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Mike Hendricks

Mike at Night

Mike Hendricks recently retires as social science, criminal justice instructor at McCook Community College.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Friday, May 6, 2016

A presidential contest that would have been laughed at and put down a year ago looks as if it's going to happen. Despite an all-out effort by the establishment branch of the Republican Party to deny Donald Trump the nomination, from all appearances those efforts not only failed but failed badly.

The two remaining Republicans in the race to challenge Trump were Cruz and Kasich and they even made an alliance, the kind of agreement you see on reality television, to only campaign in some states to give them a better chance to collect delegates against Trump.

But the alliance fell apart when Kasich, who was supposed to stay out of Indiana, said he's never told a supporter to not vote for him and he wasn't going to start now. So after Trump soundly defeated both of them in Indiana, they both bowed out of the race and from the 16 Republican candidates we had at the beginning, only one was left standing and that one was the most improbable and unlikely of them all because he's never been elected to anything.

Usually a presidential election features candidates that were very popular with their base during the primaries; in fact this is the way it almost ALWAYS happens but not this time. In fact Clinton and Trump have the highest unfavorable ratings in the history of presidential polling with Trump's much higher than Clinton's. So how did we select two candidates that most people don't like? Those unfavorability ratings are national numbers which poll everybody and not just partisans so they tell us that most Americans don't like Hillary and even more don't like Trump. So let's look at them a little closer because a little investigation into their backgrounds makes things even stranger.

Let's start with a point that most people active in politics are familiar with. Hillary used to be a Republican and Trump used to have very strong Democratic leanings. Hillary was even a golden girl for Barry Goldwater when he ran for President and has said she was proud to support him at the time. Goldwater was so conservative he was considered reactionary to many and was soundly trounced in the election by Democrat Lyndon Johnson. But Hillary 'evolved' as she puts it, married an ambitious Democrat from Arkansas and found herself in the White House one day as first lady to her husband, the President. Politicians take advantage of their situations and when Hillary saw that being a Democrat was the way her bread was going to be buttered, she had no trouble changing political alliances. She's still too moderate according to the left fringe of the party, primarily young Democrats who are supporting Bernie Sanders. They believe she's so beholding to wealthy interest groups that they vow not to vote for her even if that means electing a Republican. That logic makes no sense to me but sometimes it's difficult to have a logical conversation with a group of young people.

Trump, on the other hand, has some very strong Democratic skeletons in his closet but he says he has also 'evolved.'

In 1999 he was very pro-choice, even supporting partial birth abortions. In 1990, he called for the legalization of all drugs in order to take the profits away from drug czars and street gangs. In 2005, Bill and Hillary Clinton attended Trump's wedding to Melania at his Palm Beach, Florida estate. In 1999, he proposed dramatically raising taxes on wealthy Americans and in the mid 2000's, he donated heavily to Democratic candidates, especially during the election which put Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi in power.

So he doesn't sound too much like a conservative Republican does he? In fact, he doesn't sound like a Republican at all and with Hillary's close relationship with Wall Street and the banks that have been called 'too big to fail', she sounds more like a Republican sometimes than a Democrat.

So the man who has been all over the board politically in his life and who has more bluster than P.T. Barnum is most likely going to be the standard bearer for the Republican Party in the upcoming Presidential race and Hillary Clinton, the money-loving and former Goldwater girl, is going to represent the Democratic Party.

I'm glad I got to live this long because I never thought I would see a race like this!

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