Sunday, March 27, 2016
Quirks of the 2016 Presidential Election So Far
The 2016 Presidential Election is by far the most interesting, and perhaps most consequential, in my nearly 7 decades of watching elections. The two Democratic candidates, campaigning for the future, were children of the 60’s and now senior citizens. One appeals to the older voters (Clinton) and the 73 year old the Millennials (Sanders). The Millennials are attracted by the seductive siren of the progressive socialism and inequality of the Child of the 60’s because they know no better. They’ve graduated from college with no meaningful job, but loaded with debt. They blame it on capitalism, because that is what they are taught by the progressive faculties on our campuses. They do not blame their plight on the failed economic policies of the Obama Administration. If anything, they blame President Obama for not going far enough. They did not learn in their economics and history classes of the consistent failures of socialism. They also do not believe in the First Amendment, as a survey of Yale students shows. The leading candidates in the two races have unbelievably high negative ratings. A recent Fox poll shows Trump with a 65% unfavorable rating and 58% for Clinton. Most Americans continue to find the former Secretary of State untrustworthy. Most late deciders have voted for Trump’s opponents. This may truly be an election for the lesser of two evils. The fears about Citizens United have not played out this election. Governor Bush and his PAC supporters poorly spent about $100 million on his campaign, mostly beating up on Senator Rubio. Conversely, Donald Trump has spent only a few million on his campaign. The media, which otherwise abhors the Donald, has provided him an estimated $1.9 billion in free publicity. Senator Sanders has raised tens of millions online from small donors. The Republican “Establishment” is apparently so scared of Donald Trump that they are willing to get in bed with Senator Ted Cruz or even vote for Secretary Clinton. They must be inhaling the leftover grass from the 60’s. The American public is disillusioned with the two parties, but the party elders don’t understand. We are confronted with a sluggish economy, long-term systemic unemployment, the collapse of blue collar jobs and a shrinking middle class, corrupting public employee unions, a nuclear Iran, an aggressive Russian Bear, China filling the vacuum in the South China Sea, global Islamic terrorism, ISIS, deteriorating race relations in the United States, and President Obama’s transformation of the Americans from a people of independence to one of dependency upon the government, The response of Senator Marco Rubio, otherwise an impressive candidate, was to allude to Donald Trump’s hand size, which is an urban myth correlating hand size to penis size. Senator Rubio is better than that. Similarly, he droned on about Donald Trump being a “con.” Governor Bush unsuccessfully spent a fortune in ads and his goodwill in attacking Senator Rubio. Both Florida candidates relied on the advice of campaign advisors, who should never be allowed to advise a candidate again. Both Senator Rubio and Governor Bush looked awkward and non-natural in their attacks. They are better than that. Senator Cruz should be winning handily against Donald Trump. He says the right conservative things to appeal to the base. He comes across though as an angry man lacking empathy. Connecting with the public is an intangible. JFK had it; Nixon did not. Ronald Regan still has it. Neither George H. W. Bush nor Michael Dukakis had it. Bill Clinton has it; Hillary does not. President Obama had it; Governor Mitt Romney could not. Bombs exploded in Brussels and a PAC sympathetic to Senator Cruz dropped a “bomb,” a 15 year old photo of the near naked model, who is now Donald’s wife, Melania. Senator Cruz has denied any involvement with the sympathetic PAC, but has not disavowed it. Donald Trump has responded by threatening to disclose info about the Senator’s wife, Heidi. He has also published side-by-side photos of a hellish looking Heidi and a beautiful, smiling Melania, who incidentally is an immigrant, as is Senator Cruz. Senator Cruz then called Donald Trump a “sniveling coward.” Donald Trump may act like a bully, but certainly not a coward. How low can we go? We are in a War of Epithets: “Sniveling coward” versus “Lying Ted.” Heidi and Melania, two highly successful women, deserve better. The American people deserve better. Senator Cruz claims the mantra of Reagan, but consistently violates Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” Reagan was likable; Cruz is universally unlike on a bipartisan basis by his peers. Ironically, the Trump campaign is dependent upon the crossover votes of blue class workers, the Reagan Democrats of the past. Governor Kasich is the Last Governor standing in the campaign. He has survived the gauntlet. This election is so weird that California might be decisive, for once, in the primary season. Secretary Clinton is using California as a political piggy bank. Senator Sanders is currently winning the Left Coast of the United States. Quite surprisingly, the credible Governors Bush, Gilmore, Huckabee, Jindal, Pataki, Perry, and Walker, the Governors who proved they can successfully govern as conservative Republicans, dropped of the race. Governor Christy first embraced President Obama after Hurricane Sandy and has now embraced Donald Trump. Governor Kasich needs 105% of the delegates yet to be decided to win the nomination, or 50.1% of the delegates after the first round in an open convention. He offers Ohio, compassionate conservatism, and the self-proclaimed ‘only adult” now in the Republican ace.