Saturday, June 11, 2016

Race for the White House Volume 76

"I'm the least racist person you'll ever meet. Believe me."

Those are the words of the presumptive nominee of the Party of Lincoln and this question will hang over the 2016 Presidential campaign as much as anything else. However, there is no logical person that could look at the Donald Trump campaign and not see racism at the heart of how he is trying to sell himself. Despite allegations and questionable behavior and statements going back decades, people who personally know Trump say he is not a racist, and perhaps he just dislikes anyone in his way equally. However, if he is not personally racist, he is going out of his way to appeal to racist and try to have them feel an affinity for him, and that might be just as bad.

It has been a bad week for Trump and perhaps some belated and ultimately irrelevant vindication for those of us in the GOP who are in the Never Trump camp. The candidate was bashed by all sides for his comments on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, and by the middle of the week, Trump put out a lengthy written statement trying to mitigate the damage, but without offering a retraction or an apology. By this time, some, such as my U.S. Senator, Mark Kirk of Illinois, had retracted endorsements of Trump. For a few days, the candidate remained mostly on script, speaking from teleprompters, but by this weekend, he is back at it on Twitter and at rallies, speaking off the cuff and from the hip, lobbing insults in every direction.

At the same time, it was a big and historic week for Hillary Clinton, who clinched enough delegates, including a much wider than anticipated win in California, to become her party's nominee and the first f nominee (the joke is the emale has been deleted) of any major party. While die hard Bernie Sanders supporters are still finding it hard to unite, and Sanders himself has yet to say what he will do after next Tuesday's D.C. Primary Season Finale, the party apparatus is now rallying behind Clinton in a big way. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren are now formally "With Her", and many Democrats who continue to harbor doubts about Clinton's candidacy are buoyed enough by her tough rhetoric against Trump and the fear that he could actually win, to get behind her. This is not to say that Democrats do not continue to have deep divisions, that will be present at their convention and in such things as the drafting of the platform language when it comes to issues such as Israel. They are united in being anti-Trump though, and who can blame them for that?

So, Vice Presidential speculation on both sides is now really getting into gear, but as a long-time political junkie, it is impossible for me to get too excited about anything this cycle. The two major choices are depressing and unworthy of office. Even that talk about David French running as an Independent was put quickly to rest by the would-be candidate who says the Trump campaign threatened his family. There's always Libertarian Gary Johnson, whom Mitt Romney this weekend, at his annual political conference in Utah, said he will consider voting for, but I would rather cast a legally meaningless but symbolic write-in vote for Romney himself, the man who should be President. For Vice President, I will write in the name of Jeb Bush, the man who should have been nominated by the party this year.

Both Romney and Bush are among the group of prominent Republicans who have stated that Trump's racism, misogyny, and general appeal to ignorance makes him unacceptable. Whatever happens this cycle, or to the ultimate future of the Republican Party, I believe history will treat them well. By the end of this campaign,  I believe other officials will feel the need to "un-endorse" Trump.

There is a bit of chatter surrounding a "convention coup" that could deny Trump the nomination at Cleveland, but the people who would have to lead that fight, seem to have no stomach for it. They will have to live with the consequences. Let there be no mistake though, the party is very divided over Trump and that will increase. For all her multitude of ideological, ethical, and maybe even criminal problems, Hillary Clinton, after this past week, is working on achieving a landslide lead, although perhaps a joyless one. As I ate lunch yesterday, in my workplace's cafeteria, a tv I was fairly far away from was tuned to CNN and I could hear Hillary's shrill tones as she addressed the disgraceful outfit called Planned Parenthood. It's going to be a long four years, but the truth is I feel even more disgusted listening to Trump's voice.

How have we gotten to this point? What is going on in America? The news is upsetting and depressing, even as we might look back at once divisive figure like Muhammad Ali, and honor his life, and remark on just how beloved he ultimately became in America. The stories of this week involved such things as a spoiled rich white athlete raping an unconscious woman and a judge sentencing him to a minimal term behind bars. He might even be out in September. Today, there was news that 22 year old pop singer Christina Grimmie from "The Voice" was murdered, assassinated I suppose would be the word as well, by a man while signing autographs for young fans last night.

I wish I knew what the answers were. America had problems four years ago, but I was proud to support Mitt Romney and I knew he had the country's best interests at heart. This year, it feels like there is no "good side" to be on, beyond hoping that America will one day find a way to learn from and move on from this horrific race.


At 9:54 AM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, my thoughts:

1.) Trump's goal is getting the George Wallace voters, Reagan Dems & Blue Collars voters to overwhelm the Obama coalition in November.

2.) If he wins, it's the Southern Strategy 3.0 & only going to get worse.

3.) I could see the 2018 midterms being a backlash against the Trump Presidency with Dems winning governorships.


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