If you can believe the polls, you can assume by the end of the night Donald Trump will have carried Iowa in the first primary head count of the season. (Update: Iowa vindicated itself by NOT handing Trump a coronation.)
More curious than his meteoric rise in the run up, are the sources of support he enjoys in America’s heartland. To these eyes, his success in Iowa is one of the biggest con jobs in political history. But that’s just one man’s opinion. This is not, however, an opinion without some merit and thought.
New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state, pay attention. You are in the midst of being flimflammed yourselves. If you love freedom, the polls say you are on a disastrous path. (Update: New Hampshire is no longer the Live Free or Die state. It is now the Say Anything and I’ll Buy It state.)
Consider: Donald J. Trump is the most left-wing candidate in the Republican field. But his victory will be provided by people who vote for someone because they are Christian[1. If you read my book or my blogs, you know that I find identity politics based on race or religion to be the sleaziest and most damaging to the social fabric] or because they say they are voting for the one who will be the most conservative.
If you are an informed voter, you are laughing at Iowans already. If you’re not I’ll tell you why you should feel free to do so.
We’ll deal with the ill-informed “conservatives” first. These facts are beyond dispute. Trump is a crony capitalist. He cemented a great deal of support, sapping it directly from Cruz, with his stance on government corn. That would be the food many Iowans grow to be put into gas tanks, on the orders of the nanny state, that the rest of the country doesn’t want in their gas tanks. But evidently, a majority of Iowa’s “conservatives” want that government corn to keep on growing, to the benefit of no one except the super farms that are cleaning up on the guaranteed cash. Some say that the direct subsidy given to the farms has ended. And so it has. But when it was ended, the law to keep putting food in our gas tanks remained in place and the percentage required to be mixed with our gasoline went up to 15%. The farms growing the government corn are still swimming in our hard-earned money.
Trump is a huge fan of eminent domain for narrowly focused private enterprises. Here’s the scam. Sleazy politicians get in bed with businessmen and tell citizens that their homes are to be given to the business men so the can build a condo community, or whatever. They will be compensated in the form of a price, agreed to by the government and the sleazy businessmen. If they refuse, they’ll be moved anyway. In his own defense he has said that those who say they don’t want to leave their homes are just greedy and holding out for more money. He also says they make 5 or 10 times what their property is worth.
The former statement is just another example of Trump’s shocking inability to see that there are things more important to people than money and his stupid condo project. The latter is simply a lie. Most people facing displacement under eminent domain are rarely compensated for the market value of their property. Those who are don’t see 10 times the value of their property. In other words, Trump is lying or ignorant of the facts. Neither would be a surprise.
It is important to point out that recently Trump has insisted that without eminent domain we’d have no road, bridges, pipelines, etc. This is a lie of misdirection. The uses of eminent domain people are complaining about are of the Kelo vs New London variety. These were not instances where a utility or major corridor would result, benefittig a huge swath of a state of region. These are cases like the one I cite above. People are forced from their homes, whatever the price, so one man or company can enjoy private profit from a narrow group of customers. When challenged on this, Trump simply avoids the specifics of the question and talks about roads and utilities again. But it is still a lie. You can bet, once nominated, the press won’t give him a break on this. He will be cross-examined in every interview. He’s not prepared for that kind of grilling.
Finally, the favorite of conservatives everywhere, Trump wants, and once in office will fight for, a single-payer healthcare system. He has yet to be called on this by another candidate. And he should be. His debating skills are that of a middle school girl. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel for a candidate to pick apart his argument on health care. But first that candidate has to have the guts to make the case. As of the caucuses, there isn’t a gonad in sight. With all due respect to Carly, I speak metaphorically. Although she has shown more “balls’ than her counterparts on several occasions.
But the real belly laugh comes from the “religious right”. The latest surge Trump has enjoyed comes out of his embarrassing performance at Liberty “University”. It turned out to be a match made in heaven (pun intended). The guy who made billions wheeling and dealing in real estate meets the guy whose family fortune comes from the soaking folks with the religious angle. Trump swooped in, cocked up a bible quote, (one may safely assume he made a generous donation to the “university”), and voila, Falwell endorses Trump.
Within days the “religious” right is all about the Donald. Perhaps it is due to Trump’s similarities to Duck Dynasty. Successful business people, “reality” TV shows, no special displays of social maturity, but they say they’re Christian. Ya know, samey-same.
While your host disapproved of Cruz announcing his candidacy at the same “university” and felt the speech smacked heavily of theocracy, I still stand in awe at how easily swayed the”religious” right seems to be. They suddenly see Trump as Mister God, Mister Morality…over Cruz? Trump is a monument to pointless greed and empty vanity, among other of the deadly sins. Do you people research anything for yourselves?
I hope the polls and my assessment are wrong about Iowa. I hope they show some sense in their collective decision-making. Of course, I have been hoping since June that Trump was real and was going to get serious with no luck there yet. A low turnout would not bode well for the Donald. There is hope, but I’m not sanguine.
For the record, Rand Paul remains the most adult figure in the non-establishment group but he needs to get a lot louder. SOON. (Update: He’s gone back to Kentucky to pursue his Senate seat. Would Carly Fiorina please stand up and get loud?)
Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!
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