The 2nd debate only brought more mediocrity

Published 6:38 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

There has been a second debate, Monday night in Tampa, among the eight candidates who wish to become the Republican nominee for president of the United States.

After the first debate, I wrote last week, that my prior opinion of all eight candidates was a lesson in mediocrity.

After the first debate, if that’s what you want to call it, I thought perhaps three had some moxie, Romney, Huntsman and Perry. All others need not apply.

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After the second debate this week, I changed my mind. None deserve it. Mediocrity returned.

Is there not one Republican that has the qualities to run the country? Is there not one who can tackle the huge national problems which confront us in the next decade? Anyone, Republican or Democrat?

None come immediately to mind.

They tell us that these eight candidates primarily are attempting to appeal to the Republican fringe majority, the Tea Party and those who support them. Yet all of us are watching and listening. Waiting.

From both debates, the same rehashed and worn-out beaten-to-death issues survive, which have more pomposity than substance. They give us sound bites, political rhetoric, grandstanding, finger pointing, no solutions, no plans. Oh yes, the candidates all say they have a plan, but as one who has watched political campaigns for 30 years or more, there are no plans, just rhetoric that they exist.

We need a new dialogue on better issues which affect our nation. It does not matter which side brings it forth.

Let’s stop fighting Obama-care, and let’s talk about the nation’s overall health instead. With millions of baby boomers each day coming into retirement, and living longer, we need a national health care plan that tackles Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cardiology issues, blood diseases, diabetes and other quality of life diseases which strike predominately the elderly.

Do any of the candidates talk of these issues? No. Only to degrade them.

We need to talk about education. All across our country, in legislature after legislature, education from kindergarten to graduate school, is seeing cuts, cuts, cuts. The future of America is in our brains, our resourcefulness, our ability to train people to plan, dream, invent, to compete on a worldwide scale. It’s not happening now. Do any of our candidates talk of education, the need to train and retain our youth so they can compete and keep their jobs. No.

With millions of baby boomers coming on line, do our candidates talk about shoring up Social Security, so that it will be there for future generations? Economists say it can be easily fixed with a few adjustments. So what are we waiting on?

Are we falling for the solution offered by Ron Paul? He said Monday night that we should do away with Social Security and let the churches handle it. How stupid can you get? Go back to Texas, Dr. Paul, and deliver some babies, something for which you know what you are talking about. Take Rick Perry with you.

On Rick Perry, while his state has record high temperatures, serious drought, and now wildfires, he continues to dismiss global warming as a scientific reality. It’s an international issue which must be addressed, along with increasing use of declining energy sources from new worldwide demand. Somebody needs to lead on both these issues.

The candidates need to talk about our declining impact on the world because of globalization, the impacts of the Internet, cell phones, and all social engineering problems we will be dealing with for decades. Let’s talk about engineering, education, science, and technology, a rebirth of civility, and finally, let’s stop pandering to voters’ basic instincts, and lets start doing. Let’s get going. Let’s get smart about the people we send into elective office — local, state and national. We are a country overrun with mediocre people running our affairs.

Our country is in the doldrums. We have lost our competitive edge, and we have allowed other countries to do things we should have been the leaders for. We have sent our manufacturing, our jobs along with our best minds, and our industries overseas, and have done nothing about it.

Can any of these Republican candidates fix it?

Don’t count on it. To paraphrase the first George Bush, we are in deep doo-doo.

Jim Smith writes a weekly column for The Post-Searchlight. He can be reached through his email at:, or by cell phone at (229) 254-2753.