Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Primaries and Caucuses' Results from Idaho, Utah and Arizona: reflecting in the shadows of Belgian Terrorist Attack?

Keywords or Terms: Belgium Apartment; NATO Country; Salah Abdeslam; Western Civilization; Paris and Brussels mayhem; American Muslim neighborhoods; ISIS or ISIL; Jihadists; New York Police Commissioner; Cuban American Canadian-born refugee child; Utah; Idaho; Arizona; Ted Cruz; Donald Trump; Bernie Sanders; and, Hillary Clinton

We are probably all familiar with the five remaining aspirants for 2016 race for the White House oval Office: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. We spent most of our Tuesday, March 22, 2016 digesting the horrible news or contemplating what might have been at Brussels, if the security agencies at that Western European City had not dropped the ball, leading to deaths of thirty-one and about two hundred and seventy injured. The deadly explosion resonated far loud and clear that it not only caused mayhem in the country, Belgium, it obliterate any national news on the primaries’ and caucuses’ results from the States of Idaho, Utah and Arizona on any media platform. Why, why and Why all over again?

The sacrilegious acts of ISIS cowards were not only shocking to the European cultures and politics, they became a window to understanding retribution for the capture of the ring leader of another sacrilegious act of ISIS in the capital of France in November, 2015. We rose up in the middle of past week to the news of the capture of another Muslim extremist, Salah Abdeslam, the lone surviving perpetrator of the murder of one hundred and thirty people in Paris, France. We woke up yesterday to another probable consequential retribution for the capture of the planner of the Paris mayhem, with another heart-breaking and soul searching mayhem. ISIS or ISIL is hardly letting go of its usual machination and mischief and it appears Western Civilization is in another conundrum, asking itself, when are these mayhem going to stop? When are the Jihadists going to bury the hatchet and join the twenty-first century? When are Jihadists going to stop damaging the psyche of people for reason of their religion?

Will these mayhem go on for decades; or are we into another new normal, a world of violence and fear; a world full of wanton destruction of lives and properties for no sane reason; a world, run and feted by extremists, with little value for human life and determined destruction of anything that is not Islamic? Some say it is a world of clash of philosophies and ideologies; others say we are at a confluence, where we either resort to inhuman xenophobic, knee-jerk authoritarian and despicable public policy, that goes against our values for security and freedom in fighting global terrorism; or engage in unwholesome behavior with a tint of herculean debasement in constant and repeated response to counter the Jihadists’ efforts to annihilate Western civilization.

The question of being at crossroads or divergences on counter terrorism is long gone, it is now the caveman’s mentality and disposition of an eye for an eye. If Jihadists are not asking themselves why they continue to engage in barbaric acts, why must we blame Donald Trump for his: “You look at what just took place in Brussels, and that’s peanuts compared to what’s going to happen…Because we’re not tough enough, and frankly, our leaders aren’t smart enough. We have to have very strong borders;” or, Ted Cruz’s: “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." How about: “Radical Islam is at war with us. For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality. And the truth is, we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to even name it. That ends on January 20, 2017, when I am sworn in as president. We will name our enemy — radical Islamic terrorism. And we will defeat it.”

Some say these comments or statements are reminiscing of reactiveness to addressing terrorist acts; or, a demonstration of how to be Presidential. Others insist these are dangerous, ineffective, ill-informed and rather illusion comments or statements that must never be uttered by anyone aspiring to occupy the White House oval office. Ardent Democrats insists, those statements are pure politics, where one or the other Republican aspirants seeking the White House oval office have chosen to lecture the current incumbent of the office on how to act; or, seeking attention by lambasting the incumbent who is probably done with the office and is on the way out the door, how to conduct the affairs of the office, hoping that will elevate or burnish their credential and candidacy for the office. These are plausible explanations; however, many people find these comments rather disingenuous at best.

Probably that is why President Obama’s response to Cruz’s neighborhood surveillance proposal or ideology, must now resonate very well with the Cuban-American Canadian born refugee child: “As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance," … “which by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free. The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It's contrary to who we are. And it's not going to help us defeat ISIL or [ISIS]." Speaking early Tuesday in Seattle, the Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton, castigates her potential opponents this way: “What Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and others are suggesting, [neighborhood surveillance], is not only wrong, it is dangerous.”

Given the horrendous nature of the Brussels’ mayhem, one may be sold on the idea that acting contrary to our innate principle as a nation, with couple of xenophobic fear mongering and agitating comments are all that is needed to re-assure Americans that a similar mayhem will not occur within our borders; however, US security agencies will tell you, otherwise. Our security agencies promise to continue to double down on keeping us safe so our nation does not experience another disastrous mayhem similar to September 11, 2001 experience. Maybe this is why one of America’s leading Chief Security Officer, NY Police Commissioner, William Bratton, with some degree of exasperation and annoyance puts it rightly so: “[Ted Cruz] has no idea what the hell he’s talking about”; and, the Mayor of America’s largest city that experienced the worst terrorist attack in the history of the nation, Bill de Blasio of New York, blatantly referred to Cruz’s proposal as a demagoguery. No wonder rational and reasonable folks are just ignoring Cruz’s rather unrealistic and underhanded statement that, President Obama should be back in America keeping this country safe or President Obama should be planning to travel to Brussels.

It is believed in some quarters that Ted Cruz’s campaign for the White House oval office remains second best among Republicans because of his inability to articulate let alone understand, the role of the office he is aspiring to occupy. Imagine, if a US President has to cut-short all his national and international engagements, including travels, statutory obligations and official responsibilities, any time any dastardly or unfortunate act happens anywhere in a NATO country to travel to the affected country in the name of showing solidarity with their citizens, as called for by Ted Cruz and his supporters? How practical or humanly feasible would that be? Would prior statutory obligations become inconsequential and the urgency of suiting impacted nation from a belated disaster redefine, the future of proactive foreign policy and international relations? No one could frankly tell; however, the odds that Ted Cruz will never end up being the 2016 Republican flag bearer let alone US President, is very suggestive and glaring from his utterances, delegate counts and reaction to the Belgian terrorists’ attack.

Now, to the Primary and or Caucuses results in the States of Idaho, Utah and Arizona. The “what” and “why” Hillary Clinton lost to Bernie Sanders in the two Western States, Idaho and Utah, had gotten lost in the misery of understanding what happened and why some voters support a particular candidate. From here, it appeared the former US Secretary of State was strong and popular in the west, until Tuesday caucuses results. The Vermont Senator not only campaigned vociferously recently in the west, his supporters were more proactive door belling for “Feel the Bern” brand. The fact that Bernie Sanders did rather well with victories in Idaho and Utah, is actually a pay-off for hard work reach out. Campaign effort. As is the case, it is becoming apparent that Bernie Sanders campaign has decided that Hillary Clinton will have to earn her delegates from here on in the west. Now, we can get into debates regarding the delegates count gulf or deficiency, and why victories in some states do not necessarily confer huge delegate counts as others; however, the gradual up and coming performance of Bernie Sanders in the west is becoming a revolution as he terms or calls it, a revolution of a new beginning, even if belated as some political observers see it.

The “why” question for Bernie Sanders’ double victories in Idaho and Utah for the Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, may also be found in Bernie’s enduring appeal among democratic liberals and activists, who see Sanders as the hope to long for, in an establishment and Wall Street bought candidacy of Hillary Clinton. For this group of supporters, Bernie Sanders has demonstrated resilience in his campaign messaging, he has stayed close to the script not to engage in mudslinging, and he continues to be favorites of those young folks who consider Hillary Clinton too much reclusive and sold to the intuitive establishment’s preferences. What Bernie Sanders offers in this campaign for some voters, is a realistic movement of change which they truly believe in. The turnout in mostly Caucasian Dominated Western States, continue to stretch the chances of Hillary Clinton; however, more than ever, the game is about over on the nomination process. The lopsided victory in Arizona, with Hillary Clinton taking a little over seventy-five percent of the votes and probably most, if not all the delegates, further dunces Bernie Sanders’ victories and delegate counts in Idaho and Utah.

Further, the “why” question for the Clinton’s campaign team may also be found in the record breaking turnout at the Western States’ caucuses and primaries, which may help accelerate Hillary Clinton chances and performance in November, after Bernie Sanders yields the nomination to her. There were recently acclaimed stories in Idaho Democratic Party, where the heightened awareness of Bernie Sanders campaign had brought in new members participating in the process, with the caucuses activities moving venues to accommodate the growing number of participants hitherto unaccounted for in past presidential campaign cycle. Record breaking turn outs in the cities of Idaho Falls, Coeur d’A’lene and Boise were adduced to the “Feel the Bernie” brand campaign. Why is Clinton’s campaign not doing well in heavily Caucasian states? There is probably not one single answer to this question. However, the old issues of trust, heavy handed establishment influence and independents' participation in Democratic Party caucuses appear to influence the results or outcomes. Interestingly, the older and non-White Democrats still flock to Hillary Clinton as was seen in Arizona; however, the youths have practically been galvanized in more states than ever in support of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.

Curiously speaking, on the republican side, the emerging performance and successes of Ted Cruz in the State of Utah appears to challenge Donald Trump’s dominance in delegate count. However, with the more than fifty-percent voters’ support for Ted Cruz and his ownership of all forty delegates from that Utah one is apt to believe this is a shot in the arm for the Republican front runner. Donald Trump may be contemplating how to undermine Ted Cruz in other states, as he did in Arizona, taking all the fifty-eight Arizona State’s delegates. While not completely capitulating or throwing in the towel, Ted Cruz has shown to be a candidate to be reckoned with, with his number of victories against Donald Trump. His likely prospective wins in Washington and California may re-write the history of this election; however, if he loses rather badly in those two States, it will be more daunting to overtake the leader’s delegate counts. Convincing Republican evangelic may be good for Ted Cruz’s campaign; however, for his campaign and that of John Kasich, the idea of slowing down Donald Trump’s ascendancy on the delegate counts may just be exclusionary and a rather late endeavor. Donald Trump has nearly doubled his delegates against Ted Cruz; and this is a matter of fact, which is uncontested:  With 944 delegates outstanding or remaining, Donald Trump has 739 and Ted Cruz, 465 of the 1237 delegates needed to get the nomination.

For now, Donald Trump probably has a negative image problem with American Mexicans and other minorities. His most devastating remarks regarding Mexicans may not have impacted him in Arizona because the second runner, Ted Cruz, has similar views. Ted Cruz’s religiosity and credibility with evangelic may work for him in some states; however, it is unlikely to give him an edge in places like California or New Mexico to an extent that he can impact the delegate counts to a disadvantage for Donald Trump. The race for the Republican flag bearer may not be over yet; however, the direction which the Republican rank and file are taking it is probably obvious for the close polls watchers; and the outcome may not necessarily be where establishment Republicans anticipate at the time of the convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

So, while we still ponder on why Brussels is under attacks and what is the appropriate action to take to show solidarity with that Western European nation; or while all residents of Western Civilization ponder why a Jihadist and his team were able to rent an apartment with false identity, build TATP explosives without the security agencies in Belgium finding out before they committed that dastardly act yesterday, it may be sensible to start weighing seriously the character, philosophy and beliefs of either likely party flag bearer; one of which may end up occupying the White House’s oval office. Now, we are not talking about who can outdo each other regarding their spouses’ body parts and why spilling the bean about one’s spouse may be a juicier reality show leaks to undermine a candidacy for party nomination. These types of talks are better saved or left for the gutters!
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