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This Primary Is Getting Ridiculous

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

There are now like a dozen people running for the GOP nomination when everyone knows it’s either Trump or DeSantis, and we’ve gone from implausible candidates like Nikki Haley to imaginary ones like whoever Francis Suarez is. Also, who the hell names their kid “Francis?” Is that the source of his damage that makes him think he can be president?

This mini-sub disaster near the Titanic’s wreck is pretty sad, but what’s really sad is the fact that some lame people are all up in arms because the dead guys did something scary and dangerous. There’s too little that’s scary and dangerous being done these days.


This is a two-man race with all sorts of nobodies trying to pry their way in like they are trying to get to a steam table after Chris Christie got there first. Now, I kind of get Christie in that I have heard of him and that he has some executive experience and he is the only candidate with his own moon. I get Nikki Haley too, though her initials “NH” appropriately also stand for “No Hope.” And Tim Scott at least has some respect out there and the gratitude of the million old ladies Mr. Nice has helped across the street.

But Doug Burgum of North Dakota? If I was a billionaire, the first thing I would do is buy an island – and not a creepy pervo island, one like Maui instead – but it looks like this guy bought himself a bunch of consultants instead who have to Botox their faces to keep from cracking up as they tell him “Oh yeah, Doug, yeah, our scientifical polls indicate there’s this groundswell out there of people telling each other ‘We need some Vitamin Burgum!’” 

What is the thought process? “I’m rich and being president is fun – Trump did it so why not me?”

And Rico Suave, the mayor of Miami? I didn’t even realize it had an actual city government – I thought it made all its municipal decisions via intense salsa dance-offs. Who ever heard of this guy? Well, conservatives have – when he voted for a bunch of Democrats. And that seems like a stretch as a basis for a Republican presidential campaign. Word has it he’s just mad at DeSantis and this is going to show Heavy D. Yeah, sure. Lighten up, Francis.

There’s Larry Elder, who I know and like. I don’t know what he’s doing. He’s clearly for all the things I like. It’s just that the two guys actually running for president are also for all the things I like.

Asa Hutchinson is still around, and Trump’s brilliant nickname for him is “Ada.” I don’t know why, just like I don’t know why this guy thinks the GOP is hankering for a platform based on defeat and submission. Hell, we get enough of both when they aren’t on the platform.

Will Hurd is running, which is weird since no one has hurd of him. I can see his slogan – “American, time for you to be hurd!” And his genius idea during the Putin putsch was “Let’s get NATO involved in the Russian civil war.” When Lindsay Graham is less of a warmonger than you, you are definitely mongering too damn much.

There is no constituency for this guy in the modern GOP, at least outside of DC. Again, what is he hoping to accomplish? A perpetual MSNBC slot? A book deal? Is he just into humiliation?

Are all these guys into humiliation? Is this some sort of kinky fantasy where they try to lose in the most mortifying way possible? Yikes.

Let’s get back the real race – Trump v. DeSantis. 


Yeah, the implosion of the mini-sub that went down to look at the Titanic was pretty awful, and there is evidence that the submersible was not as perfectly safe as it could have been. But then, safety cannot be the be all and end all of our existence. Life is not safe; actual living requires risk, and risk means danger.

Now, that does not mean I would set foot in a little box for an eight hour descent where, if the equipment is not perfect, the pressure is so great that the air detonates before the water crushes you. This is not a plea to embrace suicidal folly.

But it is a reminder that doing hard, scary, even dangerous – defined as having a possibility of death or injury – stuff is important. It means you are living, rather than just existing. I jumped out of airplanes for the Army not because I really needed to but because it was cool and I could. It’s pretty safe, but not entirely safe, and it involved great heights, which I prefer only a bit more to small, cramped, enclosed spaces. I did it because it was scary and because it set me apart from other people. I have never regretted it. Of course, if I screwed up and ploughed into the dirt, I would not be around to regret it.

This is not advocacy of going out and getting hurt, but it is an indictment of those who are safety first, last, and only. Safety is important. I do not like injuries. But it is not the sole criteria. We keep hearing about safety, safety, safety. People send you off with a “Be safe.” Be safe? This isn’t downtown Mogadishu. Well, downtown LA is. Anyway, we need to stop fetishizing the elimination of risk. We do not need to play in traffic, but we also don’t need to cover our society in bubble wrap.

I’m sorry those guys are gone. At least they were doing something cool when they went.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People's Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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