Saturday, January 30, 2016

Trump Can Win, But Can Hilllary?

No, seriously!  Why does anyone think Hillary could be Trump?  

     Conventional wisdom is that Trump can not win.  That's what the Huntington Post said when it announced it was going to cover Trump's candidacy from the Entertainment News, since he couldn't be given a serious chance to win. Surely Jeb Bush would prove to be an insurmountable force in the Republican electorate, and Trump could be given no chance to beat him.
     That was conventional wisdom a few months ago. 

       The Village Elliot figured Trump had a chance because he is extremely good on TV, has better name recognition, and because the policies of the Bush family have been idiotic and most normal people realize it.  It turns out that Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have all been kicking Bush's ass, and Trump is on the front page, contrary to the confident promise by Huntington Post. 

       My Democrat friends are gleeful, rubbing their hands in expectation of an easy victory by their heroine, Hillary Clinton, in the fall.   Well, why can't Trump win?  

     "Trump says stupid things, Hillary says smart things," they assure me.  

     "Well, isn't it better to say stupid things if you want to win over a lot of voters in America?"  I protest.   

      Donald Trump has spent more than a decade fighting in the "Boardroom" of his TV show, "The Apprentice."  I think he is going to tear Hillary to shreds if she becomes the nominee. 

     Hillary, it must be pointed out, helped to craft our wonderful Syrian policy, in which America has strongly intervened in their Civil War, while hoping that neither side will win.  Incredible genius.  Meantime, there is an enormous refugee problem since there is no safe haven.  And we are committed to staying in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and the entire Middle East until peaceful and stable pro-American governments arise.  I'm sure this plan will work, sometime between now and the next 500 years.  Together, mainstream Democrats and Republicans have crafted a tacit agreement to spend trillions of dollars with no end in sight, and they can not imagine why a Washington outsider might be a tiny bit popular with the people.

     I think Hillary is very vulnerable here, and Trump will blast her record (plus throw in gratuitous insults).  

         By the same token, mainstream Democrats are proud of having reduced the deficit under 500 billion dollars per year, and Republicans don't seem to mind as long as wealthy people don't have to pay for it.   With such a great system, how could outsiders hope to break in?  Here again, the mainstream has a tacit agreement not to mention this embarrassing issue, but I think Trump will drive home the point that the country needs responsible management of public monies.

        Speaking of the wealthy, I'm not sure that Hillary is going to be able to run over Bernie Sanders.  There is no possible way that a 74 year old socialist from Vermont should be able to take on Secretary Clinton.   I give Mr Sanders great credit for his honesty (except for how he would pay for all the services he wishes to provide), but if Hillary can not beat Sanders, I don't see any way she can beat Trump.   

       No, I think it is clear that this is going to be the year of the outsider.  Trump can certainly win, and will probably beat Hillary badly if she is in fact the nominee.  Sanders would probably fare better because he is a more tenacious debater, and has less of the horrible baggage that Secretary Clinton has to carry around.   

       Stay tuned, it should be an interesting election at least.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Will a Third Party Presidential Candidate Emerge in 2016?

    I was very interested to see that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a third party run for the US presidency this year.  
    I believe that this is a very good opportunity, as the major US Parties are so dysfunctional that neither represents America very well.  
   The major parties are united in the belief that a deficit of half a trillion dollars is just fine.  
   The two major parties are also enamored with continuous warfare in the Middle East, believing that this is a wise investment that will pay handsome dividends as new governments emerge that are Pro-American Democracies. Personally, I find that idea hideously repugnant. 
    Currently the leader among the Republicans is Donald Trump, who pledges to build a wall around America, bomb Muslims and restrict immigration.  Republicans are embarrassed by the low level of the favored candidate, but this is what happens when you have tried your best to appeal to ignorance over the past few decades.  Now it is coming home to roost.  Many establishment Republicans are very distraught over the pathetic state the party finds itself in.  The foolish hope has been that Mr Trump will simply go away, but it is increasingly obvious that he is the front runner.  The second place man is even worse, with Ted Cruz previously seeking to force the US government to default on its debt, the theory being that the destruction of the US government would lead to a better one to take its place.  Good luck with that one, Senator.   We haven't had candidates this crazy since the heyday of Strom Thurmond.  

   On the Democratic side, Socialist Bernie Sanders is giving Secretary Hillary Clinton a run for her money.  In my opinion, it's not that Sanders is so good, it's that Hillary is so bad.  Hillary is a champion of massive intervention in the Middle East filling the same role for the Democrats that Dick Cheney played for the Republicans.   With Hillary we can be sure to be in for another round of trillion dollar mlitary "investing" as Hillary seeks to be the first female president not only in America but also in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.   Meantime, the security violations involving classified information in her non-secure emails might be under-rated as a problem, as there is a real concern that laws may have been broken. 

    Nevertheless, the Democrats have tried to reign in potential competitors to Hillary, but Bernie evidently did not get the memo.   Although scoring big points for honesty and sincerity and his desire to disengage from Middle Eastern warfare, I don't think America really wants to go Socialist.  I think we would rather try to reduce the role of government, and elect someone that believes in coming closer to balancing the budget.    But these centrist Democrats are not running, having been chased away by the Democratic National Committee.      I think someone with common sense with an appeal to the sensible center of America might win.  Perhaps if the Democrats can set social agenda, while letting the Republicans try to balance the budget, a strong candidacy could emerge. Bloomberg, Mitt Romney or Elizabeth Warren might win.  Especially in combination.   I think Elizabeth could get us out of perpetual warfare, and Bloomberg or Romney would present a very credible economic recovery agenda.
The Village Elliot believes Elizabeth Warren is the best person to take us out of Middle Eastern Wars, while Mitt Romney or Mike Bloomberg could reduce the deficit.  

     Nor are there practical alternatives presented by perpetual fringe parties such as the Libertarians, who ran former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson last time; nor the Greens, who ran Jill Stein, who was a town representative in Lexington Mass.  I can't imagine that these candidates will engender much support.  For that reason I think that a third party candidacy in 2016 is likely to be an ad-hoc affair, similar to the candidacies of Ross Perot in 1992 or John Anderson in 1980.  

    The two-party system is broken, as both parties are too comfortable with running a half-trillion dollar deficit and funding perpetual death in the Middle East as a public service.  Out! Out! Out!  I don't think any third party candidate could possibly mess us up as badly as Republicans and Democrats.