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Donald vs. Goliath

Updated on August 1, 2016
Bobby Shanahan profile image

Robert is a freelance writer/researcher in the Seattle, WA area. He covers current political, economic, and geopolitical news.

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To the Home Stretch

Since the beginning of July, Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in the national polls has evaporated. Though hardly indicative of the final results, these numbers reveal trends worth noting.

According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight 2016 Election Forecast, as of June 30, the Democratic nominee had an 80% chance of winning on November 8. Yet, after both conventions have taken place, that number has fallen to just 51%.

Donald Trump has evened the election.

Looking at Mr. Silver’s “polls-plus” forecast (which includes outside factors other than the polls), Clinton has a much better chance of winning the presidency. In this calculation, the Democratic nominee has a 60% chance of winning.

Historical trends seem to suggest it is a Republican’s turn to take over the White House. But, Donald Trump is not your typical Republican. In addition, President Obama still enjoys around a 50% approval rating nationwide (for now), about double President Bush’s during 2008. It is not likely that one party retains control of the presidency for three consecutive terms, but Obama has made anything possible.

If Donald Trump continues his populist, America-first message, and can convince enough Americans to come out to vote for him, then Republicans will win in November, but does he have a chance?

Looking to the battleground states, it seems he does. The race is tightening in key states - reflective of the closeness of the race. In Ohio, Trump has a 57% chance of winning the state, according to a collection of 21 recent polls, compiled by Silver’s forecasts. This, in contrast to the end of June, when Clinton had an almost 70% chance of winning the swing state.

In Florida, the state that gave Bush the razor-thin victory over Gore in 2000, a similar trend has played out. Clinton had a 71% chance of winning the purple state as of the July 9th. Yet over the last few weeks, Trump has closed the gap. He now has a 56% chance of winning the Sunshine State.

There are many reasons why Hillary Clinton would not make a great president. There are many reasons why Donald Trump could make a great president, and others that hint he might not, it's all really a guessing game. We know who these two are, for the most part, and now we must size them up for the most important job in the world.

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2016 Has Been A Year of Change and Chaos

Trump has painted the world as one that is on fire and recent events would back him up in this regard. In France, 250 have been killed over the last year and a half by radical Muslims. In Germany, 13 have been killed in one week by terrorists who entered the country as refugees. Turkey had a military coup not long ago and have been struggling to recover from a string of deadly terrorist attacks over the last month.

According to the group IntelCenter, there has been a significant attack directed or inspired by ISIS every 84 hours since June 8 in cities outside the war zones in Iraq, Syria, Sinai in Egypt and Libya. CNN's own tracking of attacks supports that conclusion.

In the United States, police officers are being gunned down in the streets. ISIS is inspiring attacks from coast to coast. African Americans feel targeted by white cops as racial divisions continue to grow. Hearing all of this, the world is freaking out because Donald J. Trump might become president?

Give me a break.

While the world currently seems ablaze, it has still come a long way over the last century. The world is not at war as it was in the first half of the 20th century. People make more money, are healthier, and even happier than a half century ago.

Yet, the number of battlefield deaths in the last year has spiked. 112,000 dead in 2015 was a 20-year high. The number of terrorist incidents per year has almost tripled since 2011, while the number of terrorism deaths has increased to over 30,000 during that period. But, a majority of this is concentrated in one obvious area. According to Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace: “If we took the Middle East out of the index over the last decade – and last year – the world would have become more peaceful.”

The internet is the natural home for confirmation bias and horror porn. The way the news is absorbed these days makes things look worse than they really are. Trump has pounced on this reality. The way things are going do not bode well for the party currently in power.

Do you think Hillary Clinton is the right choice for America’s future?

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Hillary is the War Candidate

Hillary Clinton would make America less safe by starting more wars. On Russia, Trump seems to have an open mind. Clinton has called Mr. Putin a “bully,” one sign she would bring us closer to World War III with the former Soviet power. As secretary of state, she staged the infamous “reset button” fiasco with the Russians, hoping to broker a cooperation that never became a reality. Clinton and her campaign now accuse the Russians of hacking the Democratic National Committee emails in order to help Trump win the election.

Hillary’s hawkishness is no secret. She consistently differed with Obama on how to handle the chaos emanating from the Middle East and North Africa, but what they did agree on was the drive-by war in Libya that national security experts all conclude was a horrific decision. Clinton would also enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, a move that would bring the U.S. into direct conflict with not only Syria, but also Russia.

The wars perpetrated by both Clintons, Bush, and Obama involved us in wars that were unwinnable and ultimately made Americans less safe. Trump, on another hand, with all his shortcomings, at least promises to steer the country out of war with Russia, as opposed to bringing us closer to World War III. He also seems to concentrate on defeating not imaginary enemies, like global warming, but real enemies like ISIS and al-Qaeda who are actually threatening the security of the United States and Europe.

A simple suggestion for those going to the polls on the 8th of November: a vote for Trump = peace, a vote for Hillary = war.

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Hillary is the Open Borders Candidate

On immigration, Donald Trump has famously called for a 1,000 mile wall along the southern border, financed by Mexico. He has said all remittance payments derived from illegal wages sent from the U.S. to Mexico will be impounded in order to pay for the wall. Trump wants to increase the number of border patrol officers and has also called for the deportation of roughly 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S., while also calling for the end of “birthright citizenship,” which gives anyone born in the U.S. citizenship status, regardless of the citizenship status of the mother or father, a move only 39% of Americans supported in a 2011 poll.

Mrs. Clinton does not want to enforce the laws in place, instead calling for “comprehensive immigration reform.” This term is just another word for amnesty, however, as she supports a plan that would give a path to citizenship to those same 11 million here illegally, cutting everyone in line trying to get to the U.S. legally. She would continue the illegal executive actions taken by Obama to protect people from deportation. Illegal immigration would therefore continue under a President Hillary Clinton, and likely accelerate.

We have seen what open borders do to Europe. An axe rampage, a shooting spree, and a knife attack, all within one week, have left 13 dead in Germany, a country now hanging on by a thread. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s premiership is defending its welcoming of refugees, despite the violence. Thousands of Germans turned up over the weekend to protest and call for Merkel’s resignation, with well over 5,000 in Berlin.

Three of the four attackers were asylum seekers, and two of the assaults were claimed by ISIS, who has promised to embed terrorists into the masses of refugees coming into Europe. Germans are not liking the direction of their country as a new survey found that 83% of Germans see immigration as their nation's biggest challenge - twice as many as a year ago.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both want to welcome more refugees from Syria, despite the fact that ISIS is using it as a way to cross Western borders unchecked.

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Hillary is the Wall Street Candidate, and the Economy Still Sucks

Democrats continue to rail against money in politics, however, it is their nominee who has been the recipient of up to $122.7 million in political donations this election cycle from hedge funds. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has received only $19,000 from this same crowd.

In the past, Clinton has declared that the right to free political speech has had a “pernicious effect” on the country. Still, this didn’t stop her from making more than $21 million delivering closed-door speeches to dozens of big banks, hedge fund companies, and investment firms. Her time in political office, doing “public service,” along with her husband, has helped them rake in millions of dollars over the years.

Clinton pays lip service to regulating Wall Street, but does anyone believe her? Classic Washington practice includes big banks donating hefty sums to politicians, especially ones who proclaim long lists of regulations against them. This is done in a desperate attempt to have a seat at the table when those regulations are put in place. Clinton cannot be trusted to be our next president because she is in bed with these same big banks that sent us into financial meltdown mode not too long ago.

Another reason Donald Trump will likely become our next president is that the economy is still pretty sluggish. Gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the U.S., grew at an adjusted annual rate of just 1.2% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday, well below expectations. This economic “growth” is now at a 1% rate in 2016, the weakest start to a year since 2011. That makes for an annual average rate of 2.1% growth since the end of the recession, the weakest pace of any expansion since at least 1949, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Barack Obama’s economy remains on track to be one of the worst in U.S history. He will likely become the only president in history to not grow the economy by at least 3% for one year. Every other president in American history (even Jimmy Carter!), had at least one year when GDP grew by at least 3%. Yet, Obama, with two full terms, could not get it done.

The yearly GDP numbers below are directly from the official website of the World Bank:

2009: -2.8%

2010: 2.5%

2011: 1.6%

2012: 2.2%

2013: 1.5%

2014: 2.4%

2015: 2.4%

Does this look like a “recovery?”

So far, Clinton’s economic agenda has not received much scrutiny, if any. While the media focuses in on Trump’s latest gaffe, Clinton’s harmful plans for America’s economy go mostly unnoticed. Is more debt and more government what America wants right now?

Hillary’s formally proposed $1 trillion net tax increase consists of the following:

  1. Income Tax Increase = $350 Billion

  2. Business Tax Increase = $275 Billion

  3. “Fairness” Tax Increase = $400 Billion

When you tax something, you get less of it. If Clinton’s grand idea to get the economy humming again is to pile more taxes onto hard-working Americans, then Donald Trump could very well be catapulted into the presidency. All he has to do is point out that Barack Obama will be the first and only president to not see 3% growth for an entire year, and Hillary Clinton will continue us down that same dismal path.

Mr. Trump, for all his errors, has actually hired people, fired people, and run companies. He knows how get things moving in the right direction and our government needs to be run more like a business than a bureaucracy. Businesses continue to evolve and work for the shareholders in order to be as profitable as possible. Bureaucracies protect themselves, move at a glacial pace, and rarely adapt with the changing times. Clinton would continue to move us away from a federal government that works for the people, instead opting for one that protects its own and consolidates more power to the executive branch.

Liberals continue to deny our fiscal reality. Like nearly all superpowers before us, U.S. leaders see us as the lone superpower, so why bother being fiscally prudent?

Clinton and Democrats neglect the fact that U.S. debt is already $19+ trillion and climbing. The Congressional Budget Office sees at least another $10 trillion in debt in the coming years, and projects that the U.S. budget deficit will increase every single year. What American household or business is run this way? How can we continue on this path?

The U.S. government and its leaders remain in denial, oblivious to the ticking time bomb that is our national debt. At some point, the bill will become due, but that will be for Millennials to decide once they're in charge.

Will Donald Trump change this? Maybe. Will Hillary Clinton? Absolutely not. So, why not go with what might work, as opposed to going with what you know will not?

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Where We Go From Here

On Sunday, we entered the final 100 days of the election. Clinton is pursuing the traditional route to victory: developing a ground game in crucial states, running data and analytics, television ads, policy speeches, and meeting with key interest groups. Trump, on the other hand, will pursue a more unconventional plan: continuing to hold big rallies, grabbing the headlines, and tweeting.

Trump’s president-as-entertainer strategy has helped him win the GOP nomination, but will it translate to the general election? Democrats left Philadelphia thinking their more conventional convention was more effective. But, Trump’s team denies this, pointing to liberal protests and angry Bernie supporters as signs of disunity in the supposedly unified party.

“Democrats went into their convention and completely bought in whole hog on Obama’s third term and keeping the status quo,” Trump adviser Jason Miller said. “That’s a dangerous place to be when 70 percent of Americans think we’re on the wrong track.” Trump’s camp seems to think that enough Americans are fed up with the way things are going and this will help their side immensely.

“People are certainly not satisfied with the status quo, and that makes electing someone from the other party an attractive option,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said. “However, there’s a distinction between voters wanting change and voters wanting the kind of change Donald Trump would present.” Whether or not voters want more of the same or something different will be made clearer after September 26th, when the two candidates have their first nationally televised debate.

Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess. This election has been anything but predictable so far. But, with the facts laid out in this article, one can get the impression that things seem to be going Mr. Trump’s way if he can put together a serious and swelling presidential campaign over the next few months.

Trump gained on Clinton following the end of his nomination in May. Clinton then rebounded following her official nomination in June. The polls then held steady until early July when FBI Director James Comey repudiated Mrs. Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state. Then, following the Dallas shootings of police officers and the truck terrorist attack in Nice, France, the events seem to be playing into Trump’s narrative about a world spinning out of control. And now, Trump, the “law and order candidate,” is enjoying a modest post-convention bounce.

This election will be very close, but it will come down to the battleground states, as it always does. Trump has momentum and the narrative on his side, but Clinton has the media and the electoral college on her side.

Who’ll win? We’ll find out in just under 100 days!

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 13 months ago from Auburn, WA

      This is one of the best pro-Trump arguments I've heard in a while. HRC is as bad as everyone thinks. There is no doubt about it. But any chance Trump had of winning is long gone. He should have hired Conway and Ailes a year ago. His wacky ways work in primaries, but not a general election, where every word and utterance is dissected. The past month has been a disaster for his campaign.

      Barring an indictment or other revelation, HRC will coast to an easy victory with at least 340 electoral votes.