Where next for the GOP?

The GOP must be kicking themselves: look who is figure-heading their campaign – the indomitable Trump. How must the party change to prevent more embarrassment in 2020?

It now seems ages ago: the invisible primaries and their debates featuring countless Trump alternatives. Anyone of them could have been the eventual nominee. Instead, the party found Trump – a bundle of sexism, homophobia and racism. With this in mind, the GOP must surely improve their system for nominating their candidate. Should they take a leaf out of the Democrats’ book and find super-delegates to do the electorate’s job?

That, however, is thwart with problems too. The Democrats realistically had two options – Sanders or Clinton. One, a socialist with little chance of the Presidency; the other, a hated banner of the establishment. Meanwhile, party followers were put out by super delegates ignoring huge swathes of Sanders’ supporters.

What if in 2020, the GOP has a new system for the primaries with designations to eradicate Trump – like characters? Discord will surround the party just like the Democrats at the moment where Sanders’ supporters were left without the burn.

Another hypothetical – what if the GOP finds themselves with two equally unelectable candidates? No amount of party control can pick out a candidate with broad support from the electorate.

There must, however, be cries of relief from GOP chiefs. The year they somehow nominate such a horrendous candidate is the year that they are lined up next to Clinton. A candidate seen as untrustworthy and unfit for office. At least, Hillary’s nomination provides a weak surface for Trump to bounce off.

In anticipation of 2020, the GOP supremacy must scurry around to find a candidate who will ring bells with loyal party followers as well as the wider electorate. Without these two qualifications, the GOP will face yet more embarrassment – that is unless another Clinton like figure rises to the Democratic stage.

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What if Trump reaches the Oval Office?

The checks and balances of the Founding Fathers haven’t stopped Donald Trump get this far but what about once he gets to the White House?

Since 2008, we have seen Barack Obama’s many struggles to actually make a difference. On January 25th 2007, Obama made a speech calling for “universal health care.” He said his proposal wouldn’t collapse “under the weight of Washington politics” once he was elected. Well, it very nearly did.

The Affordable Care Act was scrutinised and amended hugely with seven votes being required despite the Democrats holding both the House and Senate at the time. In addition, a number of high profiled Supreme Court cases almost ground Obama’s dream to a halt.

A President Donald Trump may also suffer the same fate. A gerrymandered House should guarantee that a President Trump has some friends in Congress but not enough. If the Senate goes back to the Democrats, then Trump wouldn’t have a chance of filling Antonin Scalia’s shoes with a conservative justice.

Even if the GOP retains both the House and Senate, then they may simply water down Trump’s policies so much that they won’t reflect an ounce of his promises so far. Just look what happened to Obama’s Affordable Care Act – the Founding Fathers almost stopped that. What is to say the Founding Fathers’ checks and balances wouldn’t stop Trump making America ‘great again?’

Trump Oval Office

Farage and Trump: The Terrible Twins?

Donald Trump and Nigel Farage both regularly mention the establishment and their loathing of it. They both call for change: a new America; a new Britain.

In a speech yesterday, Farage called for Trump’s supporters to have faith in their leader’s dream. Even if the polls were stacked against them, there was still hope. This was the story of Brexit and may also be the story of the 2016 Presidential election.

Ever since Clinton’s post-convention bounce, the Trump campaign has lacked any momentum in the antithesis of polls showing swing states turning blue in their masses. Prior to the EU referendum, people were scared to admit their Brexit tendencies – just like ordinary Americans are scared to admit their support for Trump. Now, Farage has come onto stage with a rally cry to believe in the Republican nominee.

Polls showing Trump’s success will ensure people come out and disclose that they would actually vote in the Republican ticket in November. With the horrendously long and arduous election cycle, momentum is essential in keeping Trump’s campaign afloat with more buoyancy than Clinton’s.

Trump being pitted against Clinton of the dynasty is perfect. Trump must sink Clinton’s ship by poking holes in the establishment and presenting the United States as an oligarchy dominated by the political elites. Didn’t Farage characterise Britain as an oligarchy of political elites before sinking Brussels’ ship – the heart of the European establishment?

Trump vs Farage

Who should Congress Republicans support?

Donald Trump is a Republican so you would expect Republicans in Congress to whole-heartedly support him. Well, they shouldn’t.

Imagine a Trump presidency? It would blight the Republican Party forever. Trump’s views are not the views of the Republican Party. A Trump presidency would guarantee electoral success for the Democrats for years to come. With Trump as President, Congress would soon fall to the Democrats, and stay that way. With three Supreme Court Justices now over 70, the court could soon become a liberal stronghold.

Instead, Republicans must focus on retaining their majority in the House and Senate while Clinton is inaugurated as a lame duck President straight-away. Since the beginning of 2015, Republicans have realised the influence they can have, even if they aren’t in the White House. Endless blocking and filibustering has ensured that Obama is truly powerless.

With a Republican House and Senate, and a Clinton Presidency, efforts can be focussed on battering Clinton’s every legislative step. Only then can Republicans focus on finding a Presidential nominee who can distance themselves from Trump. Maybe the likes of Marco Rubio – a Latino who could bulldoze any imagery of the Mexican wall.

Republicans can’t waste anymore campaign finance on a fruitless mission to elect Donald Trump. Instead, spend it wisely and keep on blocking and filibustering!

Congress

Donald Trump: Naked Statues and Urinals

This week, we have seen the naked statue of Donald Trump appear in New York; while in Dublin, a picture of Donald Trump has been emblazoned on a urinal. Do these installations help or hinder Trump’s campaign?

Racist, homophobic and sexist jibes have characterised Trump’s campaign since its inception. At one point, every small insult somehow seemed to elevate Trump’s status but the American people are starting to see sense. This year, the Republican Party haven’t risen from the ashes with a post-convention bounce – rather the opposite. Ever since Trump’s remarks over the Khan family, Clinton’s poll numbers have flourished.

At one point, Trump’s prattle over the complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States bolstered him. The media surrounded Trump and discussed what is was that made America great, or not so great. If we had the statue and urinals then, it would have been fantastic for Trump – more media; more success.

Now, it is a different story. Everyone knows Trump. There is no need for media domination. Instead, every controversial issue plasters a big red mark next to Trump’s name on the ballot paper. These installations simply remind Americans of these red marks more and more. Thankfully, each controversy nowadays prompts Americans to realise that a cross next to his name on the ballot is a vote for racism, homophobia and sexism.

Time to Confirm Merrick Garland?

Poor old Merrick Garland, and President Obama, and the Democratic Party for that matter. We are now almost at the 150 day mark since Obama pushed the button and nominated Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Despite clear enshrinement in the constitution that the ‘President nominates’ and the ‘Senate confirms,’ Republicans have stood firm by blocking, not confirming.

Senate Republican figures are on a tirade about how once Trump becomes President (!), he will nominate an ultra-conservative stalwart to the highest court in the land. There is, however, one problem with this idea. Will Trump actually ever reach the White House? The most substantial convention bounce was awarded to Clinton after a far more united affair. Polls have consistently shown over the past weeks that there will be a female President in the form of Clinton.

Once Clinton swears the oaths of office, she will climb up to the podium and proclaim a new Supreme Court Justice far more liberal than the moderate Garland. One illustration of Garland’s ideological leanings is his disapproval from Bernie Sanders and his heavy weight of supporters. On the opposite side of the spectrum, back in 2010, Senate Republicans urged Obama to nominate Garland as the “consensus nominee,” yet Obama gave Elena Kagan the post. Despite Garland’s approval from Republicans in 2010, 2016 is certainly a different story.

With Trump’s endless bloopers and blunders, surely it is time for Republicans to give in. If they were happy in 2010, why not 2016? I can say one thing, they certainly won’t be happy in 2017 once Clinton fills the vacancy.

Merrick Garland

Convention Quarrels

One major function of the conventions is to heal the wounds ravaged open from the noxious primary season. This time, the function seems to have flown out of the window.

Firstly, last week’s Republican convention. In 2008, Clinton was seen to hug up to Obama with a shining endorsement. Little of the same can be said for the evangelical Christian Ted Cruz who lost out to Trump. His speech urged the electorate to vote with their “conscience.” Not exactly the radiant endorsement that Trump was hoping to soak up.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have fared only slightly better it seems. Those wounds of Sanders are still burning, especially following Clinton’s elevation of the rather conservative Tim Kaine to the Vice President nominee. The progressive movement, anchored so closely to the Sanders campaign, was devastated by Clinton’s ignorance for what was such a huge body of support. Why wasn’t Sanders or at least the progressive stalwart Elizabeth Warren imprinted next to Clinton’s name on the ballot? Instead it’s centrist Kaine – the Latino hero with a personal aversion to abortion.

In this choice, it looks as if Clinton has prioritised the need for Trump votes instead of the satisfaction of the left leaning mob clinging onto Sanders’ coattails. So with this in mind, where do Sanders supporters latch onto? The obvious answer would be his Democratic counterpart, Clinton, but think again. Some left leaners may bypass Clinton to support Trump with his shared distrust for the establishment and the political dynasty headed up by Clinton.

Nowadays, it seems that left and right are no longer appropriate labels to fully define voters. No longer do the left vote for Democrats and the right for Republicans. Rhetoric encapsulated within the overused taglines proclaiming America’s greatness, or lack of it, now seem to overwhelm political platforms. Alongside this are the bruising personal attacks that are used by both sides to brandish their opponents as untrustworthy or pessimistic.

It seems that two raucous weeks of political slamming normally reserved for remedying the woes of the primaries have simply aggravated the wounds already deep.

Convention Quarrels