Democracy or Demagoguery

Donal Trump

 

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Donald Trump is the nominee; that’s that.

Is it Democracy (in action) for the Republican establishment NOT to accept Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee or is it Demagoguery for its Elite members to refuse to rally behind Trump? No matter what you think of Donald Trump, regardless how you feel about his arrogance and obvious instability and delusional mindset and irrespective of what you may want in a presidential candidate, it remains undeniably true that Mr. Trump won the Republican primaries and is thus the nominee. It is also true and widely accepted that in a democracy the nominee and ultimately the president is elected by the people. The Republican constituents chose Donald Trump.

Unless we, as a nation, decide that from now on Democracy is no longer a form of government suitable for the country, we are bound by the outcome of the primaries. Donald Trump is the nominee; that’s that. The GOP powerbrokers, the Republican Party had over seven (7) years to “groom” someone to represent the values of the Party; and for the 2016 presidential elections cycle, they had 12 months to “groom” the individual further. But most importantly, the Republican Party had ample time to teach aspirants to the Oval Office the need to compromise with the Democrat Party. In all cases, the GOP leaders chose to oppose everything Obama, to do nothing or to simply hope “things” will turn out better. Well, it didn’t. Not once during the Obama’s presidency have the GOP leaders even made any semblance of belonging to the same country as the Democrats’. For the GOP leaders, it’s never about the country; today, rightfully so, they are all forced to travel the road they built to derail the Obama’s presidency. It is Democracy in action, isn’t it? Donald Trump is the nominee and that’s that.

Let’s rewind the tape and take a look back. The race for the GOP nomination started almost a year ago; although many pundits had several predictions regarding who was going to run and who was not, Donald Trump’s name didn’t show up anywhere in the discussions and commentaries. After all, Mr. Trump had been “threatening” to bid for the presidency forever.

The race officially began with Ted Cruz’s (US Senator from Texas since 2013) announcement seeking the office of the presidency on March 23, 2015; he was the first one.  Two weeks later on April 7, 2015, Rand Paul, US Senator from Kentucky since 2011 also made it public that he too will bid for the Oval Office. Not to be “outbid” by the rest, Marco Rubio, US Senator from Florida since 2011, made the announcement on April 13, 2015 he also vied for the office of the presidency. Shortly thereafter, the floodgate of announcements for the presidency was open; aspirants for the Oval Office came from the North and the South, the East and the West to declare their intention to become the next president of the United States.

What took everyone by surprise however was that Mr. Trump made good on the threat this time to run for president; on June 16, 2015, Donald J. Trump, Chairman of the Trump Organization since 1971, summoned the media to make what was then perceived as the most hilarious, downright ridiculous announcement for the office of the presidency of the United States. He was immediately dismissed as a joke, a buffoon; political experts of all walks of life predicted Trump’s candidacy as a very, very, very short lived event. Even Huffington Post made the call to depict Trump’s campaign as a sideshow.  Little did any of the experts know they were in Trump’s playground; Trump is the master of show business (no pun intended). Thus far a show he has given all of us; millions are still reveling in its success, thousands of others probably regret not to have joined the Trump’s train earlier and millions are still shaking their heads in disbelief.  A show it has been but not without problem, difficulty and controversy. Through it all, Trump has managed to plow ahead and deliver what will be remembered in the entertainment industry as the biggest show on earth (move over Las Vegas) and studied in political history as the most unpredictable upset.

It all began with a crowded field of aspirants to the Oval Office.

Marco Rubio began as the favorite; in many aspects, Mr. Rubio was the Barack Obama of the Republican Party. But contrary to Obama, “little Marco” had the backing of the GOP establishment. In fact, immediately after Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential elections, Marco Rubio was handpicked to carry the banner of the “Conservatives”. Although the Party hedged its bet on other candidates – the just in case scenario – it was Marco who enjoyed the unlimited and unconditional support. Even Fox Opinion hosts – referred to by others as Fox News – had marching orders to paint Rubio with a positive brush.

Jeb Bush – former Governor of Florida, 1999-2007 – who has been itching to run for president began “testing the water” early; he organized fundraising, visited a few battleground states and made statements which hinted at his intention and on June 15, 2015 he officially joined the list of aspirants for the Oval Office. Although Jeb was a well known figure in the political circles, the GOP establishment was very skeptical of his chances to win the nomination; after all, it was less than a decade since his brother George W. Bush misled the country to a war which the taxpayers are still paying for. Nevertheless, the Party hedged its bet, awaiting the primaries to “sort things out”.

Ben Carson, (Director of Pediatric NeuroSurgery at John Hopkins Hospital, 1984-2013) rose to national prominence following comments he made at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast when he critiqued Obama’s U.S. health-care and spending policies. The Republican Party Elites seized the opportunity to parade Mr. Carson across “Conservative” media; he frequently appeared on Fox Opinion and regularly criticized Obama’s every move, every word, every action, every policy.  Having internalized his importance, encouraged by many, Ben Carson jumped into the 2016 presidential race. It was obvious from the onset that Mr. Carson did not possess the skills to become commander-in-chief and contrary to Trump’s roaring voice, Ben speaks with a very soft tone, a very big disadvantage in a crowded field of aspirants to the Oval Office. Interestingly however, it was his soft voice which has earned him attraction of so many. Mr. Carson became – albeit temporarily – the Savior of the Republican Party. After a few debates and a few interviews, Mr. Carson was Donald Trump’s closest challenger; at one point, the polls indicated he was ahead of the real estate mogul. GOP Party began to float the idea of a “black” Republican nominee but Mr. Carson would fall out of grace as quickly as he rose to the top of the Republican field.

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey since 2010 (made announcement on June 30, 2015) was at some point in a far, far away past the likely Savior of the Republican Party. Before the Bridgegate scandal, Mr. Christie was admired for his bluntness and his effectiveness. He got along with Democrats, enjoyed a very high popularity in the state of New Jersey. But after Bridgegate, Christie was seen as damage goods; however, GOP was willing to hedge its bet on Christie as well but with caution.

And there was Ted Cruz; before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, Ted was considered a joke; he was seen as the least likely candidate to become the Party nominee. Ted is not liked in the political circles of Washington. If there is someone of principle in Washington, Ted is such individual. He is very rigid; he doesn’t compromise but Ted is also very blunt. Like Trump, he speaks his mind, a very unappealing characteristic to have in Washington, a place where lies, deceptions and corruptions are on the menu every day.

One by one, just like they entered the race, Donald Trump knocked them out of the race; as of this writing, Mr. Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. He did not cheat; in fact, Mr. Trump was feverishly opposed by the GOP establishment; third party groups organized various movements – #NeverTrump is one of them – to prevent Trump from becoming the nominee. In Florida alone, there were more than $12 million spent – third party and Rubio’s campaign – on ads to defeat Trump in the state. Donald won anyway by more than 20 points over Marco Rubio. So, there is absolutely no ambiguity in the message of the voters; they prefer Trump.

Is it “Democracy” for the Party Elites to refuse the nomination to Trump? If the answer is YES, what would be the point of people going to the polls to vote? What is then the meaning of “a government by the people and for the people?” The like (or dislike) of an individual by the Party Elites does not and should not factor in the nomination of said individual; the people and the people alone make that choice. No matter what the Elites perceive as flawed or even bad about a candidate should be completely irrelevant once the people make the choice of said individual as the nominee. One may be inclined to rationalize why a particular nominee is unfit to become the president of the United States, that’s perfectly okay to sport an opinion. But it’s not up to any one individual or group to decide the outcome of such an important matter;  the democratic process to choose a candidate to represent the people for a Party or for the country is already in place.

While I am inclined to be sympathetic for the plight of the Republican Party, my belief in the Democracy we have and my strong adherence for due process supersede any rationale I might have to support the decision of the Party Elites not to go along with the outcome of the primaries. Mr. Trump is the nominee of the Party and no one should deny him that. But for the Republicans who feel strongly against his candidacy, there is an alternative which doesn’t require denying Mr. Trump the nomination; he earned it. For the sake of Democracy, please let it be!

 

Watch this column as I will publish next an alternative which kills two birds with one stone 1) Mr. Trump is coronated as the Republican nominee 2) Mr. Trump is denied the presidency.

 

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