By Joe Rector

The simple truth is that the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls must thin soon. Too many folks are vying for a job that requires special skills. Not everyone who declares for the presidential race possesses those skills, nor will he or she be able to pull off a victory or lead in a way that turns the country from the struggles that it faces.

Too many of the candidates are simply too far left to be appealing to the country. They can’t be elected because their views are too alien to the majority of voters. Many people bought into the promises that candidates made in the last presidential election. They didn’t come to fruition, and now the country’s survival depends upon voters not making the same mistake. An adage applies here: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

What makes several Democratic candidates unappealing is their ideology. It’s every bit as skewed to one side as the stuff that their rivals spout now. The only difference is that the left is rabid against the rich, the status quo, and governmental roles. Such inane talking points as taxing those who make $10 million or more with a 70% rate scares folks. It destroys any newcomers’ ambitions of being successfully elected.

Free everything doesn’t work either. Oh, it sounds wonderful, but the sticking point is that the money to pay for such “pie in the sky” ideas isn’t available. We already have a $21 trillion deficit. How much more will be added to the national debt by giving away the store? By some estimates, $32 trillion dollars a year will be needed to fund Medicare for all, with only a savings of some $20 trillion. We can’t afford the debt we’ve already incurred, and adding such a huge sum will be oppressive for generations to come.

Some candidates say that free college education for all is essential. The raw truth is that not everyone wants to go to college. Many would rather learn a skill that provides a quality life. Someone once stated that people hold dear those things for which they work. That applies to a college education. Too many individuals will use free school as “party time” until they flunk out. With the tidal wave of new students, universities will need even more money to hire faculty and staff and erect more facilities to meet the needs of the population. From where do funds for those things come?

Others say that student loans should be forgiven. What kind of sound economic thinking comes up with that? Sure, it’s easy to just write off $1.5 trillion in debts. Isn’t that what we do with all our bills? The average student loan is equal to $37,172. Doing such a ridiculous thing will bankrupt businesses and displace thousands of employees. Perhaps refinancing those loans is a necessary solution; however, holding individuals responsible for the debts they incur is a step in ending the idea that even those who do nothing get a trophy or the belief that anything that is too hard to achieve can simply be abandoned.

What this country needs in a contender is a person in the middle. That means he or she understands what is needed in the country. Yes, healthcare problems must be addressed before none but the richest are able to receive quality care. Education is important, but it must be aimed at meeting the skills, talents, and interests of students. Their investments of time and money help to ensure that they work hard to learn and complete courses of study.

Diamond Rio recorded the song “Meet in the Middle.” The lyrics stated,

“I’d start walking your way; you’d start walking mine. We’d meet in the middle ‘neath that old Georgia pine. We’d gain a lot of ground cause we both gave a little. Ain’t no road too long if we meet in the middle.”

In so many vital areas to our country, that sounds like solid advice for our leaders both now and in the future.