Saturday, July 11, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 28

I am having a hard time thinking of a coherent theme that I could write about this week and get done in a short amount of time.

The crowded Presidential race inches on though, still more than half a year before the first scheduled voting. Last week, I ran down some updates on 22 candidates but said that Jim Gilmore, the former Governor of Virginia was not taking any steps to run. Could he have taken offense somehow? He had some kind of statement this past week when he said he would become the 17th Republican candidate.

A more realistic GOP hopeful is Governor Scott Walker, and he will formally kickoff his campaign Monday in his home state of Wisconsin. That will garner him a lot of attention, but he and all the other candidates in the field, will have  a ways to go in catching up with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush financially. The Republican contender, who seems to have a slight lead in national polls, announced that his still infant campaign along with associated SuperPAC raised an astonishing $114 million plus. Before that announcement on Thursday though, Bush received some other headlines when he made a statement in which he said Americans need to work "longer hours." Some saw that as an insensitive diss by a rich Republican, while others criticized him for a gaffe. It is true that he probably should have used the word "more" instead of "longer" but he was obviously talking how Americans forced to work in part-time jobs should be able to find full-time work. Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton made a critical comment in response on Twitter, and Jeb Bush fired back directly online, an early salvo in what is likely to become a larger part of candidate interactions. Even Bernie Sanders, the left-wing thorn in Hillary's side, chimed in to say that what Jeb Bush was saying about the workforce was correct. Opponents of Bush are likely to try to use that line to attack him with, but are voters really going to be that willfully ignorant of context? After all, Bushes running for President or serving in the office sometimes mangle syntax or say the wrong word.

Partisanship and hard feelings often run high in the heat of summer and the matter of illegal immigration has gotten much coverage on cable tv news networks this week (alongside CNN's extensive coverage of the disgraced Bill Cosby.) Fox News has focused much on a tragic situation in San Francisco, California, where an innocent young woman was shot and killed at random by an illegal immigrant who had been deported from America several times but who returned to the City by the Bay, because of it's sanctuary city status. Federal immigration officials had wanted San Francisco to hand the career criminal over to them for another deportation but San Francisco refused and a woman died, literally in her father's arms. It is a complicated story that I am only summarizing here, but it should be looked at as a scandal. Some San Francisco authorities should have resigned by now in my opinion, and should consider themselves extremely lucky they are not facing jail time themselves.

Barack Obama who has often used nationally prominent stories involving tragic deaths of young people to speak publicly on behalf of issues that suit his ideological worldview, has said nothing about Kathryn Steinle and no Obama Administration official attended her funeral. I guess her death does not fit their political narrative.

As a person who is adamantly pro-legal immigration and who has long supported comprehensive reform to address the status of those in the country illegally, I certainly recognize that crime and illegal immigration are an important issue to address. It is indeed a very big problem and the "Sanctuary City" aspect only makes things worse. The horrible story out of California only bolsters the outrageous and broad sweeping generalities about Mexican immigrants that have been made in recent weeks by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who I still maintain may not truly be either of those things.

The fact of the matter is that some of what Trump says is true, and that is why he is rising in the polls and drew thousands and thousands of people to a rally tonight in Arizona. The liberal cable networks of CNN and MSNBC have talked about Trump at great length this week (as has Fox News) with much discussion occurring over how badly Trump's demagogic statements will hurt the Republican "brand."

It is somewhat of a distressing situation, because the rhetoric that has been used by Trump is of course false, offensive, and if seen as representative of Republicans will hurt my party. However, the stories about people who have actually been murdered by illegal immigrants who should not have been in the country only give credence to what he is saying. I will stand for the truth though and for discourse that represents the best of the American tradition and not the worst.

With that in mind, I do think that when the history of the campaign is written, Donald Trump will have mostly been a "Summer Sideshow" in 2015. Hopefully, I do not regret writing this, but I do not think he is going to be a major third party candidate next year, a la Ross Perot. In fact, I will see be somewhat surprised if he ever even filed the paperwork to officially get on the ballot for February's New Hampshire Primary.

He will probably be in the first debate though, and because of that, it will get a ton of attention, and probably high ratings, as liberals and their allies in the media will be anxious to use anything he says and any positive reaction he gets as a sword against the entire party. That sword can be double edged though, as other candidates will be present, including my choice of Jeb Bush, (whom Trump seemed to attack on Twitter this week for having a Mexican-American wife, before deleting)  but also several others,who will have the opportunity to benefit, by using the spotlight to stand up to the tactics of Trump and to show to the country the true mind and heart of conservatism and the Grand Old Party.


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