- Politics and Social Issues
our choices for Election 2016
The Election of 2016
By Roger Lippman
Choices, choices, choices, what’s a person going to do with so many choices for the next presidential election and are they the right choices?
It’s now more exciting than going to the movies watching everyone battling it out. Ask a person whom they like, and either they seem to have a strong view on who is the best or just don’t want to vote because they do not like anyone. From past articles I have written you could glean it is no surprise that politics in America is a dirty business and the populace is never quite unified thinking what is best; this goes back all the way to the early presidencies. In fact, it has been quite ugly at various times in our history.
However today, national issues are so vital and important that the right choice is more urgent and necessary than ever.
So we have in one corner the champions of the Democratic party that would throw us off the cliff on the left and the in the other corner, champions of the Republican party that would throw us off the cliff on the right. Where is the middle ground? it does not exist because it is a dirty word to say moderate today or be in the middle because after all, isn’t the middle our government we have at present? Isn’t the middle today’s Congress with no action on any important issues? Is our president today in the middle? NO, I don't think so. Is there even a middle ground any more? You have to wonder.
Why is the middle so unpopular but maybe best and maybe more importantly, does any candidate represent the middle for those of us who seek a middle ground and a candidate to support? Also, is it fair to believe all the problems we have in our government and Congress today is caused by those in the middle or the "establishment"? Is it not fair to really say that Pres. Obama is quite a bit left of the center, is very weak on international affairs and our Congress is split by his party joining him on the left while tea party Republicans on the far right kidnapped the old Republican Party and it left the center right?
Let's analyze the field. In one corner, as they would say in a wrestling match, we have the tag team of Clinton and Sanders. In the right corner we have Trump and Cruz. Let's forget the others for a minute. Bernie is the one exciting liberal Democrats today. His biggest supporters are the young who see all the fault in America and think we need someone to shake it up. I was young once so I can recall what it is like to get excited and want real change in order to do good. However Bernie is a socialist and would really like to tax the hell out of wealthier people, up to 90%, and give it all to those not doing as well. Along the way he wants everyone to have a free college education and free healthcare. His positions on international relations are rather weak and he just wants to concentrate on everyone having the same thing or really a quality for everyone on everything. Bye bye free enterprise.
Young people fail to understand two essential issues. If you tax the hell out of corporations, the larger ones will move out of the United States faster than they are now. The smaller ones will simply go out of business because they can't afford the costs and of course they have to lay off workers. Wealthy people will have no motivation to donate to charities, or work as hard to create wealth – – much of which is taxable – – and instead of having more money for the government to give away, we will have less. Of course we can keep printing paper money going deeper into debt to cover Bernie's programs but what will happen to America when we are bankrupt or in deeper debt to China for buying up our debt?
It is noble to think that everyone should go to college. In Chicago 70% of young black men have not gone to college and are not working so a huge amount are in gangs. The figures are less for other minorities but still high. Again backers of Bernie fail to understand a college degree does not give you a guaranteed job. In fact as more jobs leave the United States, less people will be working. Here is what they all fail to understand: there are hundreds of thousands of openings for qualified workers in the trades that can't be filled today because of a lack of experienced workers. We need more trade schools because not everyone really is cut out to go to college, get a degree and then sit at home unemployed. Statistics prove many of the jobs moved out of America because we no longer have the skilled workers. So Bernie is just not the guy we need because he is stuck in his principles and not seeing reality.
Hillary, the main candidate of the party, has too much baggage. She thinks all Republicans are out to get her and quite frankly there are too many negatives including her handling of events while she was Secretary of State, the huge charitable contributions made to her and Bill, her email problems and the rest. Her obsession with those against her, reminds me of Richard Nixon, and we know what happened with him.
Forget Martin O'Malley because he has no chance to get the nomination.
So now we move to the right corner of the ring and find The Donald, who has stirred up the pot. Credit him with bringing to the front issues on everybody's mind. Were it not for him we would be seeing a rubberstamp of every other election with no one asking real questions on people's minds. Yet Donald would be a worse choice than the Democrats, because his proposals are off-the-wall. Sending 11 million people by plane to Mexico is ridiculous and impractical. Sounds great to motivate people just like shouting "all people should breathe air”, hooray! So calculate how many airplanes would be needed, the cost involved to pay all the airlines, rounding up 11 million people who may own the homes now and have jobs here, stopping all airplane traffic for months on end for everyone other than those being forcibly shipped to Mexico, and probably fighting a war with Mexico when they refused to accept 11 million drop-offs although many of them were from other parts of South America and elsewhere. Is this a joke? No really, just the proposal. Did he get the attention he wanted? Sure. Can we take him seriously? Absolutely not!
No one really wants to see everyone in the world just illegally come to the United States, obtaining benefits and of course enter whether you are a terrorist, a convict or someone we would want to exclude. So we need a middle ground which means find a way to send back criminals, those who have been in trouble here and find a way to create citizenship for the rest in some manner or fashion. However we must first also establish a cutoff date so those in the future still trying to come in thinking they can become citizens are cut off. That was the middle road proposal but we cannot act on it due to division between the two sides.
So first the border must be enforced but not with the crazy Trump Proposal of building a new China wall and sending the bill to Mexico. Trump has also managed to show the world his ego is so high, he would not qualify for a position in our government and the matter should and there. We can't elect someone who wants to insult everyone who does not agree with him it is because he is Donald Trump. Trump recently announced he would not participate in the last republican debate prior to the vote in Iowa, because he did not like he moderator Megyn Kelly, whom he referred to as a “ bimbo”. She had the audacity to ask him a responsible question in a prior debate that he felt he did not want to answer.
While Trump can now brag how Sarah Palin is on his side, whether she was with him or Ted Cruz only denotes the further craziness in the whole situation. Sarah was the darling of the tea party but has since moved to TV and should probably join Donald on a new program there entitled whom can we insult next?
Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is not much better because he managed to offend everyone in Congress, including those in his own party, brag about how he could shut down the government and offer programs like abolishing the IRS which are about as crazy as Donald's ideas. With the IRS eliminated who handles tax payment, enforcement and making sure people do not cheat? He panders to the right wing base and could never unite people.
Neither of these men should really be considered as someone we would want as president of the United States. Unfortunately the establishment candidates lost the limelight and Jeb Bush has come across as very weak and has trouble speaking.
There's also another problem. When you hear talk about the "establishment" candidate does that means someone in the Republican Party in the vanishing middle or the right end tea party that is blocking everything? So perhaps in reality, are they not the establishment themselves blocking everything? Hmmmm.
Marco Rubio may be on his way up but he's still shines best for his speaking ability not for his ability to run the country. Unfortunately, Chris Christie who originally was thought of being as brash for speaking out on issues, now favorably compares in that regard with Trump. However he has been hit by the bridge scandal and his lack of getting enough attention due to the Donald and Ted show. I like him however as someone who was a successful prosecutor and governor and for those wanting a person who can open up his mouth, he does that and doesn't spout crazy proposals.
Unfortunately to get the vote from the Republican base which is far to the right, the candidates of the party now have to express views that appeal only to those voters and not the vast majority who may be left of them. It is ironic that the party sees their base as exactly the ones who will guarantee they will lose a national election if they cannot move left on practical issues.
The new wildcard is former New York mayor Bloomberg. One never has to ask is there any more craziness that will pop up for this election. So let's consider Bloomberg for a minute: three-time mayor of New York, a lifelong Democrat who became mayor when he switched to being a Republican and then decided to become independent. Probably wealthier than Donald Trump and certainly in the middle. He took New York from a huge deficit to a positive position and lowered crime in the city. Being elected three terms in a Democratic city is proof of his popularity. He is a fiscal conservative and pragmatic. By that I mean he sees reality and can get things done. He is not antibusiness and certainly doesn't need anyone's money or backing from lobbyists to run.
Conservative Republicans don't like him because he favored gun control and is too liberal on the abortion issue. Yet he is further to the right of Hillary and certainly Bernie which is good. He has all the credentials of being successful in business and owns the most prominent business publication in the nation, Bloomberg financial. Some say he could not be elected because he is a Jew, but so is Bernie. Also that issue is not relevant because people said a Catholic could be elected until Kennedy and a black person until Obama. Some don't like him because he tried to regulate too many things including the size of soda pop that could be sold in New York when he was trying to get people to consume less sugar per day.
He said he would not jump into the ring unless Trump was the Republican nominee or Sanders was the Democratic nominee. Yet, he would be far better than Hillary or Cruz. So, can a third-party candidate win a national election in the United States? Not so far.
Teddy Roosevelt was a very popular Republican president who decided not to run for reelection until his hand-picked successor did not follow all his programs. So when William Howard Taft ran for reelection against democrat Woodrow Wilson, Teddy through his hat in the ring as the Bull Moose candidate and split the Republican vote. The election went to the Democrat Wilson. Teddy ended up retiring; Taft ended up with his lifelong dream of becoming a justice of the Supreme Court ( since he did not want to be president anyway) and Wilson tried to keep us out of World War I until forced to enter into it and then failed in his attempt to form the league of Nations to keep us out of further wars.
Many years later when George Bush was running for re-election as a Republican against Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, a millionaire with an ego as big as Donald Trump, decided to run as an independent. He was partially motivated by his dislike of Bush, whom he had at one time offered a job to, and his failure to get certain government contracts. Perot also believed in all sorts of conspiracy issues and his high pitched voice made him seem like a crackpot. Yet he garnered enough votes to throw the election to Bill Clinton.
There have been other third-party candidates along the way including John B. Anderson, a congressman from Illinois and some others. However, elections are not really won by popular vote but by the electoral college vote and sometimes that vote is not based upon which way the majority of the state votes in the popular election. So what chance would Michael Bloomberg have in a three-way race and could he get the majority of the electoral college vote? Not likely. The election would probably be thrown to the Republican candidate because more Democrats not wanting to fall off the cliff on the left and wanting to move more to the center would go to him than Republicans who don't want to fall off the cliff on the right end. However in this crazy year, maybe it would just throw the vote left if moderate republicans voted for him.
True, there are many moderate Republicans who might favor Bloomberg far more than fanatical right-wing candidates, but let's face it, the Republican Party moved way to the right. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan, who is cited as a real conservative, his views were not that far to the right. George Herbert Walker Bush won as president but he was not really the candidate of the conservatives. Nor was his son George Bush.
However the Republican Party today would rather see a Democrat get elected than vote for a Republican who did not come down solidly on their side on two issues: gun control and abortion. So Michael Bloomberg would never get tea party voters, evangelicals or anyone else who considers themselves a hardline Republican. Rather than vote for him they would rather see the party go down in flames.
Bloomberg could count at best those voters would not like the choice of either candidate selected by their parties which would certainly be a sizable amount , but not enough to throw the election his way. Mind you, he would be a far better candidate and president than Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton but while he is pro-business, Republicans would prefer Hillary in the White House so they can complain but not Bloomberg because the NRA does not like him.
Will he run? Who knows. So who do you think is going to win the national election and be our new president?