Iowa Caucus Update: President…. Trump?!
I must say, of all the available Presidential candidates, John Kasich is by far the best choice in my opinion. He’s been a 9-term Congressman and is the current Governor of Ohio. He sat on the Armed Services Committee all 18 of his years in Congress. He was the House Budget Committee Chairman after the 1994 election. He was the Chairman of that committee in 1997, when the Federal Budget was balanced. Whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, if you want a competent, sound, functional chief officer in the Executive Branch, Kasich is your best choice.
That being said, the eye-rolling reactions of many to the Donald Trump candidacy might not be altogether warranted. The cynicism in media and establishment circles to Trump are focused on his sort of larger-than-life public persona, in colloquial terms Trump is something of an egomaniac and really quite a clod. No more of one than the average political careerist, I can assure you, but the charge remains.
Donald Trump sits at the top of a business organization that employs about 30,000 people. Compare that to Bernie Sanders, who promises subsidized jobs in his new socialist order, presumably paying for them with money stolen from Donald Trump. Trump has the resources to self-finance much of his campaign, which gives him the appearance of independence from special interests – a cynical reading could be that Trump is a special interest – and his bombastic, if not occasionally outright buffoonish behavior has in a twisted way been greeted as a tonic to the carefully-crafted, manicured, meaningless rhetoric of the “establishment” candidates.
The rhetoric of the Clinton Administration after the Republicans took the Congress in 1994, for instance, when Bill Clinton – at the insistence of Hillary – hired Dick Morris as a political consultant. Hillary’s role in hiring Dick Morris should be enough to make all ideologically-committed Democratic Party activists turn their backs on her, but how many of those remain?
When Trump stated that he would refuse to grant entry to more refugees from the Syrian and other Middle Eastern conflicts, he was harangued by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who called him a disgrace. Saudi Arabia itself refuses entry to war refugees, and the Prince himself has been divorced more times than Trump, presumably filing the necessary papers in between trips to the Clinton Global Initiative‘s various functions.
As a measuring stick to gauge just how cynical and mistrusting the public has become towards the political “establishment,” Trump has no equal – Ron Paul and Ross Perot pale in comparison. Even those looking at the Trump candidacy with shock-horror need to ask themselves how incompetent, non-responsive, and out of touch the political establishment had to become to allow room for this sort of phenomenon to spring up.
Trump has also done something which nobody in politics has ever done; challenge Hillary Clinton on her hypocrisy on women’s issues, and her neurotic hang-ups regarding men.
Hillary has desperately wanted to be the face of the fight against the “War on Women.” Prior to her decent into the politics of infantile alliteration, Mrs. Clinton made a very calculated decision that her own social, economic, and political standing would be best served by an alliance with a man who clearly viewed women as part of the political spoils system. Mrs. Clinton has always been her husband’s primary advisor, and an enthusiastic participant in the efforts to defame and humiliate the various women used and abused by her husband. Her role as consigliere in her husband’s career is a perfectly legitimate target of scrutiny; it was the job she’s held for the longest period of time.
My adolescence and the beginnings of my political awareness occurred during the Clinton Administration, unfortunately. Even at the age of 12 or so, I was aware enough of political history that we were at that time enduring a uniquely characterless administration – a sort of banana republic-style political racket where nothing was beyond the limit, and no principles underpinned any actions of the administration. Power for power’s sake, nothing more. The sleazy aspects of Clintonism were outlined best by the late Christopher Hitchens in his book “No One Left to Lie To,” which I’d recommend to all, especially to Hillary’s supporters.
So, what is going to happen at the Iowa Caucus, and the primaries that follow? In short, I have absolutely no idea. It’ll be interesting to watch – it would have been more interesting back when I was more interested in politics – but honestly I have no idea what is going to happen. Bernie Sanders is running more ads in Iowa than Hillary Clinton, her supporters are defensive and contemptuous rather than enthusiastic, and the Republicans are splintered and almost adrift; just floating from one flavor of the month candidate to the next.
I have no idea what is going to happen next. I do hope that this is the last pathetic gasp of the Clinton political mafia, and if that means enduring more of the Trump escapade, I’m willing to live with it.