Best wishes for a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to Julia, James and all Orphans of Liberty!
Here’s an update on Donald Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 Republican race for the presidency — a refreshing time for many Americans, regardless of race or age.
On December 3, nine black pastors endorsed him at a rally in Manassas, Virginia.
He is the only candidate who is an open book. Those who live in New York or New Jersey will have known about him since the 1970s. His name became a household word to the rest of the nation by 1980.
Unlike the present incumbent of the White House, formerly a little known US senator — I notice no one is using the traditional term ‘lame duck’ to describe the end of his presidency — Donald Trump did not rise out of obscurity.
Unlike other presidential candidates of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, Trump speaks as he finds.
Unlike career politicians, Trump does not need to leech off the taxpayer. He made his own money.
There is nothing about Trump that Americans do not already know. He has opened up his life over the past 40 years through interviews, his books and his business ventures. His first wife, a Czech, also gave copious interviews about the man she once affectionately referred to as ‘the Donald’. Although his combover needs a rethink, his supporters feel as if they know him and his family.
Nothing more could emerge about Trump that would be revelatory.
However, that does not stop the media from trying. On December 9, The Guardian reported that he attended an IRA fundraiser in New York in 1995. Why, we do not know. Reading the first half of the article, one would get the impression that he was the only notable invited. Then one learns that ‘business leaders and other donors, including a number of US celebrities’ were also at the dinner. Does The Guardian tell us who they were? No. Whilst it is odd for a notional Presbyterian to attend a Friends of Sinn Féin dinner, it would have been interesting to discover what other luminaries were there.
At the same time that article appeared, the media, politicians and academics slammed Trump for suggesting that Muslims should temporarily be barred from travelling in or out of the United States until the intelligence and immigration situation regarding terror is sorted.
Yet, several days later, the United States — the Obama administration — prohibited a Muslim family from London from travelling to Los Angeles. CBS News investigated the matter with Homeland Security and discovered that they had justifiable reason to do so.
In other words, some of what Trump’s proposes has already been in place for years via the no-fly list.
Elsewhere in Britain, a Labour reader commenting at PoliticalBetting.com found it risible that a ‘reality television star’ could become president of the United States. Hilarious! Donald Trump was the obvious choice for the boss in the American edition of The Apprentice, just as Sir Alan Sugar was here.
Speaking of The Apprentice, Trump hired a woman he once fired to co-chair his campaign in Iowa. Tana Goertz has kept in touch with the billionaire since her time on the show. She told The Des Moines Register that she knows him well as a husband, a father and a businessman.
In the United States, Trump’s popularity in the polls has left-wing media pundits and pollsters wetting themselves in panic. FiveThirtyEight has run several articles on his candidacy. Nate Silver, who predicted Obama’s victory in 2008 but failed to foresee David Cameron’s in 2015, says Trump will be out of the running. His chances of getting the GOP nomination are ‘higher than 0’ but ‘(considerably) less than 20 per cent’.
Another FiveThirtyEight article features their panicked analysts comparing Trump to other failed presidential hopefuls such as the late Governor of Alabama George Wallace (1968) and Reagan’s White House Communications Director Pat Buchanan (1992, 1996). An odd choice. Wallace, a Democrat and a segregationist, was popular only in the South. Buchanan might have been at the top of the GOP polls for a time but was a niche candidate unknown to most Americans.
The better comparison would have been to Ross Perot who ran as an independent candidate in 1992 and under his Reform Party banner in 1996. Americans knew of him because his Electronic Data Systems (EDS) was hugely successful as was Perot Systems. Everyone found him fascinating. Rumour had it that he was a spoiler candidate both times to ensure Bill Clinton won those elections. Perot did sap enough of the Republican vote to make a difference.
Would Trump run as an independent? Who knows? He says he won’t, and, if he’s smart, he’ll abide by that because no third party candidate has won the presidency for over 100 years.
The media, including FiveThirtyEight, have accused Trump voters of being un- or under-educated. This meme also plays here in the UK and in France: intelligent people vote for the Left and live in cities. It’s one of the worst prejudices imaginable, akin to racism and sexism. If the tables were turned, the Left would scream for a law against it.
On top of those accusations comes another, voiced by pollster Frank Luntz this week in The Financial Times, that Trump supporters are angry and want revenge. Few are angry. I sense that the majority are merely relieved that a political candidate, at long last, speaks plainly and wants to revive America, the Great Republic. (That terminology was something kids used to learn in school.)
Pollsters can’t figure out why Trump’s numbers continue to be buoyant. As British pollsters have lashed out about ‘shy Tories’ in May, their American counterparts accuse better educated conservatives of hiding their Trumpmania from pollsters who telephone them. Being a centrist or a conservative is bad news on both sides of the Atlantic. People aren’t going to admit that over the phone, but they will happily do so online.
Donald Trump will soon begin a blitz of advertising. The New Hampshire primary takes place early in February. It will be interesting to see what happens between now and then. I shall enjoy reading about Trump’s candidacy for as long as it lasts.