The Reagan Library, the scene of tonight’s Republican debate, is one of my favorite Spring Break memories. A few years back I had the supreme pleasure of traveling to picturesque Simi Valley, California to the Reagan Library archives to conduct research on Corazon Aquino. My hope is that the majesty of the place with elevate the rhetoric, but if press leading up to the debate tonight is any indication, we are sadly in an age of uncivil discourse.
Now I’ll play the role of consultant for Carly Fiorina’s campaign:
Because of the paucity of women at the presidential level of politics, the commentators on cable TV are already warning of the “unique nature” of having one woman among the sea of men tonight. Male candidates are routinely advised not to attack women candidates, lest they appear bullying. Admittedly, politics is a tough sport. But Donald Trump, who admits he does not prepare for debates or any other public forum not only ignores that advice, has dragged the sport to the lowest, ugliest level with his brutish observations of women. “Look at that face! Would anybody vote for that?” he asked of his rival, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina. If I were Fiorina I would ask him for a public apology and ask him why he would put her down for her appearance in public so that he has to justify his comments on national television. If she does that, it seems to me that the only next step for Donald Trump would be to drop out of the race and acknowledge that instead of discussing Ms. Fiorina’s appearance he should apologize to her and the country for bringing the attention of national politics to such low, undignified and childish depths. I’m sure that struggling families or students who can’t afford to go to college, or people who can’t afford health care don’t care about the appearance of any of our candidates. I know I don’t.
Ms. Fiorina: call him on it. Make him apologize nationally. Urge him to drop out so that the election could proceed with the same sweeping beauty and beautiful grand dreams that are evoked by the setting of the breathtaking Reagan Library. Then take that ballcap that has the slogan “Make America Great Again” Ms. Fiorina, and put it on your head. By elevating the rhetoric of the election and calling for Mr. Trump to drop out, you will have done, just that.