March, 2016
Good for learning words if little else

Good for learning words if little else

Politics used to be such a simple business. It was understood by most of the general public because politicians used simple words.

Insults aside, this year’s election is a wordsmith’s dream and a voter’s nightmare.

Even I, as a person who writes columns and books, find myself racing to Webster’s dictionary to see if I got the right spelling.

It all started in the early days of the presidential campaign.

By and large the candidates talked about their positions on a variety of issues and kept slurs, insults and barbs out of their speeches.

The very best insult that candidates Ron Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum could come up with was accusing the other guy of not being “conservative” enough.

As for the Democrats the confusion began when candidate Bernie Sanders declared himself a “democratic socialist.”



Republicans are allowing Trump to wreck their party

Republicans are allowing Trump to wreck their party

Having been in politics a long time, I have seen a lot of politicians, political groups and minor parties rise to the top and then fall faster than a comet in the night sky. In almost every case I could mention, all of them went down fighting bitterly to the end. But at least they fought.

I am watching in amazement as the national Republican Party wallows in pity over its current state of affairs, but is unable to muster the strength or the willpower to battle the frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination, Donald Trump, in order to stop him from wrecking the party come this November. There was no worse example of paralysis than watching three of the Republican contenders at their most recent debate, promising to support Trump if he is the nominee.

It is standard practice for losing politicians to pledge party loyalty and support the winner. This is especially the case if it’s a Republican who loses to a Republican or a Democrat who loses to a Democrat. But to begin with, Trump isn’t a real Republican. Many of his current positions, and those he’s espoused through the years, are and have been identical to those of many Democrats. Aside from that, many other promises he makes wouldn’t be supported by any party that has a conscience.

You can forgive the Republicans, and the rest of the political world, for underestimating Trump’s chances when he first entered the race. Several times before, he had threatened to run for president, and everyone laughed. Last summer, when he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his campaign, everyone thought it was just another segment of his television reality show. The old guard in both parties and most of the columnists laughed and laughed at the blustering, bullying New Yorker who pledged to “make America great again.”



Will the GOP’s self-inflicted wounds prove fatal?

Will the GOP’s self-inflicted wounds prove fatal?

In 1854, the Whig and Free Soil parties decided it was time to unite into a new party. They decided that the Grand Old Party would be the best name for it, and thus the Republican Party was born. It’s commonly referred to these days as the GOP, but, unfortunately, other than being old, it isn’t exactly grand, and in fact it could be on the way to extinction.

It’s hard to imagine that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes could be shaken to its core by one man, Donald Trump. Trump is anything but a Republican, but he has kidnapped the party, and after November’s election, there may not be a national Republican Party for years to come.

During all of my years in politics, the Republican Party was dominated by a group of rich white men, somewhere in the Midwest, who would decide the winners and losers. They picked presidential candidates like Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. This time around, they settled on Jeb Bush, thinking that the rest of the party members would follow their lead.