by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jonathan Laing of Barron’s documents his concerns about top presidential contenders.
The acute dyspepsia we felt last week was induced by more than eating too much on Thanksgiving. In fact, we’re even more discomfited by the ongoing shenanigans of the leading candidates for president as the beginning of primary season looms three months from now.
First, there’s Donald Trump. Barron’s and other publications have had plenty to say about this Bulworth of the right who resorts to race-baiting and anti-Muslim broadsides to electrify the baser parts of the Republican base. But did he really see and hear thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the Twin Towers came down on 9/11? And did the media somehow miss these people doing that? Of course not. But it sure sounds good.
Ben Carson, excuse me, Dr. Ben Carson, remains largely a mystery to the media, if not the electorate. Gentle Ben is so soft-spoken that one tends to ignore many of his extreme beliefs and policy proposals.
We don’t get how he can get away with apparently fabricating details of his life story, details that took him from abject poverty in Detroit to the highest reaches of surgical science. Of course he wasn’t the violent tough guy he claimed to be up to age 14, when he underwent a miraculous religious conversion. But we of the secular press don’t realize that evangelical voters eat up stories of personal redemption, which can’t occur unless one has fallen first. Anyway, his campaign has proved to be the ultimate book tour, certain to enrich the candidate, win, lose, or draw in the race for the Republican nomination.
Ted Cruz showed his policy chops in recent weeks by insisting that only Christian Syrian refugees be allowed into the U.S. because Muslims apparently can’t be trusted not to murder, pillage, and burn when they get here. And did we mention that Cruz believes in the gold standard, even though the supreme fiat currency, the buck, is soaring in value these days?
Finally, there’s Hillary, who many Americans find untrustworthy. Forget Benghazi and the private server controversies. Her propensity for tall tales goes back to when she claimed to have been under potential sniper fire during a visit to Tuzla, Bosnia, as First Lady in 1996 and was forced to run to a waiting car. The television footage of the event showed nothing of the kind. And did she really consider enlisting in the Marines in 1975 on the cusp of her marriage to Bill and the beginning of his political career? She asserted this at a recent campaign stop.
What a roster of leading presidential aspirants.