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
Post a Comment