The Trump Madness Continues

Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S. Editor’s note after Trump articles in the Huffington Post

He’s still there and winning

By Roger Childs

Leading the Republican race still
Leading the Republican race still

In November last year when Republican presidential debates were in full swing, some American friends observed that Donald Trump wouldn’t last. The media, to a paper and channel agreed, but a day after Super Tuesday the bigoted businessman with no political experience, has a good chance of being the Republican candidate in November’s election.

To the outside world, America’s incredibly drawn out and convoluted political election process is a mystery. Presidential debates starting 15 months before the next president will take office; primaries in every state and territory; huge party conventions; then finally a lengthy election campaign constitute an exhausting scenario which the America people and media seem to thrive on.

Super Tuesday embeds the frontrunners

On Tuesday 11 states and American Samoa selected their delegates for the Democrat and Republican parties. To win nomination at the convention:

  • 2383 delegates are needed for the Democratic candidate
  • 1237 delegates are needed for the Republican candidate
Hillary Clinton should wrap up the  Democratic nomination
Hillary Clinton should wrap up the Democratic nomination

Hilliary Clinton is odds on to comfortably win the Democrat nomination and garnered most of the Super Tuesday delegates. However, social democrat Bernie Sanders has proved to be a tougher opponent than expected and though trailing the former Secretary of State, is still in the race.

On the Republican side Donald Trump won seven out of eleven of the states on offer in the crowded five way split for delegate votes.

The American media, the Republican Party establishment, seasoned GOP politicians and the rest of the world are scratching their heads on how this can be.

Why is the maverick businessman with no political record, a shady business career, outrageous policies like building a wall to stop the Mexicans coming in and a reputation for twisting the truth, so popular?

The Trump phenomenon

Firstly as a business tycoon and media mogul, Donald Trump is well known nationwide. He is big on self- promotion and has named casinos, golf courses and universities after himself. Humility is not word you associate with the man.

He has tapped in to the reality that a large number of Americans distrust government and especially the Washington scene, where politicians, often mired in corruption, seem to thrive while wasting taxpayer money.

A popular message
A popular message

Trump also wants to come down hard on migration from Mexico and Muslims coming into the country, and this plays on fears many Americans have.

He wants to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and plenty of people identify with this. How it will be done remains a mystery, but it sounds good to patriotic Americans. One surprising, but clever Trump policy, which has massive appeal, is increasing taxes on the rich and getting corporations and wealthy Americans to pay their fair share of taxes.

So for many Republicans, especially in the lower and middle classes, disenchantment with the political establishment, loathing of Wall St and big business, and the desire to maintain America for the Americans, means that a fresh face at the head of the US government has plenty of appeal.

Can Trump be stopped?

Ted Cruz: too irresponsible?
Ted Cruz: too irresponsible?

One of the problems for the Republican Party is that the field of candidates is too crowded. For the Democrats it is a two-way race, however Cruz, Rubio, Kasich and Carson are still competing with Trump on the Republican side. John Kasich and Ben Carson have no show of winning, but will they now drop out?

Out of Texas senator Ted Cruz and Florida senator Marco Rubio, the latter is probably the best bet. Cruz is the man who showed incredible political irresponsibility by leading the successful campaign to bring about a short-term end to funding of the federal government in late 2014. This meant National Parks closed and government employees weren’t paid. A good man for president?

Marco Rubio: the best hope to counter Trump?
Marco Rubio: the best hope to counter Trump?

The young, articulate, good looking Rubio has been described as the Great Right Hope and the Republican Obama.

He has had plenty of experience in state government and Congress; is married to a beautiful former cheerleader and bank teller; is a staunch Catholic with four children, and has Latino blood.

He also has the desirable conservative Republican views: anti-abortion, no compromise on gun laws, increased defence spending, tax reductions for the middle and upper classes and so on.

Could Rubio become the Republican candidate? Possibly, however the other candidates would have to swing in behind him to provide a united front against Donald Trump.

He would also need to focus more on policy and stop trading insults with the business tycoon.

One thing Trump doesn’t like, is being ignored.

 

This understates the reasons for the ‘Trump and Sanders’ support. Statistics on long-term unemployed are not gathered in the US and some commentators think the true figure is over 20%. Ironically Trump and Sanders are purveying the same message. The so-called white bigots and racists who follow the demagogic Trump know the American dream has been betrayed by the ‘too big to fail ‘ banks and Wall st. They are just hanging on financially. If they are lucky enough to have a job they wont have had a rise for over 10 years. Yes they hate the migrants, not for their colour or ethnicity but because they are competing with them for jobs which arguably are or should be their birthright.
In a further irony, for the future of the world (not the USA), Trump would be a better president than the other Republican contenders. For all his bluster he is likely to be cautious in dealing with China and Russia whereas Clinton proved to be a reckless adventuress as Secretary of State.

Frankly I think none of the above stand a chance of beating Hillary Clinton. I actually agree with some of Trump’s stances, particularly on infrastructure (driving on US interstates is not a pleasant experience), but as been said by others, he’s like a YouTube comments section running for President.

The Donald Trump Madness item brought to mind the famous statement by Pastor Martin Niemoller about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group:-

” First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me!”

I read this quote at the exit of the Washington Holocaust Museum after spending some two hours there. Trust me it is was impossible to stop the flow of your tears! Tony Fraei