Tag Archives: Ted cruz

And my Vote goes to…

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MY CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT IS…

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway, we know one thing for sure. November will be historic.  The citizens of America will either elect a businessman from New York, a man with no formal experience in politics or, for the first time in the nation’s history, a woman as President of the United States.  There have been times in the past when the candidates of one of the parties was somewhat more obscure, or at the very least less high-profile, but this year without question, name recognition is not an issue. Everyone knows who Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are?  Or do they?

I don’t want to use this forum as a means of showing my support for one candidate by trashing the other, but in this election the majority of voters are at least somewhat impacted by that which they do not like about the other.  It’s very much about spin.  Take the most extreme supporter on either side and there is nothing the opposing candidate can do that will be seen as OK.  However, there is one glaring difference in my estimation. We can at least claim to know the worst there is to know about Hillary.  But what about Trump?  Somehow people have come to believe that a millionaire businessman, the owner of hotels, private jets and helicopters, is somehow a regular guy, a man of the people. They look at me with a straight face and say they won’t vote for Hillary because she is a liar or corrupt.They actually allow themselves to believe that Donald Trump has gotten to where he is out of sheer brilliance and hard work.  I won’t sit here and prosecute the case against him, but really?  If you believe that I have a great university you should attend. It will make you rich.

I know the criticisms against Hillary and I will openly admit that I don’t like everything about her, but do I have a far greater amount of confidence in her ability to lead this country in the right direction than Donald Trump?  Without question I do.  Was Benghazi a tragedy?  Of course it was.  Could things have been handled better? Maybe, probably, I don’t know. But I do know that under George W. Bush 13 embassies were attacked and 60 people were killed.  We’re America. We are hated by those who want to take what we have or change who we are.  We are targets and will remain targets as long as there is evil in the world.

I don’t like the Iran deal.  Never have, likely never will.  But even if I am to see it as a total attack on Israel, which I don’t necessarily do, I see it as President Obama’s deal not Hillary Clinton’s.  To say a Secretary of State is wrong for working towards the goals of her boss doesn’t make him or her complicit in the outcome of the goal, good or bad.  It makes them a loyal servant to the Commander in Chief.  I am also comfortable to go on record and say that in areas I disagree with the president, I believe him to be more someone trying to save the world, sometimes naively, rather than someone trying to bring anyone, including Israel, destruction.

Emails? Sorry. I am not even going to make a case as to why this is not enough reason for me to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary.

People say that Donald Trump is preying on the fears of the people.  That is partially true. Sadly I believe he is also exposing the stupidity of many.  I would never say that all people voting for Trump are stupid, many are highly intelligent, but I do believe he is counting on the vote of those that are stupid. If Hollywood made a movie, and the day after the Democratic National Convention started the Republican nominee’s best response to what he saw was calling the Democratic nominee Hillary “ROTTEN” Clinton, people would have assumed we were watching a Mel Brooks satire.  But no, this really happened, and it happened from someone people still take seriously.  Someone who made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face, likened Ben Carson to a child molester, called his opponents names like Little Marco and Lyin Ted, mocked a handicapped person, called Mexicans rapists, called for a ban of an entire religion, said John Mccain wasn’t a war  hero because he got caught, and yes, even spoke about the size of his penis. This man is somehow considered to be more qualified than Hillary Clinton?  Really?

As a Jewish man and a Zionist I say this.  Many reading this see history and see Roosevelt and Churchill as great men.  I won’t sit here and necessarily challenge that.  Had they not led the world to victory against Adolph Hitler it is possible that western civilization as we know it would not exist and all we know as Jews would be gone.  But before we judge people on a standard of perfection, or even good or bad, ask yourself how many Jews might have been saved had they destroyed the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.  If FOX News were around then, FDR might have been held accountable to the point of prosecution, Thomas Dewey might have been elected, and Harry Truman would never have become president.  Who knows how World War II would have ended?  I am not saying FDR and Churchill were perfect or the biggest fans of the Jewish people, but their jobs were to be leaders of the US and Great Britain, and that they were, in exceptional manners.  We have every right to demand our leaders don’t hurt our cause, but we also must realize we are electing a President of the United States, not a president of the Jewish people, and we must therefore expect that president to do what they deem best for the country.  Furthermore, before Jewish supporters get all excited about a Trump presidency merely because his daughter converted and he speaks harshly about Muslims, keep these 2 things in mind.  When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric Trump punished him by cancelling his trip to Israel.  Also keep in mind how Trump plans to reconsider aide to our allies, including Israel.

The point is, no matter who you are or where you come from, whatever good you believe you are hearing about Donald Trump, he’s only telling you to get your vote.  Yes, you can say that about all politicians, but don’t tell me how different Donald Trump is from the establishment.  He funded the establishment, including the Clintons, for decades.

I don’t buy into the fact that a Hillary Clinton presidency will be 4 more years of an Obama presidency.  If anything I believe it is more likely to be closer to being 4 more years of a Bill Clinton presidency, and that would be just fine by me.  I honestly don’t know how good of a president Hillary would be, but I feel that her demeanor, her experience and her intellect is enough to make me very comfortable in giving her my vote.  I think her choice of Tim Kaine already shows she is making choices based on her agenda as opposed to the demands of others.  I think she is ready to be president today, as opposed to her candidate who will never be ready to be president.  Besides the fact that I’ve always been offended by the implication that America isn’t great, merely for the benefit of a slogan, I also know that Donald Trump couldn’t even make Atlantic City great again.

I know that many reading this find it hard to believe that I, someone who has always been so outspoken about the security of Israel could support Clinton over Trump, but guess what?  I find it hard to believe that you don’t.  You might be able to legitimately raise questions about her, but to me that doesn’t mean voting for Trump, someone who repeatedly shows signs of being a global menace.  I’ve seen and heard enough bad from Trump to not vote for him while seeing enough good to vote for Hillary, and that is what I intend to do.  What good you ask?  In this political climate don’t count on answer, because most people asking won’t accept my answer anyway.  You vote your conscience and I’ll vote mine and I’ll accept you for your choice whether you return the favor or not.  After all, that’s the American way.

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Meet the new King of the Republican Establishment

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Let’s be honest. Most people wouldn’t even look at someone if they attacked their parent or spouse in the way Trump did to Cruz’s wife and father. Calling an American judge of Mexican descent unqualified because of his heritage, Trump saying he would force the military to take actions deemed as war crimes and accusing Cruz’s father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination are all examples of comments made by the Republican nominee after the pledge taken by his opponents to support whoever wins the primaries. But let’s be tell it like it is. What people are really showing is that they are backing their new ESTABLISHMENT candidate Donald Trump, who not only didn’t fight the establishment, he manipulated it to his benefit. So congratulations on your candidate who I may very well win, and continue to vilify Ted Cruz who actually is anti-establishment, one of the reasons he is hated. Personally, and this is coming from a social liberal, I found Ted Cruz to be refreshing and commend him to have the strength of character that typical politicians like Rubio, Walker and Ryan didn’t have.

What Ted Cruz magnified last night, at least for people willing to see it, is the difference between pandering to people’s fears and paranoia and actually bucking the establishment. My socially liberal views always held me back from being an all out Cruz supporter, but I will say, as someone who always has appreciated him for his unapologetic support for Israel that today I have more respect for him than I’ve ever had.  I know that’s an unpopular view, particularly with Trump supporters, I’m not one anyway, but what other Republican politician has presented himself in a more dignified way in opposition of Donald Trump? John Kasich has stood strong but done so in a passive-aggressive manner that has made his defiance somewhat irrelevant.  But what Ted Cruz did in standing firm on what he believes in, exercising his right to free speech and not caving to the pressure from the establishment, shows that there is a genuine side to him.

What Ted Cruz proved last night was that once again the establishment has won.  About a year and a half ago I predicted the election would be Clinton against Bush.  When the primaries began and Trump started making waves, I insisted the establishment wouldn’t let  him win.  But I was wrong.  Why? Because the Republican establishment outsmarted all the Republican voters looking for an anti-establishment candidate.  Rather than forcing in their establishment candidate, once they knew there was no stopping what was happening, they made the candidate the establishment and blended with him.  Since Trump is really only about winning and gaining power, he bought right into it.  Now enter Ted Cruz who comes along and shows that he still isn’t the establishment and he is verbally destroyed by what else, the new Donald J. Trump Republican establishment. Excuse my vulgarity, but outsider my ass.  Trump presented himself as an outsider, gained popularity and wiggled his way from the outside to the inside and changed the Republican Party forever.  Whether the Republicans want to admit it or not, Donald Trump is the new King of their establishment, not the destroyer. At least for now. I hope Trump does a great job should he get elected, but besides hoping he doesn’t get elected, should he fall on his face before or after the election, years from now now there will be Republicans who will admit their party got hijacked and Republicans who will deny it.  But love him or hate him, no one can ever say Ted Cruz didn’t tell you so.  And now the Republican establishment, led by one Donald J. Trump hates him for it.

There is one other possibility, and that is that every “controversy” of the convention has been orchestrated.  As the old saying goes, “made you look”.

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Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly Regarding Media Involvement in Trump’s success

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Dear Bill,

I happen to be a fan of yours.  I watch your show often, find you engaging, informative and have a great admiration for your intelligence.  Normally I find you to be true to your word about being fair and balanced.  However in a recent discussion on your show in which you discussed the impact the media has had on the rise of Donald Trump I felt you did the one thing you normally do not do, you spun the story to benefit your position. Normally the manner in which you stay clear of that trap distinguishes you significantly from anyone else that comes close to your level of success.  In this matter however I fee that you failed tremendously, and here is why.

I find it unlikely you will read this, even less likely you will respond and next to impossible that my concerns will reach anyone beyond your organization or your show for that matter, but seeing as this is indeed a story I agree to be as significant as you maintain it to be, I felt it important to reach out to you.  You may indeed be entirely correct regarding some of your assertions of your lack of involvement in the promotion of Donald Trump.  I believe you when you say you have made unsuccessful attempts at getting other candidates on your show and I accept your argument that your job is to report the news and that Donald Trump makes news.  But what about the rest of the media, be it FOX ,CNN or others?  After last week’s primaries in Pennsylvania, my brother Marcel Groen, State Party Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party was scheduled to appear on FOX Business with Neil Cavuto.  He waited for about an hour before he had to go back to attend to his responsibilities and commitments.  Why? Because almost every single guest that came on, some that appeared to not be originally scheduled, came on to speak about Donald Trump, pushing Neil Cavuto way over his schedule.   I understand that FOX is a network far more in sync with the Republican Party, but there was more news that night than Donald Trump.   I realize in fairness that what happened the day of the Pennsylvania primaries can not be directly seen as helping the rise of Donald Trump to that point, but it certainly did represent what has been going on for quite some time.  Also let me make something clear.  This is not about me being disappointed that my brother did not appear on air that night.  I am quite certain he got over it immediately as did I and anyone else who wanted to see him. However, it does clearly show how the coverage is driven by the Trump phenomena over everything else.

And it is hardly just FOX who is to blame. CNN has their very own Trump surrogate, Kayleigh Mcenany at almost every political discussion.  What other candidate can we say that about?  It often seemed that when there were Trump surrogates at most of these discussions, they were countered more with anti-Trump voices than with surrogates for Cruz or Kasich.

The media may not want to accept responsibility, but it has a responsibility nonetheless. For months all we heard about John Kasich was how he was the most qualified of any candidate. Yet since he was not exciting enough, and therefore might not have generated the same ratings, the percentage of time he was covered compared to Donald Trump and even Ted Cruz was catastrophic to his candidacy.  And Bill, regardless of whether or not the other candidates accept your invitation to be on your show, did you not have some responsibility to cover their activities in a more proportionate manner?  Your answer may very well be that you did not have that responsibility and that would certainly be within your rights. After all, as you often say, it is your show, you have been number 1 for a long time and you know what you are doing.  I just think it would be have been more fair and balanced to an audience possibly making the most important choice of its lifetime if you had accepted that responsibility.  Most of all it would have been far more honest if you would have come clean and admit it’s all about ratings rather than say the media did not play a significant role.

I have heard the argument that has been made about how so much of the negative press about Donald Trump also comes from the media.  That immediately made me remember one of my best friends from my High School days in London who once told me, “I don’t really care if people love me or hate me, as long as they talk about me”. Donald Trump has benefited from this excessive coverage from the start, be it good or bad.  But Bill, I ask you to consider the following analogy.  When a fan rushes on to a baseball field, television no longer shows the fan in realization that in doing so the allure of rushing the field has been significantly diminished.  Who knows what might have happened for example if the media had reacted comparably to Donald Trump saying that John McCain was not a war hero because he got caught.  The Trump campaign may never have gotten to where it is today.

All this being said I will continue to watch because I do respect you and enjoy your show, even if I do feel that regarding this topic you have been much less truthful than you normally are, not just to your audience but possibly to yourself as well.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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The Real Reason Donald Trump is Dangerous

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Donald Trump is right about one thing.  More people are talking about this year’s presidential primaries than any time in history.  One could argue this is partly due to the fact that we are dealing with a polarizing populist with a one syllable name.  As the primaries continue, the feelings towards Republican candidate Donald Trump are becoming more and more intense on both sides.  By now most people either love him or hate him.  He’s been called a racist, misogynist, another Hitler, Mussolini, demagogue, fascist, you name it, he’s been called it.  Who and what Donald Trump is has become the most talked about issue, not just in American politics, but in the entire country. It’s even transcended American politics, becoming a discussion all over the world where the big question being asked is, “what if he wins?” Of course a lot of this discussion is rooted in fear. Even a lot of the people who like him have at least some trepidation. So the obvious question is whether or not we actually should be afraid of Donald Trump. The short and definitive answer is yes, just not necessarily for the reasons most often discussed.

While most people think the most frightening thing about him is his behavior and demeanor, something certainly a cause for at least some concern, I believe the thing we should be most worried about is far more significant.  When people speak about Trump being anti-establishment they are generally referring to his developing battle against the Republican establishment.  That in itself might be fine to everyone other than members of the actual Republican establishment.  Their fear is based more on their personal status than the future of the country.  The thing we as a nation really need to be worried about is far more serious than the damage being done to the GOP and its high-ranking members. What we need to be concerned with is how Donald Trump is trying to change a lot more than the Republican establishment, he is looking to change the entire American establishment. If that doesn’t scare you, it should.

A perfect example of what Trump is doing can be seen in the impact he is having on the media.  The actions and words of Donald Trump and members of his campaign together with the polarization his candidacy is causing has often created a situation journalists and members of the press universally try to avoid, and that is those reporting the news becoming the story.  The most notable example is Megyn Kelly of FOX.   Kelly is a consummate professional very adept at reporting the news while never actually becoming the news. But the following exchange with Donald Trump in a debate last August 6th did just that, not so much because of Trump’s response at the debate, but because of his subsequent behavior and comments towards Kelly since.

Kelly: “You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’ Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?”

Trump: “What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry, I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that to you.”

 

As we all know by now, Trump went back on his word and did indeed do that t0 her.  If we want to be fair and say that Kelly was particularly hard on Trump at the debate, we can go one step further and say that Trump’s response was appropriate and fair.  But it did not end there.   That was just the beginning of a continuing onslaught  as he went on to repeatedly refer to her as Crazy Megyn Kelly on Twitter, and calling her names like “sick” or “overrated”.  Nothing however was more bizarre than the line, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever …”.  All of this was punctuated by a call by Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski to FOX prior to a later debate in which he basically threatened Kelly by saying, she had a ‘rough couple of days after that last debate’ and he ‘would hate to have her go through that again.’ 

Then of course there’s the  Michelle Fields incident.  Regardless of whether or not one believes Fields is right or wrong, it was without doubt, Trump’s subsequent handling of the situation that truly made her the story.  After Fields accused Trump’s campaign manager of manhandling and injuring her to prevent her from getting close to his boss, rather than deal with it swiftly and tactfully, Trump decided to once again go on the attack. In most instances a campaign would do everything in their power to make something like this go away quietly.  But not this time.  Donald Trump’s reaction was to go on the  attack and accuse Fields of making up the allegations.  In doing so Trump made Fields the story.  Had he reacted differently and allowed the current established system the opportunity to handle this through the legal system, the worst case scenario would have been that she would be proven correct and it would likely have become much less of a story.  The best case for Donald Trump and his campaign would have been that his assertion that this was a fabrication would have been validated, making anything that would happen to her be a result of her actions, not his.  If you take Michelle Fields on her word, an apology would have made this go away entirely. What happened instead?  Trump went on full attack mode and Fields would wind up having to leave her job and deal with death threats. All this as a result of Trump’s continuing strategy of bucking the establishment.

Losing graciously is not an established tradition of the Republican Party, rather an expected and yes, there’s that word again, established behavior in American politics. After losing in Wisconsin, Trump issued the following statement:

“Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC’s spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating `with his own Super PAC’s (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again.”

In direct contrast, after losing to Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin Hillary Clinton made the following comments:

“Sen. Sanders had a good night last night, and I congratulated him, but if you look at the numbers, I’m still considerably ahead in both the popular vote and most importantly, the delegate count,” Clinton told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “So I’m feeling very good about where we are.”

 

This is not to say that the more amicable comments of Clinton automatically make her a better person or better candidate than Trump, rather to show the distinct difference between someone who follows the established process rather than work towards changing and restructuring it according to their own will.

That is where the ultimate danger lies. Of the  many people who chuckle at the entertainment value provided by the Trump candidacy, there are those who think he is exactly what the country needs and there are those who believe he may just be an out of control lunatic.  Regardless of what you may think, make no mistake.  His strategy is extremely well-planned and calculated.  To use the old cliche’, Trump is looking to divide and conquer.  Many people already see that, but a large percentage of these people believe he is attempting to do it only to the Republican Party.  In reality what he is really attempting to do, with a somewhat frightening degree of success till now, is tear down the entire established way of doing things so he can rebuild it according to his will.  The one glaring problem with Democracy, is if you convince enough people that your way is the right way, it becomes more and more difficult to fight against it, no matter how damaging it may be.  Populism feeds into the fear and anger of the citizenry and Trump is nothing if not a populist.  The continued popularity of Trump and increasing popularity of Bernie Sanders is all about populism. There are people out there who don’t even need to know that their political savior has realistic or safe approaches towards what ails them, they merely need to hear someone say they are going to do things differently and save them.

If Donald Trump is successful, a lot of what we know to be the norm will change.  As a successful and powerful businessman, Trump is used to doing things his way, not necessarily the expected way.  This is why he does nothing truly genuine to discourage violence at his rallies and why he can go as far as to talk about his private parts at a rally.  A valid argument can be made that we want a leader with so much confidence in their way that they only want to do things according to their plan.  The problem with this is very clear and very simple.  The amount of power that scenario potentially gives that leader is extremely dangerous, regardless of whether that leader is Donald Trump or anyone else.  The difference with Trump is that he has shown a clear desire and ability to break down many elements of the establishment and has garnished enough support in his populist movement to be very relevant.  The one thing no one can be sure of is, should he achieve his desired goal, is whether or not that power will translate into brilliant leadership or devastation and catastrophe.  It is human nature to get drunk on power, and the dangers of Trump getting that power make it a risk anyone supporting him should think about long and hard before taking. The problem with populism is that it is often fueled far more by emotion than reasonable thought.  A factor Trump may very well be counting on.

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Americans are Looking for a Hero

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The ongoing saga surrounding the search for the next President of the United States is an almost overwhelming exercise in analysis and judgement flooding the press and social media.  It’s clear that everyone is in search of something.  The obvious question is what?  The answer is a very simple one.  People are looking for a hero.

8 years ago, some in America thought they found their hero in Barack Obama. Partisan politics pretty much guaranteed that a majority were Democrats, but that being as it may, a significant percentage of these people did hold hope that this president would save the country from its growing travails. Today, although there are some who still may see the current President in the same light, many people are disillusioned by their perception that he has been anything but the hero they so hoped he would be.  As the country narrows down it’s search to 5 people, potentially more depending on how the conventions go, what is glaringly apparent is that the people need a hero now more than ever.

Whether you like them or not, the two candidates feeding into that need the most are Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. It can’t be denied that to the liberal college student Bernie Sanders is a champion unlike any they’ve seen in their lifetime.  The fact that most are only old enough to be voting for the 2nd time at best, plays into this a little, but be that as it may, many of the more liberal and disillusioned of all ages are certainly”feeling the Bern”.

Although his supporters include different types of people, Donald Trump is most definitely the hero of a large percentage of white blue collar males.  Feeling forgotten and betrayed by their government, many of these people feel the message of Trump is either more important than his delivery, or are staunch supporters of not only what he says, but how he says it.  Many women who support him, even those distancing themselves from his, at best questionable behavior towards women, still see him as the one person in the race that can save the country or as he says,”Make America Great Again”.

This issue also magnifies the biggest problem facing Hillary Clinton.  There is a percentage of her supporters who are energized and excited by her candidacy, and some men and many women who find the prospect of her being the first female President heroic from an historical perspective, but the various scandals she is connected to or allegedly involved in, are certainly enough to cause someone to seriously question her ability to govern at all, let alone be that hero so many people are looking for.

Candidates like Ted Cruz and John Kasich may be getting more votes because of people that like them better than the other two, Trump being the third, than because of being seen as the statesman, or woman people are so desperately in search of.  In the case of Cruz, there are so many people who don’t like him, it’s impossible to imagine he would ever be seen as a hero to any significant majority of American people.  Then again, before 9/11 Rudy Giuliani was at best a good Mayor to some, many people did not like him at all, while after 9/11 some were comparing him to Winston Churchill.

It was Shakespeare who wrote, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”.   The truth is that as much as anyone seems sure of who would be good and who would be bad for the country, none of us know for sure.  We think we do, and we often vehemently say so, but until any one of these candidates is in the position of leadership we just don’t know for sure.  Many who felt that they knew Obama would be great now feel very differently and it’s safe to say that many people did not know that Harry Truman would have the courage to make what might have been the hardest decision a President ever made in order to end a war. What we can be fairly certain of is that whoever is chosen as the next President, he or she will most likely be severely tested.  The danger facing the country is twofold.  The first one, which is the more basic of the two, is that should the next President not be up to the task, failing these tests could be catastrophic, not just for America but the entire world. The second danger is that if the President is unable to accomplish the most basic needs of the nation, keeping it safe and improving its economy, the backlash will be so severe that the continuing search for that populist heroic leader could bring about a devastating collapse in the political structure.  It’s not far-fetched to say that the stakes have never been higher.


Why the big voter turnout in the Presidential Primaries won’t translate to the General Election

 

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Christian evangelicals, feminists, college students, white males, socialists, racists, are all part of the reason there has been such a large turnout of voters this Presidential primary season.  It may indicate a greater interest in politics by American citizens, but when all is said and done there will likely only be 2 candidates remaining, and other than a protest vote, we can be fairly certain that a large number of people voting in the primaries will be too disillusioned to vote in the general election.

The most likely demographic to be disillusioned are the supporters of Bernie Sanders. Those ‘feeling the Bern’, particularly those normally not showing an interest in politics, will find their usual apathy vindicated should Hillary not only win the nomination but do so with the help of the Democrats hierarchy.  If it becomes obvious that the deck is stacked against Bernie thanks to Hillary’s support from Super Delegates, many of the more than 2.5 million people who have supported Sanders to date will either choose to ignore the process or even worse for the Democrats, protest it.  One thing they won’t do is vote.

Then there’s the approximately 35% of Republicans, mostly white males, supporting Donald Trump.  If Donald Trump is not the nominee, regardless of whether or not an argument can be made for it being for fair or unfair reasons, a large number of those voters are likely to stay home as well.  With the way Trump has gone after Cruz, even if he were to give his support to Cruz should the Texas Senator get the nomination, his constant use of the term “Lying Ted” will make it very difficult to convince Trump supporters to give their vote to Cruz.  If the Convention is contested or worse for the Republicans, brokered, the only way these people will vote is if Donald Trump decides on a 3rd party run.  I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t believe Donald Trump is actually a racist, a Demagogue yes, a racist no, but it is also fairly clear that the majority of white supremacists and anti-Semites are Trump supporters. If we are to accept that this demographic is galvanized by Trump’s atypical demeanor and rhetoric, the only other candidate out there fitting that mode would be Bernie Sanders.  Well forget about that. These guys most certainly won’t go for the Jewish Socialist.

Of course all of that also means that a large percentage of Cruz supporters won’t vote for Donald Trump.  Many of these same people would likely stay home if another candidate was put forth at the convention unless Cruz was offered the job of Vice President.  But even then, the  Cruz supporters who are anti-establishment would feel betrayed by their candidate being pushed to the second spot.

Trump getting the nomination for the Republicans also creates a problem, particularly if Clinton gets the nomination for the Democrats.  There are many people, people who have shown support for many of the other candidates, who find neither of these candidates to be a viable option.  The only way these people would vote is to stop a candidate, in which case their vote would be based on hate for one, rather than support for another. Either way this diminishes the turnout.

Unless by some miracle a candidate presents themselves as someone who can unite the entire country, it is very apparent that the great turnout we see in the primary season is unlikely to repeat itself in November.  Since neither of the front runners have been able to even do that within their own party, I think it is fairly safe to say that won’t happen, which means many Americans will look back at this past year  as a big waste of time.  Not the best thing for Democracy.

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Don’t Shoot the Messenger

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I’ve lost count how many times during this election cycle I’ve said the following words, “I’ve never seen anything like this”, only to follow up almost immediately with, “no one’s ever seen anything like this”.  We all know that this is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in an American presidential election.  The behavior of the candidates toward one another and the reaction of the population to the different candidates is unprecedented in American history.  What’s been lost in the discussion is the passion generated among regular people and the schisms caused not just among friends and acquaintances, but even families.

The days of agreeing to disagree are crumbling at an alarming rate.  No longer is it enough to say you are not voting for someone.  If you don’t philosophically smash them into the ground, call them a racist, a criminal or a degenerate, you yourself may be attacked.  Like Donald Trump?  You must be a racist and bigot.  Like Hillary?  You support murderers and liars?  Like Ted Cruz?  You must be a fascist and religious fanatic? Like Bernie Sanders? You must be a Socialist or Communist?  Like John Kasich?  Well then , you’re just a waste of time.

No longer can you support someone and not be called names by those who oppose your candidate.  To make matters worse, everyone is right?  Just ask them.  And I don’t mean the candidates, they’re supposed to say they are right.  I am talking about the people you interact with.  Heaven forbid you say something bad about Hillary Clinton to a Democrat.  You’re likely to cause a venom and anger that could ruin the relationship.  And don’t dare call out Donald Trump for his behavior.  You might be seen by your “friends” as an ISIS sympathizer.

There was once a time when people would disagree on politicians and the reactions would not be personal.  But nowadays, if you hold a different viewpoint, friendships can disintegrate into thin air.  After all, if your friends like Hillary more than Bernie, how can they respect you?

So how did we get here?  3 reasons.  Reality TV, Internet, and tough times.

The Reality TV part of it explains the ongoing craving for drama and sensationalism. It’s very much a part of what makes Donald Trump’s candidacy tick.  It certainly is what has helped him get all the attention he gets.  That and of course the aforementioned internet and tough times.

The Internet might not make everyone happy, but it’s a reality not just in American politics but in everything happening in the world today.  Nothing illustrates it as well as the fact that ISIS relies on it for recruiting up and coming terrorists.  So with all the exposure and information available, we now know not only more than we used to know about candidates, but probably more than we would like to know as well.

Lastly, the truth is these really are very trying times in almost every aspect of life. These difficulties breed tensions, and these tensions breed passion.  The issue of who will be the next leader of the free world matters more to people than maybe ever before, so if you don’t agree with your colleague, neighbor or relative, this really can turn into a big deal.

All I can hope is that people stay as civilized as possible.  In the meantime I hope to maintain as many positive relationships as possible with friends and family while still maintaining the integrity of my viewpoints.   I wish all of you the same good luck.

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