To the editor:

I watched the recent Democrat Party debates. I wanted to see if any offered any proposals that might be of value. As I expected, having a big group of candidates on the stage at one time was as bad for the Democrats as it was for the Republicans four years ago. It was impossible for the moderators to give each candidate the same share of time. Therefore, they simply asked inane questions that told us little about the thinking or depth of any of the candidates.

On the first night, each candidate started out respectful. By the second hour, little by little, as they realized that the moderators had pre-selected the candidates on which they wanted to focus attention, the others became edgier. 

On the second night, after each candidate had seen what had happened the night before, they all became more demanding of time. Many understood that MSNBC alone could end their campaigns. Their actions and statements were worse. Each offering more and more bribes to catch the attention of those watching. None were required to explain where the money would come from for the multiple give away programs they proposed. 

If you were one of the groups that would benefit from one of the give away programs, you might have been so happy that you never focused on this. This alone is a sad commentary on education today. How could anyone be so ignorant on where government receives money to give away after 16 years of education?

Free Health care for

Illegal Immigrants

One of the questions that had the most powerful impact on me was this:  Would you support providing immigrants (They left off the issue of how they got to this country.) with free health care? 

Ignoring the issue that there is no such thing as “free” health care, but rather we only have “cost shifting” health care. 

The candidates were asked to raise their hands if they supported such a policy. 

Marianne Williamson appeared to be the first to raise her hand high and proudly. Each of the other candidates appeared to be looking around to see how others were reacting before they did. Finally, every hand was up. 

At the time, it made no sense that any candidate would think this was a good and serious policy idea. In the following days, a few tried to half backtrack but the damage was done. They either were too impulsive in answering such an expensive proposal, they were true believers in Socialism, or they were far too willing to prostitute themselves to get the nomination. Whichever of those reasons should disqualify those candidates for most voters.

What those responses told me is that most, if not all of these candidates, were reactive, not leaders. No serious leader would allow themselves to be swayed by looking around to see how others responded before deciding how they would respond. 

Leadership requires knowing what your own values are. Leaders do not allow themselves to be caught up and twisted around by others, whether they are moderators or other candidates. If one is to be President of the United States, they must have a will strong enough to know what they believe in and stay focused on those beliefs.

Where Do the Democrats

 Go From Here?

There will be more debates that will be occurring in the coming months. As we learn more about the values and policies of candidates, things will become clearer – but not much. 

The media has already picked their favorites and will continue to give them more time before the cameras. However, they don’t want to end the interest too early or they risk losing viewers. Therefore, they must keep any one candidate from dominating.  

Meanwhile, the Democrat Party is working as hard as they can to eliminate candidates so voters can focus. To accomplish this, they are straining candidates out. Straining them not based on the intellect of the candidates and their ideas, but rather how much money they can raise.

The end result will be interesting to see. From that first debate, it might very well be a very scary and shallow candidate.

Sen. Frank Ruff

Clarksville