By Sreelata S. Yellamrazu
The possibility of the Grand Old party (GOP) nominee being picked on the basis of a contested convention is looking increasingly unlikely. With Donald Trump having swept five more states as of today, it would seem that Republican Party would have to bite the bullet.
One is not sure how to interpret real estate magnate, Donald Trump, on his comments that if he does not represent the Republican Party in the general elections despite getting closer to the magic 1237 delegates number, there would be riots, to put it in his words. Is that a threat of waging a civil war within the party or the nation?
After tonight, Trump has already dubbed himself ‘the presumptive nominee’. The GOP though is not endorsing that view, which is not surprising. If anything the Republican Party is hoping the final ten states will perhaps throw a spanner in the works which is more like operating on a wing and a prayer at this point with Trump exceeding expectations in one state after another.
One would have not thought of this as a possibility (although in hindsight, why anyone would not have thought that coming from a country where politicians get away with the most atrocious of words and deeds) as the reality television star and businessman kept attacking ethnicities and minorities, labeling Mexicans rapists and drug peddlers and calling for a nationwide ban on the entry of Muslims and making crass comments about women.
Donald Trump, Godzilla on rampage as his own party officials have been portraying him, swept up, surprisingly easily, five more states including the huge state of Pennsylvania. At this point it would seem that Ted Cruz has learnt little from Marco Rubio’s campaign in putting all of his eggs in one basket. If Florida became Rubio’s Waterloo against the influential Trump, Cruz is gunning for Indiana. Only time will tell if Cruz will taste more humiliation for getting sucked into the ugly war of words that marked the early days of the GOP debates.
By the time Cruz and John Kasich decided to bury the hatchet and unite forces, Trump has built himself into a single dominant force, making the two men look like paltry spectacle in the bid to stop the brash multimillionaire from taking the GOP nominee position by appealing, dare one say, to the baser qualities of America’s working class confronted by influx of Chinese manufacturing and IT outsourcing to countries like India, not to mention the growing incidence of extremist terror plaguing the world and infiltrating their own neighbourhoods.
The Republican Party would have to blame themselves for the precarious situation they find themselves in where no stronger candidate from a dozen at the start has emerged to challenge the brashness and brazenness of Trump. Trump is a left field entertainer. There is no doubt about it. He is great reality television material if not for the threat that this man with this kind of thinking could be the ruler of the free world. His stint on a reality show was interesting and in his avatar of the street rolling smart rich guy, he has learnt to tap into the frustrated, unemployed, working class of America’s depraved status.
However, exhortations from his own family to appear more presidential have fallen on deaf ears. For the leader of the free world to act like ”I am the king. I am going to rule and you are going to like it” sends out the entirely opposite message of America’s status as a strong leader of the free world, the leader among democracies and the champion of the world in its influential position. Trump’s popularity can be attributed to the country’s masses’ disillusionment about the economy, their military strategies and the diminishing view of America as an undisputed leader. To dump the dissolution of America’s image on Barrack Obama’s two term presidency seems like an easy scapegoat although the administration at Washington will have to do some soul searching.
However, perhaps the GOP, like the rest of the world and the rest of America, erroneously viewed Trump as a teasing side dish that would never usurp the status of the main dish. With too many cooks to spoil the broth, the televised debates turned into an expensive brawl between rambunctious brothers with the name calling sounding like an unruly school yard while on the other hand, the Democratic debates were dull in contrast even as Sanders was eating into the youth vote that Hillary Clinton would have liked on her side.
There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton represents the hardened face of Washington politics. It was only after the New York elections last week that the colour returned to Hillary’s cheeks. If there is something missing for a candidate looking to become America’s first women president, it was the softening image that connected more with other women in the country to view her as an enterprising role model to address the burning issue of wage inequality amongst other things.
Even as political pundits believe Sanders is on his last legs despite having led a popular campaign, the white haired charismatic political veteran exhorted, “Think outside of the box; think outside of the status quo.” However, perhaps while Bernie has tasted more success than some of his Republican party counterparts, he has perhaps waited too late, hoping for certain states where he does enjoy an advantage to kick in into the campaign trail towards building momentum towards the Democratic Party convention. For her part, Hillary Clinton is taking on a far more different tone that was presented at the beginning of the campaign. Praising Sanders supporters, Clinton is hoping to win over Sanders’ population while ensuring that the Democrats stay on the side of the reigning administration.
There is the perception being bandied around that there are two Donald Trumps – one for the American public and one for the boardroom. However, it is highly presumptuous to assume that public Trump will not trump boardroom Trump when a more presidential personality would be needed in dealing with heads of states from foreign countries over delicate issues that have worldwide repercussions.
Although one did not get to see Kasich stuffing himself, the repulsive image conjured up by Trump of Kasich wolfing down food whilst on air during an interview was repulsive enough to say the least. If the lowest denominator of Americans are voting for Trump for these kind of crass differentiations and attacks, it does not speak highly of the Americans. Perhaps the nation needs to do some soul searching with only ten states to go before both parties are confronted by obvious and not worldwide popular choices.
Lying Ted to Crooked Hillary. The goalpost has shifted as far as Donald Trump is concerned. Preying into Hillary’s weakness, Trump launched into the former first lady and secretary of state’s unpopularity among young and especially women voters. Claimign that at this point, “Hillary Clinton has the only woman’s card to play and that had she been a man, she would not have even won 5 per cent of the votes”, Trump was back to doing what he does best to keep the gaze of the media firmly on him – making subversive remarks as part of his victory speeches and rallying cries. Rest assured, the circus continues.