Truth and False Realities at the Fourth Republican Debate
November 13, 2015
Fact checkers have been exhausted as the Republican candidates threw out all kinds of false realities in the Tuesday debate. The candidates, of course, are responsible for the words coming out of their mouths. Moreover, the little revolt the candidates staged following the third debate over the attempts of the moderators to follow-up and get them to answer questions had a significant impact on assuring that the moderators of the fourth Republican candidate debate kept a light touch on rules and kept follow-up questions to a minimum.
Nonetheless, the candidate’s affiliation with and training by the party that invented weapons of mass destruction, denied climate change, fabricated a caricature of their hero Reagan…… and on and on now has created candidates who--without any challenge during debates (the equivalent of a job interview)-- to propound answers without any factual basis. Consider Dr. Ben Carson assertion that China is in Syria; Carly Fiorina’s claim that big business is the result of big government; and Marco Rubio’s statement that vocational enterprise is held in contempt. (Note that his evidence for this statement, “welders earn more than philosophers” is empirically wrong.)
The Washington Post listed 15 statements that strained credibility or were flat-out wrong. The major themes were that the candidates exaggerated how much the democrats would raise taxes, how easily illegal immigrants can be removed, and the negative impact of raising the minimum wage.
However, somehow glimmers of truth shined through. The premise that we can or should deport millions of illegal immigrants was held up as ludicrous by John Kasich and George Bush. These two establishment candidates also spoke of the Middle East as complex - that military might is not the only answer. Rand Paul reminded Marco Rubio that increasing military expenses increases the deficit and reminded Donald Trump that China was not part of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. However, there is little reason to hope that the base will reward Kasich, Bush, or Paul with the nomination; it may be that they’ll all be gone from the stage soon.
Pundits and the main stream media persist in assigning fault solely to these candidates. Surely, the Republican Party must bear some of the blame in their pandering to the fantasies of their base.