Trump VS. Clinton--the battle of the extremes
TRUMP VS CLINTON
THE BATTLE OF THE EXTREMES
By Roger Lippman
The parties have yet to hold their conventions but unless a comet lands on either convention hall to prevent it, we will see Hilary and Donald as their parties nominees and all the other parties running like Libertarians, etc. fielding candidates will be of no significance.
While Bernie may still be unofficially “in”, he can’t win and his aim now is to influence the Democratic party platform or he will not support Hillary. Their party is not 100% unified and no matter what, some Democrats who do not like Hillary will not vote for her. Whether they will sit out the race or move to Donald, no one knows. Others who may feel Bernie got a raw deal may do the same. So does the outcome mean the Democratic vote increases, I do not think so unless they somehow attract those who would have voted Republican but for Donald Trump.
On the Republican side, All his bragging aside, Trump must realize he cannot hope to win a general election unless he not only garners the votes of Anti Trump Republicans but also some dissatisfied Democrats or independents.
So what is the thinking in the air for the non politicos and what do we see as motivating the electorate this year? Well, no matter what your political persuasion is, we have to all agree that Donald Trump was a lightening rod this time around for people disgusted with Washington. He brought into the open the huge dissatisfaction with our elected officials. Harry Truman once said of 80th Congees (between 1947-49) that they were the “ Do nothing Congress”. Well that is how people feel about Congress today.
Many feel elected representatives are more interested in protecting their seats and their party then in representing the people. We already know that they spend more time doing phone soliciting to raise more cash then spending in Congress or working on official business.
It seems Congressmen do not go for want with all sorts of special benefits and getting off easy when using funds for other purposes. Congress is first to protect itself and benefit itself. They also appear immune from criticism. More importantly the leaders are too dense to realize the Trump rebellion is real and due to their high handed attitude of doing nothing, getting nowhere with us footing the bill.
Of course our Supreme Court has made matters worse by allowing unlimited funds to be raised from all sources and forcing each election to be a battle of who can get the most money and support. The 5-to-4 decision in 2014 in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission (a case filed by the Republican National Committee and a donor), with the court’s more conservative members in the majority, echoed Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions, which decision altered campaign finance laws. It now limits how the government can justify laws said to restrict the exercise of First Amendment rights in the form of campaign contributions. So come one, come all and buy an elected official. It’s legal folks! And look at the results.
Making deals that do not benefit the people but only special interests who are the money providers is the name of the game. There is no limit to influence by lobbies and PAC’s and while we all look down at governments overseas that can be bought, the same can legitimately be said for ours as all it takes is a big purse, good lawyers and lots of influence and Congress bends to their will.
Drug Companies are free to charge absorbent fees because we cannot regulate them. Medicare is prohibited from negotiating for lower rates—all to increase drug profits and make us pay more. Military procurement suffers the same fate; so does health care and almost all activities. What is congress doing about this? Nothing of course because they brought it about with the aid of the Supreme Court.
The political bosses are immune from criticism and do not realize they have pushed away all the good will from the man and woman on the street unless they are seeking a hand out or looking for more of the same—and there are many of these who like the status quo and want more—at the expense of all the others.
Congress routinely gets low grades for trust --less than 50% and let’s face it, we do not admire the people in our government. Corrupt, indifferent, self servicing, you name it. They own it!
Add to the mix that Ted Cruz of the Tea party felt shutting down Congress and stopping business was positive and you have another element in the mix that wants to go farther to the right and the hell with everyone else. Compromise is out and the people be dammed.
So, some complain Congress is not effective enough and others say nothing effective can happen in Congress unless there is a political revolution and we all go to the right extreme. They share only one thing: dissatisfaction. Enter Donald Trump.
Where does the person of good will that is pro American and wants a better country go? Left, Right, Democrat, Republican, independent, third party or non voter?
Okay let’s look at the two sides once again and the pitfalls each face:
Hillary is pretty much saying she wants to keep the Obama addenda and advance upon it. More give always and more of the same. Our deficit will increase more and spending will go up. She is all about social issues. Bernie has pushed her to want to increase taxes on wealthy people to pay more towards the social programs and we are left to wonder if that is what we want. Hillary is a person with a record. She distrusts people who do not agree with her; is deeply suspicious of Republicans; and has done questionable things as Secretary of State with her E mails and particularly in Libya with the death of our Ambassador.
In business with Bill, she has had some questionable dealings in Whitewater and even cast suspicion with her first futures trade making 100,000% profit on a $1,000.00 investment buying cattle futures. When out of office, they accumulated massive millions of dollars for their foundation from foreign people including Saudi’s who do not have a 100% record of being on our side. She has taken huge amounts of money from wall street billionaires to speak and her honesty is highly questionable.
She lacks a complete comprehension of the huge international problems we face and prefers to deal with the social issues that will garner her the support of the minorities she needs to win in November.
Donald on the other hand has even more baggage. No one seems to deny that Donald first and foremost markets the Trump name. His “deals” are all about Trump. Trump wants headlines above all and he wants positive ones. If he is criticized, he is quick to threaten and then follow up with a law suit against people and more than one of such lawsuits has been dismissed by courts. However Trump does not care as he is motivated to use legal action as a threat that he will spend endless amounts of money on Law suits if people publicly disagree with him. The only difference between that and what a dictator does is they do not file a suit, they have you killed—or perhaps locked away in some prison.
Then too, he has championed low debt and brags how he has little when all his bankruptcies in the past were caused by too much debt which he was quick to put on. He defends himself saying he never went bankrupt, just a corporation of his which of course is a separate entity but a legal fiction.
He wants to bring business back to America and not use cheap foreign labor, both of which he has done in private business but would argue, he was just gaming the system as it was legal. Hardly admirable though. Can he bring all these businesses back? Doubtful. Can we stop others, sure with the right controls. However if they want to manufacture the product in a third world country because Americans want to pay less and there is competition, it is far more difficult preventing them from moving offshore. Leaving the U.S. for tax purposes alone, yes we can control that. To manufacture, probably not. We do not make TV’s, appliances, most electronics and other things here any more. They are gone as are industries like clothing, shoes, and the others. Americans will not pay more to have them made here. The “Made in America” label does not mean your man on the street will pay more for it.
His promise to build a wall with Mexico and have them pay for it is highly impractical as they will not pay for it and he can huff and puff but it may never be done. Do we need immigration reform, absolutely! Boarder patrol now is arresting even less people coming illegally over the boarder than at any time because they are using their energies to look for people who are from the middle east, not from South Americans.
Since Obama has issued so many restrictions on who can be stopped, at most the illegals are given a sheet telling them to appear at a court house for a hearing, and then let go so none of them appear and disappear into the population. Immigration control is a joke.
What can be done now? Nothing with our do nothing congress as both sides have their heads in the sand and no reasonable agreement can be reached. So how can Donald change all this or at least attempt to do so? No one knows as all we hear are sound bites and no substance.
Is Cruz right that we need more right wing people who will tie legislation up more, refuse to compromise and get nothing done but show their constituents that they have been loyal to their core values? Absolutely not!
We need more representatives who are smart enough to know we need compromise on things because 300 million citizens cannot ever stand together and agree on most issues. If we keep looking for people who want to sit at the end of each political pole and not come to a meeting in the middle, we can do nothing effective.
So, Trump is right. We need our roads, bridges, and all our infrastructure fixed and upgraded. We cannot leave it go as bridges collapse. Our water pipes in cities are collapsing and our electric grid needs repairs. That takes money and without spending it, we kick the can down the road to a date when we have a national crisis. How do you spend it and still lower the debt? Well we could start by cutting out some graft, fix the problems caused by the lobbyists and special interest people but that won’t happen.
However, is Trump the man to get it done? First, his ego stands in the way of educating him where he deficient in a subject. For example, take international matters. Here he is only a tad better than Dr. Ben Carson who was also a candidate for president. Trump did not see Vladimir Putin as essentially being in the wrong on anything. Forget Ukraine, forget Syria and forget his efforts to undermine the U.S., Trump likes Putin and thinks he can “work” with him. I hardly think Russia invaded Ukraine because Putin did not like Obama.
Then his statement he would like Japan, South Korea and even Saudi Arabia to have nuclear arms. Only a naïve person thinks the Saudis, who have been one of the chief architects of all the mess we face in the world, having the Hydrogen bomb would be a move in the right direction.
Add his remark that he would be neutral in any dealings with Israel and the PLO. Forget every settlement deal offered in the past was rejected by only the PLO and that Hamas still is actively fighting Israel. We have only one effective democratic ally in that region. It is Israel. As for Obama, he spent his time showing how Israel could not count on him and issued his famous red line in the sand with Syria only to have it violated and has been generally weak on foreign matters. So he was no hero to those who want to protect America.
Trump however just lacks knowledge, experience and judgment and I am not sure he will be wiling to listen to others with more wisdom given his huge ego and not liking people to disagree with him.
He insulted women, suggesting women getting abortions should be punished (only to retract that shortly thereafter) and insulted all Mexicans and Muslims as well as everyone else including John McCain who was wounded in the war.
Can he get support from people whom he needs to win a general election when he has offended them? I doubt it. I also think a third party run is not going to be effective as the Trump voters, if he does not get the nomination, will then say the party is to be dammed.
He could announce that if elected he will select Christie as attorney general and Ben Caron as secretary of health and welfare and bring back some of the party; his lack of real conservative credentials appears to be a real stumbling block to other. The key is whom he will select as his running mate for Veep. Trump claims he has a short list of 6 or 7 now for Vice President. Also Christie is on it and would be a good choice. While some say he may chose say Rubio for his vice president. Marco has already said “no”. Donald needs a person who will garner the conservatives and also add knowledge in those areas where Donald is surely deficient i.e. foreign affairs. Yet the real secret is to select someone who will also bring in independent voters as he will need more than just Republicans to win.
Carly is not going to work. Cruz is a lightening rod for the far right wing and there is real bad blood between them now. Besides, Cruz would surely alienate as many as he would bring over. Kasich is not going to add strength as he lacked support in any contest in which he ran outside of Ohio.
However is the real issue he faces in his party a lack of being conservative? Actually I think that is a phony issue. Bush was not that conservative on all issues, and certainly not Reagan. I think the Republican establishment despises Trump because of being, well, Trump.
So who adds strength to his run for election: how about John Boehner? He was a much admired (except for Ted Cruz) speaker of the House of Representatives who was a compromiser and resigned on his own after lack of support by Cruz and his followers but I doubt he would accept. He was a deal maker who did not favor what goes on now and very knowledgeable. Then too, Newt Gingrich was also a former speaker of the house but while he would bring along more conservatives, he would not get independents.
The real problem many people see, Trump is a lot of bluster and may treat this all as another game show. He lacks essential knowledge and skills. He is not one to listen and he does not have the temperament to work effectively.
We have many problems now and the Democrats do not see them. They want to concentrate on issues that solve none of the world issues and leave us more insecure as a nation. Republicans (Trump) have big brave plans with no details and a leader who may be his worse enemy.
Trump has insulted guys like Jeb who would certainly add strength as a VP but never accept. He is cozy now with Sarah Palin but those who liked John McCain when he was running until he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate, know her addition is really a negative. So where are we? Trump’s foreign experience centers around making deals for his projects and judging a beauty contest in Russia. This shows when he talks about giving Nukes out or saying he doesn’t see any problem with Putin.
Can he find someone credible with vast international knowledge that will fit the bill and more importantly someone he would listen to and could guide him remains to be seen. So far, he has not seemed to realize he is his own worst enemy and sees his own style getting him this far. Perhaps he thinks this is just another TV show and he controls the production and actors.
My prediction--finally: Hillary will win unless something in this dynamic changes. Four years from now Cruz will lead the ultra conservatives and a third party will emerge, whether of former Trump people or just fed up ones. What will that achieve? Only the end of the Grand Old party.
The one thing we can all agree with is it will be very interesting and dirty general election in November and you do not need to buy seats to see this melodrama played out around the world. Unlike Barnam and Baileys claim of their circus being “the greatest show on earth”, I think the upcoming election will beat it.