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Another 16 months of knuckleheads left in 2016 race

Here is a thought: Can we ban all political campaigns beyond a year of the next election? Seriously. The next presidential election is in November 2016. That is more than 16 months from now. Do we really have to deal with this political craziness for 16 months? Not only is it annoying, but some of it is downright embarrassing for our nation. No wonder so many people don't vote. By the time voters get through a two-year campaign season, they are fed up with all the candidates.

Can we really listen to Donald Trump for another 16 months? The man is a national embarrassment. You know you are in trouble when former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP's Exhibit A for "Candidates without Substance," refers to Trump as a man "without substance when one scratches below the surface." Ouch!

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Perry has also called Trump "a cancer on conservatism" and "a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued." And how many years did it take Perry to realize that the GOP has become the party of mean-spiritedness and nonsense?

By the way, it appears Republicans have a double standard when it comes to supporting veterans. Remember how they went after then-Sen. John Kerry's honorable service in Vietnam?

Then we have Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who is thankful that reporters have been too busy covering Trump's blunders to pay any attention to his blunders. Walker was asked a simple question on CNN about whether being gay is a choice or if people are born gay. It is an easy question. In fact, heterosexuals like Walker should be able to answer this question in a matter of seconds. I'm sure Walker doesn't remember as a young lad making the choice to become a heterosexual. He didn't wake up one morning deciding to spend the rest of his life admiring females instead of males. I bet that "decision" happened naturally, as it does for everyone, including people who are gay and lesbians.

So, you see, it was an easy question for Walker to answer. If you are heterosexual, you are born that way. If you are gay, you are born that way. Yes, some people are bisexual and are attracted to both males and females. Good for them. But none of us "decide" to be attracted to men or women. If Walker doesn't understand this fundamental concept, then we should all ask if he is smart enough to be a presidential candidate. I'm pretty sure Walker knew the correct answer to the question, but he didn't have the guts to stand up to his conservative base to tell the truth. Again, perhaps we should question if he has the conviction to be a candidate for president.

In an interview with the Club for Growth, Walker said "the most significant foreign policy decision of my lifetime" was when President Ronald Reagan ended the 1981 air traffic controllers strike by firing 11,000 of them. Really? First of all, Reagan's move to fire the air traffic controllers was a domestic policy decision, not a foreign policy decision. Second, even if Walker incorrectly considers this a foreign policy decision, the fact that he thinks that this was "the most significant foreign policy decision" of his lifetime makes me wonder about his sense of history and his judgment.

Born in 1967, Walker is 48 years of age. During his 48 years, Walker has watched American presidents engage in several wars, deal with dozens of international crises, and lead us through the pain and aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He has watched several presidents deal with dozens of significant foreign policy decisions, including President Richard Nixon's trip to China, Reagan's peace agreement with Russia, President George H. W. Bush's invasion of Kuwait, and President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, to name a few. And out of all of these world-changing events during his 48 years, Walker thinks that Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers in 1981 was "the most significant foreign policy decision" of his lifetime.

There's only 16 months to go, but I'm already learning who the knuckleheads are.

Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at tzirpoli@mcdaniel.edu.

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