Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Keywords or Terms: New York Businessman; Presumptive Republican Party Nominee, Donald Trump; West Virginia; Nebraska; US House Speaker Paul Ryan; Immigration Policies; Foreign Muslims; Xenophobia; Sexism; Racism; Basic Republican Principles; NAFTA; TARP, Foreign Voyeurism; Democratic Party Nominee; Mitt Romney; Elizabeth Warren; Marco Rubio; Hillary Clinton; and, Bernie Sanders

As a Big City Businessman yearning to relate to the average voter from the Appalachian country, Donald Trump probably figured out that smooshing with coal miners and their families are probably less stressful than finding out what establishment Republicans are up to, lately. Donald Trump became a unique presumptive 2016 Republican nominee one week ago, yet establishment members of his party are not exactly sure if he is the right candidate to carry their party’s flag. The numerous uncertainties of where Mr. Trump stands on a number of key button establishment Republican issues are making the big Whigs of the party skirmish at the thought of having the New York businessman as their future party leader.

Tomorrow’s exploratory, reconciliatory or mutual understanding meeting between the US House Speaker, Paul Ryan, and the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, among other things, is expected to provide answers and understanding of: 1) Why Donald Trump’s unorthodox campaign bid continues to give establishment Republicans a genuine pause; 2) The whacky ways some Republican Party State caucuses and primaries award delegates to contestant, ala Donald Trump; 3) Donald Trump’s overt appeals to racism, sexism and xenophobia in his campaign for the White House; 4) Whether there is an active establishment Republican Party incubator fielding an independent run against Donald Trump in the upcoming November election? 5) Credibility and creditworthiness implication of Trump’s policy proposal not to pay America’s creditors, the full amount of government debt owed by the country; 6) Why Donald Trump’s proposed policies are dangerous, why his campaign rhetoric are reckless, why his business records are embarrassing and the explicatory end of his free ride, ala Elizabeth Warren; 7) Veracity of the candidate’s representation regarding charities, wealth, tax conformance, and conflict of interest; the potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or unsavory group, ala Mitt Romney; 8) Why his tax proposal appears to be skewed to the benefits of the billionaires at the expense of middle-class workers, ala Hillary Clinton; 9) Why Donald Trump is setting up a Commission to study proposed immigration policies and ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States; and, 10) Why establishment Republicans will rather have those who are enthusiastic about Donald Trump’s candidacy and policies to campaign on his behalf rather themselves; among others, ala Marco Rubio?

Mr. Trump has been winning caucuses and primaries and with the exit of Ted Cruz and John Kasich a little over a week ago from the race for the 2016 White House, the remaining states’ contests appear all the more uncontested; an open country for the love of the Republican rank and file, to do whatever he pleases to clinch the party’s nomination. If the establishment Republicans’ traditional mindset is not in consonance with the type of candidate going to represent the party in the November contest, maybe it is time for them to shift priorities; or adopt the status and policies of the presumptive flag bearer who has been supported by over ten million republicans, no matter how uncomfortable and unorthodox his campaign strategy has been. Establishment Republicans had largely ignored the possibility of Mr. Trump being their party’s flag bearer, pushing their various, ‘Not Trump’ candidates in the race, to defeat Mr. Trump at the States’ caucuses and primaries over the past six or nine months. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there had been a huge shift between where the rank and file of the party stands and where the establishment Republicans stand, since the 2012 elections, or probably before. To a large extent, outsiders to the Republican Party believe the 2016 Republican nomination contest has resorted to an emotionally laden imbroglio between Republican rank and file and the country-club Establishment Republican elites, who feel their place within the party is largely being eroded by Donald Trump’s unconventional campaign strategy.

Democrats face an opposite problem. As many youthful Democrats recognize that the populist message of Bernie Sanders are more in line with their position and or conviction on a number of public issues. How about: 1) alleged financial stripping of the economy by Wall Street; 2) wage stagnation among middle income households that have stifled growth and increased labor exploitations; 3) the corrupt campaign financed system that continues to erode the political power of many Americans; 4) proposed financial transaction tax on Wall Street that may help fund public welfare programs; 5) excessive US adventurism and foreign interventions that have multiplied public debts; 6) foreign trade pacts and imbalances that have disadvantaged America by moving jobs overseas; 7) the proposal for $15 minimum wage across the board in all sectors of America’s economy; 8) Medicare-for-All proposal to ensure Universal Health Care for all Americans; 9) addressing America’s crumbling infrastructure dilemma and proposal to ask Wall Street to help rebuild main street because it benefits them too; and, 10) proposal to fund free public higher education, among others. The oscillating changes in victories, swinging from establishment candidate Hillary Clinton to the youth’s preferred candidate, Bernie Sanders, as the contest for the 2016 White House moves from region to region, continue to attest to the credibility and favorability of Bernie Sander’s campaign in many quarters. The argument for Bernie Sanders candidacy continue to be actualized in intermittent primaries and caucuses’ successes across the landscape, with his recent victories in Indiana and West Virginia showing how resolute and resolved his effort to win the Democratic Party nomination, even though the rules and guidelines to party nomination appear not to be favoring him. In addition, the recognition of the viability of his candidacy, even where the political hedge makers had imagined the odds stacked against him were too many to be surmounted in the short-time left, attest to a potential ammunition that could be exploited by the presumptive Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump. The reality of this last articulation is probably found in Donald Trump’s newly imagined categorization and name calling tactic: how about, ‘Crazy Bernie’ versus ‘Nasty mean enabler’?

For Democrats, Donald Trump’s heresies require adopting the mind-set of having to deal with a bullying aspirant, ready to do anything to achieve his aim; being the next US President. Donald Trump, who once claimed on a Daily Beast released transcript of a 1998 Fox News interview, where he actually claimed that President Bill Clinton was being falsely accused by a bunch of an unattractive women, has now suddenly woken up in 2016, to accuse Secretary Hillary Clinton, his spouse, as the worst enabler of her husband; who has tried to destroy the lives of her husband’s accusers. As you watch Mr. Trump insist at his rallies in Oregon and Washington States about a week ago, you get a sense that you are encountering a person not really interested in public policy or party unity, but one of character assassination of anyone in his way to Republican Party nomination, or by default, the US Presidency. As an American voter, Republican or Democrat, Candidate Trump wants you to believe that: “Hillary Clinton has spent a career being accused of being a man-hating radical feminist lesbian, a nasty mean husband enabler, and worst women abuser, ever.” Donald Trump’s demagoguery are meant to induce the voter to come to a total hatred of his opponent(s); however, therein lies his complete vulnerability. As long as his opponents refuse to engage and play his tit-for-tat’ game and stay on their own campaign message, it is unlikely the “powerful political outsider” will be able to triumph in his psychological disparagement warfare to undercut the opponent.

The eventual Democrat Party nominee, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, faces a distinctly different campaign problem in the 2016 race against the presumptive Republican Party nominee: maintaining a proactive, result oriented (vote harvesting) campaign designed to address the bread and butter issues of the voters; while confronting a possible egomaniac opponent, who is probably riddled with taxation issues and other unknown business negotiation issues that will derail any thriving campaign for any political office. The Democratic party flag bearer must forge a front of being a true and genuine national unifier, a presidential candidate, who knows the extent of the displeasure that rank and file Republicans have for their party’s establishment; one who appreciates the position of the millions of youths flocking behind Bernie Sanders’s candidacy; and, who has a well laid out strategy for unifying all American voters towards the message of inclusivity and accommodation of all stripes of Americans. A 2016 White House candidacy of this nature has the potential of generating enormous fellowship in the November election, if he or she remains focused on the message of transformative America. By contrasting the internal divisions in the Republican Party and failures of establishment Republicans to understand the concerns of the rank and file, by recognizing the place of the populist message from Bernie Sanders, the eventual Democratic Party flag bearer, can easily position herself or himself, to sap away the current capacity and affinity built on Trump’s candidacy.

The substantive option, which appears likely to be resolved in July, after all the primaries and caucuses are over, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have sat down to negotiate a way forward for the Democratic Party Platform at the Philadelphia convention, is a credible way forward. With Hillary Clinton winning presumptive Democratic flag bearer, she must be ready to address: 1) Why she was unable to quickly close the nomination deal against Bernie Sanders and why Independents are more likely to vote against her than Bernie; 2) Why Hillary Clinton did not speak out against NAFTA, TPP and other trade deals purportedly favoring China, Japan, Mexico and other countries against the United States – the lopsidedness of global trade deals with America; 3) Secretary Clinton’s judgement on trade, foreign policy and campaign finance reform – why she was slow to respond on some key issues of reform; 4) Why Hillary Clinton supported regime change in Iraq and other foreign interventions, either as a Senator or member of the outgoing administration; 5) Why Secretary Clinton’s arch rival for Democratic Party nomination, Bernie Sanders, once said he found her unqualified to be US President because of her past judgements on some national issues. On the other hand, if by stroke of luck, Bernie Sanders is able to beat the 67% threshold odds against his candidacy in the remaining states’ primaries and caucuses, or through a negotiated convention that rips away some of Clinton’s avowed former super delegates, thereby having Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Party flag bearer in 2016, Bernie Sanders must be prepared to address possible labels from Donald Trump, as a dicey Red Socialist, who wants to rob Americans of their money through heavy taxation; thereby denying them from striking it big like Donald Trump, his potential opponent and Republican flag bearer.

Even if the Republican establishment is relatively uninterested in Donald Trump’s unorthodox campaign strategy, the US House Speaker, must still be actively engaged with the Republican presumptive nominee at their meeting tomorrow. Moreover, even if other party leaders are cautioning against Donald Trump’s brand of campaign and policy messages, the unity of the party should still be the focus of the meeting; else the party falls apart. Aside from the party unity, there are two priorities that must emanate from the meeting between the House Speaker and presumptive Republican nominee. First, there is the problem of radical messaging from the presumptive Republican nominee that disenfranchises many American minorities, blacks, disabled, female, Mexicans and Muslims. The most essential of this is the fact that establishment Republicans must maintain their anti-discrimination stance, including xenophobia that can easily undermine the purpose and essence of a major American political party. Republican Party leaders must disavow any effort or representation of their party as an exclusive outfit that subscribes to the disparagement of other Americans or destabilize the state or national unity.

Second, a correction of internal instability within the Republican Party that have led to the mantra of us against them, rank and file Republicans against establishment Republicans. The ousting of a hierarchical party structure is neither inevitable nor imminent, depending on how this meeting goes. Yet, the issue of widespread disenfranchisement and perception that the elites within the party have long since ignored the clamoring of the rank and file, must be addressed respectfully without letting affairs deteriorate from where they are today. The Elite Republicans must determine how best to address the concerns of the rank and file in future party’s negotiations on issues that are of concerns to those currently saying no one has listened to them. The crisis in communication between establishment Republicans and the rank and file that have led to an outsider, with probably not the same conservative values of most Republicans representing the party in a general election, must not be swept under the rug; rather, they must be confronted proactively; a task that is not very easy with the state of perceived communications break down between the two parties meeting tomorrow.

In dealing with these two priorities, the meeting is likely to be sabotaged by one paradox and assisted by another. The negative aspect of this conveyance begins with the possibility of either party, refusing to stand down from their initial position. Donald Trump’s position as the presumptive party nominee with the support of over 10 million voters, may be such that places him in an upper hand position in the negotiation process. The need to reassure him and his supporters that there is a place for their voice and presence in the party is essential; however, not at the expense of eroding the basic fundamental principles that constitute the American Republican Party – belief in smaller government; belief in fiscal conservatism; Support for federalist System of government, respect for individual liberties and responsibilities; tolerance, inclusiveness and optimism; strong work ethics, devotion to family; and, conservative social values.

Businessmen naturally desire to avoid risks, and this part can prove beneficial to the negotiations. If the presumptive Nominee is reminded that he is holding party leadership to ransom or creating a hostile takeover of the party that will not auger well for a collective followership by all the existing pressure groups in the party, which will ultimately cost him the election in November, there are chances that he will play ball and in the extreme case or situation, catapult to the wishes of the party leadership. Either choices may reduce or augment his credibility before his strong followership among the rank and file; or, elicit negative establishment’s public opinion that may place his candidacy in jeopardy or crush his ego as the presumptive party nominee.

Either way, the negotiations may ease the stressors in the current status of relations by alerting the participants at the conference of the paradox of perception: the negotiations may either reinforce the preconceived notion that the presumptive nominee is not playing by the party rules or his candidacy, is such that party leaders cannot come around to his side because of the huge mistakes surrounding his campaign efforts, or because of the perception of what the party now stands for by putting forward, Donald Trump as the party’s flag bearer in November 2016. The stakes are high and either member at the meeting has a lot to lose, if a compromise is not reached; hopefully, the coming of Donald Trump will not lead to the demise of the Republican Party as we once know it, today.

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