NEWCASTLE, Pa., Aug. 31, 2015 – Authenticity helps distinguish Donald Trump from Hillary Clinton and other presidential contenders.
Sparking one controversy after another, Trump’s inability to be politically correct leaves voters feeling as though they can trust what the billionaire developer says, even if they do not agree with his statements or policies. This is what makes Donald Trump the anti-establishment candidate.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, could not be any more of a Washington insider. She is so deeply entrenched in the political establishment that the political world long believed she was fated to become the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Political elites seem to believe Hillary Clinton is the one candidate most deserving to be the president. From the perspective of voters, this translates into an apparent sense of entitlement.
It is, however, important to recognize the political establishment does not choose who becomes oresident. The most important role political parties and the press play during an election is their vetting of the candidates. Political parties and the press exist to ensure the people the American people want to elect are qualified and honest when they make statements on the campaign trail.
In other words, they are supposed to bring order and legitimacy to elections.
Instead, the parties push for the candidates who are least likely to stray from their agendas and most likely to win. In turn, the media promotes these chosen-ones until the American people become disinterested in the candidates. Dwindling support for Hillary Clinton and growing support for Donald Trump demonstrate the growing dissatisfaction American voters have with candidates the political establishment wants voters to elect.
In the case of Donald Trump, both the political parties and the press have rejected him as a legitimate candidate. Ironically, their obsession with disqualifying Trump has backfired and helped boost Trump’s support. In the case of Hilary Clinton, the political establishment keeps promoting her as the most viable and legitimate candidate as more and more Americans are rejecting her. Where it is easy to blame unrelenting Republican attempts to vilify Clinton, she is losing ground, because her support appears based on an elitist entitlement.
Controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of personal emails during her tenure at the State Department exemplifies her apparent sense of elitist entitlement. Not only does she appears to feel the rules do apply to her, she leaves voters feeling as they have to choose her, because she is entitled to become president. No public position is an entitlement. It is the job of a candidate to convince voters that the candidate is the best possible choice.
When it comes to growing support for socialist Bernie Sanders, there is a sense of authenticity, because voters know exactly what policies they will see from Sanders. Unfortunately for the Democrats, a socialist is highly unlikely to win in the general election. Moreover, a socialist does not have the business mindset needed to address America’s national debt crisis and retool the capitalist economy to better serve the needs of the American people.
Donald Trump might be considered the mean-spirited Republican version of Joe Biden. Like Donald Trump, Biden’s record, particularly what he says, and policies are not perfect, but his authenticity appeals to voters. Consequently, Joe Biden is the most logical choice to complete against Donald Trump. That said, Joe Biden’s reluctance to run for president based on personal reasons is understandable. More important, the Democratic Party needs to let the political process work.
Frankly, a Republican win in 2016 is threatened by too many candidates in primary. Efforts to force candidates to support the eventually nominee are counterproductive. After all, forced support for the establishment-selected candidate will be unauthentic and undemocratic, which is not what the voters need or want.
Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats are trying to force the spotlight onto their star candidate in order to avoid a similar dilemma. In the long run, this will hurt the chances of the Democratic nominee, because the winner will be the candidate the political leadership forced onto the party and the true Democratic star will emerge far too late in the election cycle.
By failing to shine a light on well-qualified candidates, such as Jim Webb, the political establishment and the press are doing voters a real disservice.