With Mike Pence now qualifying for the Republican debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23, there are now eight candidates qualified to participate.
However, one of those eight is former President Donald Trump, who suggests that he is not inclined to show up.
“When you have a big lead, you don’t do it,” noted Trump.
“Am I going to stand up there by guys with zero, one, two, three percent — maybe four — and have them ask me hostile questions?”
He now says he’ll poll supporters.
Fox News, the network carrying the event, RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel, and some of the other candidates are urging Trump to debate.
But I think there is a strong case to be made that if what we want this election to be about is navigating toward the best interests of the country and its citizens, it may be best for Donald Trump to not show up in Milwaukee.
Consider, for instance, that within the last week, bond rating service Fitch downgraded U.S. debt from AAA to AA.
This is the result of U.S. debt and deficits skyrocketing into outer space.
But this critical development is barely getting news oxygen when the really big story is Trump’s latest indictment and now his deliberations about whether to participate in the Republican debate.
When only 19% of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country, and considering that that percentage has been over 40% only once in the last 15 years, it is reasonable to assume that Americans, justifiably, are not pleased with the current state of affairs.
Downgrading by a major credit rating agency its estimate of the ability of the United States to pay its creditors is just the latest piece of information blaring that we have a problem.
The country is bogged down by growth less than half its historic average, inflation, entitlement programs dealing with retirement and health care that were designed 60 to 90 years ago that no longer work, and a shrinking and aging population directly the result of the collapse of the American family.
Only 60% of Americans say they have a great deal/quite a lot of confidence in our military and the U.S. Army cannot meet its recruiting goals.
We need to fix our nation. The beginning of solving any problem is identifying and defining it properly and then soberly, step by courageous step, coming up with solutions.
This is what the 2024 election should be about. We have two parties with very different views of the world. The pathologies I described above are readily attributed to the party that now controls the White House.
President Joe Biden, whose lifetime has been spent in the political swamp, is now getting deserved attention for corrupt influence peddling, generating wealth for his wayward son.
iden wants a campaign about personalities, not about issues. And no personality now attracts more attention, diverting from the issues we should be debating, than our former president.
Trump on the stage in Milwaukee means the debates will be about him when they should be about our national agenda and solutions that the other seven candidates propose.
Getting press and attention is not a challenge for Trump. So, he doesn’t need the stage.
Although Trump does indeed have a commanding lead in the polls, showing he’s got support from around half of Republicans, a recent New York Times/Siena College poll says 46% of those Republicans are open to other candidates.
Our country is not in good shape. The answers for sure are not going to come from the party of the left. Republicans must be the party of getting our nation back on track.
Let’s start the discussion with the upcoming Republican debate, giving new candidates the opportunity to speak to Republicans and all Americans about how to fix our nation’s many problems.
Star Parker is President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “CURE America with Star Parker.”