Politics 101

The Republican Presidential Primary still has everyone astonished and perplexed, so much so, that the GOP establishment is considering bringing Willard Romney out of retirement to challenge the two primary leaders, Ben Carson and Donald Trump. From pundits to the media savvy gurus, are quite bewildered. Jeb Bush, considered claimant to the Presidency, because of the family name, is languishing in the polls behind his protégé, Marco Rubio; Ted Cruz and the Carly Fiorina, as the other pretenders do not seem to have a chance against the apparent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Never in the history of a Presidential contest has two completely outsiders, who have never held an office, so much as a dog catcher, have led the race for this long in contending for the highest office in the land. Donald Trump’s skill of soaking up the spotlight with his outrageous ‘hot air’ remarks and capitalizing on the weaknesses, and marginalizing his opponents, is just genius. He controls the narrative and discerns what drive the frustrated mostly white primary voters, while the other candidates merely follow his lead. His deportation rhetoric, is like fodder for the racist wing of the Republican Party and they suck it up with glee.

In the case of Ben Carson, no one can understand his popularity. His news conferences are a disaster; his non-sensible answers to simple questions are indecipherable. The media have some doubts whether he is really running for the nomination. Except for his participation in the debates, he spends his time on a tour signing books and meeting his multitude of followers.

Ben, is under some scrutiny for trying to convince the non-believers that he lived a ‘thug life’ as a teenager, that he made attempts to stab a friend or a family member; tried to hit his mother over the head with a hammer; and saved his white friends from danger during the Detroit riots, however, these stories cannot be substantiated. If these accounts are true, the young Carson was very fortunate to escape the penal justice system reserved for Black Americans; and if these yarns are just ‘whoppers’, his assertion that becoming a Christian changed his life, is just a parable.

All candidates invoke the name of God in their quest for the leader of the free world. Yet, there is no reference of God in the ‘United States Declaration of Independence’ or in the ‘Constitution’. A few of the Founding Father had no religious affiliations such as Thomas Jefferson, was an anti-clerical Christian, who constructed the Jefferson Bible, commonly known as ‘The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth’ by excluding all of the miracles of Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels which contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and Benjamin Franklin. Others, notably Thomas Paine, who challenged institutionalized religion in the, ‘Age of Reasons’, were deists.

After listening to this crop of Republican candidates, you would believe that only a Christian can become President. According to the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof……’, so therefore a Muslim, an Atheist or a Buddhist can be President.

The founding fathers outlined a moral vision and a philosophy for the country to survive and strive; and the foundation of a free society. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence reads:

‘We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…………………….’

This has been called, ‘one of the best known sentences in the English language’, and has become a well-known statement on human rights. Over the years, the United States of American have found it difficult to live up to this ideal.

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