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On to South Carolina!

February 12, 2016

Well, as it turns out, Iowa chose Ted Cruz instead of Donald Trump, and gave Rubio a very close 3rd place, which I was very happy with. I thought maybe *this time* Trump would fade but, despite some bizarre, loser whining about Ted Cruz “cheating”, Trump held on and even expanded his poll lead when the actual voting occurred in New Hampshire. Rubio cut himself with a bad debate moment when Christie attacked him for being robotic and Rubio played right into that by repeating a talking point 3 times. Rubio ended up finishing in a disappointing 5th place.

Final NH results:

100% reporting Delegates Vote %
Trump (won)
10
35.3%
Kasich
4
15.8%
Cruz
3
11.7%
Bush
3
11.0%
Rubio
3
10.6%
Christie
0
7.4%
Fiorina
0
4.1%
Carson
0
2.3%

The good news is that Christie and Fiorina dropped out, clearing the field a bit. The bad news is that Kasich and Bush did not. Now we are about 9 days away from South Carolina’s primary where the ground may be more fertile for Rubio to have a good showing. And he really needs one, because Trump has some serious momentum with his New Hampshire win. As of today, the polls all say that Trump has a big, double-digit lead, but the polls are all from January, so no one’s really sure what the present state of play is. Most likely though, Trump is leading with Cruz in 2nd and Rubio in 3rd.

For Rubio, the debate this Saturday will be crucial to show that, while he got knocked down in New Hampshire and in the previous debate, he’s not dead just yet. He needs to come out swinging and be more aggressive attacking his rivals. He needs to make the case why people should choose him over someone like Trump.

Of course, I have a lot of thoughts on the Trump phenomena. How can a man this vulgar, this dumb, this inexperienced, this clownshowy be leading the fight to win my beloved Republican Party’s nomination? He’s a crude, fast-talking car salesman and the rubes of America are just eating it up and asking for seconds. Who are these people? Where have they placed their brains, because they don’t appear to be using them? Trump has that “strongman” vibe that appeals to a certain, weak psychological type that is frustrated that the world and their lives are not working out as they planned. There’s a lot of hate, anger, and frustration among Trump voters and you see it come out in social media, especially on Twitter. “Trumpkins”, as I call them, are invariably just as nasty and brutish as their candidate. They hurl insults as if they were going out of style, belittle anyone who isn’t a Trump supporter, and make excuses for their leader’s ever-changing mind by covering for him no matter which side of an issue he’s on. It’s a tough gig, because Trump’s positions are likely to change on a whim. He can be FOR something one day, then AGAINST it the next and Trumpkins will dutifully argue each side of the issue in turn with no cognitive dissonance. It’s a site to behold and indicative of what one might have seen in early 1930’s Germany with the rise of Hitler. People are responding to Trump’s gorilla displays with their hind, animal brain, not the part of the brain that makes humans human and contains the higher functions of the brain.

This isn’t to say that Trump is Hitler. I don’t think he is. Instead, he’s simply a liberal New Yorker, both culturally and economically, and his reign of terror will basically be the equivalent to a third term for Barack Obama. Certainly Trump has none of the conservative bonafides of many of the Republican candidates, including Ted Cruz and, my guy, Marco Rubio. But, apparently, the electorate is not particularly troubled that they’re handing the car keys to a drunk on his own ego buffoon who likes to call people “pussies” and brag about how great he is. Yeah, that’ll work out well on the world stage! America is already viewed as weak and ineffectual. With Trump as president, we’ll add hated to that list!

America has a serious choice to make this election cycle. Are we going to complete the transformation into a two-bit nation that elects Socialists and tv entertainers to high positions? Is spectacle and sensation the only way to reach voters now? Do we need to be run by “stars” now, instead of by professional politicians? It’s a huge legacy each of us has been handed, from the bloody hands that seized this country from its British masters, to the blue-clad troops who saved the Union and ended slavery, to the Greatest Generation who defeated THREE Fascist dictatorships that had threatened to conquer the world. Are we worthy of that legacy or are we a nation in decline, destined to go the way of so many empires, into the dustbin of history, moaning pathetically “this should not be so”?

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