I have to confess something.
We are 48 hours removed from finally having one Republican Presidential candidate and I am already tired of 2016. Heck, I was tired of it before Cruz declared.
Somewhat ironic to say given that I make a living on the internet, but I am more and more convinced the internet and, particularly, social media is a bad thing. It fosters a tribalism of grievance for many people on the left and the right. And many fine people become insufferable online — perhaps you think that of me. That’d be fine.
For the last 48 hours, conservatives have incessantly bickered with each other online about [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] as Presidential material. The standard, petty grievances are there of those who blame him for the GOP failing to take the Senate last year (oh, wait!). There are others too.
But for every [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] hater, there is someone who does not hate, but does question. The Cult of Cruz comes at them with a savage viciousness and declaration that they must be for Jeb Bush. But it is not just the Cult of Cruz. It is the Cult of Paul back with a new leader. The Cult of Walker gets in on it too. There is the perennial Cult of Palin that complains and plots endlessly. The Cult of Jeb never gets in on it because billionaires and Bushies tend not to use Twitter as much.
It is tiresome and it is only going to get worse.
Nonetheless, here’s my pledge to readers and listeners. I’m going to tell you what I think about each candidate. You can light me up on twitter and it will not matter one bit. We have a great field of candidates. We have the deepest bench since 1980. But each candidate has flaws and I get to discuss them. Each candidate has strengths and I get to discuss them too.
I am fortunate that a number of the candidates have become dear friends over the years. I’ve broken bread with them, prayed with them, and prayed for them.
For the next year and a half, friends are going to get mad at each other. Twittering cultists are going to tweet at each other. And we’re all going to be fed up. Then, miracle of miracles, we will have a nominee and rally against the Democrat’s nominee who will not be named Hillary. Many of those who declared they’d take their footballs and go home if their guy wasn’t the nominee will be writing checks to the nominee and fighting. They will.
All I can ask is that we give each candidate an opportunity to paint a picture of what the country will look like after their first term. Let’s judge them by their positions and statements and resumes, not by their fan Bob, who lives in his mother’s basement on a diet of Lucky Charms and Red Bull and thinks you are a jerk because you haven’t started worshiping his candidate instead of Jesus.