Enough of sophisticated talking points in candidate debates! This year’s contenders — at least those who are left — have shifted to full attack mode.
At times during the Republican debate Feb. 25 in Houston, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were all yelling at once and at one another. John Kasich and Ben Carson had to fight to get in a few words.
Other than showing their passion for running and their frayed nerves with one another, do these exchanges do us any good? Aren’t they just a little cathartic, because we’re all frustrated with the state of our government?
As we’ve seen with the rise of Donald Trump, these primaries are more about showing strength than honesty or intellect.
The primaries have become an embarrassing circus act. Warring over who has more bankruptcies or who wants more war and torture does not elevate the debate to a level that is worthy of a presidential contest.
I’ll never vote for these jokers.
Blerim Elmazi, Arlington
The “hot debates” have brought out the best in verbal pugilism from all the candidates.
We have a candidate who tries to emasculate his opponents. Another one harps about his chief rival’s need to produce his tax returns, and the third accuses the front-runner of lying and being unqualified for the presidency.
Of course, all this theater is an adrenaline rush for the campaign. But it’s polarizing our country and voters.
Delores Cantrell, Fort Worth
Some of the candidates remind me of small children who bicker and insult each other.
Also, their bickering with each other reminds me of the words of an old popular song: “Anything you can do I can do better.”
George J. Anthony, Fort Worth
I believe it was Karl Rove who said, “If you can’t say something nice about yourself, then tear down the other guy.” It sounds like the Republican candidates are doing just that.
One thing I do know is we won’t see any real positive changes in the future until we get rid of career politicians. Until then, it’s just going to be politics as usual.
Dirty tricks have been part of American politics almost from the beginning. This year has certainly lived up to expectations, as candidates on both sides have leveled numerous questionable attacks.
This year one such trick was particularly disturbing. Supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz photo-shopped an image falsely showing Sen. Marco Rubio shaking hands with President Obama.
It’s deeply troubling that factions of one party would consider portraying a gesture of respect offered by one party’s leader to the leader of the other party (who also happens to be the president) to be an almost treasonous political act.
Richard L. Cole, Arlington
I, like most Americans, am sickened and embarrassed by the juvenile behavior of the GOP presidential candidates.
It’s also shameful and disgraceful to those who served, protected and died for this nation through the centuries. We’ve become the laughing stock of the world.
These GOP candidates call themselves “conservative Republicans.” If this is what “conservative Republicans” are, we certainly don’t want any of them in our government.
They should call themselves what they are: “juvenile radicals.”
Jim Denton, Gatesville
For years after becoming the United States of America, we’ve worked to be seen as civilized, educated and on par or above older nations.
We wore the “Ugly American” banner for a long time. Now I see every candidate being painted with that banner.
June Coleman, Fort Worth
The Republican Party has finally lost its collective mind. In their mindless effort to bring down Trump, they’ve forgotten an important rule in politics: Don’t eat your own.
The constant bashing of each other is only helping put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
In 1980, after hearing Ronald Reagan speak in Fort Worth, I became a Republican. A vision for the future was his message.
In the last 15 years, however, we seem to have lost our way to the point where our choices for president appear to be appealing to the lowest common denominator.
On the GOP side, the leader is a narcissistic billionaire with no plan and no vision other than superlatives, which mean nothing, and a penchant to degrade all who disagree with him. On the Democratic side is a woman who isn’t truthful and appears to think she can get away with almost anything.
Is this the best America has to offer?
Rick Weintraub, Arlington
Is it just me or does the current political scene have an early 1930s Germany ring to it?
The mass rallies, the uncritical adoring fans, the arrogance, the smugness, the promises made without any details on how they will be kept all have a familiar ring to this history buff.
James R. Anderson,
North Richland Hills
In 1933, Adolf Hitler received only 33 per cent of the popular vote in the last honest elections before he was appointed chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg.
The U.S. is a constitutional republic. But if Trump becomes the Republican nominee, beats Hillary Clinton and becomes president, we will see the United States on the road that Nazi Germany followed in the 1930s.
I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my 73 years, but if Trump is the GOP nominee, I will not vote or will vote for Clinton.
Dave Waldrop, Hurst
A Donald Trump presidency is the worst thing that could happen to America.
We don’t need a president who makes fun of disabled people and wants to ban people because of their religion.
Marilyn Gabler, Fort Worth
I’ve come to the conclusion that Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz are the front-runners because of their racist views and comments.
They’ve run their campaigns on immigration issues because they realized that this will get them the most votes.
Building walls along borders between friendly countries is not the answer. This is only bringing out racism and anti-immigrants in this country.
Manny Sanchez, Fort Worth
The presidential debates have been a major disappointment. They look more like an ad for professional wrestling.
The candidates should discuss our country’s problems and proposed solutions. Instead, it’s name-calling, attacks on other candidates and constant interruptions of each other.
Walter H. Delashmit, Justin
The debates are beneficial and cathartic. The people are frustrated with our government and want a fighter for the American cause.
Donald Trump did open doors for dialogue on political correctness, illegal immigration and our financial crisis.
At first he was reviled for raising those issues. But before long the other candidates also addressed them. I doubt most of the candidates would have expressed views they now espouse had not The Donald ventured there first.
Eva Snapka, Arlington