JIM CREES: Too childish for middle school

An article was recently published in the Pioneer recently in which a local social studies teacher explained why he wouldn’t and couldn’t ask his students to watch the presidential debates.

In a word (or two) — the debates were too childish and immature for his students.

Need another word for the level of debate in the 2016 political campaigns? How about sleazy, vulgar or crude ... how about common, low or demeaning.

Frankly, gentle reader, the GOP candidates are leading the way when it comes to cheap and tasteless campaigning.

First, we are witness to the opening of a debate in which two candidates - adults by all indications - discuss the size of their penis and defend their virility.

“He’s always calling me Little Marco. And I’ll admit he’s taller than me. He’s like 6’2”, which is why I don’t understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5’2”,” said erstwhile candidate Marco Rubio about Donald Trump early in the debate cycle. “And you know what they say about men with small hands?”

Trump was quick to defend the honor of his ... um ... manhood.

“Look at those hands, are they small hands?” Trump fired back. “And, he referred to my hands - ‘If they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”

Really, guys?

Then, much more recently, candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have been firing barbs back and forth with regard to their wives.

“My wife is hotter than your wife! Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!!!”

Holy Moly!

It’s embarrassing. Really embarrassing.

Some writers and pundits have suggested the level of campaigning is middle school-ish.

I find that offensive. I would suggest middle-schoolers today have a great deal more class than do either Sen. Cruz or Mr. Trump.

But for all the rudeness and simply disgusting behavior; despite the complete and total lack of self-control, “The Base” still are wild about their guy - be that guy Trump or Cruz.

Hey. Democracy is democracy.

You want to vote for a guy who feels a need to defend his penis in public — have at it.

You want to vote for a guy who says ‘my wife is sexier than your wife’ — good luck.

The great American political satirist H.L. Mencken once wrote “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

You want a guy who in public speeches has offended the disabled, Muslims, women, POWs and war veterans, Seventh-Day Adventists, Latinos, Asians, scientists, folks from Iowa, and more ... and more ... and more, go for it.

Fact is, when Trump walks on stage the crowd goes wild and when Cruz comes to town, people just flip.

The Base love ‘em even though the only thing lacking from their campaigns to date are a few “Your mama is so fat ...” jokes and a couple references to dumb blondes.

These guys are an embarrassment. So much so that anything they do have to say of importance is buried under an avalanche of stupidity.

Look, the fact I have issue with the Trump and Cruz campaigns is not surprising.

What is surprising is the GOP doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fact that for years the buffoonery of their candidates has been diminishing from the Republican brand and destroying any sense of gravitas there might have been.

Why didn’t someone (anyone!) in the GOP wake up to the fact the shenanigans of Sarah Palin ruined any chance John McCain had of winning the White House.

Instead, the ‘faithful’ have doubled down on silly and are betting the farm on Donald Trump, who is damaging the Republican party more than any Democrat could ever hope.

Folks are lining up firmly behind a man who no world leader considers a viable partner — not in China, nor Mexico, nor in the European Union, nor in the Middle East, nor in Great Britain, nor in Russia, nor Canada, nor anywhere.

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently said: “I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong. I think if he came to visit our country he’d unite us all against him.”

Turkish President Erdogan said: “I don’t know whether or not he’ll win, but let’s suppose he won. What will happen? Will he set aside all relationships with Muslim countries? A politician shouldn’t talk like this.”

And on .. and on ... and on ... from Pope Francis to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

How does a nation succeed in leading the free world when no one respects the guy at the top?

Were Trump to win, the United States would be isolated in gleeful stupidity.

And the GOP, either passively or actively, condones this decline in their own fortunes.

It is simply amazing.