We’re heading into the last lap of what has been an endless race for the GOP presidential nomination, and I’ll be darned if it doesn’t look like a contested convention (or an “open” one, per the GOP) (right). The coalescence of the anti-Trump vote is making Ted Cruz into a heavy-weight candidate who can beat Trump — but probably only in a contested election. And only if somebody can convince that bonehead Kasich to get out of the race with all one state’s worth of delegates. What we need is not a Northeast liberal (Ohio isn’t Midwest anymore) beloved of Northeast liberals. It seems (but I’m probably wrong) that the old mo-jo is no longer with Trump, but with Cruz. With each new endorsement of Cruz by a previously virulent anti-Cruzista, it becomes easier for the waverers to jump on the bandwagon. By now, Cruz is starting to look positively heroic to these people who once wanted to crucify him for standing up to a corrupt Congress controlled entirely by deal-makers. Some people suggest this support will make Cruz one of the Establishment. Poo. Just think how bad it hurts the collaborationists to push a Cruz candidacy and get happy. Cruz has the fire and the smarts to win.
So much of Trump’s heartburn these days is entirely self-inflicted. How confident do you feel when Trump swears that as soon as he’s the nominee he’s going to be absolutely respectable? It’s galling that he’s engaging in such a charade and admitting to it. Maybe he really could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and never lose a supporter.
The fundamental problem for Trump is that he created an almost buffoonish candidacy, one that allowed him to say and get away with saying things that could and did kill off other candidacies. (Nastiness didn’t go well with Rubio’s persona. Just as Pat Boone’s portrayal of a leather-wearing, chest-baring hoodlum ended forever his reign as America’s Sweetheart, Rubio’s shiny image couldn’t survive the self-induced wound.) Trump’s caricature of the average angry voter found such resonance with the “steaming masses” that it catapulted him over all the other candidates and all pitfalls to become the presumptive party nominee. But here’s the rub: that very persona has stuck to him like a second skin in the public eye, while to have any chance in a general election, he has to dump the skin and re-emerge as a sane and articulate man. I don’t think it can be done. I see he’s trying. But I don’t believe him.
Furthermore, Trump has fallen victim to the sin of believing the false adoration of his groupies. He really thinks he is invincible and it lures him into blathering on about subjects with which he has only a passing acquaintance, like whom to punish for hypothetically illegal abortions. I’ve said it more than once, but it is worth repeating: Trump may be a business savant and a cultural icon but he is not a good presidential candidate and not a deep thinker. (Much like Obama, who is only a cultural icon without the thinking and business savvy.)
I frankly never saw Cruz coming out ahead of Rubio, but my normal political insight has been assaulted from all sides this electoral season. The whole political scene reads like some really crummy Hollywood comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Zac Braff. What an unlikely and in large part unlikeable group of candidates we have been saddled with!
But now that Cruz is forging to the front, I find he is a candidate I can easily live with. And here’s an aside and a question to ponder: when did being a Constitutionalist such as the erudite Mr. Cruz become something extremist? When was the exact moment when our country tilted over from a flat plane onto the ever faster descent into social disintegration and inanity?
Back to Cruz — what I most like about him, apart from his incisive intelligence, is his calm and level-headed approach. He doesn’t rant, he doesn’t appeal to base emotions, he appeals to your intelligence and concern for the fundamental underpinnings of this republic. He can think rings around Mrs. Clinton, especially now that she is rumored to have suffered some sort of stroke that leaves her very tired, with sometimes erratic thinking. If he is the candidate, do not expect a repeat of the Romney-Obama debates. Cruz will not back down once he makes a charge, and he won’t make a charge without having good reason to make it. She will be fighting for her life with him.
But what if the Dems put their thinking caps on and decide that the old fat white broad with all the ill-gotten wealth and a history of blatant lying isn’t their best candidate? What if those super-delegates who today bolster her prospects as the party nominee start to flip and migrate to the Sanders camp? Sanders is a far better candidate than Hillary if only because he hasn’t been caught in any lies yet. His age is no more of an issue than Hillary’s. His message of “screw the rich man, feed the poor man” resonates Christ-like among America’s new socialist masses, and he has a cuddly Grandpa image about him. (You and I haven’t fallen for it, but we aren’t addle-brained.) A Sanders candidacy clearly has the heart of the left. Anything is possible. Let’s hope. Anybody could run against Hillary Clinton and I’d root for him or it.
But at the end of the day, I’m sitting right alongside the rest of the country. I haven’t got a clue who is going to be the nominee of either party. I can’t imagine what comes next. I would have no choice but to vote for Trump despite all my serious misgivings. And looking at the most recent tied rulings in the Supreme Court that settled issues in favor of the status quo (as in forced union dues) it makes me shudder to think that the next justice could be an LGBT Asian who hates the Constitution as “old hat.” It would be so much nicer if we could just decide on somebody not Trump or Kasich and move on to the next phase of destroying the Democrat Machine and the real Establishment in November.