May, 2016
Trump and Sanders: Starting to Look Alike?

Trump and Sanders: Starting to Look Alike?

Everyone says that none of the current candidates for president have anything in common. On the face of it, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders seem to come from three different worlds. But after digesting hundreds of articles and watching hundreds of hours of television coverage, I’ve concluded that the two candidates who are most alike are Trump and Sanders.

In fairness to Sanders, I’m not implying that he is a racist or a degrader of women, or is seeking to deport 11 million people. The similarity starts with party labels. Sanders may be running as a Democrat, but he isn’t one. He invented the term “democratic socialist,” but that is a fiction. As for Trump, he is anything but a Republican. Trump has hijacked the Republican Party, and Sanders is trying to hijack the Democratic Party.

Both men have blasted the two-party system as being “rigged.” Now that Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, the system is no longer rigged. Sanders moans and groans that the party he signed on to is prejudiced against him, but if the Democrats would give him the nomination, then the system would immediately become a fair one. There’s a simple lesson for both of them: If you want the nomination and the party lets you in the front door, you have no right to complain about the rules.

To date, there have been primary contests in approximately 40 states. Both Trump and Sanders have benefited from a large turnout of white people. Both men seek to appeal to disaffected, angry and bitter voters, all of whom dislike the establishment. Both men have issues with almost any minority you can name. Trump insults them, and Sanders can’t find a way to appeal to them.

Neither one has any deep knowledge of foreign affairs. Trump is constantly insulting China, Japan, Mexico and many other countries. He brags about his admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, even though his only contact with Putin was just prior to an interview on “60 Minutes.” Sanders was dumbstruck during the debates when any foreign affairs question was asked, but at least he stays quiet when he doesn’t know the subject.

Each one claims that the majority of the voters are behind him, but the numbers say otherwise. Until the last challengers to Trump dropped out, if you added up the number of votes cast for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, the combination exceeded Trump’s winning percentages. Clinton, to date, has approximately 3 million more votes than Sanders, who keeps bragging that he would be an overwhelming favorite to win in November.

For the past few months, Trump has been the target of unhappy party members. At this point, most people agree that the Republican establishment and the right wing failed to challenge him at the beginning of his campaign, when such challenges could have been most effective. Whether the current attempts to drag him down will succeed is a matter of speculation.

Sanders is one lucky guy when it comes to challenges to his history and political philosophy. He brags about how he beats Trump in various polls, but to date he hasn’t been attacked by Clinton or any Democratic Party officials. If he were the nominee, the opposition would paint him as being unfit to hold public office, and would dredge up any sordid facts they could find, no doubt from decades ago.

How about tax returns? Trump says they are unimportant and there is no need to release them. In his case, he may not pay any taxes, and could have money in some offshore accounts, just like 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. For his part, Sanders has released tax returns for one year, and has resisted releasing any more. He maintains that his wife takes care of their taxes, and she’s been busy. But if he filed tax returns, all he has to do is retrieve them from a file cabinet and make copies.

The ugliest coincidence affecting both men is the issue of violence. Trump rallies have been marked by a series of physical altercations, and the candidate has mostly ignored them. And Sanders failed to strongly rebuke the disturbance two weeks ago at the Nevada Democratic meeting, which resulted in thrown chairs and death threats. Both men have condoned troublemakers in their own way.

The campaigns of both candidates are becoming carbon copies, which is no compliment to either one.


Media Bears Responsibility for Trump’s Rise

Media Bears Responsibility for Trump’s Rise

It is painful for me to remind our readers that there are just over five months left until Election Day. It is especially painful because of the low level that people like Donald Trump have reached, in his goal to be elected as the leader of the greatest country in the free world.

What is just as bad is what the public will think about politicians based on what they will be hearing in the months to come.

A few years ago, there was a Gallup poll on the issue of which jobs were held in the highest and lowest esteem.

Once again, politicians were rated lower than used car salesmen.

If you follow current polls rating the U.S. Congress, they all show that the Washington establishment is at its lowest polling level in 50 years.

Even though the House of Representatives actually passed a budget, the vast amount of their time is not spent legislating.

Rather than pass laws that will enhance the quality of life of our citizens, the majority of the members find their time investigating every facet of government, with the goal of tearing down the place.

Taking his cue from the ugliness of the legislative debate, Donald Trump has brought the current campaign for president to its lowest level in over 100 years.

Historians will tell you that there was plenty of nastiness in previous campaigns, but somehow it doesn’t match the current one for its tone and the level of discourse.

When Mr. Trump launched his campaign last year, there was some expectation that he would run as a successful businessman and try to translate that into a vision of an effective leader.

But, once the Trump campaign was in full in full swing, benefitted by almost $1 billion in free media time, the whole Trump effort was marked by wholesale insults and mean-spirited attacks.

I know a political debate when I see one, but the past years round of debates was a discourtesy to the flag we love and pledge to uphold.

Sadly, the media, desperately in need of higher ratings, has promoted Trump and his creepy conduct, just to make a buck.

Equally depressing is that there are millions of people out there who applaud  every Trump attack whether it’s on women, minorities, the handicapped and anyone else that gets in his way.

A typical Trump representative on television, will defend the insults saying the public doesn’t care about anything that Trump says.

After all, Donald has boasted that if “he shot someone on Fifth Avenue near his office no one would touch him.”

Donald Trump says he is doesn’t have to be politically correct so he can label his opponents “Little Marco” “Lyin Ted, “Low Energy Jeb” and on and on.

He can say that John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured and it doesn’t make a ripple. He can mock a handicapped reporter and then deny that he even knows the person.

He can make bold and stupid statements and then retract his comments, without a hit to his ratings.

This look at the Trump campaign has nothing to do with his expected opponent. Hillary Clinton will rise or fall on the public perception of her ability to run the country and on how badly the voters dislike Trump, more than her.

It’s a hell of a way to elect a president but we are stuck with what we have and the message of this campaign is indeed a sad one.

We are a great nation.

We stand head and shoulders above Putin’s Russia and all the other powers, both big and small. We save lives around the world, we intervene in crises to prevent slaughter and we lift up the economies of countries in need.

We are so much better than what this year’s campaign has become.

We are diminished by the 2016 election campaign and it will take many years for us to recuperate from this experience.


Trump creates down-ballot problems

As we approach the November presidential election here are some names and words to remember.

The names are Barry Goldwater and Jesse Jackson. The words are “down ballot.” The current race to the White House made those names and words pop into my mind.

It is not a secret that the Republican establishment has taken a long time to get over the candidacy of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

In the 1964 election, Barry Goldwater, an arch conservative, was the Republican candidate for president and his opponent was Lyndon B. Johnson.

Goldwater, very much like today’s candidate Donald Trump, was unpredictable and unwilling to accept advice from anyone.

In the old days, there was no cable television and Facebook to spread the news, but the press did as much as possible to let the world know what the candidate stood for.


Read the Complete Article at @ Blank Slate Media