To The Daily Sun,
I must tell you right up front that I am a Democrat. The only Republican that I voted for was Ike. I voted for him because he was a war hero and a Kansas boy like me. I didn't care for his running mate much, but it was a package deal.
Most of us who remember back that far, recall it as an era of good feelings. Sure, we had a war in Korea going on, but we solved that with a line and a DMZ. I guess we didn't really solve it, just swept under the corner of the rug, so to speak. And, yes, there was the bomb and the so-called Cold War.
Each segment of time has its own closet full of frightening things but, what is happening now makes whatever hair I have left stand on end. It rivals the proverbial Pandora's box. At least Pandora's box contained some hope after all the bad things had escaped.
The past decade has set the tone for what is evolving now. Much during that period has been left undone. Those we elected have wasted opportunities for cooperation and progress because they have been too focused on thwarting each others efforts.
As President Obama took office in 2008, he spoke of the audacity of hope. Hope that, somehow, he could lead us out of the deregulated nightmare in the financial world and the disastrous war on terror both here and in the Middle East. Both were allowed to happen while his predecessor who was out of his depth in the financial world and not in control of his defense secretary. President Obama might have made it work if he hadn't tried to do it in two years.
Alas, he only got it half done before the Republican leadership came up with their grand obstruction plan (GOP). Through a series of ugly House election races, the House of Representatives became a war zone. Cooperation on any major legislative issue was a thing of the past. Delay, vote down or propose legislation that would die in the Senate or be vetoed by the president because of punitive flavor became the operational plan.. Partisanship continued through most of the second Obama term. Only recently have we seen some signs of cooperation.
Thus we, the voting public, had to stand by and watch as the "conservative" House slowed efforts to stimulate the economy. The economy recovered without their cooperation, but it could have been much better given some give and take from both sides of the aisle. They openly opposed and tried to kill the Affordable Care Act and ultimately failed on that score. Their finest hour was to promote a court decision that allowed unlimited amounts money to be collected and spent by so-called Super PACs.
While all that was going on, the states and the large cities were left to fend for themselves. Services were slashed and infrastructure projects were left undone. The poor of the cities were especially hard hit. Food, transportation, child welfare, and schools were in need and under pressure to do more with less with which to do it. The message was sent up the line to the Congress and was met with a Congress that was stonewalling. The danger of that approach with the most vulnerable is that the local people who are trying to make a broken system work get frustrated.
Frustration encourages anger. The system becomes the focus of that anger. This is the phase we are in at present. The old, "throw the bums out" syndrome is allowing Donald Trump to get traction, even though he has no plan. The empty phrase, "I am going to make America great again," sounds good, but what does it mean in terms of getting it done.
With that mess as a backdrop, we now attempt to get our minds around the idea that Trump might at least get the Republican nomination. As he blew through New Hampshire, enough of our Republicans actually voted for him. Thus, they gave him the victory that he needed to move forward with his steamroller. As a Democrat, I couldn't believe it. The crowded field gave him what he needed when he needed it. Even the Union Leader was shocked.
So the question is how can a campaign based on petty insults and stroking the reservoirs of hate buried in the hearts of his followers succeed? And, how can the party of which he claims to be a member seriously consider nominating him to run as their standard-bearer? As much as dislike Senator Cruz and the conservative attitudes he espouses, I, if I were a Republican, would see him as the better choice, by far.
Could the people in the remainder of the states come to the collective decision that Trump needs to go?
Let there be no mistake, we don't need Trump in charge. Making the decision after having him in the White House for a few months is not an option. The time to apply the brakes is now.