Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Cruz v Trump in the outrage stakes

In the United States, senator Ted Cruz and speculative developer Donald Trump seem to be trying to outdo each other in a race to make the most outrageous statement by a Republican figure. Since neither is likely to be nominated as their party's presidential contender, as either one would be swept away by any of the Democrat favourites, we on this side of the Atlantic can laugh at the performances. The laughter might be a little uncomfortable, though: rather like enjoying a set by Bernard Manning.

So far Cruz is winning. In the wake of the San Bernardino shootings, in response to president Obama's measured address to the nation during which he again asked for gun laws to be looked at, Cruz said:
You don't stop the bad guys by taking away our guns. You stop the bad guys by using our guns.

Trump tried to outdo him in religious bigotry. The New York Times reported:
Donald J. Trump called on Monday for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on” after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., an extraordinary escalation of rhetoric aimed at voters’ fears about members of the Islamic faith.

But Cruz had been almost as forthright:
If my father were part of a theocratic and political movement like radical Islamism that promotes murdering anyone who doesn’t share your extreme faith or forcibly converting them, then [his anti-immigration stance makes] perfect sense.
though talk-show host Seth Meyers had this great counter.

There have been earlier pearls of wisdom from Donald Trump:
  • on global warming; The concept of global warming was invented by and for the Chinese in order to make the United States uncompetitive;
  • On his doubts over Barack Obama's birthplace: Three weeks ago...I thought he was probably born in this country. Right now, I have some real doubts. (Trump still professes to be unconvinced that Obama is a Christian.)
  • On Mexican immigrants: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards, and they're telling us what we're getting.
Perhaps Cruz does not have that range, but in his zealous campaign against any form of national health service in his homeland, he branded those who accepted the inevitability of Obamacare as appeasers in the Neville Chamberlain mode.

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