US Presidential Race – Trump, Oy Vey

Just so you know, I am not going to blast Donald Trump’s views or his controversial statements; I am going to look at this whole Donald Trump insurgent, non-establishment candidate thing from a political point of view.

I have held my tongue (in writing) as I have watched this “outsider” candidate dominate the news cycles and the polls, even though I knew he was exactly who the Democrats wanted to prevail and who was contrary to a Republican victory next fall.  Now I know some or maybe all that I say may anger a few of you, and you will think I am wrong, but my words are my opinion, and as I respect your views although I may disagree, I hope you respect mine as well.

If you don’t care what others say about Trump in the media and within the Republican Party, if you are not bothered by anything he says, then please look at the politics.  You must decide if you want to win the argument more than you want to win the race.  If sticking it to “the establishment” is your goal no matter what, then don’t complain when Republicans lose the White House again, and possibly the Senate, even the House.

Too many Republican voters care only about the moment.  They are angry.  Angry at Washington, the establishment, the media, and more.  And I get it.  I am angry too.  But more than being angry, I want to win.  And if people are worried about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and the left who will only continue down the destructive path of Barack Obama, a scorched earth nominee will give the Democrats the license to win next November.

So let’s talk about The Donald.  Is he a bigot?  A fascist?  A buffoon? Doing damage to the Republican brand?  Doing damage to US prestige overseas?  Or is he a genious?  A brilliant businessman?  A strong leader?  An unafraid truth-teller who won’t owe anyone anything?  Someone who will again make others fear and respect us?

Let’s say he is the best thing to happen to this country since George Washington.  Looking at raw politics, it doesn’t matter.

Now whatever the reason you support Trump, and whether you agree or disagree with how you have been defined either by your demographics or philosophy, ask yourselves, I mean really take a breath and ask yourselves, after all he has said and done and with more controversies coming no doubt, do you really think he can win the general election?

I know that for some of you, just like supporters of other candidates of both major parties, that doesn’t even matter.  You just don’t care.  You don’t care if the Republican convention becomes a mess hurting Republicans even more, and you don’t care if a nominee Trump goes down in flames.  Some of you just want to send a “screw you” message to Washington and nothing will change your mind.

I am hoping that those of you Trump supporters who want what is best for the US – and so many of you do, I know that, will look ahead to the post-primary season.  It’s hard, I know.  You may despise the other candidates, you might even love Donald Trump, but think about it.  Can he really, I mean really, win in the end?

You quote past polls showing that Trump can beat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders or he comes close.  Aside from the fact that it is just way too early, the polls, even if accurate for the moment, are a global view of voter support for the most part, and not a state-by-state picture.  I know there have been a few state general election polls, but again, it is too early and not all states matter.

Also, a current poll shows Trump having a higher unfavorable rating than Clinton, and doing poorly among women, blacks and Latinos.

Swing or battleground states will decide the election, and for the most part Independents, women and certain ethnicities will make the difference.  That may not always be the case for one or the other, but I believe it will be in 2016.

Many Republican voters think there are enough base voters or evangelicals to tilt a state toward their candidate were they to have the right reasons to vote, but it is just not true.  And a Republican doesn’t need to win a majority of a certain demographic, but losing one by huge margins will be disastrous.

270 Electoral College votes are needed for a general election win and Democrat states start with about 210, Republican states around 170.  There are many opinions about what the swing states are, but generally most agree on at least seven.  I believe there are at least ten.  I will identify and break them down another time.

Every electoral vote matters especially in close elections.  Let’s discuss the Hispanic/Latino voting bloc as an example of a critical demographic.  A possible swing state, New Mexico (five electoral votes) is nearly 50% Hispanic/Latino, Nevada (six electoral votes) nearly 30%, and Colorado (nine electoral votes) is one-fifth Hispanic/Latino.

48% of Hispanics voted in 2012, the vast majority (a whopping 71%) giving their votes to Obama, and Mitt Romney did not make the kind of remarks about illegal immigrants that Trump made.

Although Hispanics may not vote in higher percentages as other groups do, they have grown in population and many are mad too.  And at Trump.  Now I know you believe what Trump said needed to be spoken, and to many of you, it might not even have been so bad.  Fine.  But guess what?  It doesn’t matter what you think, it matters what they think.  And in politics, many times perception is everything.

Another lopsided Latino vote in favor of the Democrat contender is a killer in the states that matter.  So even if their vote percent does not increase, do you really think Latinos will not support the non-Trump candidate in droves?  C’mon.

There are more demographic arguments I can make but let’s move on to the damage being done during the current nominating process.

– Trump is sucking so much of the oxygen out of the race, he is giving Hillary Clinton a pass.  The press loves controversy and they gravitate toward what sells papers and generates ratings.  Were The Donald not in the race, or at least not so controversial, more attention would be paid to Hillary’s drawbacks, and there are many.  The Democrats love what is happening.

– Issues, and not controversial remarks, should be discussed.  Week after week, it is what did Trump say now rather than how can the Republicans show they can govern better than the Democrats.

– Because of Trump’s latest remarks about a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, so many seem so intent on bending over backward to counter what they consider racist, that rational and reasonable ways to counter Islamic terrorism seem to be on the back burner.  This is dangerous.

– Now we have talk of a brokered Republican convention and Trump once again threatening a third-party run.  This would be a catastrophe.  And does all this talk help Republicans?

– Were Trump to become the nominee, not only would he lose, and yes he would lose, he could take the Senate with him and many House seats could be lost.  Certainly many down-ticket Republican candidates would be hurt, including pro-Israel Republicans in races, federal and state.

– I personally was not bothered by what Trump said to the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on December 3; when you listen to the whole speech, which I did, it was not what detractors made it out to be.

I am concerned that before that meeting he spoke about Israel making sacrifices, as if Israel hasn’t sacrificed enough already.  He did talk it back a bit at the RJC but he refused to commit to Jerusalem being Israel’s undivided capital.  And of course his words about Muslims made things uncomfortable for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump canceled his late December trip to Israel.

Finally, Trump keeps saying he will do this or that when he is President, as if the sheer force of his words and persona will make things happen.  Right.  You think the prima donnas in the Senate and House, those you despise so much, will bow to King Trump?  Please. And you think today’s crazies of the world will cower because Trump is President?  Ha.

And by the way, my words of caution are not just for Trump supporters.  The Democrats are also salivating about running against the other so-called outsiders, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.  Any of those three as the nominee will also cause a big hurt to Republicans next November.

So think of the politics.  Donald Trump is doing more harm than good.  And he isn’t worth a President Hillary Clinton.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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