As former speaker Tip O’Neill once said, All politics is local

Posted By on March 9, 2016

As we continue to drill down to select the best candidates to represent both the Republicans and Democrats in November’s presidential election, the process has been pretty disgusting … perhaps not the process, but the candidates ugliness. Here’s how I am coming to a conclusion before voting next Tuesday.

As a long time Republican, I favor a limited small government, reduced taxes and strong defense. I though I was going to cast my Ohio primary vote for Marco Rubio, but his choice to become satisfactionforcandidates20"Trump-like" has me rethinking my vote. I don’t think I’m alone? At this point the GOP has a cast of "characters" who look to be "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" this year. I hope not, but we almost seem suicidal. New non-traditional Republican voters have entered the process this go-around due to the leading candidate Donald Trump … but he is so squishy on issues and without much substance that it is difficult know where he stands … or more importantly "trust" where he stands. He insults and bullies everyone in the field (or not), uses language that insults decent people and displays character that is polar opposite to my own. Trump is not what I expect from a candidate I support. His swipes at previous leaders, be they John McCain, Mitt Romney or President Bush are repulsive to me. I want more from our president and as an example of what America stand for in the world but don’t even get me started on Hillary Clinton when talking "trust or character."

I also have a personal track record with Trump and his business ethics. He has treated employees, investors and those who have extended credit to him in his business dealing like a shyster. When he bankrupted $DJT (also had 3 other bankruptcies), he stiffed his creditors and investors (I was one) while continuing to pay himself millions in salary (see below). He loaded up the company with debt and took advantage of U.S. bankruptcy protection. As he would say, "it was all legal" … but definitely not ethical in my book … and he’s done it multiple times.  I suspect his tax returns are not much different … legal but more reflective of personal gains and greed. Winning, eh? For me, experiencing this personally, has me disliking and questioning his character to lead and care for ALL the citizens of our country.

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Ok you say … then who else can win … and more importantly beat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders? I’m have my doubts about the most conservative candidate, Ted Cruz. He has been a hard sell to those in his own party since for good and bad, he doesn’t negotiate (or play well) with others in the Senate. Although his values and positions are very close to my own, I also want a president who will govern the entire country — maybe even be a uniter — unlike what we have in President Obama. I also wonder if he can win the nomination if Rubio and Kasich drop out … without an open convention? (the path to someone other than Trump may only come from a convention fight)

johnkasichcomThere there is my own governor who I’ve happily voted for before.  John Kasich, is without a doubt the most qualified of the GOP bunch. His experience as a fiscally conservative congressman is well regarded and over the past several recession years, he also has a proven record of legislative accomplishment. It is precisely what we need in this country. But again … there currently isn’t a path forward to win the nomination (although he has the best chance to beat Clinton as I believe disgruntled moderate Democrats see Kasich as better than current Dems).  Hm?

At this point I can’t vote Trump, am disappointed with Rubio (and looks to be slipping) and don’t think Cruz can win in the general. So, I’ll be voting "local" and for someone I know can do a good job for our country. I’m voting, in the Ohio primary, for John Kasich next Tuesday. Who knows where it will take us. If the Trump train can’t be stopped, then I’ll hold my nose in November and pray he has been just playing a game to get elected.

Comments

  • Worth reading if you are hesitating …
    The Return of the 1930s
    — by Bret Stephens
    March 7, 2016 7:17 p.m. ET
    In temperament, he was “bombastic, inconsistent, shallow and vainglorious.” On political questions, “he made up his own reality as he went along.” Physically, the qualities that stood out were “the scowling forehead, the rolling eyes, the pouting mouth.” His “compulsive exhibitionism was part of his cult of machismo.” He spoke “in short, strident sentences.” Journalists mocked his “absurd attitudinizing.”

    Remind you of someone?

    The description of Benito Mussolini comes from English historian Piers Brendon’s definitive history of the 1930s, “The Dark Valley.” So does this mean that Donald Trump is the second coming of Il Duce, or that yesteryear’s Fascists are today’s Trumpkins? Not exactly. But that doesn’t mean we should be indifferent to the parallels with the last dark age of Western politics.

    Among the parallels: The growing belief that democracy is rigged. That charisma matters more than ideas. That strength trumps principles. That coarseness is refreshing, authentic.

    Also, that immigrants are plundering the economy. That the world’s agonies are someone else’s problem. That free trade is a game of winners and losers—in which we are the invariable losers. That the rest of the world plays us for suckers. That our current leaders are not who they say they are, or where they say they are from. That they are conspiring against us.

    These are perennial attitudes in any democracy, but usually marginal ones. They gained strength in the 1920s and ’30s because the old liberal order had been shattered—first at Gallipoli, Verdun and Caporetto; then with the Bolshevik coup in Russia, hyperinflation in Germany, Black Tuesday in the United States. “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/Out of this stony rubbish?” wondered T.S. Eliot in “The Waste Land,” in 1922. Mussolini’s Blackshirts marched on Rome the same year.

    Modern Americans have experienced nothing like those shocks, which is one important difference with the 1930s. The French army lost more men on an average day on the Western Front than the U.S. lost in our worst year in Iraq. At the height of the Great Depression, real per capita GDP fell by nearly 30% from its previous peak. At the depth of the 2008-09 recession, it fell by about 6%, and soon recovered.

    Then again, the pain you’re in is the pain you tell yourself you’re in. Or, at least, the pain you’re told you’re in, usually by political doctors who specialize in hyping the misery of others.

    So we’re being “invaded” by Mexicans—except that for years more Mexicans have been returning home than coming here. So China is destroying our manufacturing—except industrial employment has surged in recent years, especially in the Rust Belt. So the great mass of Americans are now unprotected from the vagaries of the global economy—save for Medicare, ObamaCare, the earned-income tax credit, public-employee pensions and every other entitlement that Mr. Trump promises to protect.

    All this generates the hysteria, the penchant for histrionic rhetoric, the promise of drastic measures, the disdain for civility, the combination of victimhood and bullying on which the Trump candidacy feeds, and which it fuels. Reading through the avalanche of pro-Trump emails that arrive in my inbox (by now numbering in the thousands), what’s notable are the belittling put-downs (“you’re an $@%&, Bret-boy”), the self-importance (“I make more money than you”) and the sense of injured pride (“how dare you call me a vulgarian?”). This is precisely the M.O. of their candidate.

    “In breaking the taboos of civility and civilization, a Trump speech and rally resembles the rallies of fascist leaders who pantomimed the wishes of their followers and let them fill in the text,” writes the University of Maryland’s Jeffrey Herf in a brilliant essay in the American Interest. “Trump says what they want to say but are afraid to express. In cheering this leader, his supporters feel free to say what they really believe about Mexicans, Muslims, and women.”

    This is not the politics of economic anxiety or dislocation. It’s a politics of personal exhibitionism, the right-wing equivalent of refusing to be “body-shamed.” Thanks to Donald, the Trumpkins at last have a license to be as ugly as they want to be.

    ***

    Mr. Trump’s bid for the presidency takes place during a period of mediocre but nonetheless unmistakable economic and employment growth in the U.S. But as a wise friend of mine noted the other day, what happens when the next bubble bursts and the next recession arrives? A reasonable person can argue that Donald Trump is more Silvio Berlusconi—Italy’s clownish billionaire and former prime minister—than he is a new Mussolini. Maybe. Or maybe Mr. Trump’s style of politics is just a foretaste of what’s to come, especially if an American downturn became a global depression.

    In the work of preserving civilization, nine-tenths of the job is to understand the past and stress its most obvious lessons. Now would be a good time to re-remember the ’30s.

    Write bstephens@wsj.com.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.