Making sense of the 2016 presidential race 

Street Smarts

America watches puzzled and aghast as the Republican party morphs into a cross between a soap opera and reality TV with Donald Trump the host. It's getting messy and a little scary.

F.R. Pamp of central Colorado Springs is a retired attorney.

click to enlarge F.R. Pamp
  • F.R. Pamp

The Republicans are at war with themselves. Characterize the warring sides and what they're after. Trump's supporters are angry with establishment Republicans, and for good reason. Establishment Republicans fear the changes that a Trump candidacy will unleash. They're scrambling to keep the party from lapsing into futile anti-authoritarianism.

What underlies Republican name-calling and three-way shouting matches? In part, talk radio. It's become a talk radio item of faith that Obama is a Marxist, a traitor, a Kenyan, a Muslim. It's the political discourse equivalent of dumbing down. Trump, of course, is behaving like he's in third grade recess, but his supporters love that.

If it's Clinton vs. Trump in November, who gets your vote? Clinton, hands down. I don't like her, I don't trust her, and she might get us into another war, but Trump might start World War III. You can't govern the way Trump talks.

click to enlarge Stacey Anderson
  • Stacey Anderson

Stacey Anderson of Northwest Colorado Springs is a legal clerk.

Republicans are in a state of civil war. What, in your view, do the opposing sides stand for and seek to bring about? They are not all that different. It's all about labeling. At the end of the day, when you skim off all that rhetoric, they're very similar.

Is Trump a healthy or a destructive phenomenon? Destructive, though I would say his fellow Republicans are mostly destructive. He's just speeding it up a bit.

If it comes down to Clinton vs. Trump, who gets your vote? Clinton. I prefer Sanders myself, but she's fine. She's moderate. A centrist is better than so far right you can't even see the Republicans from there.

click to enlarge Lance Williams
  • Lance Williams

Lance Williams of Norwood is self-employed.

The Republican Party is at war with itself. What is the war over? Trump's supporters love him being a loose cannon who breaks establishment ranks whenever it suits him. Establishment Republicans are scrambling to get the upper hand back.

Who does Trump represent? People who are angry over the party's failure to produce change over the past eight to 10 years.

Republican debate has become a circus of name-calling and three-way shouting matches. What accounts for that? Seeing everything in simplistic, black-and-white ways. Refusing to compromise or budge an inch.

Clinton vs. Trump: Who gets your vote? I'm not especially thrilled with the Democrats, but Clinton is a way better alternative than Trump.


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