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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 13, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 20
HEAR YE, HEAR YE
Section One
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HEAR YE, HEAR YE

by Janice Van Cleve - Special to the SGN

Hear ye, hear ye! Gather round ye good and gentle citizens to witness the amazing spectacle of a reluctant Republican Party falling in line behind the winner. It has been a rough and tumble, nasty primary campaign. It was ruthless gutter politics at its lowest so it is no wonder that the most ruthless junk yard dog won. Donald Trump has emerged as the leader of the Republican Party and candidate for president.

Most Republicans are still in disbelief that such a thing could happen. A few have evolved from disbelief to denial. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, said he hoped he could support the Republican nominee but he just was not ready to support Trump. Others openly oppose him like Mark Salter, Republican aide to John McCain, and David Meyers, former communications adviser to Republican Senate leadership. They join Mitt Romney, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and many more high-level Republican officials, staffers, strategists, and right wing media personalities. Many say they will vote for Hillary Clinton and evangelical Franklin Graham even quit the Party! Right wing commentator Glenn Beck stated 'We should look at Adolph Hitler in 1929. He was kind of funny, kind of a character that said the things people were thinking. . . . Donald Trump is a dangerous man.'

These folks are moving through the standard coping process - denial, anger, detachment, bargaining, and ultimately acceptance. They are just grappling with the reality that Trump is their party's candidate. They will eventually fall in line like good Republicans always do and back the party's nominee.

This is because Republicans seem to have a mostly 'hive' mentality. For their hive to be in power is more important than any one individual. It is easy to become part of their 'hive.' All you have to do is be against abortion, against taxes, against the latest scapegoat de jour (which these days is transgendered people), and wait your turn. You can be an idiot, a criminal, a billionaire, or whatever, but as long as you are against abortion, against taxes, against the scapegoat de jour, and wait your turn, you can be part of the 'hive.'

That's what's got the Republican shorts in a bundle. Trump is not part of the 'hive.' He is financially independent of the power brokers and has charted his own course. He has been both for and against abortion. He wants to tax hedge fund managers. He has not been 'religiously evil' to the LGBT community. He barged to the front of the line with charisma, anger, and sheer brute force. Now the Republicans are stuck with him.

Democrats, on the other hand, do not have a 'hive' mentality. They are highly individual with highly individual pet issues. If a candidate does not address each of their individual pet issues - and do it nicely - Democrats are just as likely to stay home and not vote for anybody. This is why Republicans win. Even though they are far outnumbered by Democrats, they show up and do their duty to their party. Then they use their offices to keep themselves in power by gerrymandering district boundaries, voter suppression, registration restrictions, and dirty tricks.

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee in all but name. Her opponent, Bernie Sanders, has waged a vigorous campaign and he has scored a huge influence on the party, both in drawing out large numbers of young voters and in moving the platform to the left. Yet he has admitted he will not win the nomination. What will he do? Will he graciously congratulate Hillary on her victory like she did Obama in 2008? Will he urge his supporters to get behind Hillary and push for Democratic victories in the White House and down the ticket like she did in 2008? Will his supporters step up and vote for the party nominee, or will they allow the vitriol of their own primary to prevent them from voting for Hillary - and let Trump win?

Stay tuned. The Presidency is not the only important campaign. The Senate and House and governorships are also in play - and we still have an empty seat on the Supreme Court.

Janice Van Cleve is a PCO for the 37th District Democrats.

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