Seventh Republican Debate: Analyzing statements made by other candidates but Donald Trump!

Keywords or Terms: Donald Trump; Lone-wolf Organized Event; Republican Party Seventh Debate; Jeb Bush; Chris Christie; Family Political Legacy; Ted Cruz; Marco Rubio; Iota of Electricity; Maniac, Stupid, fat and Ugly; Racial Profiling; Abortion; Politics of Annihilation and Narcissism; Megyn Kelly; FOX News Moderator; Exercise of Gamble: Unnecessary Emotional Outburst; Vulnerability of Establishment Politics; Strategy of demonizing rivals; and, Campaign Trail.

If Candidate Donald Trump was expecting to divert attention from other rivals in the Republican Party with his lone-wolf organized event, probably he truly accomplished that yesterday; however, no one can say with certainty that the nomination process will be the same henceforth. By organizing a competing event within the same city against the seventh Republican Party debate, Donald Trump appears to have said he is the candidate to beat and any other impostor at this time in the Republican Party makes less of a difference. He is sure he could leave the field of debaters for the party’s flag bearer and still come on top! If his prediction or presupposition this time around would prove overtly optimistic, only time will tell.

Here is what we’ve learnt so far from the two-hour face-off Republican Party debate, without the probable front-runner candidate and former reality television star:

1) Governor Jeb Bush and Chris Christie appeared to have presented a more formidable argument for their candidacies as each hammered home most of their earlier known stance that had been absent when Donald Trump was physically present on the rostrum with other candidates;

2) Unfortunately, Governor Chris Christie sounded more of a one dimensional candidate, bashing Hillary Clinton as if she was a policy item for Americans;

3) For probably the first time in the series of debates, Governor Jeb Bush sounded out more of his points and owned his family political legacy, except of his clumsy closing remarks;

4) Senator Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz duke it out unlike ever before on the issue of national immigration and security and for once, exemplified some iota of electricity to either of their campaigns, depending on how voters perceive the importance of those issues on the hierarchy of national importance and urgency;

5) Senator Rand Paul equivocally expressed his deep seated conviction on issues the party’s establishment has often failed to acknowledge let alone talk about: racial profiling and hostilities against abortion;

6) Senator Ted Cruz took up the usual insulting and aggressive role associated with candidate Donald Trump, trading insults and attempting to embarrass other rivals with statements as: “I’m a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly”; “Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way”; and, “If you ask me one more question, I may have to leave the stage”;

7) Poking fun about the absence of the front-runner candidate Donald Trump on the stage and in reaction to similar comment coming from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio added: “Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave the stage no matter what [question] you ask me”; and,

8) Donald Trump’s probably garnered more attention, at least on the Social Media side than the live Republican debate, and as Zoomph Social Media Analytics’s released data showed about the events, Donald Trump’s event out-twitted the competing event across town, four to one; and, was able to bring in about seven hundred guests, raised close to five million dollars with Trump’s personal contribution of one million dollars; and, two low polling Republican candidates, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, gracing the MSNBC and CNN television broadcast-ed event.

The Politics of Annihilation and Narcissism:

If Donald Trump insistence that FOX News Network treated him rather badly by one of its host Megyn Kelly insulting him, maybe it would have been better to have taken up this issue on a private level with Ms. Kelly and her employer, FOX News. Frankly, the nation is hardly interested in personal squabbles between two adults; as these debates were expected to explore or open up discussion on public policy proposals and aspirants’ message of where they are about to move America, when elected President of the United States. The relevance of Donald Trump’s complaint and reason for not participating on the Iowa Republican Party organized debate at Drake University, was probably well articulated with former Virginia Jim Gilmore statement regarding why he is not showing up at Donald Trump’s self-organized event: “I’m not about to go across town tonight to carry the coat for some billionaire”.

If any Republican voter or American was interested in knowing what the Seventh Republican candidates’ forum would look like without the front runner, Donald Trump, maybe the two competing events in Des Moines Iowa, answered this question; albeit, what came across was that the stage appeared to have belonged to trailing candidates, offering themselves and their campaigns, a new lease of life before Monday’s Iowa caucuses. Donald Trump’s absence was probably an opportunity for undermining the fast moving Donald Trump’s campaign train and a unique exposure that gave two closely following candidates to Trump’s lead, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, the chance to clash harshly and fervently to the pleasures of those watching the political horse-race.

The unique situation of a ‘Trump-less’ Republican candidates debate forum after a sixth, was probably a divergence or shed in water for the fierce competition among seven or so candidates, seeking the nomination as the Republican Party. Although January 28th Thursday’s night Republican debate afforded a trading of jabs between trailing candidates, it appears to have exposed the magnitude of the rifting faults within the Republican Party between or among competing support or ideological groups. Unlike the past debates, the seventh republican debate may end up being universally accepted as a turning point in the competition or an albatross on the neck of the front-runner in 2016. For one thing, the response to the initial announcement earlier in the week that Donald Trump may be boycotting the FOX Television televised debate represent a recognizable non-traditional attempt to upstage a party’s organized event by one of their far-more recognizable candidate, who but for his xenophobic and racist comments on the campaign trail, could have been a fresh voice in the Republican Party of today. It is possible that Donald Trump’s absence from the seventh debate forum will reduce interest in future Republican debates, if he ends up winning with a landslide the Iowa caucuses. The peripheral Thursday’s attacks from the next rivals in step for the Republican nomination, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, will be irrelevant as these may end up increasing further, the momentum of current Donald Trump’s lead in polls for the nomination.

An accurate perspective of Donald Trump’s choice and its meaning for Republican Party’s unity toward November, 2016 general election is further clouded by this new development or subjective choice of the front-runner to ignore participating in the seventh debate. There is less perspective of which veteran support group(s) will end up with money received from Trump’s competing event to the seventh Republican debate in Iowa; and, the likely impact of organizing a competing event during a somewhat official party sanctioned debate for nomination. Establishment Republicans and the powerful media, precisely FOX News, that once saw themselves as power-brokers for viewing audience(s) were probably challenged by Donald Trump’s subjective choice to withdraw from the Seventh debate because of what he considered as insult from a moderator, Megyn Kelly. However, the veracity of the debate moderator on public policy issues and astuteness in questioning other candidates at Thursday’s debate, may call to question the heap of attacks from the candidate absent from the stage. Could other candidates choose to withdraw from further debates because of some other subjective opinion regarding how they are treated by the moderators of these debates, television personnel or insider State’s Party organizers? The choice of answer to this question, just as Donald Trump’s subjective choice not to participate in the seventh debate exercise is a huge gamble, if not an unnecessary emotional trauma.

It is difficult to agree on all aspects of the new dilemma within the Republican party regarding the forces or weight that interest groups and or formidable candidates are pulling around the nomination process. The amorphous nature of a temperamental or excessively vocal candidate, or objection to having a perceived “hostile” moderator on the stage, makes it difficult to assess authenticity of the pace of rivalry among 2016 Republican candidates within the nomination process. The new or unexpected shadow castes on the exercise from Donald Trump’s choice has added a new dimension to the nomination process: the difficulty of fashioning out a united party’s image towards the general election. It is possible to discern the differences of opinion on public policy offered by individual candidate or repudiate such, when made in a forum of party organized debate as the one just held at Drake University, Iowa. However, when the focus moves to personal choice of raising question regarding fairness of treatment from a moderator or host at party’s organized debate forum, the party may be moving into new terrain of muddy waters, where any candidate or political aspirant can choose to upstage any official activity designed to weed the grain from the chaff in a party nomination process and election year.

The Geopolitical relevance of Donald Trump’s absence from the seventh debate forces the Republican voters and party’s stalwarts to make choices that are extraneous to an objective consideration of the public polices proposals or direction that any of the candidates is drumming up in his or her campaigns. One of the new consideration that entered into the Republican lexicon and nomination process with current Donald Trump’s choice, is the emergence of the calculus of degree of perceived influence on the nomination process by a leading candidate in polls; what else would you say, when Donald Trump made what would be considered narcissistic in some quarters, with the statement: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Most establishment Republicans may shy away from these types of statement, others may consider it as boastful or insignificant; however, like-it or not, the GOP front-runner, is not only saying I have enough clout to change, not only this nomination process, but also the direction of the party without losing any support from the base. The effrontery of this is probably found in Donald Trump choice to organize a competing event right across from the official venue of the debate which he publicly acknowledged he would have preferred to participate in, but for the fact that he perceives being treated unfairly by a moderator and or her broadcast network.

The revealed vulnerability of establishment politics in the Republican party was probably revived by Donald Trump’s choice or effrontery. Republican debates since the Regan era had taken a rather formative and media salivating embracement; however, when a reality television participant in a party- nomination process, takes his supposed clout to overturn or stir-the-honest nest, the party may end up with a show down, down the ally of the 2016 nomination exercise. One of the most obvious beneficiaries of Donald Trump’s pullout from the seventh debate, were candidates present on the stage, who earlier were unable to get their words out from previous debates. In the grandeur celebration of the absence of Donald Trump on the stage, voters and Americans probably noticed some of his similar strategy of demonizing rivals and undercutting competitors with statements that were equally as narcissistic as those credited to Donald Trump in past debate or campaign trail, from his rivals. Maybe voters and Americans are now trading one new sets of unfathomable and insulting political language for another, with Trump’s step-off the stage for a day or moment, from the Republican Candidates’ Debate.
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