Friday, May 6, 2016

God Help Us

Back in February on the eve of the Texas primary, I said “God help us if either Trump or Clinton lands in the White House”. And now here we are. Anything can happen between now and the conventions or before the election in November. But, it pretty much looks like a Trump vs. Clinton match-up.

I’m inclined to predict no way Trump can win. But, not in a million years would I have predicted that he would be the Republican nominee. So who knows? Clinton is not bullet-proof and she has a lot of baggage. There are also a lot of pissed-off people in this country who are fed up with professional politicians. Thus, we have Trump. And even a professional politician like Bernie Sanders, who is out of the mainstream, has been surprisingly competitive in his race with Hillary. He can’t win it. Nevertheless, it’s amazing how many people have voted for him and favor his far-left agenda.

I always say people do whatever they think will work. It’s may often be short-sighted or just flat out wrong. But we all tend to do whatever we think will work. The corollary to this is that people tend to reject whatever they think is NOT working. Again, they may be short-sighted or just flat out wrong. But when things aren’t working, we want change. And the more it’s not working, the bigger the desired change.

We now have a 24/7 news cycle that is always spinning. Contrary to what Bill O’Reilly says, there is not a “No Spin Zone”. Frankly, there is not enough real news to fill all of the 24/7 multi-channel programming capacity. So what are called “news” shows really become editorials. Throw in thousands of bloggers and tweeters and other assorted dart-throwers and we are constantly reminded of how our nation is really screwed up. The argument comes down to who’s to blame and how do we fix it?

The Left and The Right seem to agree that The “1 Percenters” are doing great and then there’s the rest of us. If you’re a young person dealing with massive student loan debt and questionable job prospects, Bernie Sanders is looking pretty good. If you’re a coal miner who’s been laid off, Donald Trump is your guy. If you’re a white construction worker in the Southwest who’s competing with Hispanic labor (some legal and some not so much); Donald Trump’s “Wall” sounds like a great idea. If you’re an Hispanic-American whose parents or grandparents have been here for thirty years (illegally) and someone is threatening to send them back to Mexico, you’re going to fight hard to keep that from happening. If the local factory closed and moved production out of the country and now you’re working two part-time jobs just to make ends meet, “Make America Great” and “Bring Jobs Back to America” are the t-shirts you’ll be wearing.

The Presidential election will come down to voter turnout, “the un-decided” and a few key states. The Democrats and the Republicans have their core constituencies. Even if they don’t particularly like their candidates, they will vote their party conscience or at least against the other side. Sander’s followers will vote for Clinton. The ABT (Anyone But Trump) Republicans will vote for Trump. Can the respective parties get their people out to vote? That’s the question. Those straddling the fence, “the un-decided”, will vote (or not vote) according to their most important issues of self-interest. And because we have this ridiculous Electoral College system, it will come down to a handful of states. In the end, Clinton will win. But don’t be surprised if The Donald makes it close.

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