The 2016 Presidential Debates Show a Clear Contrast Between the Parties

The differences between the performance of the Democrats and the Republicans in 2016 presidential debates are obvious. Two obvious things are the number of candidates and the tone that each party demonstrates. These two things reveal certain inherent attributes of the political parties that clearly distinguish them.

This may very well be the first presidential debates where the number of candidates competing to get their party nomination paints a revealing picture. There are three candidates for the Democrats and a much larger number (now down to seven for the main debate) for the Republicans. Why this big difference? The answer is that where there is a leadership failure in a political organization you will find a power struggle. This failure creates power struggle or vacuum that sucks just about everybody in the party to fill the vacuum.

What is interesting to note is that most of the Republican Party 2016 candidates have a history of behavior that in presidential elections decades ago would have quickly knock them out of the race. For example, Donald Trump’s frequent insults of different groups of people, Sen. Ted Cruz’s unpatriotic record (signing letter to the Iran Ayatollah to scuttle the Nuclear Deal, shutting down the government, and even his Birther problem), and Gov. Christie’s incivility in talking with people who oppose him.

If there is a label that best describes the tone of the Republican candidates, it is their petty incivility towards each other and towards President Obama. When they refer to the president (which seems like every sentence), they do so in a disrespectful manner (this president, Obama, Barack Obama). Their constant bashing and demonizing of the president exposes their lack of leadership and statesmanship.

What the three democratic candidates demonstrate in their debates is completely opposite to the Republicans. They demonstrate maturity and respect for each other. Unlike some Democrats who have distanced themselves from the president, they give the president credit for his accomplishments. Voters should not ignore the maturity level of the debaters. More than half the Republican candidates lack political maturity by virtue of not being in political office long enough, their age, and their lack of meaningful accomplishments.

With voters in a state of fear from ISIS terrorism, confusion from too much propaganda, and anger from the failure of the Congress, the 2016 election offers two things: more of the same or an opportunity to reverse a trend that has been undermining democracy and corrupting the political system. If you listen to the Republican candidates the former is likely to continue and for the democrats the latter. The choice is yours Americans.