CHARLOTTE, NC, August 15, 2016 – While voters like to tell candidates to “stick to the issues,” the truth is that issues will not determine the elections. It is actually “all that petty stuff” that will win or lose the November election.
As Jeff Anderson writes in “The Weekly Standard” if issues were the real determining factor, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have a chance against Donald Trump, because he owns most of them.
“Why, then, is Clinton developing such a lead in the polls? Because she, Trump, and the media all seem to agree upon one thing—that the issues are to be avoided. Clinton and the media avoid the issues because they know she’s hurt by them. Trump avoids the issues for reasons that are harder to ascertain—perhaps because he doesn’t fully realize how much they benefit him or perhaps just because he finds it easier and more enjoyable to talk about something else. But if he were to start talking policy, his electoral fortunes might turn around.”
Anderson points out that Trump is serious about keeping illegal immigrants from entering the country and favors deportation, while Clinton, by contrast, would make multiple reforms that would favor the masses who cross our borders illegally.
That appears primarily designed to increase the number of voters for future Democratic candidates.
Whether Trump’s solution of building a wall and “making Mexico pay for it” is realistic or not, the majority of people who like the idea do not actually give it much validity.
Next issue, please. Obamacare. “We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare,” boldly declares Trump. Clinton, on the other hand, prefers Barack Obama’s efforts to establish a government monopoly in healthcare.
As Anderson points out, “Obamacare has thrown a wet blanket over the economy.” He then goes on to present some devastating figures about the president’s handling of the economy.
“GDP growth under Obama has been an anemic 1.5 percent—last among the 12 postwar presidents and less than half of President Jimmy Carter’s tally (3.3 percent). Even Obama’s best year of growth (2.6 percent, in 2015) was below average,” writes Anderson.
Those are startling statistics you won’t find in the mainstream press.
When it comes to trade, Anderson explains that Trump wants to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. That would be 20 percentage points lower than it is today.
Meanwhile, Clinton stands by the traditional Democratic theme of raising taxes while continuing government spending and adding more regulations.
Anderson points out that Hillary denounces the “trickle-down economics” of the Reagan era which resulted in a 3.5 average annual GDP. The operative word there is “average.” At its peak, the growth rate under Reagan was 7.3 percent.
Question. Why would anyone want to perpetuate the Obama policies of the past eight years than return to prosperous growth for all?
Finally we get to the most pressing issues for many people, which is national security and terrorism.
If nothing else, the past few months of violence against law enforcement officials in the US should be enough to cause Americans to seek a change.
Before Obama came into office, racial tensions in the US were not nearly as confrontational as they are today. Certainly the first black president should have been able to increase unity rather than to create more divisiveness.
Add in the president’s inability to call Islamic terrorism precisely what it is, plus the continuing controversy over Benghazi and the growth of ISIS, all of which occurred under Obama and Clinton’s leadership. When supporters mention Hillary’s resume of outstanding service, those issues alone are glaring failures of judgment and leadership.
Hillary Clinton’s scandalous and corrupt dealings in virtually everything she does should, by themselves, be enough to disqualify her from even running, much less occupying the White House.
But, if, as Americans always say, we want to “stick to the issues” then Donald Trump should be a lock for the presidency.
Then why isn’t he?
Because, as Jeffrey Anderson has point out, Clinton’s “claim that Trump’s disposition makes him unfit to hold the nation’s highest office.”
As Anderson says, forget about the issues, “Indeed, the entire election will likely come down to this: Can Clinton make voters’ concerns about her challenger’s character trump the long list of issues that would otherwise favor his election?”
For all the hoopla, talking heads and polls over the last four years, if you don’t think this election can be broken down to that single concept, just remember James Carville’s strategy for Bill Clinton when he summed everything up in just four words, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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