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Send in the Clowns a theme song for the Republican Party primary

05/06/2015 10:49 am ET | Updated May 06, 2016

The song, Send in the Clowns, written by Stephen Sondheim for the show A Little Night Music, is an appropriate theme for the Republican Party Primary. Surely many rational Republicans are thinking about it today as candidates keep tossing their hat into the ring to compete for their Party's nomination. It was a big hit when sung by Judy Collins and the words are appropriate to the collection of candidates thus far announced, and those to come, vying for the Republican nomination. Maybe they could jointly get permission to record it and sing it to the voters of America from their debate stage.

It goes like this. "Isn't it rich? Are we a pair? Me here at last on the ground, you in mid-air. Where are the clowns? Isn't it bliss? Don't you approve? One who keeps tearing around, one who can't move. Where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns. Just when I'd stopped opening doors. Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours. Making my entrance again with my usual flair, Sure of my lines, no one is there. Don't you love farce? My fault, I fear. I thought that you'd want what I want, sorry, my dear. But where are the clowns, send in the clowns, Don't bother, they're here. Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer? Losing my timing this late in my career. But where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns. Well, maybe next year."

Wikipedia references an interview Sondheim gave in 1990 about the meaning of the song. "He said the "clowns" in the title do not refer to circus clowns. Instead, they symbolize fools. Sondheim explained; I get a lot of letters over the years asking what the title means and what the song's about; I never thought it would be in any way esoteric. I wanted to use theatrical imagery in the song..., but it's not supposed to be a circus. It's a theater reference meaning "if the show isn't going well, let's send in the clowns"; in other words, "let's do the jokes." I always want to know, when I'm writing a song, what the end is going to be, so "Send in the Clowns" didn't settle in until I got the notion, "Don't bother, they're here", which means that "We are the fools."

It is difficult to pick one statement from each of the candidates symbolizing their view of the world since they have said so many outrageous things. Carly Fiorina on guns: "Gun access is an important right. Do not ban assault weapons. Allow some on the No-Fly list to own guns." Mike Huckabee on evolution; "he supports intelligent design and has said he does not accept the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution." Dr.Ben Carson on being gay; He argued homosexuality is a choice "Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay."

It would be easy to continue listing each candidate's statements on issues which just don't jive with science, rationality, or the simple fact our founding fathers wanted a clear separation of church and state. It is apparent from the past two Presidential elections the far right-wing controls the Republican Party primary process. They will cheer the most right-wing candidates and push their moderate ones so far to the right they can't possibly win the general election. As a Democrat I like that, but as an American it must be hoped sometime in the future there will once again be a Republican Party where all the primary candidates don't appropriately sing this song.

The world is a complex place with no easy solutions to the problems that exist. From our dealings with Iran to rapprochement with Cuba; from the Israeli/Palestinian question to climate change; from income in-equality to civil and human rights; each issue deserves careful consideration and our next President must have the intelligence, experience, ability and willingness to work with people of varying opinions as they develop policy. This is not the time in our history for radicals to lead our government and unfortunately the Republican Party is being led by a group of right-wing radicals who don't understand compromise and whose minds appear closed to science, new ideas and rational discussion.

As an unabashed Democrat, and passionate supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, it is my belief the country will be in excellent hands when she is in the White House. Yet I also believe in the two Party system. It can be hoped in the future the Republican Party will once again become the Party of Lincoln in more than just name.