Sunday, March 13, 2016

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE AFTER ELEVEN ADVERSARIAL SHOUTING MATCHES: Bringing back civility and fine decorum to political discuss?

Keyword or Terms: Civility; CNN; Governor Kasich; Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Ted Cruz; and Billionaire Donald Trump; Cuba; Transpacific trade; Climate Change; Whitehouse; Mundane and Docile response; Substantive and Elegant debate; unconventional coup d’etat; American Political Party;  North Carolina, Illinois and Florida

Contrary to what has obtained in eleven Republican Presidential campaign debates, the twelfth one, was a water shed from the past. Even the Republican polls’ leader and chief provocateur in the shouting matches of the debates past, Donald Trump, agreed that this CNN moderated debate was the most substantive and elegant of all the debates. There were no snipers or name calling; neither were there candidates talking over each other like kindergartners. Concurrently, not only did Governor Kasich of Ohio agreed that this last one was good and congenial, he acknowledged how far the Republican aspirants have come on the debate rostrum to an after-debate rendezvous with one of the CNN announcers.

As issues of immigration, trans-pacific trade, foreign policy, mostly with respect to normalization of relations with the country Cuba, and Climate Change were being trashed out, you sense a type of civility long absent from Republican debates for the White House oval office this year. American viewers of the debates had become so accustomed to the shouting matches between Republican aspirants in the past debates, that it was generally assumed – at least among citizens and establishment Republican party members – that the Coral Gables, Florida debate, was going to be another raucous reality show experience, with name-calling, body parts’ denunciation and little political communication decorum and decency. Instead, about thirty minute of debate time, the former discourteous aspirants, with their probable ring leader, were so taken aback by the level of initial civility that the uncharacteristic Aspirant Trump referenced: “So far, I cannot believe how civil it’s been up here.” The ever so missing courtesy in aspirants’ interaction was junked for a more civil interaction, and the usual put-downs, somewhat entertaining for some viewers, if not disheveled and classless for others, was a thing of the past. Even when Ted Cruz, the second polls leader among the Republican aspirants, attempted to stir up the pot with, “Trump would be a disaster as the republican standard bearer”, you get the sense that Mr. Trump was either tired of the raucous communication and would not be drawn into the usual shenanigans, or someone finally advised, he needs to move away from the usual inflammatory and or conflagration language and start being, Presidential. When Ted Cruz further added, “If we nominate Donald Trump, Hillary wins”, Mr. Trump just ignored him and moved the discussion to other sphere of public interest.

With an acknowledgement that it was time to move on from the usual rowdy forum, the atmosphere in the debate venue was congenial, with opportunities for easy jabs and casual insults passed over for more disciplined and sometimes, mundane and docile response. How about Marco Rubio’s acknowledgement that past adversarial strategy in the debates was not working for him or family and most essentially, his wife and daughter, consider his past antics during the debates, below their family’s accepted standard of decorum in communication and debates. The fact that all the jabs that he had directed against Donald Trump, the polls leader, had back fired, probably advised a more germane and respectful atmosphere, with ample time for give and take to questions from the CNN hosts. Even, where and when there were ample opportunities for electrifying rabble rouses or differences of opinion on issues of immigration and employer sponsored work visas manipulation, many of the candidates who were ready to topple the front runner and leader, just ignored the admission by Donald Trump that he is a business man taking advantage of the lapses in the law on books, and no one must begrudge him for either, not being patriotic or doing what other American businesses continue to do, to benefit their business investments.

In contrast to Marco Rubio’s stance, Ted Cruz, was more interested in engaging Donald Trump; inexorably pulling and forcing Donald Trump to come into the ring, as the polls leader and real estate magnate, understanding what was at stake, pulled back, hardly wanting to directly engage. Even when Ted Cruz chastised him about his temperament and harsh language against the Islamic religion, he refused to take the bait, offering what is probably a foreign policy statement, that he will send up to thirty-thousand US troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS, if he became President. And unlike the usual trading of insults of the past, the choice of the aspirants on the stage engaging in relational communication, strengthened the discussion points and arguably, upgraded the level of communication; with aspirants appearing well informed about what they were talking about. With the reluctance to engage Donald Trump with former hostilities and demeaning language, the entertaining aspects of past debates were relegated to where they belong, the “low information” supporters of the front runner. For once, there was a strong sense that change has finally come to the Republican debate for the White House; and when discussion digressed once again to the laxity in the issuance of HB-I visa and work permit, Donald Trump emphatically said: “I’m a business man and I know the system and I am the only one that can fix it”.

Marco Rubio’s attempt to unleash vitreous statements that could upend Trump’s restraints in language appears fragmented or insignificant even when he retorted, “The problem is presidents can’t just say anything they want, because it has consequences here and around the world”; and, “Mr. Trump’s temperament is a subject of deep anxiety among Republican Party leaders.” Mr. Trump either ignored or surreptitiously avoided immediate reaction, choosing to emerge as the real front runner to beat, among the Republican aspirants. What has pained so many aspirants in the race for the Republican nomination is the inability, or difficulty in pinning the innocuous and venomous comments from Mr. Trump and supporters, including some rather rowdy and dangerous episodes of punching and verbal altercation with protesters at Mr. Trump’s campaign rallies, on the front runner. The fierce attempt on the part of Mr. Trump to absolve himself and campaign from any accountability, probably resulted in him making comments at the twelfth debate that, he does not like it; and, such behavior should be adduced to an unbelievable anger which he cannot control or held accountable. Frankly, the atonement of substantive and elegant debate may not be completely credited to the aspirants on the debate rostrum, if the polls’ leader and probably culprit of the raucousness of past debates, quarantine himself and campaign from the often, volatile and unwelcome violence from his supporters at his political campaign rallies, and none was able to hold him remotely responsible. Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to completely and whole hardheartedly disavow many of the unwelcome violence at his rally, is now characterized by some political observers, a new normal, a socio-political upheaval in presidential campaigns that were once considered foreign or absent for campaigning for the US Presidency.

Mr. Trump is unceremoniously unapologetic for his characteristic denouncement of the Islamic religion. He strongly believes, Muslims hate America and America has to do something before America suffers another possible experience like the disastrous September 11, 2001 mayhem. He vehemently and characteristically blames Islam, insisting there is no need for political correctness in the manner of consideration of the Islamic religion. As Marco Rubio elected to declare that Mr. Trump’s comment is un-presidential, Mr. Trump just ignored his comebacks or characterization of what he believes Mr. Trump was attempting to insinuate. If Mr. Trump carries the Republican nomination and ultimately, wins the White House, there are enough statements from him to believe, Muslims or Islamist extremists or jihadists are going to have a tough time with his administration. Mr. Trump’s venturous denunciations of the Islamic religion reminds us of terrorists’ attacks in Europe and possibly impending terrorist attacks in America. The perversely planned terrorists’ attacks now deified as destabilizing in Europe, are probably the events Mr. Trump is alluding to, without funfair or diplomacy, in his characterization and campaign messaging. Whether this is appropriate or out of place in American Presidential Politics, depends on who you ask; however, nearly all the three standing Republican aspirants and party’s establishment, denounce the demonization of Islam by Mr. Trump’s campaign.

The sobriety of the twelfth Republican party debate for 2016 White House oval office appears somewhat girded and a shift from the usual raucous debates of the past. There is a wide and probably open denunciation of Mr. Trump’s characterization of Islam and Islamists, as the enemy of America. American voters who probably see Mr. Trump as fanning hate, somehow admonish a degree of significant reflection in considering policy issues or talking about constitutionally protected right, that is somehow eroded with Trump’s denunciations of Muslims. Maybe the next two debates will come through with the degree of civility of the twelfth; however, for Mr. Trump, while not objecting to more debates, concluded to an interviewer that their slate of aspirants probably have had enough of these debates. Interestingly the twelfth debate happens to be the last high profile encounter that may either determine who will go home or who will stay on the trail. What is known for now, is that Donald Trump has double digits’ polls’ advantage in North Carolina, Illinois and Florida; and the inability of the other aspirants to shake down the front runner at this last debate may end up being a Waterloo, for even the establishment preferred candidate till the debate.

Finally, the battle for 2016 Republican party nominee has been unconventional and sometimes paradoxical, even for those long and seasoned in American Politics and Presidential campaigns. However, what many observers consider a crash course in unconventional coup d’etat in taking over a major American Political Party, is now a classic case of how to interject personal racist and religious bigotry in campaigning for party nomination; and by default, the US Presidency. The relatively tranquil campaign messaging of the past by both major political parties’ candidates, is now superficially questioned by Mr. Trump’s brand of campaigning. What other Republican candidates consider as “un-Republican” or “un-conservative enough” are characteristics embraced by many supporters of Trump’s campaign and a relatively new normal; one that has not only entertained so many in the past eleven debates, but propelled the protagonist to greater success in political campaign and presidential ambition. Why now a change? Was there something unnaturally offensive to the average Republican, or is Mr. Trump unnecessarily being scape-goated for sake of being politically incorrect by running an unconventional campaign?


After the tranquility in the twelfth debate, maybe a coalition of the “Anti-Trump” campaign strategists may help save face for establishment Republican Party. The supporters of the real estate mogul may well carry the day, if Trump pulls an upset in Ohio, by winning over the State governor; or, winning in Florida, thereby sending home the newly accepted establishment hometown candidate. The fragmentation of the Republican Party, which would likely ensue with Trump’s upset of John Kasick and or Marco Rubio, would probably end up being the greatest spoils of all time; and a parody of manipulation of the democratic process in the nomination of a party’s flag bearer. If you do not want to miss any ensuing fun, and the potential power play game of 2016 Republican Party presidential nomination process, just come back!

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