivious of what has taken place in the last Republican and current Democratic Presidential Administrations. American voters may not be exposing their personal choices at this time; however, they are also not oblivious to some of the utterances and strategies coming from presidential aspirants, especially, debate responses that call to question the suitability of some of these candidates for the White House oval office come January 2017.  Barring new initiatives or developments in the coming months, one thing that American voters are relatively certain, is that Americans do not want leaders with uncertain political baggage(s), those who are shallow in thoughts, those who have chosen demagoguery to advance their candidacy and those with undefined qualification for office, based on the constitutional provisions; neither are the voters interested in a leader with encumbering divisive profile and excessive militarization principle in foreign policy.
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