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Out of the ordinary presidential politics

Cynthia E. Griffin | 3/17/2016, midnight
The results from the latest round of presidential primaries and caucuses demonstrated that 2016 is “not your father’s presidential election” ...

The results from the latest round of presidential primaries and caucuses demonstrated that 2016 is “not your father’s presidential election” and what is considered “traditional,” “conventional” or even “normal” is definitely not happening this year, says Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication at USC. Days before the primaries, Jeffe pointed out what is “different” about the presidential race:

• You can’t even predict the direction Republicans are going.

• There is higher propensity for Republican activists to go out and vote, and there are more conservatives that go to the primaries that will vote in the general Republican electorate.

• Conventional wisdom is out the window this year.

• Exit polls show that the conservatives voting are 93 percent White males

• Latinos are very angry at Republicans because of their stance on immigration. This is a number-one priorty for many Latinos.

• Among non-Latinos, there is fear regarding immigration in part because there is a perception that illegal immigrants are going to “take” jobs that should be going to Americans. That may be why Latinos have a problem with Trump or any other Republicans that support similar views on immigration.

• Now a lot of the political correctness is being let go, and there is a greater acceptance of the raw emotions voters are feeling; the raw rehetoric they are feeling. This is the case, at least during the primary process.

• Racism has always been a factor in American politics. That’s not new. What you are seeing is the sort of “reality TV culture”—screaming, yelling, nastiness, conniving and some racism.

• The general election tends to be more moderate, more democratic, more diverse (ethnically and financially) than the primaries.

• Donald Trump doesn’t need Black votes in primaries but will need them in the general election because of the more diverse nature of the general voting.

• The electorate is angry more than anything; angry over the lack of movement of government. There is also a lack of trust included in that pent up anger. There is a perception that government is not by the people or for the people. That is what is sending people following “outsiders” like Trump.

That sense of being fed up with “politics as usual” is why they went for Obama in 2008, but his message of “hope and change” didn’t deliver.

Some Black Republicans say they won’t vote for Trump, Will cast write-in ballots

By Manny Otiko

OW Contributor

The 2016 presidential race looks like it’s shaping up to be a contest between billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump and former secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. But not all Republicans are happy about that. Several Black Republicans interviewed said they could not throw their support behind Trump, whose campaign has been marked by political violence and incendiary rhetoric targeting Muslims and illegal immigrants.

Micah Grant, a long-time political consultant, said he was not excited about Trump being the Republican presidential candidate.

“I hope he’s not (the candidate), but it certainly looks that way,” said Grant about Trump, who won decisive primaries in Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri and Florida Tuesday.

“I think his rhetoric is a little divisive,” Grant said. “At this point, we need a leader who is going to unite people.” Trump has made international headlines by promising to deport all illegal immigrants, build a wall on the Mexican/U.S. border and issue a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Although Trump has made outrageous comments and often plays fast and loose with the truth, he is drawing crowds to his rallies. Grant said Trump benefits from the current anti-establishment mood.

“They (voters) don’t really want politics as usual,” Grant said adding that much of Trump’s success comes from his messaging, his alleged business prowess and his extensive coverage by the media. CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves recently admitted that covering Trump was good for the media, because he brought great ratings.

“He gets things down to a soundbite,” Grant said.

Although Trump is currently the GOP front runner and has won several primaries, Grant said not all Republicans support him.

“I’ve talked to a lot of insiders who are worried what his election or nomination will do to the Republican brand,” Grant said. “I think it would represent a problem.”

According to Grant, Republicans, such as State Sen. Bob Huff, have worked hard to build bridges in minority communities, only to watch that work torn apart by Trump and his outlandish comments.

Grant said if faced with a choice between Hillary and Trump, he wouldn’t vote for either of them. He said he would leave his ballot blank or write in a different name.

John Wood Jr., second vice chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, also expressed reservations about Trump. Like Grant, he said that he couldn’t vote for Trump or Hillary.

Woods credited Trump’s success to his talent as a salesman.

“A good salesman will make you think he’s your best friend after about five minutes,” said Wood who has seen Trump turn around and deny something he said a few seconds ago.

“And that makes him dangerous, because he stands for nothing.”

I think he’d say anything to anybody, said Woods.

Although Trump has made some offensive comments, Woods said he doesn’t think the candidate really believes those things. Wood said Trump’s plan for mass deportation of illegal immigrants was not realistic.

“I don’t think he’s going to deport anybody,” Wood said. “He’s just using it as leverage. I don’t think he’s a racist; I do think he’s an opportunist. I think he’s taking advantage of the prejudice and animosity that people feel towards certain groups of people in order to advance his political agenda.”

Woods said he expects a brokered convention and the eventual result will be Trump as the presidential candidate, with an establishment politician, like Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich as his running mate.

World view of Donald Trump

By William Covington

OW Contributor

Some believe Donald Trump’s political rise is a scary time in America, and many in the United States and internationally, have compared the Republican presidential candidate to Adolf Hitler especially with the recent discovery of a New York Times article that was written by a journalist that focused on the campaign rhetoric of Hitler and was believed to be at the time was harmless.

The first New York Times reference to Adolf Hitler occurred Nov. 21, 1922, and the following is an excerpt from that newspaper where Hitler’s strategy is expounded upon by a writer and declared “harmless.”

The article said: “Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.”

Today, many believe that Donald Trump is using a strategy similar to Hitler’s to win the election and become the presidential candidate for the Republican party. Sociologists have noted that if one removes the words anti-Semitism and Hitler from the above paragraph and replace those words with with anti-Hispanic and Donald Trump, we would have a very similar political environment even complete with the “heil hitler” salute as exhibited by Trump supporters in Orlando Florida, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

The following is the next paragraph from the 1922 issue of the New York Times:

“A sophisticated politician credited with political cleverness for laying emphasis and over emphasis on anti-semitism saying: you can’t expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims, you must feed the masses with cruider (sic) morsels and ideas like anti-semitism. It would be politically wrong to tell them about where you are leading really them.

Today according to sociologists, if you replace anti-Semitism with anti-Hispanic, again you have Trump’s rhetoric.

This isn’t the only similarities to Adolph Hitler that Trump has exhibited in addition to his rhetoric. Trump asked thousands of his supporters at a rally in Orlando to raise their right hands and “solemnly swear” to vote for him, which without a photo of the incident seems harmless according to former Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman. However this pledge with a photograph looks like an episode out of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, has called the pledge a “fascist gesture” and says: “He is smart enough—he always tells us how smart he is—to know the images that this action evokes.” That same day, Trump repeated the pledge with rally crowds in North Carolina and Mississippi.

Media outlets were researched in several countries and this is what foreigners think about the Trump rhetoric and comparisons of Trump and Adolph Hitler.

Europe

A recent tweet from a European newspaper reader comments: “I hope @realDonaldTrump will be the next U.S. president. Good for America. Good for Europe. We need brave leaders.”

According to United Kingdom News reporter Siraj Datoo, this comment is a result of Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric. He believes that Trump has found fans among European far-right groups and populist leaders. Political right-wing organizations in the United Kingdom, France and Spain have weighed in.

Datoo reports that the far-right has been growing across Europe since the economic crash in 2008, and is finding additional strength after the two terror attacks on Paris last year. They are also taking advantage of the tensions caused by the refugee crisis. Far-right parties across Europe did particularly well in 2014’s elections for the European parliament.

According to Datoo, a leading figure of the far-right Belgian party Vlaams Belang, said the presidential candidate’s (Trump) campaign came from the playbook of nationalist European parties. Datoo believes the figure failed to mention that the nationalist European playbook is closely based on the philosophy of Germany’s Nazi Europe.

Russia

According to Russia’s Pravda newspaper Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is favored by the Russian citizens and admired by Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This partiality is an advantage, if Trump is elected president, according to Foreign Policy magazine. Pravda’s digital edition has numerous articles describing Trump’s approval of Putin as well.

In a recent article in the magazine, journalist Zachary Ivanov describes how Russia has improved its military and is exercising its new power to show the United States that they are to be respected. If Trump is elected president, relations between the U.S. and Russia could improve based on this bromance between Putin and Trump.

In reference to Russia’s new-found military power, Jane’s Information Group (often referred to as Jane’s and is a British publishing company specializing in analyzing and cataloging military power and weaponry recently reported that the United States was blindsided by Russia’s recent military intervention in Syria. In the past, Russia has usually participated in military invasions involving geographical locations on their borders. Being able to conduct a invasion in the Middle East without the U.S. knowing is a sure sign that the Russian superpower has returned.

An article was released recently by Josh Rogin, who writes for Bloomberg media, attempting to explain Trump’s long-standing affinity with Russia and his high regards for Putin.

In the article, several occurrences have taken place in the past between Trump and the Russian government. For example Trump has attempted to expand his business and his brand there dating back decades. Rogin believes this history could compromise U.S. diplomacy in regards to a President Trump having an existing pro-Russian foreign policy.

In the 1980s according to Rogin, Trump was often seen on news shows offering his services to negotiate with the Soviets and in 1987, Trump traveled to Moscow and Leningrad to discuss building hotels there. He even met with the Soviet ambassador to the U.S.

In the article, Rogin also comments about a Russian-language website that collects Trump news and offers sales of Trump books and products. There’s even a Trump 2016 Russian language mock campaign site.

There is no comparison to Hitler and Donald Trump in Russia which makes sense. Putin has been known to assassinate Russians who say mean things about him or his friends.

China

According to the China Global Times, Mussolini and Hitler came to power through elections, and now an “abusively racist and extremist” candidate who gives speeches with the same verbage as the former leaders of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany is on the rise in the United States, it says.

Interpreting Trump’s rhetoric as pre-World War II propaganda isn’t healthy, according to Eric Heginbotham, a researcher for the Rand Corporation. His recent article “The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996–2017,” explains how the United States has fought two proxy wars with Communist China, (the Korean and Vietnam wars), and since both proxy wars, how China has transitioned from its international policy of “Peaceful Rise,” a policy that focused on economic warfare to a policy of saber waving. To enforce this new policy, the Chinese have focused on ridding its military of antiquated weapons and becoming a potent military force. He believes China comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini would add fuel to the current fire, if Trump is elected.

Heginbotham said it appears Trump has the same IQ as Sarah Palin. He bases Trump’s assessment on a comment Trump made in a recent discussion focused on dealing with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his policy towards developing a nuclear bomb. Trump said he would solve the North Korean nuclear problem by getting China to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

Heginbotham believes that given that China’s leaders are unwilling to sanction North Korea, it is exceedingly unlikely they will murder its leader at a President Trump request. He also thinks Trump should read the latest issue of the China Global Times and realize they have compared him to Hitler and Mussolini.

Mexico

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto also compared the language of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to that of dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in an interview published in several Mexican Newspapers, and said it has hurt U.S.-Mexico relations.

In relation to Trump’s plans to make Mexico pay for a wall along the United States border former Mexican President Vicente Fox’s uncompromising response was “I’m not going to pay for the f##king wall. He should pay for it. He’s got the money,” former President Fox told reporter Jorge Ramos of Fusion News. Another former Mexican President, Felipe Calderone, also compared Trump to Hitler.

Years ago Republicans compared President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler, and many conservatives believed this was okay due to his policies. However, what’s interesting is, if you search the Internet for comparisons of Donald Trump and Hitler, you will find a plethora of articles from media discounting similarities of Trump to the former Nazi dictator. But not one of these media outlets discounted or wrote articles defending President Obama.