With the 2016 Presidential campaign well under-way, and the failure of Rick Perry confirmed, eleven GOP hopefuls travelled to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which presumably is full of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand books, to square off in the second official Republican debate on this cycle. The event was broadcast live by CNN who wanted to shake off the perception of their news organisation being solely for people transiting through airports by staging the debate in front of a plane in what appeared to be a massive hanger.
The coverage was so long that CNN in future would probably best served setting off an alarm clock every forty minutes to wake people up because even political junkies like myself were struggling to stay focussed, but that soon changed when Ted Cruz started talking inane garbage as usual. I have to confess to my own laziness as last time out I said to myself that I would cover both GOP debates but with all of the candidates in the first CNN debate each polling less than 1%, I have to confess that I am sceptical as to whether any of them will become the Republican nominee
Below is my fact-checked analysis of each candidate’s comments as well as a general opinion on their relative successes.
What did strike me, other than how terrifyingly bad it would be if any of these clowns were elected, was that the Republican Party finds itself in an electoral catch-22 that has only really developed in the last few decades. The GOP base has moved so far to the Right that the candidates who are moderate enough to win the general election cannot win the primary, and the candidates who would get through the primary are too extreme for the general election; the problem for the GOP has also been made much worse by the fact that the so-called ‘moderate’ Republicans’ last stint in power was under George W. Bush, who is one of the most unpopular presidents in recent US history.
The only alternatives for the Republican Party are in the form of unstable Christian fundamentalists who want to establish a state religion irrespective of what the Constitution says, authoritarian populists devoid of substance, or libertarians who would promote policies that would destroy the world economy. Therefore people on the Left like myself can take solace in the fact that the GOP will probably (and hopefully) not win the 2016 election.