The Republican Party has finally learned the lesson. This time, the Top 11 GOP candidates are a very dynamic set (those familiar with me, know I used to call every GOP primaries the Geriatrics Convention).
Even though the primaries are still in their early stages, it is possible to start separating the wheat from the chaff.
The Trump Trojan Horse
The electorate is tired of lies and thus people are excited with Donald Trump's political incorrectness, however Donald Trump is not politically incorrect because being so means having the sufficient knowledge, understanding and wisdom to know when to apply it - He doesn't. Nevertheless, Donald Trump has called people's attention to the Republican Race (which was smart), he also injected a dynamics that the GOP lacked, at least, in the two last presidential races – in that sense, he has done a terrific job. Notwithstanding, if you pay attention, Mr Trump never answers a question with consistence: his usual answer is “I'm a business man”...“I'm a successful business man”...“I know/work with some terrific people” – we're happy about his success but being a president demands more substance.
After sifting Mr Trump's words, we need to admit that to say you travelled around the world means nothing (plenty of people travel around the world and they are not necessarily qualified to lead nations); to say that you know several people around the world doesn't testify to your diplomatic credentials (who are those people? In which circumstances did you meet them? Did you ever bribed them, did you owe them favours? What will be the implications of those acquaintances when you sit in office?); to say that you get along with everybody is superficial (will you try to get along with everybody as a commander-in-chief? If so, how do you intend to make America stronger if you're getting in office with an appeasing demeanour?). In sum, the present conjuncture demands more than platitudes.
It's troubling for a presidential candidate not to know who the leaders of the main threat to America are. Mr Trump explained himself by saying “these are Arab names” that only a very few people know of – what a ridiculous explanation for a Prospective President.
Donald Trump may very well be turned into a Trojan Horse: he's offered as an alternative to the conservative electorate (suffering from Washington fatigue), entertain them with his pseudo-brazenness, become the republican nominee and then make it easier for the Democrat candidate to win.
If the electorate wants Outsiders...
If conservatives are that tired of politicians, it should be natural for them to focus on the next two outsiders: Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. But which one is White House material?
Ben Carson is an intelligent outspoken man, with a pleasant sense of humour, whose ideas are good (for instance, his tax plans, based on the Tithe, are something to take into consideration) and who seems to put emphasis on the people's welfare. He also has some foreign policy positions that are interesting although they would always need to be placed within a military context to fully work (he wouldn't be able to escape that). Nevertheless, we can tell that Mr Carson needs to gather more information, more knowledge, on security issues, for instance.
(NB: what would be the strategic advantage of electing Ben Carson? It would kill for good the Democrat argument that Republicans' opposition to President Obama was based on racism, not on policy)
Carly Fiorina is an intelligent woman, not so outspoken as Ben Carson but far more confident in a wider range of issues than him. We can tell she comes from a business background by the way she conveys her message (as if she's doing a corporate presentation). Mrs Fiorina is strong and she works hard not to fall prey to the feminist mumbo-jumbo (indicating she'd be the President of all Americans, not just the women's).
(NB: what would be the strategic advantage of electing Carly Fiorina? It would kill for good the Democrat argument that Republicans are anti-Women and that only Democrats would elect a woman for President)
The Symbol of Tradition
I have heard voices against Political Dynasties. With all due respect, those people don't know what they are talking about for many times political dynasties is exactly what a country needs due to that family's vast experience, network and foundations.
Jeb Bush is not being given the proper credit just because he is a member of the Bush Family (a family that has served the United States of America and contributed to much of its success). Jeb Bush is a man who thinks for himself and he deserves a chance to be heard.
John Ellis Bush is an intelligent, reasonable, experienced, conservative man who has the right posture, who speaks at least a second language and who not only represents a symbol of tradition (in a time when American tradition is under threat) but also bestows a jovial tone to the Republican campaign.
(NB: what would be the strategic advantage of electing Jeb Bush? It would kill for good the Democrat argument that Republicans want to put an all-White family in the White House and it would represent a real political dynasty as opposed to the fake political Clinton-dynasty)
The Libertarian Honesty
Rand Paul should be given an opportunity for his honesty, but the electorate just doesn't fancy him much: I'd like, however, to congratulate him for being the only one who displayed the courage to say the truth about Saudi Arabia (is this an indicative that he, and perhaps Ben Carson, are the only ones who do not have strings attached to Gulf money?).
Final Notes on Other Candidates
Marco Rubio is a young man who does his homework and whose knowledge range is wide; however, he has been repeating his political mantras so much that, in the CNN debate, he neglected the fact that the Syrian civil War started 4 years and 6 months ago (not 3 years and a half, which showed that he's been repeating the same conversation since 2014). He also sweats a lot (reminding me of the Portuguese socialist Obama-Wannabe candidate, António Costa, who also sweats from all his pores when he talks); and sweat is an indication of either telling lies or of not believing on what is being said. What a shame.
Ted Cruz and Chris Christie are great professionals of the law – if their pride would allow them, they should be considered either for a running mate position or for national security advising positions – but they don't seem White House material.
Mike Huckabee is not running for president, not really. He's just there to pass the conservative message and he's very good at it.
Scott Walker was a disappointment, I'm afraid. While he's strong (proven by his success in his state) he didn't seem to know much about foreign policy and national security. I guess he needed more time to prepare. His decision to quit the race was wise and I hope he tries again in the future.
Governor Kasich is an experienced professional but I think Ohio needs him more than the United States do. But he's vital in securing Ohio for a GOP candidate and he's the skills to do just that.
The 2016 presidential race is a very important one, therefore strategy must come first.