Before I finished watching the debate last night I'd already made up my mind to write a little about it. To start with, anyone who has been following my blog for a long time will know that I think all the Republican candidates are blatantly unsuitable for the position of President of the United States; still, I shall endeavor to be fair(ish).
So, business tycoon and The Apprentice host Donald Trump - what to say about him? Well, I thought Trump's explanations for his donating to candidates on all sides of the political spectrum were interesting, stating that it's a problem with the system that someone like him can buy out politicians and have them perform favors for him. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul noted near the beginning that Trump "buys and sells" politicians. Regardless of Trump's other rhetoric, surely the "buying and selling" of politicians is an issue worth investigating and discussing?
All of the candidates appeared to be anti-choice, which I thought was extremely inappropriate since they were all men and no consideration was afforded whatsoever to women's views on the subject; I think the obsession with trying to curtail women's reproductive rights needs to stop. In addition, I question anyone who claims to be "pro-life" yet places military action ahead of diplomacy.
Speaking of military action, most of the candidates appeared to be against any sort of deal with Iran, although Paul noted that he didn't "discount" negotiations and Trump pointed out that he had been against the Iraq War from twelve years ago. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan - both Republicans - made deals with far more intimidating opponents than Iran. Why single out President Obama? Why do they think that the world's problems can be solved through war?
Out of all the candidates, the one who seemed the most reasonable at face value was John Kasich, the current Governor of Ohio. I say this because of his embracing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in his state and his answer to how he'd explain his marriage equality stance (against it) to his daughters. Of course, I oppose his opposition but I did find his wanting to respect anyone, regardless of who they are, commendable. Kasich showed a far more tolerant attitude towards members of the LGBT community than most of his fellow candidates did, especially former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, who stopped short of saying he was against transgendered people serving in the military.
There was a question that bothered me, which came from a Facebook user, namely the one that asked the candidates if they'd received "any word from God on what they should do and take care of first". While all of the Republican candidates are religious, this question both excluded people of non-Christian faiths/no faith and heavily implied that the candidates should carry out actions as president "because God told them to" rather than in the best interests of the nation. Those who answered the question avoided any specifics, however, possibly to not want to give the question too much legitimacy and end up alienating voters.
Some other points: as this was a Republican debate, I heard the terms along the lines of "tax cuts", "balanced budgets" and "job creation" on a multitude of occasions. Also, I heard the term "Obama-Clinton" mentioned several times, as though the candidates believed they were running against an existing Clinton presidency. Oh, and the argument between Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was entertaining, too.
The post-debate polls declared Trump the winner of the debate while pundits downplayed his performance in favor of the other candidates. The long-term effects of this debate and its aftermath have yet to be revealed.