From the Other Side of the Mirror: The Presidential Election 2016
I am a liberal Democrat and proud of it. And before I am accused of biased reporting, I am not reporting from a political standpoint so much as I am watching from behind the mirror and reporting what has been obvious since the Republican candidates started campaigning for the Presidency.
I have already voted for Hillary Clinton and I have no intention of trying to convince anyone else how to vote. Vote as you will, but the race is already over, it is just a matter crossing the T's and dotting the I's.
So here is a little history and whether you are a Republican or a Democrat you know what I present from the other side of the mirror is true.
The Economy Drives the Presidency
The Democrats were going to win the election in 2008 and the Republicans knew it. It looked like Hillary would be the candidate, but then Oprah Winfrey announced her support for Barack Obama. From that time, it was a close battle for the nomination. Eventually, Hillary realized that Obama had the upswing momentum. While she might have pulled the nomination out, it was more important to have a united democratic party, to win the Presidency. It would be better for the democrats and the nation if there was going to be any real progress in recovering the economy. Obama becomes President. Supply side economics doesn't work, never has, never will. What she had not anticipated was how hard the Republicans would fight to make the Obama administration a failure.
The other unfortunate outcome was to discover how much racial prejudice was still alive in this country. And before people start declaring that isn't true, the racially slurred comparisons of POTUS were disrespectful to the office and the man and his family. The good that came out of it was that it guaranteed that Obama would win a second term.
The economy was in recovery and although the Republican congress worked overtime to stop the growth and the administration's success. While people may claim I am unfair, looking at the commentary by the Republican leaders, their primary goal was not to help the economy but to make Obama a one term president. They failed.
After the 2008 presidential campaign ended Congress was so fixated on Obama, they focused entirely on making him a single term president. They put all their political eggs in getting Mitt Romney into the white house in 2012. Because of the war within the Republican party, they didn't have a strong enough machine to accomplish their goal. The economy was recovering and the echo of the comments from Bill Clinton, "It's the economy stupid" reverberated throughout the 2012 election.
It was during that campaign if not earlier that the RNC realized that they would be facing Hillary Clinton in 2016. They knew it would be a turnoff to independents and liberal Republicans to go after Bill Clinton. He was still a popular statesman. Even republican leaders consulted him on political matters. They would have to discredit Hillary and to this point all they had was innuendo and events that they might be able to make hay with. The Republican legislators went after Hillary with every possible piece of wrong doing they could come up with real or not.
Stop Hillary Before the 2016 Campaign
Benghazi seemed the perfect scandal to bring Hillary down. Republican legislators spent millions of dollars and failed to find Hillary Clinton guilty of anything. In fact, during her tenure, she used the events that took place in Benghazi to improve conditions and security at foreign embassies. The investigation into Benghazi also pointed out that funds for improving security were voted down by the Republican-controlled Congress.
Hillary was found completely blameless and her time in front of the Congressional committees she demonstrated the cool and calmness one expects from a president.
While the Republican legislators were losing their battle against Hillary, they also acknowledged that the hearings were being held to discredit Hillary and drive down her numbers. It was purely political and found less. While they succeeded with their own constituency; independents and Democrats were less impressed with their tactics and polling started to demonstrate that fact.
The RNC had spent so much time concentrating on Hillary, they didn't have a candidate to run against her. The party was so fractured between the old guard and the tea party Republicans they had no standard bearer. They had lost a major battle against Hillary they decided to let the field of candidates sign up and see if one would come out a shining star.
Dream Candidate Turns into a Nightmare
The Republicans started with a field of more than 17 candidates; Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Scott Walker. Some of these people were rising stars from both factions within the party and there was a wild card in Donald Trump. The RNC liked Trump in the mix because he brought viewers, ratings, and maybe gave them an edge in the coming campaign. They hoped one of the traditional candidates would become a shining star, after all, they were seasoned campaigners. What they hadn't counted on was the kind of campaign Trump would run.
The more outrageous Trump was the more the media gave him free air time. Although during the beginning primaries, Trump never achieved a majority, he was getting a plurality at around thirty to forty percent and winning most of the primaries. Too late the RNC realized that Trump was winning all the marbles and they didn't have a single candidate that could beat Hillary Clinton. And while their smear campaign had taken its toll on Hillary, she was fighting back and as she campaigned on issues, the Republicans attacked the Obama Presidency. The problem was Obama's approval rating was above 50% and a lot of the attacks were falling on deaf ears.
As Candidates dropped out the numbers for the remaining candidates were increasing but Trump was still winning, and the RNC had a tiger by the tail that they were finally realizing was more dangerous than their main political opponent. They tried on a number of occasions to bring Trump into the fold, but he wasn't interested.
The high-level Republicans that tried to stop Hillary Clinton had now found that she was the one candidate that may save the Republican party.
It's Not a Rigged Election...
There won't be any major voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election unless it is conducted by the Trump political machine. Hillary Clinton will become the first woman president. The United States will move towards the left a bit and we will have a president who is qualified for the position.
The GOP is in trouble. Trump will continue to be a thorn, which TrumpTV promises to be; it's only relevance is to be a propaganda machine for Trump in 2020. The RNC will have to seriously adjust their positions to be more in line with the majority of the US public if they wish to remain a viable party. They need to rediscover compromise with the Democrats or they could find themselves going the way of the Dodo.
It is possible a third Party may move into the spotlight, this would be the time. Trump is counting on it, but he has an exaggerated opinion of his extreme following. A third party from another front might be what's needed, but that party must start at a grassroots level in local politics and build trust over time It takes time but that is the only track that will prove successful.
As for 2020, if Hillary is successful in leading the country there is potential for a lot of good to happen. Wouldn't you know it would take a woman to get the job done.