Title: May the Best Woman Win... Credit: Craig Young Comment Tuesday 7th June 2016 - 4:23pm1465273380 Article: 18355 Rights
While Donald Trump is now the heir presumptive to the Republican presidential nomination, senior Republican figures like Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush loathe him. Meanwhile, on the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton had a telling candidate tactical advantage but Bernie Sanders refused to concede the Democrat incumbent nomination until Clinton acquired the margin of victory in early June primaries. So, how will this all turn out? Trump became the Republican standard bearer-elect when his remaining rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, dropped out after Trump won Indiana in a state Republican primary. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton moved inexorably toward becoming the incumbent Democrat Party's presidential nominee, despite the fact that Bernie Sanders was still in the race. Clinton maintained an overall lead in terms of cumulative pledged delegates and made her breakthrough total in early June 2016. Sadly, there's a split within the Democrat core constituencies- ethnic minorities, women and LGBT voters all back Hillary, while white working class voters support Bernie Sanders, who has reportedly failed to connect with any of the other key constituencies that support the Democratic Party. However, some of Sanders' policies are undeniably popular- a national US minimum wage and campaign finance reform are two examples. To some Clinton backers, it seems as if Sanders may become a reincarnation of Ralph Nader, the Green Party presidential candidate who cost Al Gore the 2000 US federal election and ushered in eight years of George W.Bush's warmongering, destructive anti-environmental policies and utter incompetence. However, others disagree, crediting Sanders with more political intelligence and recognising the need for unity. He has certainly revitalised the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Clinton may offer Sanders an olive branch such as a Cabinet seat in return for his withdrawal. This might occur after June 7 when Clinton finally secured her victory margin over him. One can only hope. Having served as Democrat US Senator for New York and Obama's first Secretary of State, Clinton is certainly the best qualified person for the role of US President. Fortunately, it seems as if US voters are recognising that. One early June opinion poll showed that Clinton now enjoys a double digit lead over Trump. The presumptive Republican candidate's foreign policy inexperience, kneejerk populism and his involvement in a failed "Trump University" venture have led many to change their opinions about whether the quixotic New York millionaire deserves to be a US President. In this poll, forty six percent of those examined supported Clinton, while only thirty five percent supported Trump and nineteen percent supported neither. Happily, the Republican social coalition of religious social conservatives and free marketeers is in just as much trouble. While some religious social conservatives are trying to behave like good Republican loyalists, others have a much more venomous response, given that Trump earlier defeated more dogmatic social conservative aspirant candidates such as Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. One Wall Street Journal article proclaimed that the "Reagan coalition is dead." Oddly enough for a business periodical that might be expected to emphasise fiscal conservatism, the article argued that the current emphasis on fiscal conservatism had betrayed fundamentalist Christian party activists and accused Trump of being an "East Coast social liberal." How did things get this 'bad?' Surely someone from the prestigious Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and a billionaire real estate developer with name recognition should be a chief draw-card for Republican fiscal conservatives? And he is, having won primary after primary, forcing the final retreat of his erstwhile Republican adversaries in the first week of May 2016. Until 2011, Trump was a political opportunist however, making hefty donations to both the Republicans and Democrats. Thereafter, he went off the proverbial populist fringe 'deep end', labeling President Obama a 'foreign-born' individual- the 'birther' conspiracy theory. He is also a fanatical anti-vaccination activist and climate change denier. And then there's the institution of marriage, which Trump professes to deeply respect, so he will try to reverse the existing US Supreme Court vindication of marriage equality in the wake of Obergefell v Hodgesin 2015. While US fundamentalist Protestants have been lenient over single divorce candidates, most obviously Ronald Reagan, however, Trump has had three wives- Ivana Zelnickova (m1977, div.1992), Marla Maples (m1993, div.1999) and his current spouse, Melania Knauss (whom he married in 2006). Although he masquerades as a Presbyterian, Trump actually belongs to the conservative Reformed Church of America. As for his 'social liberalism,' Trump professes to be opposed to marriage equality and anti-abortion, although not sufficiently enough for more hardcore US Christian Right activists. He also supports legalised gambling, increased taxes for the rich, and opposes free trade agreements. He has been excoriated for racist remarks about Hispanic Americans, and seems to view the Peoples Republic of China as an economic adversary. As China is predicted to become New Zealand's largest trading partner within the next five years, this places our own country in a difficult situation. We will need to make a choice, and quite frankly, if Trump plays the protectionist card, then New Zealand will be unable to continue its current close economic relationship with both countries... and China is already our second largest trade partner, and will probably eventually top Australia in that regard. Such threatened protectionism should make our own response clear, if cold-hearted, in its neccessity- no matter how much Prime Minister Key and the National Party may not want to face the prospect. Recommended: William Galston: "How Trump killed Reaganism"Wall Street Journal:27.04.2016: w-trump-killed-reaganism- 1461711203 Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders: On the Issues: Trump: Donald_Trump.htm "Bernie Sanders adds more candidates but chances of winning are slim to none"Guardian:07.05.2016:http://www. may/07/bernie-sanders-adds- washington-delegates Chris Kahn: "Clinton opens up double digit lead over Trump nationwide" Reuters: 03.06.2016:http://www. election-poll-idUSKCN0YP2EX Craig Young - 7th June 2016    
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