One problem with US presidential races is that more people run who should, and when all is said and done, campaign cycles are littered with the memories of those possessing more ego than common sense, more supporters than even seconds of experience, and more money than gravitas.
And all those time-wasters and their supporters, who should know the general election counts much more than the primaries and caucuses, muddy the waters and take away time and attention from those who can actually win in November.
This time around, yet again, the Republicans loaded the debate stage. Two stages actually. A few candidates made sense. Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson to name just two – and there were more, made zero sense. ZERO.
Others like those too far right or too strident or both, who could never win a general election also let their egos get the better of them. These self-centered candidates had no business running, taking precious attention and debate minutes away from others less narcissistic and more qualified, who would be able to attract non-Republicans to win in November.
Republicans are only 26% of the American electorate. Democrats are 29%, and Independents are 42%. The Republican Party has been declining in membership as the country’s population has become more diverse, and the base is just not enough for a win, contrary to what some in the base say.
Of course, speaking of narcissists, Donald Trump should never have run as well. The race for president was all ego to him, something else to conquer. He never had the qualifications and his antics since over a year back when he announced only showed he did not have the temperament to win a general election. Notice I am not saying to be president, I am saying to win. Because you have to win first. Should he by some miracle win, who knows what he will be? To this day, I still don’t think he is a true Republican.
The Republican Party used to be the party of ideas. Now it is the party of tweeting. And why does Trump tweet all the time anyway? It is so juvenile and so damaging. Is he running for US president or 9th grade class president? For someone with no brain-to-mouth filter, who gets in enough trouble with his oral orifice, he should stop with instantaneous, for-all-the-world-to-see, mini-note insults. Did he think the attack on the Gold Star parents from the Democrats’ convention helped him?
Trump has been all over the map recently, no pun intended, on illegal immigration, stating he would now not have his “humane” deportation force deport all illegals, only the criminal ones. So he lied to his supporters during the primaries, duh, yet his hardcore followers didn’t even flinch at the contradiction. To many of them he wasn’t even inconsistent when he clearly was.
None of this will help him anyway. Trump could visit Mexico every day till the election, like he did a couple weeks ago, and he could apologize a thousand times for the terrible things he said about Mexicans (yes, I know he meant those crossing the border illegally but still) or those of Mexican heritage, like the judge who is presiding over his scammy Trump University, and it would not matter. The Hispanic vote is long gone. Gallup shows he has a dismal 21% approval rating among all US Hispanics.
Perhaps the man is trying to get the same kind of support he has in the African American community. A late June Quinnipiac University poll showed The Donald’s black support at 1%. ONE PERCENT! Way to go! Your kids must be so proud. Blacks won’t forget Trump’s “birther” nonsense no matter how often he speaks at black churches, as he did last week, or bashes Hillary and the Democrats for taking advantage of a monolithically-voting minority, which they have. It matters not.
And if all this is to show needed non-minority voters he is not the nasty person they think he is, it is way too late for that.
Now honestly, no Republican candidate would receive a majority of any minority group in this election, but inroads could have been made with the right candidate and at least some state-by-state electoral vote damage would have been mitigated.
So what’s the latest with The Donald?
Both Clinton and Trump did poorly at last week’s NBC’s Commander-in-Chief forum, but once again, Trump blew an opportunity to nail Clinton regarding Russia when he strangely defended, even praised in a weird way, yet again, Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Trump is such an egomaniac that even when a former KGB lieutenant colonel dictatorial thug says something nice about him, he has to reciprocate in kind. Trump: “If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him.” Why? Putin is a bully!
It is so easy to legitimately criticize Clinton and her former boss about the foreign policy mess we are in because of them and how in a very related way, Hillary’s famous “reset” with Russia, so naïve and dangerous, was one of the reasons for much of the chaos plaguing different parts of the world. But no, instead of what any other Republican would do, Trump lets his ego get the best of him. As usual.
Last week, I wrote that the best thing Hillary had going for her was Donald Trump. The best thing Donald Trump has going for him is the “deplorable” Hillary Clinton. Had the Democrats nominated someone in their party not so dishonest and dishonorable – pretty much anyone else, Trump would not be close in any poll, and I am well aware of course, that a few have him now within the margin of error.
But he is still behind in crucial, battleground/swing states, and the movement of the electoral map leftward, from swing to Democrat and from Republican to swing, barring a miracle, I believe will not re-calibrate to what it used to be before Trump threw his big mouth into the ring. I still see Clinton winning at least around 350 electoral votes, maybe more, when 270 is needed to win.
Any Republican would have a tough go because of changing demographics. But as I have written in the past, the general election will be won in the swing states by someone who can garner Independent and moderate support, and by a Republican who does not irritate and so, mobilize increasing populations of minority voters, women, and nearly every other demographic in those states, as Trump has done.
The Trump campaign’s failure to this point to get a proper “ground game” going may come back to bite the candidate. One reason, in my opinion, is Trump, contrary to his, “I’m so rich” bravado and his pledge to finance his own campaign, has been hedging his bets not to throw his money away on a losing campaign. Mr. Rich Guy is aggressively soliciting funds (even from me!). Other reasons include inexperienced operatives and the undisciplined candidate himself.
Hopefully, the Senate will stay in GOP hands and there are signs that voters may separate the national Trump from local state candidates.
I don’t want to waste any more than this paragraph on silly lightweights, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein except to say Johnson proved he was unfit to be president with his “What is Aleppo?” response, and one of the few things Stein has said that actually made sense was that Hillary was “too big to jail.”
Yes, in the past, I have held my nose and voted for the lesser of two evils. Who hasn’t? And I understand and appreciate those who feel Hillary is just too dangerous for the US and Israel, but to me, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally distasteful. Both are embarrassments, and both have disqualified themselves over and over again. Sometimes, some of us have to just sit one out.
At this 15th anniversary of 9/11, we could have, should have, done better than two very selfish candidates, a bombastic exaggerator who lacks a coherent world view, and the other, a serial liar who knowing better, put herself before her nation and its people by treating the country’s national security like her husband treated his marriage vows.
If you thought it was hard for anyone to govern now in Washington, just wait. Once we elect a hated-by-half-the-country, literally hated, candidate, the gridlock we have now will look like a stroll in the park.