1.9.19

2016 US Presidential Election Article




It’s an unwritten diplomatic rule that one does not criticise the POTUS  on foreign soil. Love me or hate me, love American’s or hate Americans, the fact remains that the election of the President Of The United States impacts the World…love it or hate it, one must accept it. So, let’s have a conversation about it. Just what in the hell is going on over there in America?

There are two major parties in the US, the Democrats and the Republicans or GOP an acronym, Grand Old Party. There is an Independent Party that arrises during some election years - but no third party (Independent) candidate has ever been elected POTUS.

I am what you call a “swing” voter meaning I have never stuck to one party or the other making my inbox a nightmare during election years. I personally have voted respectively as such, Bush (R), Perot (I), Clinton (D), Bush (R), Bush (R), skipped an election, Obama (D). 

The reason the “R’s” out number the D’s and I’s is because my father was close to the the Bush Family. But, a strange thing to see is that after 8 years of one party, I have tended to change my mind and vote for the opposite party in the next time around.

Naturally, I was not surprised to learn that typically, in an US election after 8 years of 2 term elected incumbent (amtsinhaber) President, Americans tend to vote for the opposing party . Meaning if we have had 8 years of the same Republican President we will now vote for the Democratic Nominee. The US  has had 8 years of President Obama and conventional wisdom now dictates that the American People will now elect a Republican.

Take a deep breath…..it’s a numbers game.

Since the year 1856, there have been 16 US Presidential elections following a 2 term incumbent US President. And, in 11 of those races when the incumbent US President was not on the ballot - The American People voted for the other party to come in an make sweeping changes. This phenonomen has become less advantages to the Democrat Party since World War II as a result. 

Why you may ask? 

It is because The XXII Amendment to the US Constitution ratified only in 1951- states that, “No person shall be elected to the office of President more than twice…” This law was the result of President Franklin D.Roosevelt having served 4 terms as POTUS until his death after the Great Depression and WWII from years 1933-1945. 

It’s been stated that another reason for this new law, some 60 odd years ago in the US was to make certain that no perception of an American Monarchy should be conveyed Internationally or Nationally. The United States was formed in 1776after the American Revolutionary War in 1775 to break away from British Monarchy Rule.

What happened to the missing 5 times that could have been chances for the same party to vote in a same party President? 

*******Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, FDR was President 4 times and died in office and so on.

On that glum note, the chances of a Republican President being elected this year is not something I would bet against. Consequently, I have no issue with that - as it seems to be the natural course - the ebb and flow of our National American Psyche - in with the new and out with the old. 

But, the consequence is that I get Donald J. Trump.

So, this explains the inexplicable…?

Yes, it is the only rational way in my mind that Trump is sweeping the Nation as the Republican Nominee no matter what he says or does. He was the not the strongest voice from the get go for the Republican Party but he was the loudest. He is the loudest. And, in typical brash American manner love it or hate it - it is the way it is.

Fortunately, the US have a 2 major party system that that usually is an equalising stablizer and the country seems to be divided as it always is - the vote for POTUS comes down to highly contested states, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, The Virginias and Florida. You may remember from an old history book that Bush only narrowly defeated Gore, a former Vice President for Clinton in Florida. If you haven’t googled the term “hanging chad guy” stop what you’re doing and do it now. These are the people at elect the President of the United States and it is what it is…

The average US Citizen has no idea about the history of electing a President. Normally children vote for the party heir parents voted for, blue collar workers for Dems and white collar for the GOP. We all know the stereo types, the redneck Texan is the Republican, the jewish person from New York is the Democrat. But sometimes Democrats agree with Republicans when Ronald Regan tore down The Berlin Wall - we all applauded. When JFK said “Ich bin ein Berliner” the hearts of Republicans swelled. So is this like Shakespeare? Much to do about nothing? 

Yes and No.

In Switzerland - let’s face it…..(now is the time to pause and get another cup of coffee…)

In our perception as Swiss we can not believe that one half of the American people are so misinformed as to vote Republican. And, yet the Congress, Senate, the majority of State Governors and members of The Supreme Court were, until the death of Scalia - Republican, meaning more conservative then liberal. The court is spit now 4-4 with Scalia’s seat vacant. 

President Obama has the opportunity to appoint a liberal to the Supreme Court now - while he is obviously in office but - most likely a liberal won’t be confirmed by the Republican/conservative senate. 

That is precisely why President Obama is suggesting moderates up for their liking. As much as it is unprecedented - that the US senate would block Obama’s appointment they will try because they are all conservatives and Obama is a liberal. Most pundits (people in the news) can see road blocks being thrown up with the Republican senate and congress if Obama’s choice is not to their approval. But if you have learned anything so far from reading this, you know Americans amends their laws and their Constitution as they go along - when necessary, anything is possible. 

But, how did all the other political offices besides POTUS become Republican during President Obama’s Term? Simple. Republicans vote in mid-term elections every two years for all these other offices besides POTUS and they vote for President every four years. Democrats (unfortunately) in previous years did not get to the polls for the mid-term elections, only for the Presidential elections - even though President Obama pleaded with me and the rest of the American people to VOTE.  President Obama told us frequently with fair warning - his words fell on deaf ears, I don’t vote in the midterms - I never have. Seems like I’m not alone, Democrats did not show up the last years either and guess what? Republicans did. 

And, here is the really shitty thing. In the TIME since the Republicans have held the majority in Congress and the Senate they have passed re-districting laws that literally redraw the map of the old counties(Bezirk) to include land area that now includes more Republicans. So, if a residential neighbourhood had more Dems then GOPs the Republicans redrew the map to make the Democrats percentage smaller and the Republican percentage larger with only the same number or units to delegate votes!

This redistricting has even a name, it’s called “gerrymandering”. And, it’s been around since the dawn of democracy all over the world but I have the feeling the US uses it the most. In addition to the above major blow to the Democrats right now in America, the Republicans have recently passed stricter voting ID laws. I know it is hard to believe as a Swiss — but a very large voting group is now ignored in the United States of America on purpose because they may vote more for Democrats.

Less privaleged people in the US - for all sorts of different reasons - perhaps they don’t drive a car, have a valid home address and most importantly can’t afford to pay for the NEW paperwork with processing fees — can not obtain a valid, new Identification Card in order to simply vote in any current elections.

It’s estimated that half a million people from my State of Texas do not meet the requirements to vote with their old ID cards - or other forms of identification. If it is 1/2 a million in Texas, imagine what that number is for the US Nation, 5 million - 10 million - 20 million? These are people who will not have the chance to vote now period in any elections.

So where does “The Don” fit in?

I know what you are thinking now. Let the US Republican’s have the Republican Nominee they deserve with Donald Trump. Eureka!

It’s a nice try but “they” don’t want him.

This measured control that has been exercised by the Republicans - has been a long time in the making. They have methodically planned for years - since the election of President Obama (as each opposing party cyclically does) to make sure they are in the strongest position as a party - to have it their way. And, along came Donald Trump…

The Republicans had their chances to charm Senator Elizabeth Warren a former Democrat, now Republican - representing Massachusetts to run for election. Senator Warren, sadly never threw her hat in the ring. Instead the American public had the sure next Republican Nominee tied up in JEB Bush - who seemed the most suited for the job. 

Along with the musical band of noise makers (Republican Nominee Hopefuls) that were all vying for positions more upwardly then their previous ones in securing the delegate votes, The Don stood out in the debates. 

He made you gasp in horror. He made you laugh. He shocked you. He made fun of other people you made fun of him, he made fun of you. He said what you were perhaps thinking but would never say out loud. Yes, Donnald Tump stood out - but we didn’t think that his “end game” was to really be the Republican Nominee? 

He was promoting a casino, a new show for sure…he had a reason to do this right? He’s Donnald Tump…Whhaaaaaatt? (Waaas?) - he really wants to be the Republican Nominee? And, no one really thought past that. 

The parade of candidates came as fast as they went with Donald Trump - remaining the one everyone remembered after every debate(s). He was/iis the one we read about and talk about because of his insult to so and so - or the outrageous statements about this group of people or that group of people, this government or that government, this plan or that plan…soon to be  all yesterday’s news in the form of a new tweet about -- this country or that country…and BAM a new headline grabbed the next story before you were finished reading the last story.

Not one analyst could predict the “Trump Factor”. I for sometime wondered out loud about Trump to my lebenspartner and told him, “I think Tump may be doing this to help Hilary weed out the Republican competition.” 

Weed out the competition - Trump did indeed…And, in my opinion, it has come down to Trump and Hilary.

Here is my take away from this Shakespearean Taming of the Shrew in Donnald Trump. 

The events of the past days concerning the Republican Party goading Mit Romney to denounce Trump was an utter fail - better luck next time. I can hear the echo of Trump “You two time loser…” ringing in my ears…

As the Republican Nominee, it made Trump even more electable to the delegates I have the impression reading Sunday’s news. 

And, the veiled threats of a Contested Convention or a Brokered Convention? Last time the Republicans had one was Ford/Reagan 76’ and Ford picked up the delegates at the convention needed before the first round of voting.

After the 1st round of voting with no majority winner - the delegates become free agents to use sports terminology - these “free agent” delegates can sign with anyone candidate they then want regardless of their previous choice. A Brokered Convention? That’s the same but with a mediation and no voting. Last time that happened was 1948, I just don’t see a possibility of it ever happening again. But never say never - the process is usually successful as people become more flexible and reasonable over time.

These delegates who have voted now in these primary states for Donald Trump can later theoretically change their minds - if push comes to shove. Let’s pretend that a new, sweeping popular candidate presents themselves - but who are we kidding? That’s not happening.

Donald J. Trump is going to be the Republican Nominee for the President of the United States.

The delegates know that Trump contradicts himself - but does the Republican Party know that it does the same? 

Perhaps the delegates are sending a strong message to the Republican Party that it needs to become a more moderate party, leave a woman’s right to chose up to her, support same sex marriage, look closer at gun rights, welcome non-evangelists (atheists) with open arms and on and on….because obviously times change and so should the Republican Party.

Otherwise, I’m content to lay back and watch how this unfolds. I want to wait and see where this goes before I cast my final ballot for the next POTUS.

Oh, that unwritten diplomatic rule I mentioned in the very beginning…

I guess I still won’t be able to oblige you with criticism of The President of the United States this November being on foreign soil and all. But, I will be able to criticise the Republican Party. Oh do stay tuned…