President Donald Trump; does that sound strange to even say out loud? What would have been considered laughable or even preposterous two years ago is now very much in the spectrum of reality. Mr. Trump has developed a very loyal and vocal legion of followers who will not be deterred or persuaded from casting their vote for "the Donald" come hell or high water. They are mad. They despise politicians. They are ready for someone who shoots straight regardless of the content or "political correctness" of what the man says. They are willing to ignore the contradictions that sometime occur daily and the lack of definitive details in any plan or policy he has suggested. They enjoy his bickering with and insulting of the politicians he shares the stage with during debates. They are devoted and love to hear the man tell everyone that he is winning. They are not just isolated to one political party.
How did we get to this place, this weird and unusual race for the Presidency? Eight years ago Barrack Obama used his significant skills of oration to present a plan of change, hope and peace. Not even a one term Senator, Obama was able to reach into the anger that had infiltrated America and simply by sounding different and speaking a different game captured the voting electorate, riding that wave to victory. He was able to repeat that victory in 2012 despite growing resistance to his policies and a substantial challenge from a contender with an actual record of achievement, avoiding a narrow loss thanks to a well timed hurricane and his very public positive response. The historical significance of Barrack Obama notwithstanding, the country is once again angry and ready for a more substantive change of direction in both policies and economy. So how does Mr. Trump draw so much support when he has no political record of achievement?
Many folks point to his business successes as evidence he can improve our jobs and economic outlook. The man can obviously run a business or twenty and create jobs within his span of control. How this will translate to running the entire country remains to be seen. In his businesses Mr. Trump is the top banana. No matter what his subordinates suggest he can simply say "Nah" and do whatever he wants. Despite recent and various attempts to the contrary, a President still has to deal with a system of checks and balances as provided by the United States Constitution. No matter how many "executive orders" are signed, none are lasting whether they are legal or not unless a bill makes it through Congress. Mr. Trump often points out his considerable negotiating skills when describing how he will accomplish "making America great again". In our very polarized Congress, he will need them.
In 2014, the voting public returned the Senate to the Republican Party though not a significant majority in which to make changes. These voters are very upset that there seems to have been little to no effort to repeal, override, legislate or in some cases even debate undoing the damage of the past 7 years. Unemployment numbers are being fabricated by not including the actual numbers of Americans that are out of work. Small businesses are unable to provide benefits due to costs associated with a ridiculous wealth redistribution plan masquerading as a health care plan. Health plan costs are skyrocketing for those whose plans were taken away from them. Our allies abroad are more fearful than ever that terrorism is on the increase and the United States has retreated preferring to take a back seat in foreign affairs. The lack of leadership has citizens in European countries actually rooting for Trump to win due to their perceptions of a "wimpy" lack of leadership in the United States. Of course the national press isn't reporting that so it must not be true, right?
Our alternatives? At the moment two one term Senators (stop me if you've heard that one before), a retired neurosurgeon and a current sitting Governor on the Republican side. The Senators of course have little to no record of Congressional achievement. Both have tried to convince the public they are "anti-establishment" but can they really claim that while sitting in Congress? Not like Trump can. The good doctor is in my opinion the most genuine candidate of all but in this year of "who can yell the loudest" his message is simply not being heard and his demeanor is not confrontational enough to suit the masses. What is interesting is that the Governor's record of achievement both in Ohio and while serving in the United States Congress is impressive but seems to be overlooked. In fact, the candidate that probably had the most impressive record of achievement is no longer in the race in part because his name wasn't Jeb Smith. Given the competition, the climate of the electorate and the perception of leadership skills it would appear Mr. Trump is a shoo-in. Maybe not.
The leader of the Republican pack has a greater than 60% disapproval rate of the voters. 35-40% can win you primaries but it cannot carry a national election. So are the Republicans once again doomed to beating themselves if Trump is the nominee? Maybe not. For you see the presumed Democratic nominee has her own 60% plus disapproval AND dishonesty rating. If she makes it to a nomination without getting indicted (which I still believe depends on Joe Biden) she is no shoo-in either as she simply doesn't appeal to the cross section of folks President Obama did. Do we really even need to discuss "Bernie"? Though Mr. Trump has pledged otherwise, should the Republican nomination come down to a "brokered" convention in which there is virtually no way Trump gets nominated will he then turn and run as an independent? If that happens, can any of three candidates win enough electoral college votes to prevail? Contrary to popular (media) belief I do not believe that necessarily believe that would hand the election over to the Democrats, especially if the Republican nominee would be as I suspect, Marco Rubio. Talk about a mess.
My vote? I haven't decided; for the upcoming primary or the November election. This year is very much developing into the election of the "lessor evil". It is truly a sad state of affairs when an election can be completely taken over by a TV reality show star. My fear is that this very important election could degenerate into one of the worst turnouts for a Presidential election in history and voter apathy will set in much as it has locally. If that happens we have left our national security and well being to whoever bothers to show up; and we will get what we deserve.