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And now there are three

February 25, 2016

In the interest of both fairness and accuracy, there are also the alternatives of Kasich or Carson, but their combined support wouldn’t be enough to make much of a difference, especially split two or three ways, and it’s for sure they can’t win the nomination.

On the eve of another debate before what could turn out to be Waterloo for the mainstream Republican party apparatus, there are still a lot of traditional politicians whistling past the graveyard, hoping to ignore the spectral presence of Donald Trump.

Granted, winning a plurality of Hispanics in Nevada is not the same thing as winning in the Deep South, and 80-some delegates is a long way from 1237.

If elections are like horse races, the money is still sitting in the stands but it’s now one minute to post.

Those players that dropped two bucks on the nose of the longshot back in June 2015 stand a far better chance of cashing in than their less adventuresome competitors.

From day one, the GOP failed to recognize that Donald Trump is not running to validate the existence of the GOP.

Trump is an independent at heart, and the people voting for him are not likely to be the so-called conservative Republicans of the past.

A lot has been made out of Trump’s support coming from “people with only a high school education,”  or “blue collar male non-college graduates.” The thing is, as of 2014, about 75% of the population didn’t have a four-year degree.

Even those that initially thought that Trump might be just a bored rich guy looking for some new and titillating way to get his jollies are beginning to believe that he really means it when he says he’s in it to win it for America.

If you happen to get a clip of Trump speaking to smaller groups or one-on-one he sounds a lot less like a whacko than his carefully cultivated public master-of-the-sound-bite persona would indicate, particularly when addressing the economy.

His much criticized crudity is even somewhat appealing, in the sense that you can see it coming from a mile away when he goes on the attack.  So far, he hasn’t been sneaky with his tactics, and when he says he’s coming after you, you can take it to the bank that he will. To his supporters, that’s a fair fight.

More importantly, they believe that he understands that the real strength of America comes from its center.

It’s been obvious for at least 25 years that the two mainstream parties are a closed club of what one man called “gentrified criminal enterprises.”

In an odd way, what’s happening today closely parallels the feeling of the election of 1980. For those that think that 1980 was BCE, that’s the year that Reagan won the presidency, running largely as a populist candidate and a patriot.

The big knock against Reagan at the time was that he was a movie cowboy who was going to plunge the country into World War Three. In fact, the charge that he was shallow, i.e. a mile wide and an inch deep was one of the opposition lines of that time as well.

As history has recorded, WWIII didn’t happen and today Reagan is counted as one of the greatest presidents.

Some of the pundits like to point out that if Trump is really the right guy, he should have run as an independent.

They fail to see that he is. That he decided to do it under the Republican banner should have been a opportunity for growth, not a threat to the Grand  Old Party, where “old” equates with “stale.”

March 1, Mr. Trump will either earn the right to be nominated, or he won’t. If he comes out clearly on top, the GOP stalwarts will have no one but themselves to blame.

If you really feel queasy about Trump, what about the other two more traditional wannabe frontrunners?

It’s by no means certain that Ted Cruz can carry Texas, or that Marco Rubio can prevail in Florida, but they both have their supporters.

On paper, Marco Rubio is by far the most qualified Republican candidate as regards winning the general election, but at least up to this point, he hasn’t been able to seal the deal with voters.

Senator Rubio is perceived as trying to be the most qualified candidate with the best manners, much like Mitt Romney before him.

That didn’t work in 2012 and it’s even less likely to be effective this time around.

Note to Senator Rubio – this is mud bogging, not a concours d’elegance. If you think Trump and Cruz are crude, wait until you face the might of the Clinton/DNC machine, where slander is just another campaign tactic.

Ted Cruz, whom many people see as a sort of Trump alternative but with a sneakier and equally disagreeable side has a number of committed supporters.

In his favor, Cruz is at least enough of a brawler to take on Trump’s bombastic campaign and probably compete with Clinton lie for lie.  Although he is to date the only person to best Trump at the polls, that victory is tainted for many by the perception that he won by cheating.

Going back to the horse racing  metaphor, February has been the post parade. Tomorrow they hit the starting gate.

Care to lay a bet before the runners get to the head of the stretch?

From → op-ed

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