Has our nation gone batty? Have the Republican candidates so overwhelmed the voting populace that someone normal, someone who might appeal to a less strident audience, someone who doesn't spout catch phrases might be an acceptable choice?
Where is John Hunstman when I need him? I don't agree with him on everything, but I could sleep at night were he our President. He was too reasonable, I guess, to succeed last time. This time he didn't even show up.
John Kasich gave a reasoned, nuanced answer to the issue of gay marriage at the first debate, and received no publicity for it at all. He spoke from the heart, and from civic pride; he seemed to understand the situation in a way that his fellow candidates did not. He responded like a man who has lived a full life. He wasn't looking for the Supreme Court to validate his lifestyle. He seemed able to accept the reality that many kinds of humans make up America.
That's a concept the other candidates seem to have trouble understanding. They seem to share a we're right and they are so very very wrong attitude. That's fine for a softball team, but it falls short of the standard I would set for the leader of our country. After all, they are running for the Presidency of the entire United States, not just those whose religious and moral principles fall in line with their own.
Reasonableness is lacking regarding ObamaCare, the Iran nuclear deal, and, above all, when discussing Israel. Have you seen Ann Coulter's rant? The one where she tweeted How many f'ing Jews are there in this country, anyway? Foul language from a member of the political press is cheap and unworthy, but that's not what irks me about her comment. I have to wonder: Is she truly that ignorant, or is she mindlessly feeding religious animosity?
I don't believe that any of the candidates on the stage were pandering to the Jews in the audience. I don't know a lot of Jews who are comfortable with the Republican platform on any level, and support for Israel may not be enough for them if Bernie Sanders ends up running on the Democratic ticket. By standing with Israel, Ms. Coulter, those candidates were speaking directly to the religious right, those who are waiting for the Rapture... whose wonderfulness certainly does not include the Jews.
Meanwhile, the world is crumbling around us, and I don't think that massing arms on the border of Ukraine will do anything other than distract an increasingly distractable public. We flit from crisis to crisis - is anyone still interested in the three men who shot an Illinois State Trooper and are still running free?
I'm looking for gravitas. I'm looking for the ability to make subtle distinctions. I want to imagine my President holding my welfare above poll numbers. I'd like to respect the person, even if we disagree on policy.
I don't want a President who spouts nonsense about vaccines and autism. I don't want a President who proclaims that doctored videos are the basis for sound health care policy. I don't want someone who knows that God has told him what to do; in some circles hearing voices giving directions is cause for alarm.
I want to feel good about my government for a change. Is that so much to ask?