August 6: Fox News Presidential Debate to be a dogfight

It's "Red on Red" with Donald Trump set to star in the upcoming Fox News debate this week. Ten candidates on stage August 6 and tensions are high. Are you ready for the biggest battle royale the Republican Party has yet witnessed?

The upcoming Fox News debate will be less about picking a candidate and more about choosing a political Top Gun. (Photo: USAF file photo)

HONOLULU, August 3, 2015 – In the debased, godless, Weimar Republic-mimicking culture we inhabit today, the one fear that still terrifies Establishment Democrats and Republicans more than anything else in the universe is a real political debate. 

Luckily for the Establishment, matters are worse than they think. Get your popcorn and crudités platters ready for the upcoming Fox News Presidential Debate in Cleveland this week. You can be sure that with feisty Donald Trump front and center stage, this televised event will resemble more of a dogfight than a genuine debate.

Taking license from former president Bill Clinton who, speaking of his wife’s first presidential run, warned “whenever anyone tells you that you don’t have a chance, it’s because they know you do,” it should be no epiphany for us to see scoffing Democrats and haughty Republicans daily sabotaging Trump in the voluminous OpEd sections of Beltway and New York newspapers.

From liberals insulting Trump supporters as “dimwits” to neocons arguing that the middle class voter simply doesn’t know his place in the pecking order is considerably below that of his “betters” − presumably the likes of Bob Dole, John McCain,  Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush  − the American apparatchik has made every effort (unsuccessfully) to stop Trump from making it to the debates.

Why? Both sides fear accountability and hide behind the emerald curtains of “statesmanship” and polite, uninteresting debates with their scripted talking points and loaded focus groups. So long as everyone stays calm, colors within the lines, and votes for “the guy who reminds us of the most of the last guy,” equilibrium is maintained and everyone is happy in Fortress America.

When Trump sees something, “he goes right after it”

But Trump, with his affinity for snapshot invective, brutal criticism, along with his lack of dependence on easily offended special interest groups, is an F-14 Tomcat among the outmatched MiG-23s spamming shots against him that never connect. The Establishment’s picks on the left and the right – our “betters” – are only good at what they do as long as the game is rigged on their terms. But now a contender has appeared who can take them all to the woodshed before the American public and burst their precious bubble at last.

Three years ago, I argued that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson would have been a piranha in the debate fish tank had he been allowed to participate against Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Predictably, the debates of 2012 turned out to be snoozefests as usual. But at last in 2015 we will have the political battle royale America deserves to see in the upcoming August 6 debate.

Let’s be clear: Trump is no Murray Rothbard or Milton Friedman. If you’re expecting an erudite discourse on monetary policy and tax theory, you’re better off cracking open a chilled IPA after work and going to bed early.

Neither is Trump a James Schlesinger or a William Perry. If you want to hear about national security (as if GOP candidates have actually known anything about that topic since 1988), you might as well buy a copy of Dr. Edward Luttwak’s Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace right now so you can have it delivered before Thursday night.

On the other hand, if you want to see the GOP’s “all star” team fall into a massed furball for political survival against the phenomenon that is Donald Trump, the upcoming FNC debate will be just the thing. Knights in shining armor are usually men who have never had their mettle tested in battle. We will soon see precisely how well our “betters” will fare against Trump’s withering barrages.

Whether Trump wins or loses the debate tomorrow is actually irrelevant. The extremity of his ideas and tough talk will force the other candidates to expose their true beliefs or run for cover hoping to hide within the conventional bunker of mediocre media-approved, inoffensive opinions.

Republican “FENCE check”

As I have said many times over the years, the modern Republican candidate goes through an evolution the first time he or she is called out out for alleged hypocrisy by leftists and elitist media types during a typical  election year. First, a Republican is labeled “moderate” when caught fence-riding or voting with the Democrats. Second, such Republicans then become self-proclaimed “independents” when they find their electoral debauchery continues to be called to account. Finally, a Republican still standing becomes a loser when the public finally has its chance to judge their deeds.

This first debate will weed out more Republicans more quickly than any debate in televised history. So set aside time to tune in to Fox later this week. Invite your coworkers, neighbors, and especially your MBA candidate consultant friends who work for the GOP. Slip on your aviators and chew on some Juicy Fruit. It’s going to be a dogfight, and remember boys … no points for second place.


Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist, an ordained minister, a former elected official and the author of the new political thriller “American Kiss,” available now from, Barnes and Noble, and other major bookstores.  DISCLOSURE: Danny de Gracia is an elected Republican district chairman, but his opinions are expressly his own and do not reflect the official opinion of any organization.

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Danny de Gracia
Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs standing committees as well as a former minority caucus research analyst at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, he has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. He has two doctorates in theology and ministry, a postgraduate in strategic marketing, a master's in political science and a bachelor's in political science and public administration. Writing on comparative politics, modern culture, fashion and more, Danny is also the author of the new novel "American Kiss" available now from