Allen Ray Davidson and Shawn Denny are candidates in the May 6 primary to be the Democratic Party’s nominee to run against the incumbent, Susan Brooks, for the 5th Congressional District. Mr. Davidson and Mr. Denney accepted our invitation to debate this Saturday, April 26, at Claude & Annie’s, 9251 East 141st Street, Fishers. The debate will commence at noon. We stream from 11 am to 1 pm. During the first half of The Show, we will air our weekly segments from Kimann Schultz, “Fashion News & Muse,” Brandon on Sports, and “Tail of the City” about corruption in a major American metropolitan area—Marionville.
We also invited David Ford, the third candidate in the Democratic primary to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination to run against Susan Brooks. Unfortunately, Mr. Ford has another obligation for tomorrow. It is my understanding the three candidates for the Democratic Party nomination agreed not to attack one another in the campaign. That can be meritorious. One must ask what constitutes an “attack” on another candidate. If that precludes asking a candidate relevant questions, then to refrain from asking those questions is not meritorious.
I look forward to the debate. I was somewhat dismayed by my role as moderator. Perhaps I would not have been able to address very real concerns I have about this primary.
Based upon his answers, and non-answers—a matter was immaterial or irrelevant because the issue in question should be a matter for the States or local governments to address—to questions, Mr. Ford would seem to embrace aspects of what has been called the “tea party.” A visit to Mr. Ford’s Face Book discloses he is a candidate for Federal House of Representatives. His positions on governmental deficits and emphasis on local governments as a key to solve problems are consistent with other people who espouse principles of the “tea party.” His view that the two driving forces of higher costs of health care are malpractice premiums forced on physicians and high costs of education for doctors is not supported by any credible studies I have read. More importantly, there is no real “meat” to the bone of any stand on issues by Mr. Ford.
Mr. Ford is entitled to his opinion. However, if he wishes to run as a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination, he should be clear about his stands. The Framers of the Constitution wrote that document to create a central, national government of strength sufficient to quell rebellions such as those of Captain Shays. Also, while they decried the notion of “factions”—or what we call political parties—the structure of the government born of the 1787 Constitutional Convention gave rise to a two-party system, even as some delegates laid plans for the first two parties to dominate.
One question I would ask consists of two parts. First: Should there be ideological differences between the two “major” political parties that dominate the national political system? For decades, each party had “liberal” and “conservative” wings. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, he said he had lost a generation southern voters. About 1964-68, the Republican Party purged itself of its “liberals.” Richard Nixon is credited with the strategy of grabbing what had been the “Solid South” for Democrats and flipping it to the GOP. Where previously the two parties purportedly had “big tents,” now each appears to have a more focused political philosophy at its base. Some would say the same rich interests control both parties. If a person is a candidate for office of one of the two parties, I believe the person should declare whether she or he believes there is an ideological difference between the two major parties. If the candidate’s answer is “no,” then the rest of the matter is gamesmanship.
The second part of the question follows if the answer to the first part is “yes.” The second part of the question is: what then, in your view, is the political philosophy of—in this instance—the Democratic Party?
If Mr. Ford has run for the Democratic Party nomination as a candidate farther to the right than Susan Brooks, he should be forthright. I fear that some people might vote for him out of confusion of his name with that of J.D. Ford, a progressive candidate for the Democratic Party in the State Senate race. He might count on cross-over votes in this "open" primary State.
More bothersome, if Mr. Ford simply wants the nomination of one of the two major political parties to position himself for a run at the incumbent in the general election, he effectively has disenfranchised voters—a considerable number of voters—who want a choice of candidates of the right AND THE LEFT. If Mr. Ford really is a Republican, he should run in that primary against Ms. Brooks. David Stockdale has done so. I disagree with a great many positions Mr. Stockdale has taken, but I have no reason to question his political integrity. I should add that I invited Mr. Stockdale to appear on “Civil Discourse Now,” but he had prior obligations. Conversely, in regard to issues, Mr. Ford has made general statements about government and avoided specific stands on issues.
When I lived in Chicago, there only was one political party with any realistic prospects of winning the office of Mayor. Unless one was a Democrat, the election boded ill. I thought someone should have run as a Republican and said, “I really am a Democrat, but the machine already has tied up that race. Here are my stands on the issues.” That would have been a candidate who recognized one party held sway in the City, but was forthright in telling voters of her or his strategy.
If this is what Mr. Ford has decided to do—run in the Democratic Party primary in a Congressional District with a solid Republican base so that he can run against the incumbent in the general election—then he should tell the voters this is his strategy. We, as voters, have a right to know what the candidates believe.
Otherwise, should he prevail in the primary, and if I am given a choice of a candidate on the Right—Ms. Brooks—and a candidate on the farther Right—Mr. Ford—I am given no choice at all. If that was Mr. Ford’s goal, then he will have perpetrated a fraud on the electorate. Mr. Stockdale, although too busy to be a guest on CDN, intellectually is honest. From what I have read, the same cannot be said for Mr. Ford.