Tuesday, March 01, 2016

SuperTuesday: A Choice To Make.

In Route To Super Tuesday


Originally this post started life during the writing of why I had centered on choosing Ted Cruz as the US Presidential Candidate to support. In between that post and today the group of viable candidates has decreased substantially. In turn more and more of this post turned into a postmortem than a comprehensive look at what each candidate did, or did not bring to the table. 

In the intervening time Eric S. Raymond linked an interesting, if vitriolic, opinion post with rather vivid mental imagery reflecting upon the anger casual voters might display towards the state of the mind of the quote/unquote "Establishment" within the Republican Party. I saw other sites; both political and non-political; start running stories that Voter Anger in general was a real problem not just for the GOP to deal with, but for the DNC as well. Polling numbers from the states that have completed either their caucus stage or their primary votes have shown a dramatic rise in per-population percentage ratios under the Republican Party compared to elections across 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, and so on; almost reaching back to the 1980's and the election of Ronald Reagan. In turn; the per-population ratios for the DNC have likewise fallen to, if I'm not mistaken, possibly record breaking lows. 

In turn this post morphed yet again; starting to focus in on the GOP's game plan to deal with an outraged voting base. In respect to changing focus; elements were added covering the possibility that quite a few of those who would normally vote in a DNC Primary making the jump towards voting in a GOP primary. Which eventually lead to a completely incoherent mess. 

As SuperTuesday polling hours draw ever closer; I turned back to the keyboard to try and wrangle together some of the points I wanted to make.  I'm not sure that in the limited time between when this post will go live and the opening of the polling precincts that there will be time enough for there to be any kind of impact. 

With that in mind; I do want to say this.  If you are an American Citizen who can vote on 3/1/2016: Your Best Vote is for Senator Ted Cruz. 

So; onward; which right now means turning back the pages of time:

The Presidential Campaigns Begin


In several ways I found myself perplexed by the width and breadth of the GOP's Presidential Candidates across the end of 2015. Even the worst candidates showing up at the initial undercard debates were still State level Governors with success stories for their time in office.  For the first time in decades there were still at least 12 viable candidates under a calendar year out from the election date. For the first time in perhaps centuries there were viable candidates to be found among those who entered the party race from outside of the usual political spectrum.

Yet, as 2016 rolled into play and the earliest precincts opened; 2014 repeated itself. The Republican Base had shifted. The average polled electoral voter wasn't interested in the family relative of two previous presidents; nor in the credentials that came with being a state Governor. Rather, the Republican Base, poll after poll, debate after debate, kept focusing on the Political Outsider's... or Politicians whose calling cards were printed with: T.E.A. Party.

The Outsiders

Early on I found myself quite attracted to the Political Outsider Carly Fiorina; who as of this posting has suspended her campaign. I commented in a number of places that my memories of Carly Fiorina centered around her time at HP, her routine positioning in lists covering Worst CEO's of All Time, and her observed obsession with Microsoft Ideology.  I still have very vivid memories of the turning point; when she went from somebody I could not care about to somebody I wanted to see take the nomination. I was driving in my car listening to an interview she was giving, and being able to complete her sentences word for word. Not because I was smart enough to know what she was going to say... but because she was quoting... Me.

At the same time I was trying to wrap my head around the concept that Carly Fiorina had either been reading my blogs or came to the same intellectual conclusions I had come to over the years; another outsider perhaps pushed her out of the potential limelight. Dr. Ben Carson was perhaps the best outsider choice; being both perhaps the most intelligent person in the field and one who had accomplished some of the most difficult management tasks ever imaginable. In one of the later debates Dr. Carson brought up that he was not a stranger to making literal life-and-death calls at 2am; and nor was he unpracticed at putting together the best possible teams to take on staggeringly complicated tasks. Were the Presidential Election determined by sheer intellect as embodied in long-form research papers and detailed plans, Dr. Carson would surely be an easy choice.

As of this posting there was an excellent editorial posted online from the good Doctor explaining why his campaign was still running as SuperTuesday closed in. Up until SuperTuesday more than 95% of the delegates to determine the GOP's nominee were still in play; the sub-5% already determined at best a highly inaccurate picture of the voting trends to come. The editorial was a first class example of exactly why Dr. Carson would have made a great President; but for me it is too little too late.  If Dr. Carson had been writing such editorials after each debate; or even each week; or even going on-line through Youtube for a Modern take on the Fireside Chat public relations technique; then he might still be a contender that I would consider casting a vote for.

Speaking of those debates; some unveiled perhaps a different side of Dr. Carson. In one of the late 2015 debates Dr. Carson shot back a complaint at a moderator because it took too long to ask Dr. Carson a question. While I feel sure that Dr. Carson was trying to make a point about the moderators at a previous debate; who were more interested in trying to craft a free-for-all among the candidates; the complaint came across as petty. Not exactly the image a Presidential Candidate really should be portraying; or repeating. Which Dr. Carson proceeded to perform at the very next debate; then the next debate; then the next; and so on. With other qualified candidates to chose from who all played to their strengths; there seemed to be little point to dwelling on Dr. Carson.

Then there was the outsider taking the top spots in all the polls: Donald Trump. A business man with absolutely no filter on his mouth. After years of double-talk and political tongue wagging who did not want a candidate that just said the first thing that popped into their mouth?  Who didn't want a candidate that had enough money in the bank to fund their own campaign so there'd be absolutely zero question of kowtowing to special interests?

Yet, Trump was never the candidate for me. When Senator Ted Cruz took to a debate stage and talked about New York Values the meaning was clear. New York was the state where Hillary Clinton managed to find work in an elected office. New York was the state where an anti-police Mayor was elected into office. New York was a state where there was absolutely zero effort to recall that incompetent mayor. While Donald Trump might have been insulted by Senator Cruz's New York Values comments; Donald Trump was not insulted enough to fly back home, start the proceedings to get the mayor recalled from office, and get the State Attorney General to put Hillary Clinton in a maximum security holding cell.

I'll come back to Mr. Trump for the conclusion; but I think the stage is set now to move onto the political candidates:


Shakedown

So let's get to the point where I write about why I found myself choosing the politician Senator Ted Cruz by talking about why I would not want to support other political candidates. I'll start with Governor Chris Christie whom I have claimed is quite Republican In Name Only. Governor Christie has expressed personal views on subjects like abortion that I would find untenable to be held by somebody with a conservative disposition. During one of the debates Governor Christie was called on some of his personal actions; and to the best of discernible available evidence... lied his butt off.

Which, honestly, I don't think the Governor had to do. I think it would have made a much stronger case for his candidacy if Governor Christie had looked straight at the moderator and said something to the effect of: "You know what? I did give some money to Planned Parenthood back '94. You want to know something else? The organization I was familiar with back then, that I wanted to support back then, isn't the organization we know now. They weren't responsible for all of the tragedies we found out about in the late 90's and early 2000's. They weren't the very example of a corrupt business that the Federal Government should be spending Zero Dollars on. I'd like to think that I've grown up over the years; that I'm a better person than I was back then. I'd like to think I can learn from the mistakes of my past; and ensure that those mistakes are never repeated.

Boom. Done. Governor Christie had the perfect opportunity to make a case for being a Conservative Republican coming out of New Jersey... and he blew it. By now his campaign is suspended and he has voiced support for Donald Trump.  The RINO bit turned into quite a bite.

Given the timing of this particular posting I won't delve into either Gov. Jeb Bush or Gov. John Kasich. As already referenced above; the voting populace simply has not been interested in either candidate; Gov. Jeb Bush having the good graces to suspend his campaign. Gov. Kasich has not realized it is long past time to bow out of the race.

Which leaves Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz as the other two politicians.

Breakup

Early on in the race I was personally torn between Senator Rubio and Senator Cruz.  I liked the personal stories of both candidates. I liked many of the positions. I liked many of their policies. While Senator Cruz appeared to have the best on-paper policies; Sen. Rubio had a longer history of working across the aisle.

Then; as referenced in the I Choose Cruz post; Senator Rubio just threw his viability into a trash can in the span of a single debate. As I sat re-watching the clips where Senator Rubio pulls out the shotgun and takes out one foot with a highly inaccurate and under-educated blurb on encryption; then promptly shoot the other foot with highly inaccurate takes on National Security and transparency; and then reload both barrels to subsequently blast the seat of his pants with a highly inaccurate take on Snowden; I was hit with an Epiphany.

The Average American Voter Does Not Care About Working Across The Aisle.

The DNC, and in turn much of the quote/unquote Mainstream Media, have been playing up the importance of President working with an opposite party. The favorite example to date has been the amount of work between President Ronald Reagan and Congressional Representative Tip O'Neill.

However; a quick check of the history books seems to reveal an interesting fact. While Rep. O'Neill was a Democrat; he was neither a Socialist or a Communist. Rather; all things considered; his reputation was far more middle of the road. President Reagan did not have to deal with a Congress that was controlled by an almost hostile radical political faction.

The modern day DNC barely resembles the DNC of the late 1970's and early 80's. A DNC that was marked by candidates like Jimmy Carter and an opposition to the Socialist Policies that had wrecked nations around the world. The DNC might have been a little kooky; heavy on the idea of citizen entitlements; but they were a far cry from the policies of the Obama Administration or candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

With that epiphany in mind I realized I knew why Donald Trump was so popular; and why DNC reported voting percentages were dropping like comparative stones.

Takeout

In short; Donald Trump was a Democrat. He grew up in an environment heavily controlled by then DNC social ideals; but also while gaining real-world experience in business. 

The DNC of today does not want people who hold Conservative Fiscal Policies; they want those who espouse Socialistic Social Policies. There is no room for anybody in today's DNC who believes that the Freedoms of Religion apply to Christians; or for anybody who believes that All Lives Matter; or for anyone who questions what business practices the Planned Parenthood organization actually participates in. 

Record numbers of former loyal DNC party members are tired of watching their party drift further and further from the "Glory" days of Rep. O'Neill's time in office. One of the most notable was a Kentucky Clerk who was abandoned by her political party when she attempted to exercise her Religious Beliefs, only to find support among those in the GOP. 

Donald Trump could probably seal his place in office by just getting up on a stage and saying something to the effect of: You know what? I used to be a Democrat. I gave money to Democrat Politicians. I supported with my money what they told me to support. You know what? I found out they didn't want me anymore. They looked at my job creation, my success, and they said they didn't want me. They looked at my family; at my business; at me; and said they didn't want me. They looked at what I had to offer; and said they didn't want that. So I'm here. I found open arms in this Republican Party. I found people ready to listen to what I have to say; people who said "We Want You Donald Trump."  So yeah, there's a lot in this Republican Party I'm not used to. There's a lot I haven't seen comin from New York.  But you, you've shown me. As I've gone across this great land; talking to each and everyone of you; I've learned something. I've learned what you think is important. I've heard about your opposition to Planned Parenthood; I've heard you talk about my past; I've heard you talk about how I spent my money. Fine, I'm flexible on a lot of things; I'm a businessman who likes to negotiate; and that's the key here. Negotiation. There's room for us to talk. It's a give and take. I can tell you this much though; elect me and I'll do my best to represent each and every one of you. Everything you believe in, I want to be important to me; because that's how we get the best Deal. That's how we Win. 

If Donald Trump were to embrace his position as somebody who is from the DNC of yesteryear; somebody outcast from the political party they would have called home; and somebody who found a home in the GOP, then he could probably ignite and combine those in the DNC suffering from Voter Apathy and those suffering from Voter Anger into an unstoppable force. 

Only; Mr. Trump has seen fit to make a run for the far right; claiming conservative credentials he probably doesn't actually have. He has been accused of being a Confidence Artist; which in some ways is one of the largest No Duh! moments I have seen in recent memory. Mr. Trump is a businessman from New York with several billions in his bank account. That there could be possible connections to a Mafia of some kind or evidence of links to various Cons pulled over the years; would not be a big surprise. The link between successful New York Businessmen, Mafia types, and legally grey business practices is as stereotypical as a Corrupt Chicago Politician. 

However, I'm not entirely convinced that quasi-legal dealings in Mr. Trump's past; or potential Mafia connections; are a reason to entirely dismiss him as a Presidential Candidate. Mr. Trump has a reputation for the practice of looking after himself.  I harbor no doubt that were Mr. Trump to be elected to the Office of the Presidential of the United States his desire to win; his desire to be the best at whatever he can be; would actually make for good qualities. Sure; it might bring back the days of Crony Capitalism; but Crony Capitalism is easier to fix than Socialistic Corruption. 

In short; Donald Trump is probably somebody who would carry through on his campaign promises. He's a businessman first; and if American wins on Energy Production, transportation, resource production, immigration reform and ejection of illegal aliens; then Mr. Trump's properties win. 

Yet; as I expressed before; my reason for not voting for Donald Trump stems not from his policies or beliefs; but because American Citizens have a much better candidate in the Republican Field. That candidate is not Senator Marco Rubio. 

Shattered

As 2016 has closed off it's first 2 months I find my decision to step away from Marco Rubio easier and easier with each passing day. His announced policies are simply not as effective as anything Donald Trump or Senator Cruz have presented. His claim to be able to work across the aisle is meaningless when the aisle is dominated by an ideological gap rather than bridged with shared ideals. His promise to beat Hillary is hollow after his massive flubs on National Security, Encryption, and Snowden. 

The only reason Marco Rubio still seems to be a viable candidate is a massive mistake on the part of the GOP Establishment. It is a near textbook example of "Those who do not Learn from History are Going To Repeat It"

Across 2008 and 2012 the GOP Establishment tried to move middle-of-the-road candidates through the political process. The attempts failed; with Senator McCain's stellar imitation of a planted vegetable certainly not helping his case; and Mitt Romney coming off of 2 previous losses in the primaries and a concerted effort to make the race a third time charm. 

The fact is this: as candidates get closer and closer to the actual election; most candidates take a turn for middle-of-the-road rhetoric. The result is Presidential Elections with candidates who only have minor differences in their policies; rather than deep ideological differences that the country must vote on. 

The tactic has twice now failed for the GOP Party. A middle of the road Republican Candidate simply cannot; under most normal conditions; win against a middle of the road Democratic Candidate; simply because the DNC typically offers status quo. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were highly competitive with their middle of the road presentations; even if their actions in office barely resembled those of the campaign trails. 

So in 2016 one would assume that the GOP Establishment; which is best defined as the senior party members who are hung up on time-in-party as an ultimate deciding factor; would realize they had to change strategies. They needed something other than a middle of the road candidate; somebody whose every action screamed consistent ideology; somebody with a reputation for holding to a line.

Except that didn't happen.

The GOP Establishment tried to run the exact same playbook that cost the last too elections; with large amounts of resources to longstanding party members and not so much for party outsiders or those who rocked the Senatorial vote. The result was a disaster as both Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. John Kasich helmed campaigns that seemed to have more in common with the Titanic than with the HMS Conqueror

So; as the Gov. Bush and Gov. Kasich campaigns ran aground like the HSM Vanguard; the big money backers and Establishment types turned to Sen. Marco Rubio.  The very same Senator they had dismissed for not waiting for his turn to be President; and somebody who had shot his rump off on national television. 

Senator Rubio, at some point, realized that his campaign needed some tweaks; so like Donald Trump Senator Rubio took off quickly towards the right-wing of his party. Since then my email in-box has been flooded with reasons why Senator Rubio is more conservative than Senator Ted Cruz on one topic or another.

The result?  Senator Rubio comes across as a flip-flopper of a higher order magnitude; just based on the emails from the promotional campaigns. I suspect that if Senator Rubio's campaign hadn't been given buoyancy from the Establishment types; it would have already ran into the ground.

Quite simply; of the remaining GOP Candidates; Senator Rubio is easily the worst candidate possible who is still viable. 

I found myself staring open-mouthed with the GOP Chairman, Reince Priebus, claimed something to the effect that it wasn't his position to tilt the scales of the nomination cycle. BULL.

It IS with Chairman Priebus's purview as the Chairman of the GOP to let party members know when their actions put long term party gains at risk.  Attempting to back another middle of the road candidate; attempting the same playbook that failed the last two Presidential elections; DEMANDS action from the Chairman's Office. It demands that Chairman Priebus flat out tell Party members they have one option: Get a New Strategy

Strategy

The new strategy is simple: Back Senator Ted Cruz with everything the Party has to offer. 

There are a number among the GOP who simply don't want Donald Trump to take the nomination. Fine. That is their prerogative. Running the old playbook isn't the way to get that result. Running the old strategy will not obtain that result. 

If Donald Trump can take the nomination in a one-on-one fight against somebody who is tested; principled; almost annoyingly consistent in his Conservative Values; then fine. Donald Trump will have earned that victory. 

That candidate that all those who want to DumpTrump need to support; is Senator Ted Cruz. 
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