Friday, 17 July 2015

The Mexican Wave

There are outsiders, and then there are rank outsiders. The US Presidential party primaries are probably the best place on earth in which to see hopeless optimism and ego, completely overwhelm any common sense, or even just simple political reality. Politicians, who frankly are not even legends in their own households, push themselves forward for the office of the 'Big P'.

Just Some of The Republican Party Hopefuls .....

Most of these chancers fall by the wayside quite quickly, if for nothing more than a simple lack of funds .... the US system is ruthless in that regard. But some candidates get an early traction that lets them get their 15 minutes in the spotlight, before they too eventually sink back into the mire, often as quickly as they climbed up the greasy publicity pole.

So it is with the US Republican 2016 Presidential primaries, where the erstwhile front runner Jeb Bush, has had an awkward gaffe moment, when instead of apparently wanting to say that 'US workers need more full time jobs not part time jobs' what he actually said that "We have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in."

This gaffe, or foot in mouth moment, has allowed US media attention to shift attention to other, less error prone candidates ....

The first of whom is the new right-wing darling, Scott Walker, who is not only the 45th Governor of Wisconsin, but the first Republican Primary candidate from Wisconsin for a long time, as its a state that hasn't voted for a Republican President in more than 30 years. In all, since his 2010 election (and including his 2014 re-election), he's won three elections in five years (one was a recall vote).

This makes him something of a novelty act amongst Republicans, many of whom have not actually beaten credible opponents so often, and achieved in such a hostile (for Republicans) territory. Whether he can sustain this early credibility through a very long race, is down to how he does in the first couple of party primaries ... but apparently he's front runner in neighbouring Iowa, which is the first of the 2016 nomination battlegrounds, so who knows.

However, funding a Presidential campaign, not just through the primaries, but right through to the White House costs serious money .... the betting is that he will eventually sink slowly away, but maybe to re-emerge in four years time, if the Republicans lose to a Democrat in the 2017 race.

But if he is classed as a gaffe free outsider, then that can't be said of the US Boris Johnson (well same hairstyles, and probable ambitions), aka 'Billionaire' Donald Trump, who still must be rated a rank outsider. He of course is a self made million/billionaire (his personal wealth has been disputed), but in any case, whatever his exact financial status, he is well able to finance at least his own Presidential nomination campaign, and has launched it with some gusto from 'Trump Towers' (from which PC Towers gets its pompous name LOL) ..... unfortunately he opened his mouth, he spoke, and he walked straight into a hail of critical abuse.

The View From Trump Towers ...... Not.

One suspects that Mr Trump doesn't actually do critical advisor's much in his life, else how can you explain a speech which included the phrase "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." ..... so he is already dead in the water (if the Republicans really wants to win the Presidency).

If nothing else, this is simply down to the demographics of a changed United States, in which a Mexican wave of both legal, and illegal Hispanic immigration, combined with a high birth rate, make them the fastest growing community in the country. Any Republican candidate who wants to be President, must take at least a sizeable proportion of their votes .... hinting that they are largely a community of 'drug dealers and rapists' is probably not the way to do so.

So for one reason or another, we are probably looking at a couple of men who have little more than a snowballs chance in hell of winning the republican nomination, let alone becoming US President ..... but who knows, stranger things have happened before.  


  1. Back to basic politics20 July 2015 at 13:22

    Its strange that from outside the USA, these candidates all look to have no chance against a Clinton (or even a Bush). The US political system is increasingly looking like it needs a fix. The logjam caused by having a President and an equally powerful legislator is now causing political sclerosis as the US gets older. No doubt someone will emerge from both camps (like Hector and Achilles), and a contest will take place. But it could be an empty prize unless the system becomes more flexible.

    1. US commentators fall into two camps. some believe the whole system of government needs an overhaul for the 21st century. The others think it should be reduced to 18th century levels of interference .... oddly these latter thinkers also usually support massive amounts spent on the armed forces or 'militia' as the constitution describes them. There is obviously a contradiction in these positions but they don't seem to notice it. Thanks for the post.

  2. Donald Trumps chances of getting the GOP Presidential nomination have risen since his Mexican rapists speech and his personal attack on Senator McCain. Even your BBC are reporting it

    I accept that he may not go on to beat a good Democrat contender for the White House, or even another Republican contender, but he represents a part of the USA you Brits never understand and could still surprise you all.

    1. Well as I said in the post ... 'stranger things have happened before.' .... and you may be right, US politics, especially on the right is a bit of a mystery to us Brits. Thanks for the comment.

    2. Well he Trumped the rest and is Presidential nominee for the Republicans .... as much to their surprise as anyone else. We all wait to see if dislike of Hilary Clinton will be enough to propel him into the oval office ... after all 'stranger things have happened before.' ... but not too many!


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