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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/8/15

Trump trumps them all in Republican debates

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Message Pepe Escobar
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Reprinted from RT

Donald Trump in Republican debate
Donald Trump in Republican debate
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Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has said that the US, on the financial front, is "on the wrong side of history." As for the Republican candidates chasing the nomination for the 2016 US presidential race, well, they may qualify only for the "wrong" side of the bargain, as they hardly know what "history" means.

And that brings us to a mammoth specimen of entertainment/reality TV; the first Republican debate, no less than a seemingly-eternal 15 months before the actual US presidential election.

It definitely started with a -- what else? -- celebrity TV bang. Would anybody raise their hands if they were mulling running as a third-party candidate, and ignore the eventual Republican nominee?

Up goes the lone raised hand of billionaire real estate speculator-cum-reality TV celebrity Donald Trump. And true to form, The Donald pulled a -- what else? -- Trump; he would keep hedging his bets, while swearing on live television to support the Republican nominee and not be a third-party candidate if he was, well, the Republican nominee.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's response to that was exemplary; Trump was "hedging his bets." After all, he "buys and sells politicians." And Paul doubled down, hinting that Trump was an actual Trojan Horse who will, in the end, support The Hillarator "we came, we saw, he died" Clinton.

The Hillarator, by the way, took no prisoners, announcing to the whole social media universe that she was not watching the debate; she was hangin' out in LA with -- who else? -- a bunch of reality TV "royalty." But she did commit the mortal sin of attending one of Trump's weddings, as The Donald himself admitted.

The first GOP debate

We only care about our $2bn

The reality TV spectacular even had a warm-up, like those preliminary bouts on UFC. Cynics might have preferred iron chick Ronda Rousey immobilizing all the Republican contestants in the octagon in less than 30 seconds, but still the arguable winner of the warm-up was Carly Fiorina, former (booted out) CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Cynics, once again, might have preferred the other Carly (Simon) singing "You're so Vain," but that's just nostalgia.

On foreign policy, the warm-up highlight was an actual pre-warm-up, as South Carolina's wacko job Lindsay Graham told Japanese media on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, "If I were President Truman, I would have dropped the bomb."

Predictably, the main "debate" was an anti-abortion and illegal immigration "drop the bomb" fan fest.

Trump, predictably, trumped them all. His master plan to solve illegal immigration: The Great Trump Wall of Mexico, including "a big beautiful door in that wall so people can get into this wall legally."

Marco Rubio's response; "El Chapo built a tunnel under the fence and we need a solution to deal with that too." Trump didn't elaborate on how he would deal with the notorious Mexican drug lord's underground tactics.

As this was a reality TV spectacular generating huge ratings -- and not a real "debate" -- it was micromanaged to the millimeter by Fox News. Some of the questions unveiled Fox's real agenda; dress down Trump a notch and give a chance to the other Muppets to say something, anything, mildly respectable.

Fox News's demographics hover around 68 as the median age; angry, aging, white, exceptionalist American males. Fox -- essentially a Republican PR asset -- made $794 million in profits in 2014. The network is worth at least $2 billion a year to parent company 21st Century Fox, part of the Murdoch empire.

Trump made mincemeat of any idea of a level playing field. He was on a roll, including a full 30 seconds to expand on his claim that the Mexican government is sending rapists and murderers to undermine the American dream.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)

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