This election cycle is shaping up to be one of the most bizarre in recent history. On the Democratic side you have a couple of candidates running for the top job, with one who is almost certain to win the nomination. On the Republican side, it is a virtual smorgasbord, with a combination that includes a woman, two Hispanics, an African-American, a family legacy candidate, an ordained Southern Baptist minister/governor and, of course, the scene-stealing Donald Trump. And more are declaring every day.
There is no question that Americans are pulling away into two distinct groups and supporting the candidate who best mirrors their values and needs. The Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of old – we can see that it is rapidly moving toward a far-left socialist agenda with each passing day. This is not the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy or even Bill Clinton. With the rise in popularity of Bernie Sanders, we see a socialist candidate being taken seriously who would have been laughingly dismissed just a few years ago. Politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are being taken seriously even though their vision of America is not even close to the center of a “center-right” country. At this point it doesn’t look like this election cycle is going to be a fight to win the moderate vote because most American voters have already taken a stand on their desired side, leaving the number of “undecideds” dwindling.
Most of this is because both sides are fed up with the way the country is being run. The left wants Obama to be further left than he is, and they are disappointed that Hillary Clinton is not going even further with the leftist agenda, although her advisers are pushing her that way. In the few speeches she has given, she is trying to walk a fine line, but it appears the left is beginning to look elsewhere. Hollywood is beginning to give Bernie Sanders a second and more serious look, and the millennials are as well. The “20 and 30 somethings” agree with his stance on marijuana, student debt, civil rights, etc.
The right-wing Republicans and the tea party also are mobilizing. They are tired of voting into office politicians who promise the moon then deliver nothing. They hear the same tired rhetoric over and over, and when someone comes along who actually says the things that they themselves are saying, they pay attention.
This is what happened in the 1992 election with the emergence of Ross Perot who erupted out of a grass-roots fervor that created a movement. “United We Stand America” resonated in 50 states, pushed by people who felt disenfranchised by their government, who were determined to take their country back and were looking for a leader that could make that happen. Unfortunately, Perot took the air out George H.W. Bush’s sails and grabbed the votes that would have given Bush a second term.
Could perhaps Donald Trump be 2016’s Ross Perot? He is being scoffed at and dismissed by the media just as Perot was. He is considered a clown and a joke by the liberal left, and they welcome the chance to ridicule his ideas – but something about Trump is making them a bit uneasy.
Trump, whether you like him or not, is not speaking to Americans in a “political” way. He is not parsing words or being politically correct; in fact it is quite the opposite. He is laying the truth on the table about who he is, what he plans to do if elected and how he will reach his goals. You may not like or agree with everything that he says and you may be aghast at his brutally honest words, but listen to him – is he really wrong in what he is saying? Is he just a “crazy person” spouting off – or is there truth in his words?
There is a large portion on the right that will identify with what he is saying. They will appreciate his brutal honesty and his no-nonsense approach to getting the country back on track. They can be sure that in a debate he won’t back down as Mitt Romney did, and he will run rings around anyone who tries to out-think him on financial issues. He has dealt with foreign leaders in the business world and knows them inside and out. One thing is for certain: He loves the country, and I believe the Americans who are open to him as a candidate want that in a leader. We have spent the last seven years with someone who has made it pretty clear that he isn’t on America’s side, doesn’t think that we are a great country, is embarrassed by us and will do whatever he can to apologize to the world for our actions. We really do need a “change.”
Many on the Republican side are done with the kind of behavior Obama has been pushing, and they will hopefully choose someone who is not the “same old, same old” tired Republican politician. The final candidate probably won’t be Trump, but at least, like Perot, he will stir the pot and make the other candidates step up their game. If he can at least gain enough support to enter into the debates, then maybe, just maybe he can light a fire under someone who will emerge and be a leader – and we can finally choose a candidate with some backbone and passion.
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