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Opinion: Are Chris Christie and Ben Carson Too Nice For The Ruthless GOP Field?

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By: Jeffrey Newholm

One of hall of fame baseball manager Leo Durocher’s most famous quips was “nice guys finish last”.

Well that certainly seems to have held true in the 2016 Republican primary race. Voters have spurned candidates who tried to act cordially towards their opponents while choosing one specializing in demagoguery.

Chris Christie is out of the race and Ben Carson is on his way out because both refused to vilify their opponents to build themselves up. Christie made a point to respectfully disagree with his opponents in the debates, starting out his statements by saying things like “I like you Kasich, but let me explain why I’m the better candidate”.

But two key acts of his prevented him from gaining traction. One was the “Bridgegate” scandal, which is an understandable reason to dislike him. The other is when Christie had the audacity to treat President Obama kindly when he visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy and allegedly went so far as to hug him.

Well how dare he!

So politicians aren’t allowed to treat an opponent with respect, they have to both dress down his policies and trash him as a person to boot.

Carson initially seemed a legitimate challenger for the nomination, even climbing all the way to first in November (according to Real Clear Politics’ poll average). Like Christie, much of his decline was his own doing: according to news reports, one of his staff members got too close to him, starting giving him bad advice, and many other top assistants left in frustration.

To bounce back, Carson needed a strong performance in the last two debates. Predictably, he didn’t get it. Carson didn’t get much air time and when he did get some he kept a calm and cool demeanor and didn’t butt in on anyone else. In the last debate, vicious shouting matches broke out between Trump, Bush, Rubio and Cruz while Carson kept to himself.

In a CBS News poll, only eight percent of respondents thought Carson won the debate (ahead of only Bush) while Rubio finished in first with 32% and Trump in second at 24%. Voters aren’t attracted to candidates who treat opponents as equals and speak with quiet confidence.

No, they’d prefer Trump’s epic bombast. And that’s concerning.

Trump is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On the surface he’s silly and foolish, but endearingly so, like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin. Inside, however, he’s a monster. Any supporter of his who’s not a WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant) needs to seriously reconsider. His feud with Megyn Kelly stems from Kelly calling out Trump for his numerous sexist comments, all of which Politifact confirms he said.

He twice retweeted a message from a white supremacist, neo-Nazi Hitler sympathizer. His Islamaphobia and absurd foreign policy talk is already tearing the country apart and could have disastrous consequences if elected. If elected, Trump said he would have “absolutely no choice” but to close down some mosques.

Trump seems to have not heard of the First Amendment. He also said he would “bomb the sh** out of” ISIS. Trump may make being anti-PC a strong point, but a President can’t speak recklessly about foreign countries. If President Trump made a clever remark about the leaders of Russia or Iran, it could lead to war or incite even more hatred for America by terror cells.

And the scary thing is, Trump could easily win.

Rubio seemed to be making headway as the establishment alternative to Trump, but a terrible exchange with Christie ruined his progress. Now Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and Bush are arranged in a circular firing squad, all fighting to bring each other down. All four are fragmenting the Anti-Trump vote.

Republicans’ preference for bombast ruined two presidential challengers and could lead to the nomination of a tyrant. Please Republicans, before it’s too late: come to your senses.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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