Saturday, April 30, 2016

Reflecting on recent primary results in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island: America’s new reality in major political party flag bearer?

Keywords or Terms: Misogynistic; Alpha-Male Persona; Donald Trump; Pay-to-Play; Super PACs; Ted Cruz; Hillary Clinton; Bernie Sanders; Former US Speaker, John Boehner; Citizens United; Campaign Finance Reform; Income Inequality; National Politic Office; RNC Party Rules; Expanding Support Base; and, Building Coalition of Supporters

This past Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Hillary Clinton emerged victorious in Democratic Party primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. These victories not only solidify her front runner’s status for party nomination, but also the endurance of a remarkable campaign apparatus funded by huge campaign contributions from Wall Street donors and other richer contributors, when compared with her opponent’s benefactors. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s main rival, was only able to muster a squeaky victory in the State of Rhode Island with an obvious discouragement; asking his campaign strategists, where do we go from here? In most respect, Americans should not be surprised come the general elections in November that the building blocks of the former first lady’s supporters are aligned with Super PACs seeking influence in Washington DC. These donors understand and have learned handsomely from the flaws in campaigning for the White House oval office; it is a system fraught with the ‘pay-to-play’ doctrinaire which zillions of politicians from either major American Political Party will continue to deny.

The ascendancy of misogynistic Donald Trump’s candidacy in the Republican Party’s 2016 contest was, and could never have been imagined, even by seasoned political strategists twelve months ago, were it not for the flaws in the system of campaigning for public offices in America. The ‘pay-to-play’ doctrinaire has so much enameled the system that some progressives have become alarmed since the US Supreme Court Citizen United decision that appears to have open the flood gate of money into presidential campaign for the White House oval office. Say what you may, money is the life blood of American Politics; and those who invest or contribute handsomely to the campaign chest of political aspirants expect something in return. It is this flaw that Donald Trump, a business mogul with very little political experience, has exploited vehemently to propel his candidacy ahead of many seasoned and thorough politicians, with laudable public service experience either as chief executives at State Capitols or US Congressmen. That Donald Trump can claim to be likely nominee of the Republican Party at this time in the race for White House oval, is an attestation of what has always been wrong with the way America selects aspirants for political offices, either at the national, state or local level: Whoever plays the piper dictates the tune!

How else do you explain a self-financed say-anything campaign strategy with an alpha-male persona presidential aspirant, who has never held a political office even at the precinct level, rising from a grandiose declaration that he is ready to build a huge wall in the southern border of the United States to keep away a particular race of people or citizens with Islamic religious affiliation from entering the United States, rising so rapidly to acquiring about one thousand delegates and raking in over three million votes ahead of his party’s rival, and positioning him to claim the mantle of the 2016 Republican Party flag bearer for the race to White House oval office? A presidential aspirant, who has flaunted his wealth as he campaigns for the White House oval office, used derogative language, including insulting epitaphs to define American females, humiliated Muslims, Blacks as well as Mexicans, and issued declaration of war against foreign nations, some which the nation is heavily indebted, continues to rise in polls and upended the Republican Political Structure to the extent that his likely close rival, Ted Cruz, was declared by a former US Speaker, John Boehner as: “ Lucifer in the flesh” How about a rather  scathing follow-up comment from the former Speaker about Ted Cruz: “I have Democrats friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Dramatic and somehow disturbing, when a seasoned Republican as the former US Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has just declared and or, thrown his weight behind a political novice, who continues to rise in the polls despite running a rather unconventional, some say disgusting campaign for the highest office in the land, at the expenses of huge chunks of American populace, females, African Americans and Mexican American, and not only rising in the polls, but has done very well in over twenty states primaries and caucuses, with recent landslide victories in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. While many of his rivals in the contest for party nomination has shied away from very many controversial utterance, Donald Trump continues to relish in the very more despicable categorization of many Americans, and doing very, very well at the polls. Not only has this new era business mogul done very well in American political campaign for the highest office in the land, he has constituted a respite to the traditionally acceptable banner of charging the interest of your financier, and since he has no fancier, he has chosen to use his wealth, to railroad any conventional structure within a major political party, insulted the ‘pay-to-play’ structure of campaigning for political offices, and done rather triumphantly, more than anyone who has blazon this type of campaign effort. His candidacy has readily constituted a new direction: you can make your bed as hostile as you want and very many voters will still share it with you, your own way!

Why is it that bundlers and self-interest groups have grown exponentially since US Supreme Court’s Citizen United Decision? Money contributions and matching funds are raised farther and as faster as most candidate’s election committees, with some of these SUPER-PACs raising funds to support advertisement and campaign booster activities that facilitate the nomination and election of the candidates, out of the reach of the law. SUPER-PAC’s activities, which is synonymous with a ‘pay-to-play’ system, or the loathed act of bribery in politics, depends on heavy campaign contributions and funding from bundlers and self-interest groups, who work to advance their personal and group’s interest. When it comes to campaign money and where each aspirant has their contributions coming from, it is probably true to believe that system is corrupt, as many presidential aspirants have found it as a way of eating off the turf of contributors out of the eye of the average voter, with a possible pay back to the donors once the aspirant wins the election into office. The system continues to bedevil the transparency effort in government and continues to make progressives believe that power is for sale in American politics. It is with this perception that critics scorn at the heavy handed influence of the SUPER-PACs; a system rather distrusted by the average American voter, because of its heavy-handed influence on American politics.

Without considerable oversight, the cooperation found between SUPER-PACs and some presidential campaigns have undermined transparency of our democracy; as the structure snares at political moderation, relishing mostly in excessive spending activities, advertisements and programs, to undermine the will of the people. It is essentially for this reason that many people see the system as crooked and relatively opaque to the hands of the law. As described by Mr. Trump, the front runner for Republican nomination in 2016, the campaigning system is crooked; and, when it comes to delegate selection process at the state level, especially with the Republican Party, the system is 100% crooked!

Further, when it comes to where each current presidential aspirant gets his or her money from during this cycle, it is obvious that there are some deception or falsification of the true identities of the sources of contributions towards each candidate. For example, While Bernie Sanders, arch rival of Hillary Clinton for Democratic Party nomination, opposes SUPER PACs, quarreling with the fact that their fund raising and campaign contributions are associated with, or synonymous with, influence political peddling. On the other hand, Ted Cruz, the closest arch rival of Donald Trump, the probable presumptive Republican Party nominee, has over three Super PACs working in concert with his internal campaign money raising apparatus; including: 1) Campaign for Keeping the Promise I, which was formed with 11 million dollars from a Co-CEO of a private Edge fund firm, in support of Cruz’s election ; 2) Campaign for Keeping the Promise II, which has raised 10 million dollars for Cruz’s effort – a group getting its money from energy development investors; and, 3) Campaign for Keeping the Promise III, which has raised 16 million dollars from one single family selling rigs for fracking operations to oil and gas explorers.  All these Super-PACs are raising these monies in support of Mr. Cruz’s campaign, and none of them can readily say they are doing so out of their good heart, nature and or benevolence. Usually, the SUPER-PACs are attempting to open a path or way for their personal or institutional interest during the tenure of their beneficiaries. This essentially undermines the will of the people.

Until the US Supreme Court Citizen’s United Decision, politicians were exempted from huge contributions from corporations and organizations which are considered or perceived as a conflict of interest in their relationship or connectivity. To a certain extent, the current status-quo, where a candidate’s election committee and supporting SUPER-PACs are expected to work independently of each other, for the same purpose or interest of an aspirant for a political office, is not holding or appears unsustainable; and where an iota of transparency appears, no one has been able to separate one from each other, though the law says they must. Candidates have scrumptiously worked behind the scene with their various SUPER-PACs; and compared with the past, there are no way an outsider to their scheme can determine, where the money for some election activities is coming from, without some nudging from either the candidate or his or her SUPER-PAC(s). Many SUPER-PACs spend about five or six-folds of what the candidate(s) may spend on advertisements or programs designed to support their candidacy. The alliance structure, though denied, are somewhat obvious to a canny eye. A candidate’s campaign interest is buried and embedded in the spending activities of the supporting SUPER-PACs. These bundlers and special interest’s groups, known as SUPER-PACAs, accept contributions from many interest groups and fail to provide the sources of their contributors; they also position themselves within an easy reach of the candidate’s election committee, to an extent that you wonder, who is doing what for this candidate’s election chances. The US Supreme Court Citizen United has created room for a unique partnership and collaboration between an aspiring candidate and array of SUPER-PACs, that the public or voter might as well see their candidate and SUPER-PACs as representative of each other.

Maybe this is one reason for the rise of an outsider to the national political experiment, where an outsider, is so much loved, despite all his political shortcoming and inadequacies, that he is preferred to seasoned politicians in office for several years. Establishment political strategists and deal breakers and makers in both major political parties are grappling with an understanding of the accomplishment of someone as Donald Trump, to the extent that a few of them are saying, better leave it to the new beaver, than allow existing lion to mash up the process! This has guaranteed revolt voting from the rank and file to an extent that this revolt has upstaged establishment Republican politics; and were it not for the pedigree of Democratic Party aspirants, without the intrusion of outside candidate to the 2016 slate of aspirants, maybe the Democratic Party may have suffered the same faith as the Republican Party. For example, the delegate allocation system in the Republican Party has been caricatured by Mr. Trump as a system so crooked, it may be necessary to clean house once he is nominated as the party’s flag bearer. Internal reflective exploration by the Republican National Committee may have to develop a watch-dog committee to see that the party’s rules and regulations are transparent enough to make all aspirants to national political office see the system as fair and progressive.

Donald Trump, who is close to reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to snatch the party flag bearer position, appears to be fighting the rules committee of his party; he sees a unique and indispensable strength of the rule’s committee, but still is apprehensive of the nature of hurdle(s) an aspirant has to go through to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to be the party’s flag bearer. The RNC rule’s committee have outlined potent rules that applly to all candidates aspiring for some of the national political offices; however, those rules appear to disadvantage a possible outsider who has not been able to muster enough delegates to reach the goal, but has acquired enough victories and popular votes in the primaries and caucuses to claim credible victory in the process. As the RNC sees it, a party’s rule stands and rule is a rule, a candidate who is unable to achieve the required number of delegates prior to convention time, must subject himself or herself to a contested conference. This is why the current front-runner, Donald Trump, criticizes the delegate allocation system as a crooked system.

Never before in the history of the Republican Party will such potent rule be suspended or abrogated to favor a particular candidate; and this is where the RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus, stands. While close opponents of Businessman Trump as Ohio Governor Kasich argues that the front runner is weak and divisive candidate and Ted Cruz, the second front runner, is coalescing with the governor to deny the front runner enough victories and delegates to help send the nomination exercise into a contested convention, the likelihood that this may not happen appears to be in the horizon. In the coming states’ primaries and conventions, polls indicate that Donald Trump is leading the pack. If he is able to do well in California (172), Montana (27); New Jersey (51), New Mexico (24) Indiana (57), Nebraska (36), West Virginia (34), Oregon (28), South Dakota (29) and Washington (44), it will just be a matter of time for him to real 1,237 delegates; thus, there is unlikely going to be a contested convention; however, if the opposite is the offing, then, a contested Cleveland, Ohio convention, it will be.

The strength of recent victories and delegates’ acquisitions in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania will give Hillary Clinton the needed influence to bring her party together to face a formidable opponent in Donald Trump. If Bernie Sander’s performance on May 3rd in Indiana, followed by West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon in subsequent weeks are lackadaisical, and Hillary Clinton builds on her popular votes and delegate counts, the excise will be wrapped up before the June 14th primary in Washington DC. At worst, she will wrap up the nomination on July 7, with the contests in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North and South Dakota. Clinton was rather magnanimous in her response to a question regarding her being the Democratic Party flag bearer this past week from a CNN reporter, when she retorted, “I consider myself as someone who’s on the path; obviously, I’m very far ahead in both the popular vote and the delegate count.” What can anyone say at this juncture, of the six democratic party aspirant who began this race a little over fourteen months ago, Lincoln Chafee (Suspended Campaign, October 23, 2015); Jim Webb (Suspended Campaign, October 20, 2015) Lawrence Lessig (Suspended Campaign, November 2, 2015) Martin O’Malley (Suspended campaign, February 1 2016), Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton; she is the only female and the best funded, raising close to 200 million dollars for the exercise, and the only one likely to attain the required number of delegates to carry the flag for the Democratic Party. Her growing popularity will demand that she become more accommodating, more reflective and better informed of the populist issues, Bernie Sander’s campaign has alluded to, campaign finance reform and income inequality.

If one’s ability to build coalitions of supporters, allowing you to expand your voters’ base of supporters in the general population and somewhat, capacity on issues you initially consider as out of your league of important items to your White House campaign goal, maybe this is the time to look at those and see where accommodation is possible for the greater good of your campaign and to afford opportunity for a general election victory in November. The value of each voter and the potential support for your brand will continue to grow once you understand the essence of coalition building and the importance of greater support in an environment, where it appears the polls is in your favor. Your potential opponent will be investing in party building exercise just like you; however, it appears that you have a better edge considering the bar-none, speak whatever you like strategy of the Donald Trump campaign strategy. Even if he moves to the center, it is rather unlikely that many voters he has offended will come around, considering the probable harm and damage to relations between his campaign and the community of disaffected citizens. Moreover, there is little evidence that Donald Trump’s approach to campaigning for the White House oval office will change, the alpha-male persona is too ingrained for him to hide in a general election. Thus, if Donald Trump ends up being the Republican Party flag bearer, barring death, it is likely that Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be the occupant of White House oval office come January, 2017.

Four women dancing in traditional Indian costumes. The Kalanidhi Dance Company performing Kuchipudi dance at the Library of Congress in 2013. Kuchipudi is a sacred dance form from South India of ancient origins. An energetic dance style traditionally performed by men, it is danced here by a women’s troupe from Maryland. Source: Library of Congress: Folk & Popular Dance

Thursday, April 21, 2016

PUTTING VICTORY FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FIRST: implication of Bernie’s loss to Hillary in New York?

KEYWORDS or TERMS: Hillary Clinton; Bernie Sanders; Godfathers; Democratic Part; White House; Brilliant Campaigner; Chicago Area girl; Jewish Brooklyn Kid; Feel-the-Bern; Opposition Candidate; General Elections; Devolution; Dis-investments; Establishment Democrats; Establishment Republicans; and, “Democracy by co-option, compulsion, annihilation, abrogation, devaluation, or derogation of the best of ideals”

In light of a significant delegate haul for the former US Secretary of State in New York State Democratic Party Primary and the very difficult choice of knowing that there is no path ahead for Senator Sanders in the 2016 Party Nomination Exercise, many Democrats are coming to terms with the new reality; knowing that Senator Sanders’ chances in the upcoming exercise on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island, or being the ultimate Democratic Party nominee, may just be a lost cause or a grim and dreary hyperbola for the Jewish bred Brooklyn kid, who made it big in the State of Vermont.

Many establishment Democrats across the country know what took place in New York over the weekend was just a matter of time, notwithstanding that Bernie Sanders had gone head to head in all out campaigning, concentrating efforts on the Empire State democratic party voters, hoping to take a treasure trove of delegates home. Unfortunately, only one of the two had the better chance at wooing over the dynamic and ever so-excited New Yonkers. Hillary had worked the phone lines so hard, talked to the godfathers in New York Democratic Party and insisted it was time for payback for her service to the whole State as a two-term elected Senator. What happened in New York therefore was not an aberration or surprise, but an affirmation of the known or indisputable in the upper echelon of the Democratic Party: “the party’s establishment are not interested in experimenting with the populist message of a septuagenarian for the White House oval office!”

A group of women in red and white costumes hold large fans to form a wreath.

Understanding Korean Culture through Performance:Sounds of Korea, a Korean American music and dance ensemble performing the traditional fan dance. They performed at the Library of Congress in 2014. Source: Library of Congress

After the weekend exercise, many Democrats are saying it is time to come together; it is time to get committed to the greater task of ensuring that the White House oval office remains in the hands of a Democrat. If any naive Democrat believe that the New York primary was for either standing candidate to win, maybe he or she should rethink once again, how local politics is played in some American states: “Only the god fatherly blessed often step into the shoes of leadership of the party!” For this and other known reasons better left for other times to discuss, many loyalists of Senator Sanders should stop grieving and begin to shift politicking loyalty, even if it hurts at this time. Their candidate was a formidable and brilliant campaigner and his message is as golden as any that Hillary Clinton could put forward to win the general elections. It is okay to swear about the good qualities of Senator Sanders’ campaign message; however, what is imperative is that the current delegate count is against the former Brooklyn kid and it is unlikely that he will be able to muster 2383 delegates ahead of the former Chicago area girl, who was bestrode to a former governor and president. Now, though disappointing, it is time to move on, it is time to overlook the frenzy around the “Feel the Bern’ campaign and come down to the obvious, establishment Democrats want that former Upstate New York Senator in the White House come 2017.

Today, Hillary has 1930, including 502 Super delegates; and Bernie, 1189, including 38 Super delegates. Still, Senator Sanders continue to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination as flag bearer. The trending votes from establishment democrats however, rate the former US Secretary of State’s campaign messages, more superior to the Vermont’s Senator and believe she stands a better chance at the polls in a general election. Notwithstanding what the polls and projections are saying in a head-to head match between the likely Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, especially many of which have given the edge to Bernie Sanders; the choice for now for democrats is, Hillary Clinton for the White House. Further, the compelling message for Hillary Clinton’s doubters from the establishment, especially those who have remained loyal and undivided from Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign messages, the real ‘Feel the Bern’ disciple, any further attempt to challenge Hillary Clinton for party nomination will be considered a self-inflicted fratricide; one that would not be forgiven or looked upon, favorably or kindly. This is probably the reason you hear some Democratic Party leadership, especially the executives, asking Bernie Sanders to tone down the criticism of Hillary Clinton or jettison any verbal assault of the former first lady on the campaign trail. For establishment Democrats, if Hillary Clinton is to convince folks in the opposition party to come along, to stay tuned and committed to her as a better choice for the White House oval office, rather than their party’s nominee, Democrats must make Hillary Clinton look good, not only on paper and television advertisements; but also, at the polls in general election.

Many Sanders’ devotees are asking, why should they suspend their ambition and dreams for a Senator they hardly find trustworthy? What is the source of information or conviction that Hillary Clinton has a better competitive advantage than Bernie Sanders at the polls come November, 2016? What is there for the quick switch request for a candidate that appears to be holding briefs for the corporate world, a world that diverted their hard earned money and wealth to devious and unscrupulous deals that came home to roast or hunt them, including the poor and elderly Americans, who lost their life savings and homes in the last recession. Many of these Sanders’ faithful, especially those who still believe Hillary Clinton is too cozy with Corporate America, are asking establishment Democrats to search their hearts and think with their heads. What is there for the rank and file to remain engaged with the message that promises deliverance from shortcoming of the health plans in place under OBAMACARE that Hillary is promising to fine tune to help drive further down health costs and reduce out of pocket costs or premiums? Why is the rank and file often called to sacrifice without any incentive or proposition for a true change that would veer the country away from the old style of governance that has stalemated the deliverance of the promises of America?

The dissolution of prior commitment to Bernie Sander’s populist campaign message cannot come as easily as the establishment Democrats are clamoring. Devolution and divestment from Sanders’ populist message, will take a while; as many supporters of his, have made a culture of listening to his oratory and believing his campaign actualizes, not promises, better resolutions of America’s priority at this time. Yes, Hillary Clinton keeps winning and would probably do so in the coming months in the upcoming state primaries and caucuses, in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island and more; however, the right question is, is she representing the concerned and overwhelmingly disadvantaged rank and file; or, is her priority more in line with Corporate America? Are her victories, loyalty and ascendancy to the throne going to be at the expense and welfare of the voiceless in this crowded world of ‘me-me’ first?

Over the next six months, establishment Democrats are looking forward to having their message and those of Hillary Clinton heard everywhere and anywhere the question is raised, who is best to replace President Barack Obama. The choice between the likely Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton, if she is offered the flagship, would be influenced by the ongoing concerns of Bernie’s loyalists, who believe the Vermont Senator has been short changed in the willing and dealing of Democratic Party politicking. By the Philadelphia convention time, ardent supporters or loyalists of Bernie Sanders and apprehensive establishment Democrats, want assurance that their concerns are of equal priority on the party’s platform at the Wells Fargo Convention Center. For these groups, anything less, will not only be a disservice to efforts committed to campaigning by their first choice, Bernie Sanders, but also, their own personal interest and commitment to national politics and American Democracy.

As Clinton’s loyalist look forward to a symbolic blowout of Bernie Sander’s campaign efforts in the coming April 26, 2016 voting exercises and probably subsequently, it may also be wise for them to consider that their committed loyalty to the former US Secretary of State, is no more important than Bernie’s loyalists to him as the better option for the Democratic Party come November. The desire for less compulsion to the message of Bernie Sanders that is demanded of his loyalists, is a form of self-devaluation, self-denial and shredded hopes, an antithesis of all that has taken months and moments to build. To innocuously believe that this can be accomplished within a twinkle of an eye, just because many establishment Democrats do not see a way forward for Bernie Sanders, and unequivocally throw their support behind Hillary Clinton, because they perceive, she is a better horse in the November derby, is more or less a disservice to many aspirations; and, must be considered at this time, a wishful thinking.

For the records, Bernie Sanders never came to this race as a second fiddle, neither have those who put their trusts and convictions in his message, a push over. Bernie’s loyalists seek changes, changes that do not come with chains and conditions attached. Changes that are real and meaningful; not one made out of inconvenience for the truth. Changes that holds governor(s) or officials that have poisoned the American citizens in cities like Flint, Michigan, responsible. They have sought this type of help in the past and have often lost out on failed promises of repeated occupants of White House oval office.

Performers in Hawaiian costume blow conch shell horns.

Unukupukupu Hālau Hula Performing at the Library of Congress in 2012.

Most recently, employment has remained slow, home ownership gradually picking up, and in spite of the growing economic expansion or growth, salaries and income have remained relatively stagnant for decades, disparities in wages between sexes are still the order of the day, voting rights continue to be deprived, unfairness in administration of justice continue to be acceptable for the generality of the States justice system, corporate money continues to flow into America’s politics and diffuse any remaining political power of the masses; and, corporate America continues to swindle the majority with the pacifying message that it will get better, once all the right variables are in place. Party establishments continue to promise and field candidates that are beholden to several inundated interest groups that are likely to rip democracy off the hands of the masses; and place millions at a disadvantage in all realms of living. How then could anyone, who is right on his fairness barometer, expect anyone seeking a degree of fairness in the system to just switch loyalty without considering the cost, at the micro-level.

Establishment Democrats and Republicans continue to show dramatic shift in their obligations or commitments to the tenets and goals of our forefathers, liberty, equality, popular consent and sovereignty, majority rule, religious freedom, individuality and democracy, and expect the masses to just fall in line, roll over and be bastardized at any chance and moment; with inept and incapable individual rising up to national prominence to consider themselves, worthy to rule the best and the most beautiful nation on earth; one that is the envy of many across the globe. How can anyone say, a candidate that uses vulgarity and abusive language, insults fellow citizens with derogation put downs and obvious dis-courteousness, often compelling violence against each other in many town hall gatherings, is worthy to be a party’s flag bearer, let alone, US Presidency? If a candidate has focused relentlessly on rubbishing the opposite sex, annihilating the press and any constructive criticism, can that candidate uphold the tenet of a free press, equality of all citizens or champion religious freedom? If a candidate for party nomination has been found to be compromising at any level of his or personal and or business life, can that individual maintain the lofty ideals of the office of the US Presidency? These are important questions for Americans, Republicans or Democrats?

The onus must neither be winning with a huge margin, enough to wrack up huge delegate gains towards the party’s convention, nor with a rosy and promising victory in sight; rather, at what expense are the delegate margins or triumphant victories, so lauded in the press, achieved? What victory or delegate margins are we trading for our representation or complacency? Victory for the tenets of Democracy or an abridgment of the people’s will, through co-option, compulsion, annihilation, abrogation, devaluation, or derogation of the best of ideals that make us proudly declare: WE ARE AMERICANS?  To Heck, time to go to bed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bernie Sanders’ and Ted Cruz’s victories in Wisconsin: A world of magical Cheeses!

Keywords or Terms: Badger State; Land of Fifteen thousand lakes; Sun-Dapple fields of Wonder; European Newspapers: Die Welt; London Times; Le-Soir; Le Figaro; Tribune de Genève; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Hampshire; New York; Pennsylvania; Dodd-Franks; Bernie Sanders; Ted Cruz; immigration; Social Justices; Global Security; Xenophobia

Battling for votes in the badger state can be a complex-endeavor – but it doesn’t have to be, if you kick back and let your campaign message speak for itself in that deep wonderful hiking and horseback riding country. Unfortunately, Donald Trump like Hillary Clinton probably do not see it that way; neither does Ted Cruz, John Kasich or Bernie Sanders satisfied with that assertion and or assumption regarding the race for 2016 White House oval office. Republican like Democratic party aspirants have sworn to make things more complex for their rivals for party nomination.

For some eye-popping predictions, Ted Cruz on the Republican side was projected with a ten percent polls lead over Donald Trump, going into the Wisconsin contest; and, Bernie Sanders was said to be cranking up the heat in the land of fifteen thousand lakes, promising to outclass Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party front runner in that land of milk, cheese and butter. As a 2016 Republican presidential aspirant, if you believe you are popular enough in the symptomatic American dairy land and positioned rightly to woo more voters to your side, so you could sweep away forty-two delegates, then you’ve got it made in that picturesque farmland of sun-dappled fields of wonder.

Listening to Sunday’s pronouncement in Milwaukee from Donald Trump, Wisconsin is responding well to our message and it is appearing much like New Hampshire, where our campaign started from behind with the albatross on our neck, and suddenly we win in a landslide. Unfortunately, that prediction was not to be at the end of the vote count tonight: Donald Trump lost to Ted Cruz. For Democrats, the territorial sovereignty and buoyancy of Bernie Sanders were not only expanding, they continue to present credible dilemma for the Democratic Party front runner, Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders’ hope against his arch rival, Hillary Clinton, was not only doubly re-affirmed, his promising victory outclassed most projected expectations and put to shame, the former first lady’s grass roots campaign arrangement, positioning the Vermont Senator to acquire a huge chunk of the 96 delegates in that Sconnie nation.

Once considered absurd and possibly a myth, the possibility of Bernie Sanders hijacking the aura of invisibility of the former Secretary of State in many huge delegate rich states, with primary-styled and not caucuses-styled arrangement, was not far-fetched and the reality of Bernie Sanders campaign heralding a huge chunk of the available 96 delegates to his chest, once again re-affirmed the once untenable: “Bernie rocks anywhere!” Bernie Sanders’ unnerving staying power for the Hillary Clinton’s faithful, has not only sent the nomination process into a long and arduous slog, it has made the Democratic Party 2016 White House race an amazing contest, and somewhat of a nightmare for Hillary Clinton, the presumed polls' leader right from the onset. Wisconsin State’s early Spring surprise tonight, probably spurn the Clinton’s campaign team into another overdrive and reality check: “Bernie is not a pushover as you might have thought or assumed!”

Honesty and trustworthiness have been acclaimed to be the reasons why Bernie Sanders toppled the front runner, fifty-four percent to forty-six percent in voting margin. The disparity in the voting margin speaks well for Bernie Sanders and opens up the opportunity for a claim that he is going nowhere, no matter what the Clinton’s team wants and dreams. As the campaign contest head east, especially to New York and Pennsylvania, delegate rich states, Bernie Sanders may not be in the position to contest to that level that he would undo the long and standing delegate disparity in favor of the former US Secretary of State; however, he has proven himself a formidable foe for the other camp. Notwithstanding what the Wall Street or establishment candidate thinks, it is probably going to be harder for Secretary Clinton to claim a wider and better spread of Democrats' support of he campaign across the country; a likely loophole that a Republican Party flag bearer may sync into. Sure, Secretary Clinton will ultimately win the nomination on the Democratic Party side, however, Senator Sanders has had a remarkable run and no one must discountenance his outstanding performance in the last eight contests. With nearly eighty percent of the States contest determined by April 16th, Hillary may find herself pivoting to some of the more liberal campaign messages from Sander’s campaign; and, hopefully, these would not disadvantage her campaign against the ultimate Republican nominee.

For the records, Hillary Clinton’s team may have to look at the 2016 campaign for the White House afresh, within the context of Senator Bernie Sanders' insurgencies and victories in about eighteen states. Going forward, the team may want to actively draw on, not only names of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, it may be wise to learn from Sanders campaign, how it has actively turned around states that were initially considered difficult terrain for his campaign into an oasis of victories; where he has turned initial polls’ deficits to outstanding victories, by unmasking initial presuppositions and dissuading his former high flying rival, by being proactive and consistent is his campaign messages that is now acclaimed to have provided more answers to the questions on Democratic Party's voters' mind than the former US Secretary of State's.

How Bernie Sanders has worked the campaign trail over and over again with the conviction of overturning past deficits and heralding supporters to give him victories and closing the delegates’ counts as best as he can, is a good case for presidential campaign messaging autopsy. Once the party nominee is chosen, the cross-pollination of ideas between the two Democratic front-runner candidates needs to begin rather in earnest to get the needed edge on the competition against Republicans. The Democratic Party is much better at being consensus builders and could even do better, if the position once considered as ultra-left from Bernie and hot button issues for mainstream campaigning are re-branded and re-worded to become more appealing to a wider population of American voters. From now on, no matter who ends up being the Democratic Party nominee, it will be essential to be reflective on past losses and pivot one’s campaign messaging, to appeal to much more mainstream audience, who will not consider the messaging as ultra-right or left; but, amendable to their personal private convictions and preferences on many national issues; and one that essentially appeals to an overwhelming American voter audience than can be found in either population of supporters of the Democratic or Republican party flag bearer, as we know them today. The challenge is there and is not so much insurmountable if a candidate pays attention to why he or she stumbled in some of the contests for party nomination.

When considered explicitly in the realm of American Presidential campaign for 2016 White House, eminent European security authority and agencies have argued for better cross national security apparatus to fight the insurgencies from ISIS and other terrorist groups in the face of recent terrorist attacks and insurgencies in that part of the world. The support for imperialistic ideology coming from the Republican front-runner at this time towards Muslim and minorities, strengthen the conventional wisdom or reasoning that Democrats are more welcoming than Republicans when it comes to immigration, equity in justice, race and jobs creation; however, the party may not necessarily claim the dominance in these areas. After the nomination, Donald Trump or whoever the Republican chooses to be their party’s flag bearer, is expected to pivot to the middle to capture some relevance on the national stage. Bernie sanders proposal on reforming Wall Street Excesses; Income distribution; Social Justices and Immigration reform, no matter how ultra-liberal he has presented them, must now have to be taken into consideration as Hillary Clinton goes into November. The party’s platform must reflect some of Bernie’s biases, if Hillary is to do well with his constituency that has often found her as untrustworthy and untruthful.

The Ultimate Democratic nominee needs to appreciate Bernie’s argument in the past ten to twelve months; if not completely adopting all of them on the party’s platform, realize that they are issues that are not going to go away for those who have supported his campaign in the last six states that he has convincingly triumphed. A part of the increasingly important debate is how to accommodate the twelve million undocumented immigrants among us; how to reform the financial institutions to ensure that banks and or insurance companies that are too big to fail, do not continue to take the taxpayers to the cleaners despite the Dodd-Frank’s reform that Bernie claims has not gone far enough to keep the public at peace, and how to better articulate equity in the administration of justice, so minorities do not continue to feel marginalize by the system; either in administration of justice or in policing the public.

The ‘we-they’ philosophy or position against minority Muslims from republicans, as positioned by the Republican front-runner may shred whatever multinational agreements that America has been with leading Muslim nations of the world in fighting ISIS and other international terrorist groups. The weakness of the argument that America is at war with Muslims as portrayed by Republicans is not going unnoticed by many Muslim states that have participated in coalition of nations to fight international terrorism. There is now a requirement on the Democratic Party side to allay fears in some of those nations, by examining the possibility of addressing cross-border terrorism acts in Europe that seems to put those nations on pins and needles, recently. The growing skepticism of the continuance of existing bilateral relationships and arrangements to fight global terrorism, in light of the probable Republican nominee campaign pronouncements, are issues that must be revisited for the country to move ahead in its commitment to reassure America’s homeland safety and conquer international terrorism.

Lucid and impartial argument in support of American minority groups are going to be part of the healing process for whoever ends up in the White house. Focusing on the interplay of fear of undocumented immigrants and the question of allegiance are not readily going to go away, neither will the wrangling between the far-right Republicans in the Tea party and establishment Republicans ever going to melt away easily. Democrats and their ultimate nominee are not going to assume early responsibility for all the bigotry coming from the mouth of the two front-runner Republican candidates; however, the damage which their words have caused in the psyche of foreigners and foreign nations, especially the sense of America’s vindictiveness against undocumented immigrants are obviously going to throw in some malevolent inertia which will send the tone of hostility from Washington DC at the United Nations.

The monumental rise of an outsider to the Republican Party leadership if Donald Trump ends up being the Republican nominee, a possibility that cannot be ruled out as of this time and as the contest moves eastwards and back to the delegate rich western state of California, may reconstruct the message that many Americans are not necessarily out of tune with the criticism that Donald Trump has leveled against undocumented immigrants, moderate Muslim states and other foreign nations, that once worked with us to resolve issues of international terrorism and global security. Donald Trump may not see the weaknesses in his pronouncements against minorities and foreign nations as detrimental to issue of national security and bilateral relations; however, if you read the growing criticism of the xenophobic campaign messages and the deration of what the front runner Republican has loosely or circumspectly identified as in the best interest of America, as explicitly derided in foreign press, including leading papers in Europe, Die Welt from Germany, Times of London, Le-Soir from Belgium, Le Figaro from France and Tribune de Genève from Switzerland, will inform you about how opinions are shifting or have shifted in Democratic Europe regarding American politics.

The formally favorable cutting edge editorial position in support of American policies and leaders are now dithering back once again, to where we were, at the end of the last Republican administration. Not only are these European Newspapers’ editorial pages wondering why someone as Donald Trump is leading the Republican nomination pack in Democratic American politics, they are questioning veracity and articulation of the average Republican, if not American voters, on what America, leader of the free world, stands for; especially, on the ascendancy of xenophobic and ultra-nationalistic pronouncements and biases of the leading Republican candidates, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The marvelously rich political cartoons from these newspapers have now veered to a lampooning zest, drawn in part on the idiocy and mediocrity, characterizing the Xenophobic and Anti-Muslim romanticizing rhetoric from both Republican party front runners.

As Bernie Sanders extends his winning streak in Wisconsin, and gain momentum against Hillary Clinton, maybe the question that should be on his mind, if he is able to win over more Super delegates and converts to unseat the former US Secretary of State, is where do we go from here, with the damage already wrought on the nation’s psyche and ally's perception of what has become of the only standing super power's domestic politics? Maybe his solid victory in Wisconsin that have elicited the proverbial chanting of Bernie! Bernie!! And Bernie!!!, or the trailing in convention delegates, not the usual silver lining at the end of the rainbow or uncomfortable reality of the mathematics of becoming his party's ultimate flag bearer, but a reprieve from dealing with the reality of having to work overtime to improve the image of the country after the debacle of Republican Donald Trump’s or Ted Cruz’s campaign pronouncements. Maybe the daunting of the delegate’s math is hardly special or paramount at this time, nor the winning streak of seven in eight contests in a row, ever so enabling and promising; rather, it is how best to re-position the nation as haven of collaboration and multiculturalism, not of paranoia and prejudice against people who are not born Americans.

For ‘Die-hard’ Bernie Sanders supporters, his campaign has irrevocably changed the underlying reality of the Democratic Party’s campaign, if not that of the Republican Party’s 2016 White House contests as well. For this same group, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and ideals remain conflated with that of their hero's and messiah's; and unless more attention is placed on their messiah’s policy stance, no amount of derision that his proposal of breaking the big banks will result in adverse consequential impact on the American economy, will suffice. For them, the deity of Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail, is a remedy for whatever the Republican nominee may bring on in November; for every other American voter to visualize Bernie Sanders’ campaign the way they do, is ever so refreshing and infectious to the extent of providing convincing answers to pressing questions facing the nation, and culminating in Old Glory flying high from sea to shinning sea; and standing with grace and command all over American Embassies across the globe!