Now that the Republican Party is imploding, David Goldmansuggests that Ted Cruz is “our last, best hope.”
First, a meditation about the implosion. For Barack Obama the enemy is not radical Islam. The true enemy is the Republican Party. And don’t forget the Tea Party.
Obama is a bit like Paul Krugman, with more finesse. Whenever anything goes right he and the Democrats take credit. Whenever anything goes wrong he blames Republicans. We will not dignify it by calling to moral teaching, but one imagines that if Obama were given the choice between destroying radical Islam and destroying the Republican Party, he would choose the latter.
On that score, he has been markedly unsuccessful. With the sole exception of the presidential election of 2012 the Obamafied Democratic Party has done nothing but lose elections. Congressional elections, gubernatorial elections, state legislative elections. The Democratic Party has had a very bad time of it during the Obama presidency.
But, if you cannot beat the Republicans head to head, how can you beat them? You might resurrect a tactic invented by one Odysseus during the Trojan War. You might not remember the Trojan War, but it had been fought to a stalemate until the cunning Odysseus decided to construct a giant horse and to offer it to the city of Troy as a peace offering. The Trojans accepted the gift and lugged the large horse into their city. Once they had gone to sleep the horse was opened up and out popped Odysseus and a band of soldiers… who slaughtered the sleeping Trojans and put an end to the war. The Trojan horse was a poisoned gift.
One does not believe that Obama employed the same level of cunning, but he has sufficiently addled the brains of enough people for something similar to have happened. What could be better for the Democrats than to send a New York Democrat into the heart of Republican country… as a gift. And why not have him capture the hearts and minds of some Republicans while alienating enough others to fracture the party. It would be the crowning glory of the Obama years, a Republican Party marching to ignominious defeat behind a short-fingered vulgarian with markedly Democratic leanings.
I am not suggesting that this was planned out. Not at all. I am suggesting that when you replace reason with emotion, you end up playing a role in someone else’s fiction. And you do not even know it. The Democrats are watching the Republican implosion. They can barely contain their glee.
Think about it. A party that prides itself on upholding standards of decency and decorum, that promotes family values… gets taken over by a meretricious buffoon. You can't make this stuff up.
If the polls are any indication—and one knows that Trump supporters refuse to recognize any polls that do not confirm their opinions—Donald Trump has no chance of winning the presidential election. No way, no how.
Other candidates had worse poll numbers at this stage of the race, but everyone knows Trump and just about everyone has a very strong opinion. There is very little room for change.
Close to 50% of Republican women say that they will never vote for Trump. 40% of Republican men say the same. If that is not a recipe for political disaster, I have not seen one. I am not just thinking about losing the White House. The real problem for the Trumpified Republican Party is whether it can still function as a political party.
As everyone knows, John Kasich would run the strongest against Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz would be evenly matched against her.
If you had thought that Trump would make America respected around the world again, you might be interested in the reaction of the British public to a recent interview Trump did with Piers Morgan.
The Daily Mail reports:
… viewers took to Twitter in their droves to ridicule Trump for the 'cringe' encounter, in which they accused him of not answering questions and continually repeating himself.
The entrepreneur received the bulk of Briton's taunts after he was asked if he wanted to send a message to the people of the UK, choosing to 'ramble on' about the golf course he built in Scotland.
Twitter user Kevin Meagher wrote: ' "Paris has some of the strictest gun laws in the world and so does France." Does Donald think they're two different countries?'
Meanwhile, user Imaginary Card tweeted: 'Fav part: Piers told him to send a message to the people of the UK and he rambled on about his golf course in Scotland #MorganTrump'
Jeremy Singer tweeted: 'That was bad! An hour of self promotion, weak answers & assertions by a man who could be president!'
And, one Chris Cooper summed up the general opinion:
It was like watching the ramblings of a drunk uncle at a BBQ.
It's not about making America great. It's about making America a laughing stock.
Anyway, back with David Goldman, who has long supported Ted Cruz, but who adds that he would vote for Trump over Hillary Clinton if he faced that choice.
Goldman begins with a reflection on the how badly America has disintegrated culturally:
America had 90% adult literacy in 1790, when only half of Englishmen and a fifth of Spaniards and Italians could sign their names. We had the best educated, most motivated, and healthiest workforce in the world by an overwhelming margin.
Now Americans aged 16 to 24 rank at the bottom of a 22-country evaluation of numeracy, literacy, and technological problem-solving.
Poor student performance should be no surprise: America's family structure is falling apart. Nearly 30% of non-Hispanic white children are born out of wedlock, as well as 53% of Hispanics and 73% of African-Americans. When Reagan took office, 18% of all American births were to unmarried mothers. By 2014 the figure was above 40%.
Goldman has no sympathy for the ruling class, for the establishment types who have run the country into the ground.
In his words:
Our elites, to be sure, have sold us down the river. There's unlimited capital for investors to buy foreclosed homes, while half of Americans can't raise a down payment or qualify for a home mortgage. The Pentagon and the defense contractors slated a trillion dollars for the F-35, the biggest lemon in the history of military aviation, crowding out every other acquisition program in the military. Our tech companies have become a conspiracy to suppress innovation, managed by patent trolls instead of engineers. The financial industry ran the biggest scam in history, the subprime bubble of the 2000s, and the Obama administration hasn't sent a single miscreant to jail (it just slapped multi-billion dollar fines on the banks' stockholders, that is, your pension fund or 401k). The Clintons are a criminal enterprise, as Peter Schweizer showed in his book Clinton Cash. The foreign policy establishment treated the world like a giant social experiment and wasted blood and treasure to make the world safe for democracy.
The result is the most corrupt and cartelized economy in American history. For the first time since numbers were kept, new business has contributed next to nothing to employment recovery since 2009, as I reported here March 2. But Donald Trump encourages magical thinking. Repeating, "We're going to make America great again" by kicking out Mexican illegals and repatriating jobs from China is nonsense.
Of course, the most consequential enemy of the ruling elites is not Donald Trump. It’s Ted Cruz. Goldman makes the case:
Ted Cruz is the a gifted outsider with unique leadership capacities. He has a brilliant grasp of Constitutional law from his service as Texas' solicitor general, a granular understanding of business economics from his service at the Federal Trade Commission, and a clear vision of what America should and shouldn't do in foreign policy. He was an academic superstar at Ivy League universities but never let his success flatter him into complacency. He has deep religious conviction. He also has the will to lead. It's not surprising he isn't popular among his Senate colleagues: if Cruz is elected president, it will shut down a corrupt and cozy game. He has the brains to understand the problem and the guts to clear the obstacles to a solution.
As for the notion that Trump is a businessman who gets things done, one notes that executive talent, as such, is not fungible. Directing a company where your name is on the door is not the same as directing a government where power is balanced out. Building tall buildings does not qualify you to run a bank, an energy company, an auto company or much of anything else.
Goldman is well qualified to comment on Trump the businessman:
We keep hearing that Trump is a businessman who will "get things done." That is utterly wrong: the most successful businessmen are very good at very limited number of things. Great entrepreneurs, as George Gilder wrote, are the kind of people who sit up all night thinking of better garbage routes. Trump is not even a particularly successful entrepreneur; if he had put the $100 million he inherited in 1978 into an index fund, he'd have twice as much money today. As a casino investor, he doesn't compare to Sheldon Adelson, who came from poverty and now has ten times Trump's wealth. In fact, Trump has the worst possible kind of background for a president: as the child of wealth running a private company, he is used to saying "Jump," and having his lackeys say, "How long should I stay in the air?"
And, of course, Trump does not read… anything. He does not seek or take advice. Because, don’t you know, he knows everything.
A journalist named Michael d’Antonio interviewed Trump at his home and noticed, in the garish palace, that there was not a single book. Please do not compare Trump to Teddy Roosevelt.