The Cautionary Tale of “Little Marco and the Mantle of Anger”

thR24YDPDXNot so long ago, in a Galaxy not so far away, there was a young man named Little Marco., who impressed everyone who ever met him, from those who sat imperiously in the Halls of Power in the Kingdom known as Capitol Hill, to the Commoners, toiling the fields in the fiefdom known as the Heartland.

Being the son of legal immigrants to this sovereign land, Little Marco was hailed as being someone special, an individual who could reach out to those who had walked a similar path, and yet, by view of his Conservative Credentials, having the ability to reach out to those who families had been here for several generations.

Little Marco’s affability, enthusiasm, and panache made his a popular speaker. Especially at the meetings in which the “common people” gathered in protest of ongoing “Taxation Without Representation”, a practice by which those who sat in the Halls of Power, burdened those who toiled the fields, in order to finance their own profitable schemes, through wich their own power increased.

Little Marco’s own power increased, as, thanks to those “credentials”, which I alluded to earlier, he was able to achieve a victory by convincing both Commoners and Lords alike, to elect him to a position to the very Halls of Power, which he had spoken so eloquently against, for such a long period of time.

The joy of the his supporters soon turned to dismay, when it became apparent that Little Marco slowly began to seemingly value the opinion of his fellow inhabitants of the Halls of Power, more than he did the Conservative “Commoners” who sent him there.

He soon joined a “council”, which became known as “The Gang of Eight”.

The purpose of this “Council”, was to provide a “Path to Citizenship”, for those, who unlike Little Marco’s parents, had broken the law of the Sovereign Land, by entering illegally.

In other words, this “Gang of Eight” sought to reward criminal behavior.

When that happened, whether he ever truly realized it or not, Little Marco had changed from being a part of “the solution” to the Sovereign Land’s woes…to being a part of the problem.

And, all those who had valued and supported him, as a leader in their fight against “Taxation Without Representation”, started to doubt whether he was ever the White Knight, the champion, that they believed him to be…at all.

And, their resentment grew.

As time went on, a stifling darkness continued to grow across the Sovereign Land, as the rights held by Commoners and Lords alike, which were promised to them in the Sacred Documents, written by their Fathers, began to be usurped, marginalized, and completely ignored by the Ruling Class, as decreed by their despotic King, Barack the First.

The growth of the stifling darkness continued unabated for seven long years, while those in the Halls of Power, sent there by the people of the Sovereign Land to represent them, turned a deaf ear to the cries of the Commoners and the Lords, preferring instead to make empty promises and play Parliamentary Games, several of which Little Marco missed through absences from the Halls of Power, due to “more pressing matters”.

The people of the land were dismayed by this, as they had spent their hard-earned money and gave their unflinching support, in their efforts  to send these “Leaders” into the Halls of Power and after sending them there, received nothing but their disdain in return.

The stifling darkness grew…and, so did the people’s resentment, which by then…HAD TURNED TO ANGER.

As the seventh year of the darkness approached, a cadre of those who walked the Halls of Power, accompanied by a few Citizen Statesmen, decided to seek the people’s support to be next King to be ensconced in the Halls of Power.

Among those who decided to seek to be the Ruler of the Sovereign Land was Little Marco.

Now, the way that this Tournament was held was in rounds, held simultaneously among two different factions in the Halls of Power. Unlike the “Old Country”, where those factions are, actually, known as Commoners and Lords, the factions in this Sovereign Land, were actually two sides of the same coin, who often extended aid to one another, in order to increase their own power, at the expense of those living in the Sovereign Land.

The Tournament began with Preliminary Competitions among the factions themselves, which were held to determine which two champions would battle for the right to ascend to the throne.

Heading into the Tournament, one faction had already decided whom their champion would be, and put precautionary obstacles in the way of her opponent, in order to secure the inevitability of their plans.

The other faction also had predetermined which competitor would be their champion.

However, their own hubris caused them to overlook a weapon which the common people were about to wield on their own behalf, in order to choose their own champion:

The Mantle of Anger.

As the Tournament got underway, it was clear why Little Marco thought that he had an opportunity to become the King.

His affability, enthusiasm, and panache were still potent weapons, which served him well, and eventually, moved him into contention, as one of the top three potential champions in his faction.

However, those weapons could not stand up to The Mantle of Anger, which the leading champions in his faction, Sir Donald and Sir Ted, both used to their advantage, making Little Marco’s weapons tarnished and ineffectual.

Finally, Little Marco had no choice but to admit defeat.

Little Marco addressed his followers, saying:

So, from a political standpoint, the easiest thing to have done in this campaign is to jump on all those anxieties I just talked about, to make people angrier, make people more frustrated. But I chose a different route and I’m proud of that.

That would have been — in a year like this, that would have been the easiest way to win. But that is not what’s best for [the Sovereign Land].

…The politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they are going to leave us a fractured nation.

Little Marco, while still a very good man, had allowed his weapons to be tarnished through his affiliation with those whom the “common people” had sent him to the Halls of Power to fight.  Little Marco’s other problem was his support of some of the things which had caused the resentment and anger of the “common people” to grow in the first place.

The moral of this cautionary tale is:

In order to be a Champion of the People, you must recognize their concerns, and provide solutions which they will approve of, not just solutions that help you politically.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

 

Trump Wins Nevada. Why Does He Keep Winning? “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”

Walls-600-LIWell, like it or not, the Trump Train continues to gain momentum, as he rides the rails toward the Republican Nomination as their Presidential Candidate.

Politico.com reports that

Donald Trump trounced his rivals in the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday, notching his third consecutive victory and giving the Manhattan mogul even more momentum heading into Super Tuesday next week, when voters in a dozen states will cast their ballots.

Trump’s decisive win, which the Associated Press announced immediately after polls closed, was propelled by an electorate even more enraged than the ones that had swept him to wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and a second-place showing in Iowa.

“We love Nevada. We love Nevada,” Trump declared in his victory speech. “You’re going to be proud of your president and you’re going to be even prouder of your country.”

For the first time in the 2016 primary season, media entrance polls showed that a majority of voters, 57 percent of Nevada caucus-goers, said they were “angry” with the federal government.

And, as significantly, they want to bring in an outsider to fix it. More than three in five caucus-goers said they favor someone from outside the political establishment rather than a candidate with political experience as president.

It all added up to Trump’s biggest night yet.

“Now we’re winning, winning, winning,” Trump said. “And soon the country is going to start winning, winning, winning.”

The outcome was bad news for Marco Rubio, who is now 0 for 4 in the February contests, and Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucuses but finished a disappointing third in South Carolina on Saturday.

Those two senators continued to vie for the crucial mantle of the best candidate to eventually take down Trump. With 36 percent of precincts reporting, Trump led with 43 percent of the vote, with Cruz and Rubio trailing far behind, both tied at 24 percent.

Rubio skipped an election-night speech, while an exhausted-looking Cruz proclaimed himself the only legitimate alternative to Trump.

“The only campaign that has beaten Donald Trump and the only campaign that can beat Donald Trump is this campaign,” Cruz told supporters.

Stopping Trump now looks like a steeper proposition after he trampled Rubio and Cruz on Tuesday, scoring huge wins across nearly every cross-section of the Republican Party. Entrance polls show Trump won moderate voters and very conservative voters by huge margins. He won in rural and urban areas, and among voters with only high school diplomas and those with post-graduate degrees.

Trump even handily bested Cruz among his supposed based of evangelical Christians, and, though the sample was small, topped his two Cuban-American opponents among Hispanic caucus-goers.

Trump reveled in the details. “I love the evangelicals!” he yelled. ““Number one with Hispanics,” he bragged.

And he pointedly called out the home states of his remaining rivals — Texas for Cruz, Florida for Rubio and Ohio for John Kasich — as places he now leads in the polls and will win the coming weeks.

“It’s going to be an amazing two months,” he said. “We might not even need the two months to be honest, folks.”

Indeed, it’s not clear where anyone can next beat Trump, though Cruz looked ahead to Texas, which votes on March 1, in his speech.

“I cannot wait to get home to the great state of Texas,” he said.

Cruz and Rubio now face a political calendar that plays even more to Trump’s strengths: massive made-for-TV rallies and free national media coverage, with a dozen states voting in only seven days.

Kasich, who was in last place in early returns, continued to insist he was in the race to stay. His chief strategist, John Weaver, released a memo after the race was called taking aim at Rubio, Kasich’s rival for the mantle of establishment favorite.

“Contrary to what his campaign is trying to portray, Senator Rubio just endured another disappointing performance despite being the highest spending candidate in Nevada,” the memo read. “Republicans are now left to wonder whether investing in Marco Rubio is throwing good money after bad.”

Cruz, who was neck-and-neck with Rubio in early returns, also said the Florida senator underperformed.

“Marco Rubio started working early and put a significant amount of resources into making Nevada the one early state he could win,” Cruz’s campaign wrote in a statement. “But despite the hype, Rubio still failed to beat Donald Trump.”

Low turnout put a particular premium on early organizing, in which both Rubio and Cruz quietly invested. Cruz had the backing of the state’s Republican attorney general, Adam Laxalt, and made appeals to Nevada’s rural voters with a television ad highlighting his opposition to the fact that the federal government controls 85 percent of the state’s land. (Kasich targeted the same issue in TV ads, as well.)

Rubio, meanwhile, tried to connect with Nevada voters from his time living there as a child in the late 1970s and early 1980s, telling audiences about how his father worked as a bartender at Sam’s Town and his mother as a maid at the Imperial Palace. (He still has numerous cousins in the state.) Rubio’s family’s dabbled with Mormonism during those years and Rubio hoped an active Mormon political network that lifted Mitt Romney to a landslide win, with 50 percent of the vote, would turn out for him.

But it didn’t happen.

Stumping in rural Nevada on caucus day, Trump continued to boast of his strong poll numbers in states coming up on the voting calendar, including Cruz’s home state of Texas. He warned supporters to be wary of “dishonest stuff” from Cruz, whom he dubbed a “baby” and a “liar.”

And Trump issued a warning shot to Rubio to beware taking him on: The two have largely avoided tangling but that could change if Rubio builds on his second-place finish in South Carolina on Saturday.

“When he hits me, ugh, is he gonna be hit,” Trump said. “Actually, I can’t wait.”

Trump was in a far more ebullient mood at his victory rally, where he stood behind a lectern for his third straight win, flanked by two of his sons.

Alluding to his practice in his earlier life of raking in money whenever he had the chance, Trump said: “Now we’re going to get greedy for the United States.”

Trump walked off the stage mouthing, “USA, USA, USA.”

Why is Billionaire Entrepreneur Donald J. Trump continuing to win?

To quote Ol’ Serpenthead (as his wife, Mary Matalin, calls him), James Carville,

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

Andy Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, does a great job in illuminating the point, in an op ed, posted today on realclearpolitics.com.

Jobs and the economy are top of mind for voters from both parties this election cycle according to a recent Gallup poll. This is hardly a surprise. But what was a surprise to many is the importance of immigration and free trade as economic issues for working class voters and the level of betrayal they feel with respect to their government’s handling of these issues.

These voters feel stuck between free trade policies that encourage companies to move good paying jobs outside the U.S. and the failure to enforce our immigration laws allowing people here illegally to take jobs that remain. While the economic wisdom of legal immigration and free trade policies is compelling, politicians would be well advised not to minimize these voters’ concerns.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past thirty years the number of people employed in U.S.-based manufacturing has dropped dramatically by 5 million. When people are living in towns where the local plant closed because a big company moved jobs to Mexico or China, it’s extremely difficult to convince them that free trade policies are working to their benefit. Recent announcements by companies like Ford and Carrier Air Conditioning that they’re sending jobs to Mexico only reinforce their frustration.

Arguments on the benefits of liberal immigration policies also have little appeal when employers are hiring illegal immigrants for good paying jobs–such as those in construction–because they’ll work for less. Lacking higher paying jobs in sectors such as construction and manufacturing, working class Americans are often left to compete for lower paying retail positions and again find themselves competing with immigrants willing to work for less.

While free trade is unambiguously good for the worldwide economy and for each individual nation, including ours, there are adjustment costs. Working class Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have borne a disproportionate share of those costs, made worse by inexcusably lax enforcement of our immigration laws.

Scapegoating immigrants won’t solve these problems any more than the Democrats’ efforts to scapegoat the rich. But these voters have little interest in complex arguments on how free trade or immigration will improve the economy overall. Rather, they want to hear specifically how candidates are going to protect their jobs, their families and their children’s futures.

When Donald Trump talks about punishing China, building a wall, and restricting immigration–rightly or wrongly–he hits these voters where they live. Their level of betrayal with what has come to be called “Establishment” politicians is so great that they’re apparently willing to ignore any political and ideological differences they may have with Mr. Trump.

These working class voters are essential to a Republican victory in 2016. While much has been said about Mitt Romney getting a mere 27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, Nate Silver’s “Swing the Vote” web site shows that even if he had gotten 67% he would still have lost the Electoral College vote and the election. However, with an increase of just a few percentage points in the college and non-college educated white vote, Romney would have won the presidency despite getting only 27% of the Hispanic vote.

With respect to the popular vote, the Census Bureau’s Center for Immigration Studies found that Romney would have had to increase his share of the Hispanic vote by 23 percentage points–from the 27 percent he actually received to 50 percent–to win it. However, he could also have won it by increasing his share of the white vote by only three percentage points, from the 59 percent he actually received to 62 percent.

And this assumes stagnant turnout. According to the Census Bureau, between 2008 and 2012, voter turnout for white voters without a college degree declined a disconcerting 3.7% (from 48% to 44.3%), or nearly 4 million fewer voters.

These voters are a proxy for all working class voters whose concerns cut across racial and ethnic barriers. Any candidate seriously intent on winning the presidency in 2016 must understand why they didn’t show up in 2012 and, more importantly, how to get them to show up in 2016. That will require solutions on how working class voters (white, Hispanics, black or Asian) can build a better life, pursue a career, find a path to the middle class, send their kids to college and retire with dignity.

Republican candidates should proclaim at every opportunity a simple, relatable and heartfelt economic message that allows working class Americans to believe their candidate is protecting their interests. In different times, they believed it about Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Today they believe it about Donald Trump. The question for the rest of the Republican field is whether they will believe it about anyone else.

Bingo.

Give that man a cee-gar.

As the polls show, and will continue to show, Trump is striking a resonant chord in the hearts of Average Americans, living here in the part of America, which the snobbish Political Elites refer to as “Flyover Country”, but which we refer to as “America’s Heartland”, or, quite simply, “HOME”.

Our palpable anger is one which has been building since January of 2009, when a Lightweight, who throws a baseball like a girlas inaugurated as President of the United States of America.

That anger, a result of his anti-American actions and resulting failed Foreign and DOMESTIC Policies, which have affected Americans’ daily lives, including our Household Incomes, has been exacerbated by the Republican Elite, who, in their desire to “reach across the aisle” and “go along to get along”, have distanced themselves from the Middle Class Average Americans, like you and me, who elected them to Congress in the first place.

Meanwhile, these same average Americans, (i.e., you and me), remain mired up to our necks in an abysmal swamp of bills and taxes, living paycheck-to-paycheck, afraid to make a move, for fear of drowning in an ocean of debt.

Seemingly forgotten, in all of the forgotten promises, made by Barack Hussein Obama, and Establishment Democrats and Republicans, alike, are the 94 million Americans, who are no longer, largely through no fault of their own, participating in our Workforce.

You want to talk about anger and frustration?

Try looking for work, when you are over 55 years of age.

It makes you want to give up…daily.

But, I digress…

Anger has played an important part in the forging of this great country, which will be lucky to survive Obama’s final year in office.

It was anger that formed our country….an anger over being held captive to “Taxation Without Representation”…an anger which, as a prime example of history repeating itself, Americans are experiencing, even as I type this blog.

It is this anger, which has propelled Donald J. Trump to his lead in the Republican Primary Race…and those who prefer the Washingtonian Status Quo know it.

Hence, South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley’s alluding to it in her Rebuttal, something which has never been done before.

When delivering a Rebuttal to the SOTU Address, the Opposition Party’s Spokesperson is supposed to discredit the sitting President, not one of their own.

But, again, I digress…

In conclusion, concerning the “Mantle of Anger”, I, like Trump, wear it proudly.

It is an American’s Right…and Heritage.

And…we will wear it all the way to November.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Trump and the Average American Voter: Gladly Accepting the “Mantle of Anger”

Fox-Business-Republican-Debate-January-2016-Line-up-of-candidates-e1452562725740-620x433As anyone who has been paying attention already knows, another Republican Presidential Primary Debate took place.

One of the seminal moments in the debate came when Republican Front-Runner Donald J. Trump, responded to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who said the following, during her nationally-televised State of the Union Rebuttal, which she made on behalf of the Republican Party on Tuesday Evening.

Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.

The Christian Post reports that

Billionaire real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proudly declared that he assumes the “mantle of anger,” then proceeded to double down on earlier comments demanding a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration.

Tuesday night South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley mentioned in her response to the State of the Union that angry voices were driving the Donald Trump campaign.

At a debate held at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in South Carolina on Thursday evening, the Republican frontrunner responded, “I gladly accept the mantle of anger.”

“But [Haley] did say there was anger. And I could say, oh, I’m not angry. I’m very angry because our country is being run horribly and I will gladly accept the mantle of anger,” said Trump.

“Our healthcare is a horror show. Obamacare, we’re going to repeal it and replace it. We have no borders. Our vets are being treated horribly. Illegal immigration is beyond belief. Our country is being run by incompetent people. And yes, I am angry.”

Later in the debate moderator Maria Bartiromo asked Trump if he would reconsider his position on having a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, to which Trump said no.

“We have to get down to creating a country that’s not going to have the kind of problems that we’ve had with people flying planes into the World Trade Centers,” argued Trump.

“We have to find out what’s going on. I said temporarily. I didn’t say permanently. I said temporarily. And I have many great Muslim friends. And some of them, I will say, not all, have called me and said, ‘Donald, thank you very much; you’re exposing an unbelievable problem and we have to get to the bottom of it.'”

Trump’s comments came as he was part of the main stage set of Republican candidates at the Thursday evening debate hosted and moderated by the Fox Business Channel.

In addition to Trump, other GOP hopefuls on the stage were U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

“The next Commander in Chief is standing on this stage,” said Sen. Cruz in his opening remarks, eliciting cheers from the audience.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum debated earlier in the evening as part of the undercard debate.

Trump’s doubling down on his plan for a ban on all Muslim immigration did not come unopposed by the other candidates on the main stage.

Jeb Bush denounced the Trump ban as counterproductive to United States’ efforts abroad to build a coalition to battle Islamic States and other terrorist groups.

“I hope you reconsider this, because this policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS. The Kurds are our strongest allies. They’re Muslim. You’re not going to even allow them to come to our country?” said Bush to Trump.

“The other Arab countries have a role to play in this. We cannot be the world’s policeman. We can’t do this unilaterally. We have to do this in unison with the Arab world. And sending that signal makes it impossible for us to be serious about taking out ISIS and restoring democracy in Syria.”

Other candidates, including Gov. Kasich, stressed their support for banning Syrian refugees for security reasons but not all Muslim immigrants.

“I’ve been for pausing on admitting the Syrian refugees. And the reasons why I’ve done is I don’t believe we have a good process of being able to vet them. But you know, we don’t want to put everybody in the same category,” stated Kasich.

“If we’re going to have a coalition, we’re going to have to have a coalition not just of people in the western part of the world, our European allies, but we need the Saudis, we need the Egyptians, we need the Jordanians, we need the Gulf states.”

The undercard and main stage debates for the Republican Party came as the influential first-in-the-nation caucus in Iowa is nearly two weeks away, on Feb. 1.

I agree with “The Donald.”

I’m angry, too.

That is one of the reasons that I began writing, way back in 2010.

It is a great way to vent one’s anger and frustration, without punching holes in the wall.

As the polls show, and will continue to show, Trump is striking a resonant chord in the hearts of Average Americans, living here in the part of America, which the snobbish Political Elites refer to as “Flyover Country”, but which we refer to as “America’s Heartland”, or, quite simply, “HOME”.

Our palpable anger is one which has been building since January of 2009, when a Lightweight, who seems to have as much in common with us as a Martian would, was inaugurated as President of the United States of America.

That anger, a result of his anti-American actions and resulting policies, which have affected Americans’ daily lives, has been exacerbated by the Republican Elite, who, in their desire to “reach across the aisle” and “go along to get along”, have distanced themselves from the Conservative Voting Base, who elected them to Congress in the first place.

Meanwhile, average Americans, like you and me, remain mired up to our necks in an abysmal swamp of bills and taxes, living paycheck-to-paycheck, afraid to make a move, for fearing of drowning in an ocean of debt.

Seemingly forgotten, in all of the forgotten promises, made by Barack Hussein Obama, are the 94 million Americans, who are no longer, largely through no fault of their own, participating in our Workforce.

You want to talk about anger and frustration?

Try looking for work, when you are over 55 years of age.

It makes you want to give up…daily.

But, I digress…

Anger has played an important part in the forging of this great country, which will be lucky to survive Obama’s final year in office.

It was anger that formed our country….an anger over being held captive to “Taxation Without Representation”…an anger which, as a prime example of history repeating itself, Americans are experiencing, even as I type this blog.

It is this anger, which has propelled Donald J. Trump to his lead in the Republican Primary Race…and those who prefer the Washingtonian Status Quo know it.

Hence, Governor Haley’s alluding to it in her Rebuttal, something which has never been done before.

When delivering a Rebuttal to the SOTU Address, the Opposition Party’s Spokesperson is supposed to discredit the sitting President, not one of their own.

In conclusion, concerning the “Mantle of Anger”, I, like Trump, wear it proudly.

It is an American’s Right…and Heritage.

And…it shows that you actually have a clue.

Until He Comes,

KJ