When Frustration Trumps Reason in Otherwise Reasonable People

Susan Combs
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Posted: Sep 18, 2015 11:42 AM
When Frustration Trumps Reason in Otherwise Reasonable People

I was puzzled Thursday morning when I woke up with a sore throat. Then I remembered I spent the evening before screaming at the TV screen. I suspect I had a lot of company in conservative households across the country as we all reacted to the circus known as a GOP presidential debate and the ringmaster by the name of Donald Trump. Despite my annoyance with his bluster, I have to confess I understand what motivates his supporters.

As a longtime advocate for honesty and transparency in government, I would offer that a series of dishonest acts by supposedly trustworthy government officials has caused otherwise rational people (good conservative Americans) to lose their dang minds (consider voting for Donald Trump.) It’s enough to make us scream.

After years of the federal government in its various manifestations insulting Americans with its overt lack of transparency, people are just fed up. No one tells us the truth anymore. Take the IRS for example. When questions arose about whether federal employees were directed to target conservative non-profits, the response inevitably was, ‘nope, nothing to see here.” A few restored hard drives later, the story emerges that there was PLENTY to see there.

Candidate Clinton’s ever-changing story about her private email server has been harder to track than a daytime soap opera. It’s reached a point that no one really believes anything she says, regardless of which version she’s presenting at a given time. If you’re one of those people like me who subscribe to the old-fashioned notion that public servants owe voters and taxpayers a duty of care and honesty, you’re probably pretty frustrated. Thank goodness the State Department is finally yawning and rubbing the sleep from its eyes and taking some action. I’ll be interested to see the impact of that new position they’ve created to be sure the agency follows all of the previously known transparency guidelines.

The Office of Personnel Management did such a lousy job of handling our individual data (including outsourcing the hosting to a Chinese-owned company) that it was easily hacked. On top of that, they couldn’t manage to tell us the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth…you know the rest.

It is now mid September and I’m starting to see where the dots connect. We don’t like what we’ve seen from our government, so we want a whole new group of people. We’re tired of government employees sneaking around and treating the truth like it’s just one of several options. At its root, dishonesty conveys disrespect and the American people are responding with angry outbursts.

I’ll admit I’m plenty frustrated by the endless dishonesty and obfuscation, but I know that yelling and Trump-style bullying aren’t the real solution. America needs a clear-eyed reformer to put the miscreants on notice. That’s why I’m supporting Carly Fiorina.

Carly is not only the Republican Party’s best rebuttal to Hillary Clinton, she also best reflects what conservatives are at heart: experienced, thoughtful and honest. That is why she presents such a compelling contrast to Donald Trump and I think he knows it. His extraordinarily sexist verbal assaults on Carly Fiorina left me slack jawed. Perhaps, because he can’t beat her on policy, record or substance, he made snide comments about her looks. (I won’t dignify the comments he made at the expense of Megyn Kelly’s femininity.)

I was elected statewide four times in Texas and I never ever experienced the kind of coarse, asinine comments that Trump aimed at Carly Fiorina. Her rebuttal “Look At That Face” was masterful and polite and made the point. I hope other Americans of good conscience won’t let him get away with that kind of garbage. Ask yourself, would you say that to your mother, your wife, your sister, or your daughter? Would you tolerate anyone else doing the same? I expect not.

The current (and some would say fading) Republican frontrunner doesn’t meet the minimum essential standards of conservative leadership, but frustrated people just shrug off their concerns. It’s time for my fellow Americans to acknowledge their anger at the government then agree to take a sensible step that solves the problem.

Rather than just yell, let’s take time to honestly look at the way forward for our nation. I sincerely believe that Carly Fiorina’s belief in the essentially American values of self-reliance, hard work and liberty are the key to restoring our country to greatness. Not only will our economy surge and our schools improve, but we will also be able to wake up without sore throats because we’re behaving civilly again. That’s a day that can’t get here soon enough.