Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday Hoosier State Primary Results: will establishment Republican Party learn to Partner with Donald Trump after the decisive Indiana Victory?

Keywords or Terms: US Congress; President Barack Obama; Tea Party; Progressive Republicans; ‘President Donald Trump’; ‘President Hillary Clinton’; NAFTA, TPP; US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam

The Republican Party has been going through transformation and change prior to the entry of Donald Trump into the 2016 White House race. During the 2012 campaign for the White House oval office, Donald Trump led a revolt of the birthers movement within the party, with tacit approval of establishment Republican Party. During the early years of President Obama’s Second term, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and some far-right Republicans, were all in the same boat, coho-bating to undermine the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency, using unsavory language and lying about his religion, patriotism and the veracity of his first term accomplishments; challenging and chastising President Obama for not being a natural born citizen or a team player with US Congress; assertions contrary to well known facts and realm of reality. A number of progressive Republicans discountenanced these rabble-risers and hateful movement; and, imagined the group would go away with time. Unfortunately, the Tea Party group did not go away, they multiplied in number; and fast forward to 2016 race for the White House oval office, they metamorphosed into what is now probably a national movement, desiring a complete change in the structure and foundation of the Republican Party; and, working relentlessly to see that their candidate of choice, Donald Trump, become the next President of the United States.

Karma has a way of catching up with the unsuspecting and untethering; it is an accelerant of change to the unknown, unperceived, unsuspected and unexpected. Politics of hate involves three important adjectives: coltishness, ignorance and misinformation. But there are silos in the Republican party that perpetuate a belief that the average White Anglo-Saxon is disadvantaged by the growing demography of minorities in the American population; and unless, something is done to the issue of immigration, albeit the war on Mexican-Americans from the doyen of the Tea Party group in the race for 2016 White House, at least from Republicans, the loss of employment, loss of most favorable status in negotiated international trade, loss in grounds of war against terrorists and terrorism; loss of edge in international influence, once unperceived of active pro-interventionist foreign policy; and, the perceived declining middle income lifestyle or status of majority Americans, will continue to be a reality of America's democracy and probably an unending dilemma for Americans. While it might be un-comforting to the once privileged losing grounds on luxuries and largess of the purported American dream, the redemption of having a candidate that appears to speak for many male Anglo-Saxons, who believe they are being disenfranchised from trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement (TPP), may not be out of place. Thus, the need to bring along or support a candidate that will claim the long standing old glory, is all the more welcoming in the race for the White House in 2016.

No more of the feverish categorization of Donald Trump as amoral, braggadocios, arrogant buffoon from Ted Cruz, his arch rival for nomination. The reality of the Hoosier State primary results show that Mr. Trump actually has a path to the Republican party nomination, as he acquires fifty-seven delegates from today’s contest, leaving him with less than 200 delegates to clinch the Republican golden prize. The larger historical tragedy of time, is the unsubstantiated claim that Rafael Cruz, the father of Ted Cruz, appeared in a 1963 photograph with President J.F. Kennedy’s assassin. The un-bashful, sometimes distasteful nationalist, with a say whatever you please campaign strategy, is winning big in many states, day in day out, even with all the back room dealing and cohering of his rivals, to deny him the nomination. Now, Donald Trump has won six States in a row; he has won comfortably in the North-East, dominated in Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central and Mountain States and probably, as the contest moves West and Mid-West, California, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, North and South Dakota and or New Jersey, he will remain triumphant.

Why is the doyen of the Tea Party and probably, all rank and file of Republicans, whooping his rivals all around the nation with some convenience of I told you so? As reported by Associated Press, here is what a Bloomington software engineer said of Donald Trump while casting his vote near an Indiana University prescient this morning: “He’s the only candidate who is really going to change the system. Everyone else is in bed with the Republican leadership,” Forget the diatribe of raining insults on fellow Americans, degrading the female specie and undermining minority groups, all these are inconsequential and probably worthy of the expected results of voting the New York businessman into the White House. Thus, as GOP remaining candidates round up their campaign in the Hoosier State and move their trucks to the next battle ground state, with an uncharacteristic deflation that their campaign messages have gone largely ignored in the State of Indiana, it may be time for the Republican establishment to realize that, the genie has been let out of the bottle; and no one can stop the front-runner of their party, among the remaining contestants. Donald Trump is the eventual nominee of the Republican Party; and, there is unlikely going to be a negotiated conference. So what is plan B?

Let’s begin with the issue of illegal immigration and trade agreements or pacts? The focus here on the first issue is the number of undocumented immigrants that Mr. Trump has vowed to depot and the huge wall, he is promising to build in the Southern border with Mexico. The unfulfilled promise of NAFTA and or TPP, is a disaffection that is driving the hate from the male white Anglo-Saxons who are voting for Trump in droves and who believe the system needs a shake-up from the bottom up, and the only one who can accomplish this is an outsider to the system. Could the deportation of the twelve million undocumented immigrants change the landscape of the nation and bring back jobs to those who are aggrieved by the current status quo? Because internationally negotiated agreements cannot easily be renegotiated without consequential repercussions, Republicans may want to look at the direction of their probable next leader, and see how best to work with him without throwing the baby away with the bathtub. How about realigning the focus of negotiated trade policies, including TPP, NAFTA and any with China, that have been criticized for disadvantaging America and putting the nation in the arms way of huge trade deficits and lopsided foreign reserve? How about revisiting allegation that China and some other trade partners are meddling with the valuation of their currency to put the nation at a trade disadvantage?

Renegotiation of trade pacts with foreign nations, Europe and Far East Asia, is fraught with problems. What any international economist will tell you is this: there are parameters for negotiation of international trade and pacts or agreements, and some of these parameters are not just conjured or mandated under political whimsical anticipation or preferences. “President Donald Trump’s” rectification campaign can only go so far, before foreign economies or nations begin to retaliate. The perceived economic decline in some sectors of American economy, appearing to have impacting American jobs and employment, are attributed to other international pricing and marketing variables that hardly yield to political machination or inferno as contemplated by the Republican front runner. Contrary to Donald Trump’s and his proponents’ conventional wisdom, there is hardly much evidence that NAFTA, TPP and some other negotiated trade agreements with Far East Asia and European countries, have adversely disadvantaged America’s Economy to an extent that unless a renegotiated agreement or, a junking of existing agreement is followed, America’s Economy is doomed or in complete jeopardy. The contention of some of us, who sees the glass as half full rather than half empty, is that trade agreements as NAFTA, TPP and others, build better business communities across the globe and prevent factors that may deny the entry of America’s products into new world’s markets. It is our fervent conviction that America’s Economy, despite its few shortcomings, is still the anchor on which the world’s economy hitches or stands.

The other bemoaning explanations for slow growth in some areas of America’s Economy and probable declining employment opportunities for American nationals, which have been lodged against provisions of trade pacts as NAFTA and TPP, including the ever so talked about, excessive number of undocumented immigrants among us, as construed to deserve urgent radical and immediate actions by Mr. Trump’s campaign, because of their consequential impact on trade deficits, unemployment rate and possibly, a growing number of cross-border crimes, have now degenerated to xenophobic behavior, riotous dispensations at Republican party front-runner’s campaign venues, with elements of distasteful utterances bordering on, pseudo nationalistic and segregationist fervor; behaviors and choices that should be called out as, essentially wrongheaded. However, if this is the choice of the new Republican Party, one may now call on the retooling of existing economic policies to ensure they work, the way they were intended, when US Congress passed them, if Mr. Trump ends up being the 45th President of the United States.

Unemployment rate across the globe has been declining since the last World’s recession, and if you survey global unemployment statistics, it appears America is doing far much better than the whole of Europe and many parts of the world. March, 2016 figures show a 4.9% US unemployment rate as against 8.8% in the European Union. The campaign comments from Donald Trump to an interview on “Fox and Friends” this morning that, “[his supporters] are smart people, and they haven’t been taken care of properly by the government,” is close to political pandering, an apoplectic grandstanding, if not misrepresentation of the purpose of governance or what a responsible government is expected to do. Governments are not strictly designed to take care of people; the notion that government is about taking care of people appears to be the reason for our ballooned national deficits: the growing number of government benefit or welfare programs! Saying that in a contested campaign environment in the Hoosier state may seem wise for an aspirant seeking votes from constituents in a heated campaign environment; however, in a general election, that statement to ‘Fox and Friends’, is coming back to hunt and hurt candidate Donald Trump.

Quizzically, to specify that Donald Trump has not been clearer about his foreign policy, as advanced by his Republican nomination rivals, maybe an overstretch. The challenges presented by his foreign policy speech isn’t the fact that statements made are not clear; rather, that those advancements of his, have been lampooned by seasoned foreign policy experts, as well as, at least two chambers of European Counties’ congresses that are America’s allies. Foreign policies are not made in a vacuum. Between the gun trotting foreign policy diplomacy of the last Republican Administration and the tepid diplomatic hands-off, but deliberate and effective policy of undermining and destroying America’s enemies, using our advancements in war technologies and forming coalition of supporting nations to fight international and foreign terrorists by the Obama’s Administration, the average American voter has been given the opportunity to make a choice: decide to return to a foreign policy riddled with mistakes as advanced by the Bush Administration in Iraq and Afghanistan, or subscribe to an engagement and core strategic policies that balance the interests of the nation, vis-à-vis, those of our allies, friends and collaborators in international arena, to achieve the same purpose. It is an opportunity to weigh a doctrine of might is right, isolation is effective and engaging in endless war, including bearing excessive costs of wars in blood and sweats are acceptable; as against, charting a new direction of active engagement of friends and foes; and, weighing risks of foreign policy alternatives that meet the needs of America’s core values.

At variance with well-thought out conception of foreign and international relations, Donald Trump’s advanced foreign policy falls into the negative arena of international trade policy, with staunch denunciation or antagonism of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). His advancement has the likelihood of leading the nation to broken alliances and disruptions of economic activities here and in partnering nations, including very important aspects of supply chain activities, that supports the free flow of goods and services across the globe and in some case, particular trading zones where America’s interest is largely paramount. Trump’s antagonism of trade pacts has the potential of escalating trade wars and grievous retaliation from other nations which may have been in agreement on some of the past negotiated pacts. His perception of TPP, isolation doctrinaire, may alert prior inactive tariffs as an option for trading partners. Intolerance of negotiated trades would lead to co-option by other competitive economic market zones, principally, European and Far-East Asian markets. The isolation or pseudo-isolation doctrinaire is likely to bring to power, competitive conservative governments, who will seek to protect their national interest at all cost, due to new developments from America under ‘President Trump.’ Instead of expanding trade, Trump’s foreign trade policy is more likely going to worsen America’s economic situation and threat of substantial increasing unemployment rate. Some neo-nationalistic policymakers, subscribing to Trump’s foreign policy proposal will find themselves grappling with massive changes to bilateral relations that will arise from the isolation doctrinaire of the new ‘President Trump’.

Photograph of ruined Church, France John McGill Collection
Veterans History Project WWI 
AFC2001/001/84785. Source: Library of Congress Digital Collection
Reshaping the focus of Trump’s campaign for 2016 White House to align with Republican Establishment preferences may be too late at this time, except you consider the possibility of a negotiated party platform at the Cleveland Convention for the general election purposes. Further, to correct the gap between what establishment Republicans want and what their likely flag bearer wants, may essentially be a foregone conclusion; however, it may be important to explore the convictions of Hillary Clinton, the likely Trump’s rival in the general elections in November. It is imperative to visualize foreign policies in the context of give and take; rather than, my way or the high way, if we consider ourselves as part of a United Nation. Visiting the question of potential revision of trade pacts and agreement to favor America better than what is on the books, appears to be the direction of that Donald Trump’s foreign [trade] policy is shaping up to be. Reflectively, the shortcomings of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of such pacts and agreements that Trump will want revisited, may not be as horrendous as he perceives it or wants America to believe. TPP, with all its short comings, has helped America remove trade embargoes and barriers that have prevented America’s good from entering new markets, especially in Far East Asia. Current condemnation of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) as a way of denouncing value added tax common in Western European Countries and similar to Bush’s Administration concept of no-new taxes, may be expedient for Donald Trump; and lately, or belatedly, for his November rival, Hillary Clinton, who was part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiators; and who on the campaign trail is signaling that she is finding it difficult to continue to support the pact, for whatever reason she may now profess. Current characterization of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) as a job killer, may end up creating new market hostilities for America goods in the lucrative information and war technologies markets.

Finally, for Republicans who are pro-trade, it may be wise to take Donald Trump to the wood shed and have very serious discussions before the open convention and let him realize there is much to talking trade and talking embargoes or reneging on contracts and agreements with other nations. For now, the unique reprieve for Republicans, who default on the side of their potential party’s flag bearer regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is the fact that his November rival has an equally malleable and undefined stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

Isolation in foreign trade and policies serve no one. The soloist doctrine worsens more than relations with partners, it generates unnecessary consequential developments that have a way of rippling and rocketing to other areas of foreign relations. Given the three handicaps of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), restrictive intellectual property rights, non-transparency, and absence of privacy and due process, it still behooves signatories to such agreement, the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam, to uphold their end of the bargain. The substantial reduction in trade activities arising from trade isolation from reneging on exiting contacts and agreements, tends to prevent diversification and creative innovations.  The efficacy of the TPP under a ‘President Trump’ or ‘President Clinton’ may be at a clandestine stage with possible disseverment of some of the contents of the agreement. One can only speculate about what is likely to happen to the pact in the next White House Administration, Republican or Democrat, given the new oppositions to some of the tenets of the agreement. However, to seek to abrogate the whole pact, immediately President Trump or Clinton comes to power, is likely going to have a dastardly or ripple effect on the markets and trade negotiations with America in the future. Mind you, no one is arguing that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a perfect agreement; however, a nation has the obligation to live up to her words during the duration of an agreement or as the agreement stands.

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