Here’s something I thought I would never say: The only 2024 Republican presidential hopeful even remotely qualified for the job is former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, because he speaks the truth.

So it was no surprise that he was pressured into dropping out of the race because there is no room for truth in today's Republican party, whose members prefer to live in the Land of Oz.

Meanwhile, much effort has been made by some folks with deep pockets to convince America that former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is a refreshing new voice deserving of our support, but even before her incredibly stupid response to the question — “What was the cause of the Civil War” — she was proving to be a lightweight afraid to speak her mind, merely saying things she thought people wanted to hear.

I LOVED IT when she — or someone in her entourage — complained the Civil War question was asked by a Democrat planted in the crowd. The problem wasn’t the question; it was Haley’s response. I was surprised how many people failed to notice her answer supported the Confederate position, though she never got around to using the expression “states rights.”

But she certainly implied that individual freedom was at stake, a concern expressed mostly by white men in states where slavery was legal. They feared a strong federal government that would outlaw slavery. To Haley, slavery was tradition, and while she eventually and disingenuously admitted, “Obviously slavery was a cause”, I don’t recall her saying slavery was wrong.

I watch a lot of videos on YouTube, and lately most of them begin with a commercial praising Haley because she will lower our national debt, cut spending and release our energy economy (whatever that is). There is no mention how she proposes to do this, but one fears what she believes is essential government spending, since Republicans tend to cut programs that benefit people and support increases in those that help businesses.

Based on a few polls taken in the early fall, the Haley commercials claim she would trounce Joe Biden. In their dreams. I'd guess a Haley-Biden match-up would result in the most lop-sided Democratic victory since Lyndon Johnson buried Barry Goldwater.

UNBELIEVABLY, Haley insists Donald J. Trump, our most inept president, was the right man at the right time, even though the national debt rocketed during his administration. And when faced with a pandemic, Trump denied the seriousness of the coronavirus and made a series of foolish suggestions on how to control or treat the disease.

Now facing a series of charges, Trump is widely considered an insurrectionist who shouldn’t be allowed on the ballot this year, though he somehow leads in every poll taken of Republican candidates.

Why Trump isn’t in prison for an act of treason stumps me. How Haley and other members of her party can deny that Trump attempted — in his usual clumsy, desperately incompetent fashion — to overthrow the government of the United States is a mystery. The man and several of his supporters, should be serving life sentences.

American newspapers, which should be alarmed at the prospect of another Trump presidency, treat the man as a legitimate candidate, though he's making it clear he has no intention of honoring our constitution. He's a wannabe dictator, our own answer to Benito "Il Duce" Mussolini, to whom Trump bears an uncomfortable physical resemblance.

THAT TRUMP has become a martyr to millions of Americans is unfortunate, but that’s no reason to give the man special treatment. He may be the most dangerous traitor in United States history.

Yet Nikki Haley says she would pardon him — even before a full airing of the evidence against him.

Christie, meanwhile, attacks Trump mercilessly and relentlessly, the only GOP hopeful to do so. Oh, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is playing catch-up, though not as cleverly. However the DeSantis record in Florida indicates he may be as much of a threat to democracy as Trump. Fortunately, Christie says he will continue to try to convince Americans of Trump's unfitness for office.

(You'd think Trump himself would have convinced the country by now, given the nonsense that comes out of his mouth every time he speaks.)

Haley claims Christie is obsessed with Trump. So what if he is? Someone in the Republican party has got to be honest about America’s would-be fascist. Certainly Haley will never be truthful on the subject, since she’d like Trump to choose her as his running mate, which would cement comparison between Haley and Sarah Palin, another former governor who resigned before completing her term.

Palin, of course, was actually ignorant about many things; Haley is only pretending to be as she tries to be all things to all people and says some of the darnedest things.

BEFORE she overlooked slavery as a cause of the Civil War, Nikki Haley blamed Tik Tok for the rise of anti-semitism. Her statements were based on a faulty poll, but since the results suited her purpose, she went ahead and made a generalization that a more reasonable person might have questioned. She wants to abolish Tik Tok in this country, and while I don't think that would be much of a loss, I doubt if it would have any impact on anti-Semitic words and deeds.

But my favorite Haley response had to do with her solution for school shootings. Like a typical Republican, she began by reminding the audience that more people are killed during the commission of a crime than during shootings at schools, malls, churches, etc. I know what she meant, but the last I heard, shooting people is a crime.

She also said 80 percent of those responsible for these shootings steal weapons from family members. Then went on to say we have to get illegal guns off the street. Memo to Mrs. Haley: The weapons stolen from family members were obtained legally. Until they were used to slaughter innocent people, there was no reason to confiscate the guns, usually assault weapons that ought to be restricted to the military.

Street crime is an entirely different problem, and shouldn't be cited in a way to diminish the tragedy of mass shootings that have become an American epidemic.

The more she talks, the more Nikki Haley proves to be thoroughly unfit for the job she is seeking. She offers slogans, not solutions. Problem is, the GOP choice is coming down to Haley or Trump, Dumb or Dumber. This is what happened to the party of Abraham Lincoln, whom Trump recently criticized, claiming Lincoln could have negotiated with Southern slave owners and avoided the Civil War.

I CONTINUE to be amazed that the vast majority of Americans fail to grasp that Joe Biden has been exactly the president this country needed after four years of a narcissistic would-be dictator who knew next to nothing about the job he was given in 2017. Biden gave us immediate relief. For one thing, he did not spend his evenings sending ranting in all caps on some social media platform in daily reminders our president was an imbecile.

Considering how obstructionist the Republican party has been since Trump arrived on he scene, Biden has done a remarkable job. The economy is good, jobs are up, unemployment is down, gasoline prices are decreasing, so if inflation. On the other hand, Republican leaders constantly lie and make false accusations, while some of them admit they'd rather hurt Joe Biden than help the country.

People have tried to make a big issue out of Biden’s age, but he has proven to be the wisest of all those who would be president. As he often says, don't consider his age, consider the alternative.