It’s that time of the year again. Time to start watching presidential debates and getting to know the candidates. We have to decide where we stand on the issues and ultimately choose our president. It’s election time! Wait a second, no it isn’t. It’s August 2015, but many candidates (especially Republicans) are acting like its September 2016. The Republican presidential hopefuls (all 17 of them) need to take it easy.
Some might think that having 17 candidates means there will be much diversity in the Republican field. That’s not really the case. There’s one African American, one woman, and one Indian (and only one of them has an actual shot at winning the nomination). The other 14 candidates are typical Republicans—old white males. If Republicans want to appeal to a broader electorate and gain more votes—which they have failed to do in the last two presidential elections—they might need a young, possibly minority candidate.
The current top five Republican candidates in the polls are Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio. That looks promising for Republicans because Ben Carson is African American and Scott Walker and Marco Rubio are relatively young. The only problem is other candidates are distracting Americans from the promising Republican hopefuls. The most obvious distractor is Donald Trump. It seems that almost every day there is a new headline about Trump, and it usually isn’t positive. Trump’s outlandish remarks and ideas are drawing attention away from the candidates who have serious ideas and want to improve America.
Although he is running a legitimate campaign and has enough support and funding to earn the nomination, Jeb Bush is another distractor. He may be different from his brother and run the country in a different way, but that doesn’t really matter. Americans don’t want another Bush as president, and if Jeb Bush does get the Republican nomination, he will most likely lose to the Democratic challenger.
This is the problem with starting the election process this early: distracting candidates who shouldn’t win the nomination gain all the headlines, but mostly for reasons that don’t have to do with the issues. The current Republican primary race is little more than a popularity contest which is bordering on a shouting match. The Republicans need to wait and allow Americans to decide on the issues themselves before hearing about it from 17 presidential hopefuls. Also, many of the issues could change before the general election. Who knows how strong ISIS or Iran can get in a few months? Who knows what new immigration legislation could be passed? Many things can change in less than a year in the political landscape.
Go ahead Republicans, keep on talking. Be careful, because if you say the wrong thing, your campaign could go up in flames. Maybe wait to start your campaign, because Americans might get sick of your voice between now and Feb. 1, the day of the Iowa caucus. Sometimes waiting is a good thing.