America’s True Conservative

By: Ken Hughes

I just watched a rerun of the latest Republican debate hosted by Anderson Cooper and CNN. There were moments when it was very embarrassing. It was obvious CNN hosts had choreographed the debate to reflect their Liberal bias. John McCain was selected to be the hero of the debate, Rudy Giuliani the villain, Mitt Romney the religious nut and Fred Thompson the village idiot. Each question directed at a particular candidate was designed to get them to commit to some unforgivable political sin to be spread across cyberspace as tomorrow’s sound bite.

One question directed at Mike Huckabee, “What would Jesus do about the death penalty/” I thought the question was in poor taste however I liked the way Huckabee answered it, “Jesus was to smart to get into politics.” Mitt Romney proved changing ones mind is not necessarily political suicide. In spite of the sophomoric way the debate was formatted I though each candidate did very well.

In the opinion of the MSM the Republican nominee will be either Giuliani or Romney that leaves the rest as background just taking up space in the debates. It seems the four lesser candidates aren’t deserving of an opinion, my question is in that case why even bother showing up.

When we do a little rough math we see how impossible these debates have become for a candidate to get any traction from them. The debates last 90 minutes, 18 minutes are taken up by the network for commercials and other purposes. Of the remaining 72 minutes the host takes roughly 36 minutes asking questions. The remaining 36 minutes must then be divided among the eight candidates on stage. Statically each candidate has 4.5 minutes to get his message across. That’s in a fair and balanced debate but debates hosted by News Networks are neither fair of balanced. Air time is managed down to micro seconds. Half of the eight candidates on stage were totally ignored. There has to be a more fair way to conduct debates.

Ron Paul is perhaps the only true conservative among the Republican candidates. His problem is he’s too conservative for today’s politics. Dr. Paul would have been a good candidate to run against FDR in 1932 when all this liberalism was getting started. Unfortunately Ron Paul is an ideologue devoted to a philosophy that’s passed us by. I applaud Dr. Paul for his stand on nearly every issue however in the real world of international diplomacy and trade we must be pragmatic and accept the need for change and expanding our mental horizons, American can’t survive in a vacuum.

If I were the eight candidates I would certainly attend but I would ignore the hosts and take my 4.5 minutes to express an opinion on my favorite issue. I would get together with my fellow candidates prior to the debate and set up a system allowing each attendee to have is or her 4.5 minutes uninterrupted.

If each Republican Candidate would agree to such a format it’s a given the nature and the questions in a debate would change in a heartbeat. Networks are like palm trees they bend over nearly double before they will allow themselves to be uprooted.

For as bad as the CNN / Republican debate was it was better than any of the Democratic debates where they play, who gets to the road kill first with each other.

Will Rogers the famous 20th century [Cherokee] political philosopher once said he didn’t belong to any organized political party he was a registered Democrat. That’s as true today as it was in 1932 when he made that joke or observation at the Democratic National Convention.

Until the national conventions this political haggling is all foreplay. I can’t recall how many times we’ve seen the media and front running candidate’s trip over their own words and go down in flames between the first primary and the convention.


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