Galaxies of electrons in our Einsteinian universe are being expended on U.S. primary election prognostications. Computers are melting with the wretched excess of analysis. But as everyone (United States and not) has a “dog in the fight,” and the political exercise has been both vitally important and vastly amusing, still another perspective may be useful.
First, the Republicans should win the 2016 election. U.S. politics are cyclical; it is rare for a president to be defeated after one term; it is even more rare for a party to get a “third term” especially when following a problematic president. And consistently over 70 percent of Americans believe the USA is headed in the wrong direction.
Second, the Republicans must win the 2016 election. A third, and probably fourth consecutive term of Democrat presidents would likely alter the U.S. sociopolitical landscape inalterably and indefinitely. Although the Republicans are likely to hold Congress, it will still not be possible to limit a vigorous executive—as Republicans know to their irritated fury when Obama has taken unilateral action on civil rights, immigration, environmental protection, budget expenditure, gun control, criminal justice, and foreign policy that they have been unable to thwart or alter.
Perhaps even more important, the next president will almost undoubtedly have the occasion to replace as many as four Supreme Court justices (one is 82; one, 79; one, 77), including replacing the just-deceased Antonin Scalia. New justices (including former president Barack Obama) would likely be in their fifties—good for 20 years of predictable left-liberal decisions.
Third, the Democrat candidates appear deeply flawed and beatable. Hillary Clinton seems to have a lifetime of personal/political/economic baggage leaving her characterized as untrustworthy even by Democrats. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has a bad-hair-day personal image with two-chickens-in-every-pot, socialist political promises as a platform.
But history isn’t destiny. And the Republicans must win the election; it will not come as political default/reset.
Indeed, Republicans appear to be working as hard as possible to lose the election. When there is an “open” presidency, it stimulates competition. Potential candidates look in the mirror and say, “I may not be Lincoln/Washington/Roosevelt, but I’m as good as xyz so why not run?” Consequently, there were 17 individuals in the active or frequently mentioned category waving their hands for attention.
Indeed, it looked a bit like a casting call for a TV reality show. That is not to suggest that quantity meant an absence of quality. Of the 17, there were nine current or past governors, five current or past senators, a senior manufacturing CEO, a world-renown neurosurgeon—and Donald Trump.
And it has been Trump who has been the game-changer for the Republicans, merrily apple-cart upsetting the prospect of a hard-fought, but essentially polite campaign for the nomination. It has been Trump, a bombastic, bragging, bullying, billionaire who has seized control of the polls—a circumstance as unpredicted as 9/11 and with potential to provide a political tsunami for the United States.
He has channeled the irritated fury of a major element of the electorate contemptuous of a Washington bureaucracy that has resolved nothing (and cares less about them). They are implacably angry over millions of illegal immigrants whose coddled criminals shelter in “sanctuary” cities impervious to deportation; convinced that heartless CEOs have sent their “good jobs” to China/Mexico/Forgottenstan; and believe the president cares more about “global warming” than of defeating Islamic terrorism abroad (and now in the United States).
Add to these grievances the implacable Democratic effort to eviscerate the Second Amendment, advance homosexual causes, legalize mind-altering substances, coddle police haters, and reduce U.S. military capabilities. The consequence is that old line from the movie “Network,” “I’m mad as hell, and I won’t take it anymore.”
Indeed, only a Republican president has a ghost of a chance of reversing any (it is too much to hope for all) of these failures.
- Appoint Supreme Court justices that are “strict constructionists” of the Constitution, not interested in liberally expanding its provisions;
- Stop illegal immigration; end “sanctuary cities;” and suspend Muslim refugee entry;
- Take kinetic action to defeat (not contain or manage) Islamic terrorism;
- Rebuild U.S. military capabilities (the defense budget is not a slush fund for expanded social welfare funding);
- Revise “Obamacare” to eliminate massive insurance cost increases; and
- End the foreign affairs policy of apology. We face a nuclear North Korea and a prospective nuclear Iran. These are implacably dangerous regimes whose potential for catastrophic attacks on our allies (and shortly ourselves) must be eliminated.
David T. Jones is a retired U.S. State Department senior foreign service career officer who has published several hundred books, articles, columns, and reviews on U.S.–Canadian bilateral issues and general foreign policy. During a career that spanned over 30 years, he concentrated on politico-military issues, serving as adviser for two Army chiefs of staff. Among his books is “Alternative North Americas: What Canada and the United States Can Learn From Each Other.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.