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Majority Rule

collage of flag and Constitution

 

The drafters of the Constitution, and writers of other political documents of the 18th century, did not believe in majority rule. They made every effort to put a brake on the desires of the masses and tried to avoid a “tyranny of the majority.”

Mr. Trump is appealing in his one-man-against-the-system campaign, but unless he reins in some of the excesses, he does not stand a chance against the tight ship run by Hillary.

They feared the deleterious effects of direct democracy so they made a concerted effort to rein it in. Senators were appointed through an indirect vote and given a term of six years so they did not become sensitive to the mob rule sure to consume the House. Protections such as the Bill of Rights also reined in the legislative possibilities for the new government. And a system of checks and balances ensured no part of the government could proceed independently without the consent of at least one other branch.

The effect of unfiltered mob rule can be observed in the rallies of Donald Trump. Anything and everything is proposed for a Trump presidency including the breaking of treaties, disregard for the Geneva Convention and the ability to give unlawful orders to the U.S. military.

Mr. Trump is appealing in his one-man-against-the-system campaign, but unless he reins in some of the excesses, he does not stand a chance against the tight ship run by Hillary. A 70 percent disapproval rating among women is an unsustainable burden for any candidate seeking national election. And without any concrete women-oriented priorities, Mr. Trump faces a long slog AFTER he wins the nomination.

The Culture of a Campaign

blackboard arrows

 

Political campaigns, especially those for high office, are messy, unruly things. The hours are long; the tasks are menial; and the glamour represents about one percent of what actually happens behind the scenes.

Perhaps, as a result, most of the staff are inexperienced, though highly intelligent workers. No one else would sign up for a temporary position guaranteed to require long hours at low wages with minimal feedback and a grade of 100 percent success or failure on Election Day.

National campaigns are even more amorphous, with little-to-no contact with the candidate. Each state, and each campaign office, develops its own dynamic based on the personalities running it and any local camaraderie. It’s definitely impossible to speak about an overall culture of a campaign based on the candidates at the head of the national ticket.

That’s why any attempt to link Donald Trump with his campaign manager’s actions at a crowded rally are doomed to fail. I think the managers’ actions were reprehensible and deserve to be condemned more dramatically. But his poor decision making and failure of the moment were not the result of some amorphous culture. He had become separated from his boss — I would think a pretty demanding one at that — and this reporter was blocking him out. His solution to this dilemma involved pushing the reporter aside in a rather emphatic, and unforgivable, manner.

It does not reflect in any way on Donald Trump who strikes me as a rather chivalrous, though old fashioned, individual. The establishment is banding together to brand him as unacceptable, but this represents a bridge too far in their efforts to do so.

Dynamics of the Presidential Horse Race

horse

The Republican Presidential nominating process continues to evolve and comparing it to previous cycles ignores this unique moment in time. Yes, four years ago, the leading candidates rotated rapidly, but their ability to stay in the race was largely controlled by available funds and thus subject to the whims of both liberal and conservative media. The so-called Party establishment controlled the processes, and they were backed up by the press.

Chris Matthews, the commentator on Hardball, seems alone in his understanding of the Donald Trump phenomenon and its political potential.

This year, the electorate is avoiding the fickle nature of previous years, and they have glommed onto one individual to carry their dreams. Donald Trump is unlike previous leaders in the polls for a number of reasons. First, he will not stand pat in the face of a negative bombardment, like Newt Gingrich was forced to endure after winning the South Carolina primary. Second, he is significantly different from all the other politicians with the possible exception of Ben Carson. And finally, he knows how to leverage his moment in the spotlight to cling to his position.

Pundits and the rest of the field have been slow to understand these dynamics. They keep comparing this year to 2012 and trying to reassure themselves that Trump can’t possibly be nominated. Chris Matthews, the commentator on Hardball, seems alone in his understanding of the Donald Trump phenomenon and its political potential.

The dynamics of a Presidential horse race are contingent upon many factors, but each cycle is unique in its interactions and results.

Will Trump Fade?

trump

Donald Trump is a smart guy. He knows how to read the polls, and he has an instinctual knack for self-promotion. I can’t think of two things more essential to getting ahead and staying ahead in national politics.

He knows how to read the polls, and he has an instinctual knack for self-promotion. I can’t think of two things more essential to getting ahead and staying ahead in national politics.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, Trump is not the type to surrender a lead, and he’s got plenty of money to make sure he stays there. The current analogy being passed around by the Republican establishment is that Trump’s a sideshow; he’s not a “serious candidate.” But the general method to fight these types of candidates, the one employed against Newt Gingrich, is to flood the airwaves with negative advertising, to show up all the star’s “baggage.”

Trump has plenty of baggage, but he’s not the type to sit around helpless because he’s got plenty of money to fight any assault, and doing so only makes him more popular.

So, Trump is in the mix, and he’s in there to stay. And he’s got a knack like James Carville for fighting back. His latest move, giving out Senator Lindsey Graham’s personal phone number on the air, was genius, a surefire way to change coverage of the story.

Donald Trump may make a terrible President, but he will never get THAT FAR. Hillary Clinton will win among the general electorate which is very different from the subset of Republican primary voters.