The mariner is watching the early campaign for President with dissatisfaction more than anything else. The press is chasing easy news with Donald Trump. There is little substantive interpretation of what all this folderol means and no one seems to know how republican candidates respond to democratic intentions. So far, the republicans simply are bickering among themselves. It is true that the republicans are stretched across a broad spectrum of conservative ideology; real primaries likely will not unify easily behind one candidate – except perhaps the empty mind of Donald who, at least, speaks what he really feels. The mariner thinks Donald’s popularity is due to the phenomenon of honesty and lack of beholding to lobbies and money. Certainly, an aphrodisiac or perhaps a long needed rain falling on a drought-stricken voter desert.
In the long run, however, Donald is a deal-making pragmatist at best and an impulsive decision maker who will not fare well in international affairs. The mariner often is reminded of Cesar Chaves.
On the democratic side, the contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders seems to mirror the ideological struggle on the republican side. As far right as candidates like Rubio and Scott are, Bernie is to the far left. It would be a fascinating measure of the state of our culture if Bernie actually wins the nomination to run against a bona fide republican nominee. It also would be scary.
Almost unmentioned are old school republicans and democrats sitting in the midst of new ideological intensity. By the way, Hillary is one of the old schoolers. First, old schoolers are survivors; second pragmatists; and third hide behind the mundane party line. Ideology isn’t really their game. Just give them their paycheck and campaign funds. Bernie’s original intention, the mariner believes, is to keep Hillary as far left as possible but he has been surprisingly resilient and is approaching Hillary’s poll numbers.
The scariest combination is Donald versus Bernie – bullying versus intellect. Intellect has never fared well in the history of the United States. Considering Donald versus Hillary, Donald is likely to lose. His alienation of special subgroups will be his downfall – especially against the first woman President; women are not joining Donald with enough numbers to win. Then there are “the” blacks and “the” Hispanics.
This week, the mariner has begun to hear a speculative press. The fun of catering to empty assassinations by Donald is wearing thin. Further, the republican party is trying desperately to undermine him. Finally, the primary season will come into play despite the meddling of Fox News. Again, Donald’s style will threaten local activists and his results will diminish. The mariner hopes the real conservative will be identified early enough to speculate how well Hillary or Bernie will match the conservative candidate.