The hyperbole given to the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential primary candidates as being a “clown car” is clearly repeating itself in 2016. From Rick Perry’s infamous “oops”, to Newt Gingrich’s moon colony, to Michele Bachmann’s anti-vaxxer comment linking vaccines to “mental retardation”, to Rick Santorum’s Google-assisted new definition, the Republican presidential primaries is set to be a pandering fest aimed at America’s conservative bases.
There have been some quality improvements in the GOP field; Rick Perry has apparently learned about public policy; the libertarian candidate (Rand Paul) will apparently be considered as a serious candidate this time; and there are some important candidates who are not too clownish in most of their TV appearances, like Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker.
But still, the sheer number of candidates, the appearance of so many “fringe-candidates”, and the amount of flunks that have already happened among them must be discouraging for those bent on putting a Republican back into the White House. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have never held elected office; Ted Cruz came close to causing the US to default on its debt for the first time in its history; Marco Rubio had the awkwardest sip of water during the official response to Obama’s “State of the Union Address”; Chris Christie is too corrupt even by Washington’s standards (closing the Washington bridge for political vendetta, holding off Sandy Hook rescue funds, and giving out 9/11 memorabilia for political favors); and Jeb Bush gave four different responses to the question “knowing what we know now, would you have gone into Iraq?”, the first one of which was “yes”.
Add to this he fact that there will be a couple of candidates focused on “social conservative” issues during the campaign such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum; most of their rhetoric will be based on a theocratic platform for American politics. On the other side, we will also see other candidates who, although in agreement in terms of social policy, will be completely focused on national security, specifically regarding ISIS. Lindsey Graham seems like the most likely banner-man for this issue along with Scott Walker, who has not discarded sending ground-troops to Iraq for a third time if he becomes president.
Now, in order to single-out the sneaky Republican candidate who is hell-bent on becoming president and has a strategy in the long-run, particularly against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, one would have to carefully identify who mentions income inequality. Usually something American conservatives are for, the issue might get picked up by any Republican candidate and use it to attack Clinton from the left. How could a conservative outflank a Democrat on a leftist issue like income inequality? Imagine this: a folksy conservative who resents Washington bigwigs who refer to his or her home-state as “flyover America”, who claims that his or her opponent doesn’t know what it’s like to open a business and works for corporate interests. The inequality candidate might be the one who is driving the clown car.