I suppose I need to read up on Bernie Sanders. He’s now overtaken Hillary Clinton in several polls. But I did see an interview he did some time ago and he basically described his politics as European socialism or democratic (small d) socialism. I doubt that will fly with our mainstream voters (current polls notwithstanding I guess). The United States is not Europe. What works in Europe may not work here, and besides, Europe is having economic troubles.
And I think this fits in somehow: Although Europe has done exceedingly well since World War II it did so under the protective military umbrella of the United States. We spent the money to keep the old Soviet Union from taking over Western Europe. What if Europe had been forced to foot the bill for their defense? Also, Europe has race and immigrant problems (just as we do).
But at any rate, we have the weird specter of two radicals, one on the political left, Sanders, and one purported to be on the political right, Donald Trump, leading in the polls for primaries and caucuses (some polls I guess for Sanders — I admit, the plethora polls confuses me sometimes. And I just read now and am adding this to my post: the polls may be skewed in that angry voters might be more likely to respond to a poll takers’ questions. And I would say that maybe early polls are often no more accurate than CIA intelligence estimates — I mean the CIA couldn’t predict that the sun would come up in the morning) .
The explanation seems to be that much of the electorate is fed up with business as usual and just wants change, anything, as long as it is change. In the case of Trump, don’t confuse us with details, just give us bullet points, boasts, platitudes, and just tell us everything will be super and America will be great again.
The Republican establishment is uncomfortable with Trump (but some seem to cower in his presence). Not only does he insult everyone (and seems to get away with it for the most part, because, well, that’s just “The Donald”), but he is a little inconsistent I think with his political ideology. In the past he has flirted with the dreaded liberal ideas, such as single-payer government health care. And he has been friendly with the Clintons. And he supported now President Obama at one time. I think he was flirting with a run as a Democrat at one time. And now he has let it be known that although he prefers to run as a Republican, anything will do — he just plans to be president.
George Will, the intellectual conservative (sometimes I don’t even understand his columns ideology wise — that’s got to mean he’s pretty smart) says that the GOP should take down Trump like the late William Buckley Jr. took down the John Birch Society — getting it banned from the ranks of the GOP (Buckley was even harder to follow — he was super smart). Will likened Trump to the nut cases that were the John Birchers or a loud mouth drunk in a cheap bar. He also said that Trump should be banned from the GOP because he will not promise to not run outside the party.
And I just read that Sanders is getting flack from some liberal or progressive groups for not being enough one-issue, whatever their one issue might be. Like the article said: you cannot please everyone.
Despite the unlikely but at least temporary and true surge in the polls of these two, what do I call them? mavericks on the political scene? I still believe it will settle down and the race will be between two more mainstream opponents.
I have been predicting Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush. I still do. But things are certainly volatile.
Interestingly, although the email scandal is a cause for concern for Hillary, one conservative talk show host suggested that when all is said and done it could come out that there is nothing there and this will actually make Hillary look good. The law of unintended consequences I guess for the folks pushing for her prosecution or downfall over her mishandling of emails.
And this is based on not much more than gut feeling, but right now I see Hillary beating Donald Trump (well the polls indicate that) but a close call between Hillary and Carly Fiorina, with the edge to Fiorina.
What a deal that would be: two women opposing each other in the general election.
(I would think Trump would have packed up his road show equipment and left town by then and moved on to some other venue with a new show.)
And here’s a question?
So is the pressure on a woman president to pick a woman vice president? And what man wants to be VP to a woman president? I know that sounded sexist. I don’t consider myself sexist but I am a product of a different time.
I was born 66 years ago today.
I don’t often read George Will but when I have I sometimes wonder if he is not somehow secretly encoding liberalism in his dense articles. I never suspected that of Buckley. As far as I could tell Buckley was a staunch conservative who would be nearly impossible to beat in an argument — he just had too much background: historical and literary. And as far as I know he never had to work for a living so he had nothing but time to bone up on it all.