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February 4, 2016

The Voting Has Just Begun

Patricia A. Kelly

The Iowa caucuses are over, the results interesting. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who mounted an impeccable and perfectly Iowan campaign, won. He appeals to many evangelicals, and this is their heartland. Iowa was his turf, and he did everything right.


Donald Trump, on the other hand, skipped a debate, which might have negatively impacted his chances with late deciding voters, though it spared him possible harm from tough questions. He mounted an untraditional campaign for Iowa, choosing large rallies instead of the multiple coffee shop meetings that provide everyone with access.


He came in second, which counts as a loss. That’s the first time a Trump choice has not paid off. He thought, and said, that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without losing support. He was wrong.


That Trump could lose is huge. His miracle run now has a tiny crack. Losing is now a possibility.


Third place with an extraordinary, way above projected showing in Iowa was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. This is what often happens when push comes to shove in an election. People move toward reason and moderation in the end – most of the time.


Barack Obama’s story ran counter to this. He charmed the pants off America. He fed into, not our anger and frustration, but, rather, our hopes and dreams that we could be a fair and inclusive society, peaceable, able to negotiate our way in the world without using force.


It was a sham. He, in his heart of hearts, is an academic, a loner who is not good at forging relationships. He’s a dreamer, who has proven himself unable to respond appropriately to the reality in front of him.


In foreign policy matters, he wanted people of other cultures to think as he does, so he failed to learn how they do think, when that information could have been so helpful.


He wanted single-payer healthcare, and tried to take a step in that direction with Obamacare, instead of having his “people” look at the real problems in our healthcare system and at realistic solutions.


He said he wanted racial and cultural harmony, but, every time an incident occurred between people of different races in our country, he, racial paranoia triggered, assumed whites, the same whites who helped him become the first black president of our country, were being racist.


Looking at this 2016 election, we see people at risk of making the same mistake they made with President Obama. They’re reacting emotionally, rather than thinking.


People on the right, dismayed by President Obama’s errors, are toying with the idea of jumping from that frying pan into the fire, by electing anti-establishment candidates and ruthless ideologues as little qualified to be president as was President Obama.


People on the left are toying with the idea of a socialist society because everyone getting enough “stuff” sounds so good. They haven’t a clue as to how that would play out in the real world. Very few societies have had some success with socialism as a system, but most have soon returned to capitalism. People are not motivated to work without gain. Nor are they generally willing to have their choices taken away, whether doctor, school system or home. Things bog down, and the supposedly endless tax-and-fee revenues eventually dry up.


On the right, thus far, people came through and chose a “nicer” guy, a bit of a greenhorn, but, happily, a step away from ruthless ideology or “gunslinger” mentality. Good for them.


On the left, they just couldn’t quite choose, understandably, as there is no real choice for them. Will it be a fairly competent liar, or a pie in the sky socialist? Anyone would have a hard time making that choice.


People say they don’t want another Bush. That’s because they don’t think much of recent Republican congressional behavior, or of George W.’s leadership choices, and because Jeb wears glasses and has a nice smile. He just doesn’t look like the warrior they seek to save them.


They’re wrong. Jeb isn’t weak. He’s the smarter brother. He’s Marco Rubio, grown up and seasoned.


As for the apparent lack of concern about another Clinton, it’s hard to understand why this family can get away with behavior so lacking in character, and remain so popular. Maybe it’s Bill’s loveable personality.


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