Debate: (noun) a formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward. (Verb) argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner.
No self-respecting person with an iota of common sense could conclude that the latest Republican debate was a presidential looking affair. Let me note for the record the above definitions do not contain any mention about insults. The Republican cowardly verbal wrestling match was a study in the utter degeneration and degradation of a once noble and respected political art. Besting you adversary with wit, charm, facts and sharp rebuttals were the stuff of political debate legends. Schoolyard bullying tactics and blowhardism was the domain of the barely literate, the uninformed, and the thin-skinned. All of this was on show at the last Republican debate or what passed for a debate.
Since the advent and emergence of Donald Trump, the egomaniac and self-centered GOP front runner, the national political discourse has become acutely acerbic, insulting, judgmental, bombastic and lacking in all and every substance. Facts are tailored to suit the audience, disregarded or ignored on a whim or fancy. National issues of economics, healthcare, education and foreign policy have been boiled down to simple sound bites, vagary and idiocy. Nowadays Americans have sadly now come to the realization that hurling insults, trying to outdo each other as to who can make the most outrageous and outlandish claims, and get away with it, is the new norm.
On the economy? We'll go after China. We'll build a wall along the American/Mexican border and get Mexico to pay for it -- or else.
On healthcare? Why, on "day one" we'll repeal Obamacare for sure!
On education? Not our concern. We'll just let the states decide.
On foreign policy? We'll just carpet bomb Iraq, Syria and whoever gets the hell in our way. Why, President Obama is too soft! Our adversaries and enemies are not afraid of us! Our allies do not trust us anymore! We're going to scuttle the Iran Deal and go back to the good ole days of saber rattling!
On global warming? Never happened! Liberal propaganda and lies!
On gun control? We need more guns -- not less! Arm the people! Arm the people! Obama is coming to take your guns! Uphold the Second Amendment!
And as loud mouth and bully Governor Chris Christie, Donald Trump Lite, put it "we're gonna kick Obama's rear end." That's what passes for a Republican debate on substance. A cacophony of whining, insulting and nit-picking among a crew of narcissistic childish blowhards who are an utter disgrace to the GOP. Why, even George W. Bush and Mitt Romney look better than these guys.
But you are entitled to you opinions -- not the facts. And this Republican debate was woefully short on facts and produced some serious untruths and misleading statements dressed up as "facts." This served to push the fear-mongering dial of the debate to higher heights designed to stoke up the GOP base and throw red meat to the snarling masses. It was poorly conceived rabblerousing and Josef Goebbels style propagandizing at its best.
It was also a cowardly display of unwarranted and idiotic attacks on the most defenseless of people fleeing persecution -- the Syrian people (I don't like the term refugees). Trump claimed that they were "strong, powerful men" evoking the age old bogey of the violent outsider, fanning the flames of confusion and fear to a constituent that does not know any better. The fact is that the vast majority of the Syrian people running for the guns of ISIS and the bombs of America and the West are women and children.
Not to be outdone, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie chimed in with the bold-faced lie that "Obama allowed Iran to kidnap American sailors, reflecting American weakness." The fact was and is that the American ships accidentally sailed into Iranian territorial waters and were disarmed -- a standard protocol. They were cared for and then released into U.S custody after BOTH investigations -- by the United States and Iran -- revealed that there were no hostile intentions and that it was just a mistake. Christie could care less about the truth but charged bleary eyed and unhinged into attacking President Obama. By the way, the issue was resolved by diplomacy.
As the night progressed, things got zanier and zanier. With a cast of characters that shunned truth and facts, the stage was set for crazy, crazier and craziest. The debate resembled a set of garrulous schoolboys arguing with each other. Insults against President Obama flew hard and fast as was complete ignorance of simple truths and facts.
Senator Ted Cruz: "there are not a lot of conservatives in Manhattan." Somebody please tell this guy that the borough of Manhattan in New York City is home to over 83,000 registered Republicans. That's not a lot?
In the end the entire thing was a sad spectacle of a group of angry white men who now represent a party that is the poster child for xenophobia, race-baiting, racial exclusion and belligerence. Even sadder is the fact that none of them were challenged by a fawning, supine media both during and after the debate. Donald Trump is treated as a rock star and allowed to get away with insults, untruths and inflammatory statements not grounded in either reality or facts.