Here's the unvarnished truth of the matter: the national political parties have failed us. Out of 15 original candidates, the GOP has Blow-hard Trump, Far-Right Cruz and also-ran Kasich (more than a little ironic that the only guy capable of doing the job is relegated to playing spoiler). The Dems have a socialist and Hillary. This is as good as it gets? The most powerful nation in the world, nay, the most powerful nation in the history of the world is about to be governed by one of these clowns? This is as good as it gets?
Look, if Cruz is the nominee, the center-right electoral core of the GOP is voting Dem. The guys is a peddler of fear. If Trump is nominated, the conservatives will stay home and the majority of the center-right core is voting Dem or staying home. Kasich would garner the support of most of the GOP and, but for his strident anti-abortion stance, he would pull support out of the center-left group. If Hill is nominated, the left fringe of the Dems will stay home but she might pull lots of general election support from the center. If Sanders is nominated, it's a train wreck for the Dems and maybe the country.
People are "Angry at Washington." I get it but this isn't the way to fix it. People are only going to get angrier because ain't nothing going to happen next January to change the situation. People like Trump because he is a "straight shooter." The positions that he is willing to articulate are messaged perfectly. He doesn't like illegal immigration. Solution? Build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it. Simple and straightforward. Kind of the opposite of "tear down this wall" but same simple delivery.
This "straight shooter" deal is an interesting concept because we do need a politician who doesn't BS the people. However, that leader needs to also be forthright in messaging and campaign on outcomes. Goals. If you peddle fear, like Cruz or "free stuff for everyone" like Bernster, you might get elected but you've set yourself up for failure. You can only be against everything. That isn't going to produce useful outcomes. This will produce four more years of executive orders and crazy talk on the radio, Fox and MSNBC.
I hate to sound like a broken record but we need a leader like either an early Reagan….or maybe the early Clinton. Both guys did things that I didn't like (and in Clinton's case I didn't like him much at all). However, both guys had the courage to do things that weren't all that popular in their own parties back then and that would be unthinkable right now. Reagan – the man lauded by all republicans – raised taxes 8 (!!) times and as much as it burns my butt to say it, Clinton (a democrat) was the last President to balance the budget. Look, let's be honest here: The number one problem facing the country isn't part of our current electoral dialog – it's the debt and defect spending. It isn't part of this process because it's hard to sell a solution to that. It is far easier to talk about the second amendment being wiped out or free college for everyone or building a damn wall.
Fixing that problem will force the country to have a discussion about priorities and finances. It is going to be hard. It is going to take some time and the people are going to have to support some stuff they don't like. Republicans and Democrats alike are going to have to be disciplined enough not to scrap budget limits because they want to do something new and shiny. We need a disciplined leader who appeals to our better lights. A person who starts a discussion about goals and solutions. Not fear. The current crop of candidates is largely an embarrassment and, with the possible exception of Kasich, not capable of governing the country in any meaningful manner.
We need a reset button because none of these folks are the right one.