GOP presidential race full of worthy contenders

Seldom do I respond to op-eds or letters to the editor, but former county Democrat Party chair Michael Adkins’ op-ed Aug. 13, entitled “Exactly who is the GOP’s frontrunner?” cannot go without a Republican response.

Adkins characterizes the Republican presidential field as having created a circus. Quite the contrary — the Republican bench is deep with experience, vision, an understanding of our country’s problems and varied backgrounds to give Republican voters the ability to make educated choices.

Talk about a circus — we have to look no further than the anxiety in Democrat camps over the daily revelations about Hillary Clinton’s illegal server and her emails that had been stored on it. Now the FBI is investigating. How many Republican presidential candidates are being investigated by the FBI right now?

As I write this, there is serious talk about Vice President Joe Biden entering the race. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is also touted as a possibility. Finally, to show the concern Democrats feel about their falling star, there is also talk of Al Gore being recruited. Now, that is desperation.

Adkins quoted a pundit who said Trump’s lead in the polls is a sign of the weakness of the Republican Party today. That is a complete misreading of what’s going on. Hopefully by calling attention to it, Adkins was not implying he believed it. He’s usually a much better political analyst than that.

Trump’s rise in the polls, as well as support for non-politicians Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, is an expression of voter anger at President Obama’s liberal policies and his unilateral ultimatums. Voters want a president who recognizes the country’s problems, will abandon political correctness, will act and not just pull out the overused excuse, “It’s Bush’s fault!”

To imply that the Republican Party is weak overlooks the fact that the GOP controls both houses of Congress, has 33 out of 50 governors of states and has control of 23 state legislatures. Democrats control only seven legislatures, and Republicans hold majorities of at least one chamber in 14 other states. These statistics hardly show a weak GOP.

Adkins talks about the Jeb Bush money machine. Really? Have you looked at Hillary’s bank account lately? We can take this even further and look at the conflicts with the Clinton Foundation, which would take more space than we have here to discuss.

I am proud of our party’s strong lineup of diverse candidates who offer educated voters a wide variety of options. Hillary Clinton, the probable Democrat candidate, is avoiding staking out positions on important issues, and she is limiting debates where she might not be in control. The GOP offers debates and options, not a Rose Garden coronation.

Look at the Democratic field so far — a candidate who polls say is considered not trustworthy, a socialist and two others whose names are unrecognizable to most Americans.

Much has been said about the fairness or unfairness of the first Republican debate. First, let’s be realistic; presidential debates are not debates in the truest sense of the word, so to expect a true debate is unrealistic.

I am always glad to see moderators pose tough questions to candidates. The issues are tough, and we deserve to know how well the candidate grasps them. We also need to see if the candidate has the demeanor to be effective and to represent this country. A person’s past is also fair game — that is who they are, and we deserve to see that.

All three non-politician Republican candidates — Fiorina, Carson and Trump — were asked tough questions that some said were unfair. I disagree. The politician candidates have public records that we can see to help in our decisions. The other three do not, and voters deserve to see what makes them tick.

I agree with many: Carly Fiorina won the night. She is direct without being crude. She has a grasp of the issues. She doesn’t cut the knees out from under anyone that criticizes her. Her approach is refreshing, and she certainly deserves to be in the top tier of candidates.

The next weeks will be fascinating for those of us who love to watch campaigns play out. Will Hillary’s “not trustworthy” numbers continue to rise? What will the FBI find? Will the Democrats find an alternative candidate? What will Trump do, and where will his numbers go?

If you think the Republican presidential primary is a circus, join the circus train — it’s an educational ride and fun at that.