For two months, long-time residents and Tompkins County GOP members Nancy and Jim Crawford ’78 have been running a Republican storefront right off of heavily trafficked Route 13 in Downtown Ithaca with support from the Tompkins County Republican Party.
Last week’s failure of the American Healthcare Act (an act whose formal short title was “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017”) is a major blow to Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. In the words of the former, “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated” (or, as the latter would say, “access to care”). Besides a crushing defeat for a divided Republican Party unable to reach a vote on the bill, its withdrawal once again puts the lie to Trump’s chief campaign argument of being a solid dealmaker. In the presidency, you can’t trade on your father’s name and money, as among the rarefied airs of New York City real estate. Indeed, Trump demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of the art of the deal by both playing his hand too early and lacking knowledge of the parties with whom he was dealing (but who can blame a man for that when watching Fox is soooo much more satisfying).
Look how the Democrats handled the past election. Ever since Obama was elected president, they have been pushing the same Hillary 2016 agenda. There was never any choice in the matter, after Obama we were to have Clinton. End of discussion. The DNC actively worked against the Sanders campaign when he threatened to take away the nomination from Clinton and promote actual progressivism to the party.
This campaign has showed the ugly side of American politics. The nation has witnessed one of the most uncivil, destructive and poisonous elections in the history of our republic. On both sides of the aisle, politicos have utilized some of the most vitriolic tools in their rhetorical arsenal — and virtually no one is without blame. The beating heart of the destructiveness of this campaign lies with the candidates. Trump’s vitriol is obvious — from making fun of a disabled reporter, to making disgusting remarks on Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle, to attacking a Latino judge, to suggesting that Hillary Clinton should be assassinated, Trump’s comments have fueled an angry revolt within the Republican Party.
Much has been said about the risks a Donald Trump presidency poses to America, the world and the continued existence of human life outside of subterranean bunkers. From wrecking the U.S. economy by deporting illegal immigrants (an important source of labor, ironically particularly so for the Republican big business base) and threatening to default on U.S. Treasury bonds to using nuclear weapons against states whose leaders question the length of his fingers, the world would be far worse off with The Donald in the White House. But hey, at least Latin American dignitaries would finally learn just how to properly make taco bowls (incidentally, the only dish with a handy built-in wall). The Democratic Party, suddenly offered the opportunity to retake the Senate and possibly the House, should use this fear to their advantage in down-ballot elections. Democrats in competitive states like Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania should emphasise the wide latitude that a GOP lock on the executive and legislature (and, most likely, judiciary) would give to Trump in pursuing his racist and illiberal fantasies.
Tuesday night was anything but a celebration for conservatives. For those of us who believe in free trade, immigration, close contact with our allies and the just treatment of women and minority groups, Donald Trump’s sweep in Indiana marked a period of mourning and reflection. How and why did the party of Lincoln reach such a state that Donald Trump — a man who has supported gun control, free trade restrictions, affirmative action, single-payer health care and tax increases — ended up as our nominee? The answer is simple: the Republican Party lost its way. The Bush years were the beginning of the Republican exile to the land of insanity.
Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) have agreed to coordinate their efforts to prevent Donald Trump from securing the Republican nomination. The Donald’s insightful eye was quick to see this “collusion” for what it was — “DESPERATION!” (his caps). Although one may lament its author’s ineloquence, the truthfulness of the claim is evident. Cruz, despised by the upper echelons of Republican command, may have the upper hand over Kasich, no establishment darling but no firebrand, but their political fortunes are entwined — both have pinned their hopes on a second ballot at the Republican convention in July, a showdown which will come to pass only if they can prevent the Trump juggernaut amassing those hallowed 1,237 pledged delegates. The pact sees Kasich agree to “give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana” and Cruz ceding New Mexico and Oregon.
I am about as conservative as they come — I’m pro-life, pro-gun, pro-defense, anti-tax and spend, anti-regulation, pro-tax reform and pro-school choice. I firmly believe that the free market is the best possible route to lift up the poor and working class, and that the nation cannot continue on its reckless spending spree. And it is for this very reason that I will never, under any circumstances, vote for Donald J. Trump. Though there are many different strains of conservatism (libertarianism, populism, classical liberalism), conservatives across the board believe in a few basic principles: government is a necessary evil but should be restrained, a strong military is the best defense against tyranny and, above all, every human-being is endowed with inherent, inalienable rights. In the eyes of most conservatives, the Obama years have served as a direct assault to these ideals.
Having in recent years charted a presidential trajectory from intellectual, old-guard conservative father to boisterous, compassionate neoconservative son, today’s Republican party looks set to fracture along deep-seated fault lines. The impetus and animus felt among the Trump tribe towards the GOP’s landed gentry has brought another of those rifts into sharp relief. Frankenstein’s monster bears more than a passing resemblance to the ideological mutant that is the Republican Party. Since the Reagan era, fiscal conservatives have shared the mantle of the right with their more socially concerned brethren, a group that, before Trump rustled many of its members into his more nationalist fold, found its electoral darlings in Tea Partiers like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Wedded to these strange bedfellows are libertarians — the last few stops on the line east from the aforementioned more moderate, more Bushy candidates.
Thursday night’s GOP fiasco began with Donald Trump trumpeting the size of his trumpet and concluded with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus and the rest of the party establishment committing ritual suicide on the debate stage. It was perhaps the best encapsulation of the primary to date, and it made me want to take a shower afterwards. To quote moderator Chris Wallace, “Gentlemen, you’ve got to do better than this.”
After two hours of watching E Street Band rejects “Big Donald,” “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted” battle it out in Motor City, it is safe to say that the modicum of faith I had left in the primary process (and in particular the debates) had been bludgeoned out of existence. More time was spent on Mr. Trump’s hands and Mr. Rubio’s sweat glands than on anything remotely related to policy or vision. The result was a poorly produced political-themed Kardashians spinoff that would probably get canceled after its first season on E! or Bravo.