Saturday, May 21, 2016

Race for the White House Volume 73

A party being torn apart at the seams.

A state convention turning into a shouting match with threats and rumors of physical altercations.

Threats of unrest at the approaching national convention.

No, we are not talking about the Republican Party of Donald Trump. This is becoming an increasingly alarming situation for Democrats. Everyone realizes that Hillary Clinton is set to become the nominee but Bernie Sanders and his cadre of ardent supporters are not going away quietly. The candidate seems more strident than ever in regards to staying in the race and his left-wing supporters, have become quite vocal and quite combative in expressing their displeasure with the impending Clinton nomination and the "rigged" structure of the Democrat nominating process. Clinton will owe her nomination to her support among "superdelegates", i.e., party insiders and politicians. There were some ugly moments in Nevada last weekend as Sanders supporters got the blame for over the top behavior. Anybody who has seen how left-wingers have acted on the internet and blog comment sections for the past decade plus should not be surprised.

In the meantime, the adage of "Republicans always fall in line", seems mystifyingly to me, to be moving forward, at least now. In spite of what is likely to be a continued onslaught of stories about Donald Trump's personal life and professional dealings, nothing seems to matter. In fact, the Republicans who remain adamantly opposed to Trump are being told to put their reservations behind them, shut up, and support the presumptive nominee in an effort to beat Clinton in the fall. Efforts to stop him at the convention or to find a conservative third party alternative, (for whatever purpose) are falling by the wayside. Capitulation is the theme of the season for the once Grand Old Party, but as someone who hopes to once again call myself a proud Republican, I am still Never Trump. Ever. No matter who gives in to him, or no matter what the polls look like, or no matter how much he might temporarily try to act like an adult, and no matter what list of conservative legal figures he says he would "probably" appoint to the Supreme Court, a vote for Trump is not something I can ever morally do, as a conservative, a Republican, an American, a Jew, and a human being.

Once again, I am definitely not voting for Hillary Clinton either, and despite having what should be a wide open path to the White House at this point, her campaign is continuing to struggle. She lost Oregon to Bernie Sanders by a hefty margin, and just barely eked out a win in Kentucky, a state she dominated against Barack Obama eight years ago. We were told well over a year ago that Clinton, with her marital connections, might be the kind of Democrat who could win Kentucky in a general election. Now, we see her barely managing to win a primary there, against an avowed socialist.

I still strongly believe the fundamentals of a general election would make it impossible for Trump to win, as it should be, but he has been pretty darn Teflon throughout this entire process, and most national polls now even show him ahead of Clinton, for the first time ever. There is always a "rally around the winner" effect when someone gets so much media coverage, but conventional wisdom was that Republicans would be so overwhelmingly divided over Trump, that he would struggle throughout. Instead, polls seem to be showing Republicans "falling in line", perhaps because the Clintons are just that unpopular on the right. I think that these polls are more about Bernie Sanders than anything else though. As long as he remains an active candidate, many of his supporters refuse to say they would ever vote for Clinton, even though most will against Trump. Party unity is something that Democrats very much need to see happen sooner rather than later, but that is looking like a far more turbulent battle for them than anyone anticipated.

There is one party that is likely to be on the ballot in all 50 states, beyond those led by highly divisive and unpopular presumptive nominees. Next weekend, I believe, the Libertarians are meeting to pick their nominee. (No primary process for them to worry about). While several candidates are seeking the nod, it is expected, once again, to go to former Republican Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico. He announced this week that his preferred running-mate will be Bill Weld, a former, quite moderate, two term Governor of Massachusetts. The convention is expected to go along with Johnson's wishes, as to his number two.

Since Weld won reelection as Governor in 1994, he has lost bids for the U.S. Senate, and for Governor of New York, both as a Republican and a Libertarian, but he has mostly maintained his ties to the establishment wing of the GOP, supporting such figures as Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. There is no doubt that Weld is less conservative than me on many matters, especially social issues, but if he were to be the Libertarian Presidential nominee, I would probably vote for him. It is Gary Johnson, with all his weirdness and affinity for marijuana that would make it difficult for me to vote for him. Still, I cannot rule it out. I would very much like to have a vote counted against both Trump and Clinton.

If Johnson and Weld are unable to get into the debates, they are not going to have a chance to capture any electoral votes, but if Trump and Clinton really continue to go after each other, talking about rape and misogyny and all the rest, there are a whole lot of things that are possible in this most unconventional political year in generations. I just know that there seem to know that beyond libertarians, there are a whole lot of conservative Republicans, moderate Republicans, moderate Democrats, and liberal Democrats looking for someone other than ClintonTrump.


At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Monica said...

I totally agree. I could never vote for Trump either. Republicans are making a horrible mistake doing this. I hope something emerges by the convention, or election, doing something to terminate his nomination candidacy.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger presidentjasonvendel1985 said...

I am a very firmly anti-trump Republican myself.


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