Is Trump really the Republican candidate?

Trump - Branson - Clinton
A recent Dailykos article captured Richard Branson’s reflections on two meetings, one with Donald Trump, and one with Hillary Clinton (Richard Branson: Trump said he would destroy those who wouldn’t help him after he went bankrupt). Very telling contrast, which we’ve seen over and over again over the last year. Well… most of us have seen it. There are still those who – bizarrely – fail to recognize Trump for what he is.

I do think however that it is counterproductive to refer to the two individuals (as this article did) as “the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee Donald Trump.” While Hillary may well be the Democratic nominee, the Republican party (those that have balls), and almost all of the died in the wool Republicans that I know, feel that Trump has usurped the Republican party for his own platform. He has taken the name and run with it, neither understanding nor respecting what the party grew out of.

Sadly, the Tea Party did the same thing previously. Both of these movements have left the Republican party in tatters. It can’t even recognize itself any more, let alone have a commanding presence in the political arena.

I am a Democrat. A sort of independent-Democrat. But I totally depend on there being at least two parties in the national conversation. Without that, we’re too often talking to ourselves, patting ourselves on the back, thinking we have all the answers, and yet leaving wide swaths of answer undelivered.

There are always different viewpoints. The bell curve keeps coming up time and time again because on almost any subject, there’s a mass of people clustered around the middle, with fewer and fewer outliers in either direction. If the goal of a political party is to garner as much support for its position as possible, it would seem that a Democratic party that’s one standard deviation to the left of the center, and a Republican party that’s one SD to the right, would be about the right place to be.

As both parties – but particularly the Republican party – pick themselves up and dust themselves off after this election, it is my greatest hope that the leadership of both parties will consider this reality and try to position themselves once again to be strong, identifiable, cohesive forces, each with an agenda, but not so far apart that they cannot possibly reconcile on the issues before them.

From this perspective, we might still achieve much of the kind of growth the Republicans seem bent on, without losing the care and egalitarianism focus of the Democratic party. In the real world, we can’t afford to have clear winners, because that entails clear losers as well. We must always strive to do the best we can, for most of the people, and not leave any to be sacrificed to “progress.”

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Wikileaks’ Julian Assange out for glory

Julian Assange seems incapable of listening or learning. I just can’t believe that this one guy continues to believe that he knows best, and that everybody else who layers their communications in “need to know” levels is somehow wrong. I do it, my boss does it, my mother does it, my son does it. What about this does Mr. Assange not get? His gross abuse of confidential information costs enormous amounts of time and effort on the part of the true government officials that we have elected and selected to carry out the tasks of our highest level societal interactions. And in so doing it costs enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars to try to scramble and recover some “face” after this breach. Why is he still free to do so? He, along with those who are passing him this information, should be arrested and tried for treason.

In saying this, do I believe that the USA is the greatest country on earth, that our diplomats are above reproach, that Mr. Assange is obviously wrong because he is attacking our government? Get real! Nothing of the sort!

But seriously, I’m curious to know from those who are going out of their way to decry the American government and to assert that the USA is not the “greatest place in the world”: what IS the greatest place? I think it’s all too easy to get caught up in fantasy imaginings of faraway lands, where “if I were the ruler of the world” thinking solves all the problems in a convenient and obvious way. But seriously, where is this place, what country, what state are you thinking of where they’ve got it right? Where there are no government secrets? Where each and every member of the government is a respected individual, a good communicator on all levels, able to discern real fact from possibly misguided conjecture, and all members work together for the greater good? I will go there in a heartbeat! For now, I’ll take my lumps in the Big Apple.