Last night’s debate showcased a very sober group of candidates, including John Kasich who still seems to think he’s a part of this election. Newsflash, Kasich, you’re still trailing in Ohio.
Sure, the debate was more substantive than usual, but the civility of it all left the leading candidate unchecked. While it allowed the other candidates to respond to questions and talk about policies more in depth, Trump still didn’t give Americans clear explanations and he will still lead the polls tomorrow. This leaves me wondering- why, oh why did Cruz and Rubio quit attacking the bloviating front-runner?
Rubio, no doubt, has slammed on the brakes due to recent scrutiny from the media. In a recent interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Rubio defended his tactics saying,
“Donald Trump — he might have grown up the way he did, with a lot of money and going to boarding school. I can tell you this: Where I grew up, if someone keeps punching people in the face, eventually someone’s going to have to stand up and punch them back,” he said.
The problem with bullies is that they tend to get back up if you don’t punch them hard enough the first time. Sure, Rubio and Cruz have been pushing back. Sure, they’ve been able to put Trump on defense a few times. That hasn’t stopped the egotistical blowhard from coming back with more tirades and higher poll numbers, though.
Many have been criticizing Cruz and Rubio for getting into the mud with Trump, but those same people don’t realize that the authenticity, or appearance of, that Trump delivers is what his voters are responding to. Even when Trump is being rude and angry, his supporters see this as real, and that’s what everyone wants- someone who appears to be like the rest of us. Voters have a hard time identifying with candidates who are always civil and even-tempered, and Trump’s polls are a great reflection of this.
In the end, Trump will most likely get the nomination. It’s not an easy pill to swallow, watching someone who poses as a conservative surpass those who are more honest and gifted, but it’s not over until it’s over. Voters may realize they want substance in the end. They may realize that being angry and telling people what they want to hear aren’t winning attributes.
I’m not holding my breath.