Fox News Roast Of The First Republican Presidential Debate
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Politics and Activism

Fox News Roast Of The First Republican Presidential Debate

What the candidates said and why it should matter.

Fox News Roast Of The First Republican Presidential Debate
Fox News

The second stop in the series of debates for current Republican presidential candidates aired on Aug. 6, in Cleveland, Ohio. The prime time debate hosted by Fox News featured the political party's top 10 candidates. Fox's own Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier acted as debate moderators, who presented the questions and kept participants within their allowed windows of time. Or at least, tried to.

Sheer unprofessionalism was exhibited by most of the candidates. The political event, in front of a live audience, seems to feature its own laugh track. Laughter could be heard half the time Donald Trump spoke or whenever President Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton were mentioned. Discrediting a political combatant has always been a strategy within the bloodsport of politics. Questions were avoided with these name drops, satisfying a punch line to an argument. That is when debating starts to stray from reason, and more so to wake up and rouse the attention of the audience and television viewers alike.

Let’s begin with the commanding comb-over himself, Trump, who is astounding even his more vocal oppositions. The Trump Organization CEO and president currently sits at the lead in the polls — not including the Electoral College just yet —and seems to be oddly marching the path to the presidency. As true a red-tie-black-shoes Conservative debate host Fox News is, the network spearheaded an attack on Trump’s character for the entirety of the debate. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, whose own father, former Senator Ron Paul, was a libertarian within the Republican ballot, called Trump out for wanting to lead an independent campaign if not named the Republican nominee.

Trump refuses to "have time for total political correctness," or so his answer to Kelly's questioning of his inability to filter himself stated, citing his labeling of women as "fat pigs, slobs, and disgusting animals." His rebuttal was a jab at Rosie O'Donnell and a threat to Kelly herself. Women seem to support Trump, but he certainly does not respect them. What does the consummate business man, who inherited his wealth mostly from his father, have time for? The man that has become the voice for everyone, especially the working class, privately does not see past the bounds of the upper class and certainly does not practice the social beliefs he has been attributed to representing. After all, the moral character of a man who owns 16 golf courses must be upstanding, as he advertises himself and his brand through our political system.

Governor John Kasich of Ohio credited Trump for raising awareness for the immigration issue. Trump detailed no real evidence when his statements that the Mexican government was purposely sending over criminals was challenged. Last year, former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida issued a statement showing sympathy to honest illegal workers: “They broke the law ... it’s not a felony ... it’s an act of love ... an act of commitment to your family." He spoke about the process of legal citizenship and observation of who gets to enter the country using a visa, making him come off as softer than the more outspoken candidates.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Texas Senator Ted Cruz stand for strict border policies, both opposing possible amnesty rights for illegals, revoking sanctuary city privileges, while upholding legal immigration rights. Cruz, in fact, is championing Steinle's Law, a response to the shooting death of Kathryn Steinle proposing that returning criminal illegals must serve a mandatory five-year prison sentence. Bush, still objecting to sanctuary cities, called his immigration policies "a [feasible] driver for high sustained economic growth." Walker's own Wisconsin farm economy relies on the labors of illegal immigrants, profiling the careful balance immigration reform must sway to to keep rural agricultural communities from collapsing.

Military strength and foreign policy were discussions that went hand in hand. Cruz referred to General Martin Dempsey on strategies to take down ISIS in a supposed 90 days, denouncing the decorated military man's beliefs that the "conditions on the ground" such as "poverty [makes young men] susceptible to radicalization," still without disclosing any military strategy solution. Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who has displayed inaccuracies in foreign affairs before, provided staunch positions on military growth, while advocating for undisclosed torture techniques. Odd coming from a person who swore the Hippocratic Oath.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Walker and Paul agree on continuing to send allies like Israel aid, except Paul states, without borrowing money we don’t have from China. Walker aims to open up better relations with Saudi Arabia — whom we have already been catering for since the 1970s — establish militarized borders from NATO countries neighboring Russia and re-install missile defense systems. The Iran nuclear deal seems to be a sketchy subject, especially when even individuals fighting it now view it as an opportunity to put America in a stronger position. While wanting to instill more "crippling sanctions" on Iran, Walker claims Iran and ISIS to be "tied together" — a gigantic mistake, as Iran, a Shiite Muslim nation, strongly opposes ISIS, the terrorist organization fronted by Sunni Muslims. Paul, titling himself as a "Reagan conservative" and acknowledging the late Republican president did business with the Soviets, forgets the entire Iran-Contra affair. Or that America has a past of putting regimes in power that grow to later be our enemies.

Speaking of Ronald Reagan, the economy turned out to be the area of expertise for the candidates holding executive offices as governors. Bush's fallback during economic dialogues was always his success as Florida governor: $19 billion in tax cuts, 1.3 million jobs created, jumping to $9 billion in reserves. Walker is a fine example of how making promises easily backfires, as he has barely put together half of the expected 250,000 jobs for Wisconsin, but almost cut the unemployment in half (8 percent to 4.6 percent). If unable to live up to his standards, Bush will see his first follies as president as he promises 4 percent economic growth with 19 million new jobs.

Entitlement programs are always a hot topic for conservatives, with the egos of former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Christie being pitted against each other. Christie wants to refinance the 71 percent of government funding that is being spent on entitlement and cut Social Security benefits for the privileged making over $200,000. Huckabee argues the $700 billion in Obamacare could be better financed into Medicaid and Social Security, with nearly 20 million Americans relying on Social Security for 90 percent of their income. Describing the plot of a horrible Blaxploitation film from the 1970s, Huckabee also mentions the various “prostitutes, pimps and drug dealers” corrupting our entitlement programs. “Son of Mailman” Kasich even cited Reagan as expanding Medicaid four or five times, something he is doing in Ohio, to properly treat the mentally ill and drug addicts through rehabilitation and not wasting funds through imprisonment. It’s almost like the candidates are conducting a Reagan séance, trying to summon the spirit of the Conservative Saint.

Shrinkage of the federal government is any conservative’s bread and butter. Specifically questioned about the agencies, Huckabee wants to take away the influence of the EPA, IRS and Department of Education and give them to the states. The EPA? Oh, how nice of the environment being mentioned aside from Bush’s plans to strike a deal with the Keystone Pipeline. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Bush both aspire to bring down education to a state or locally operated level. Bush pushes for Common Core while Rubio argues the Common Core curriculum creates competition for test scores and standards to be met. Rubio analogized local education reform to a curriculum being changed by just the power of a single parent against the school board. If education is handed down to local or state levels, and it is that easy to shift the tides of what children are learning, confirmed sciences such as evolution or climate change and controversial reading material can just as easily be thrown out of classrooms. Higher standards can be met without common core, but easy dictation of what is taught in the classroom can be just as easily manipulated.

In efforts to prevent future terrorist attacks, Christie fully supports the NSA’s collection of phone records. Christie was met with swift opposition by Paul, chanting such breaches of the American people’s Fourth Amendment rights should be preceded by an issued warrant. Understandable that Christie knows firsthand how the Patriot Act has benefited America, as a U.S. attorney appointed by President Bush the day before the September 11th attacks. Paul raised valid points that a defense mechanism like the NSA will not discriminate friend or foe, all of our secrets will be on file. In the name of our country, the grasp of the federal government can extend past our own civil liberties, putting many conservatives at unease.

Abortion and gay marriage are subjects of choice and lifestyle, and they're only place in politics is to win political favor over voters. Walker and Bush have both defunded their states' Planned Parenthood organizations, with Walker going as far to make abortion illegal even in the case of the mother’s potential death. Republicans have had a history of not understanding the female anatomy before. The son of a mailman himself, Kasich, even confusingly said that despite voting against gay marriage bills, went to a gay friend’s wedding. As if Huckabee already did not subscribe to reason, while discussing matters of transgender soldiers being openly accepted in the military, he said, “I’m not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines makes our country safer.” While dehumanizing the purpose of the army down to killing people and breaking things. Huckabee did make a good point about why the Supreme Court should not be the supreme being on decisions. Better yet, why should Huckabee be the supreme being on matters that do not concern him and are not his decisions to make?

The individual’s identity is a factor lacking in the Republican Party where straying from the carbon copy path can lead to exile. Cruz, a Tea Partier, offers harsher immigration policies than Rubio, and they are both Hispanic Americans. Cruz was not even born in this country — he was born in Canada. But it is surprising that Carson, a black man, has not spoken out more on issues of race. The last African-American Republican candidate was Herman Cain, and he quoted "Pokemon: The Movie", Carson has called the Black Lives Matter movement "silly" explaining that all lives matter. Obvious and redundant, without speaking up on race relations in America more, Carson's statement can be almost ironically, and ineffectively, reduced to "can't we all just get along" without addressing what divides us as a society.

No talk of a pseudo science like climate change, race or income inequality, and certainly nothing about gun control, Cruz's favorite way to prepare breakfast. The questions were capped by a Facebook post asking if any of the candidates "received ... word from God on what they should do," a subject that should not hold a seat in how politicians act. Even Carson's "proportional taxation" program is based on the religious tithe, or taking 1/10 of what one has.

This is what I watched, and this is what I read. Feel free to disagree with me, just know that the election is not a popularity contest over whose personality we like the best, it's to decide the next (temporary) leader of the free world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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