Larry Bradley’s Ezine #368 What Is Our Perspective on Republican Objections to Trump?

Weekly Ezine Number 368

What Does Andrew Bacevich think of Clinton and Trump?
What Is Our Perspective on Republican Objections to Trump?

Notice: The thoughts offered in this Ezine are not intended to either support or oppose any individual candidate for the 2016 election. The thoughts are, instead, (as always) intended to demonstrate the inadequacy of our current election processes and offer solutions to make those processes better.

What Does Andrew Bacevich think of Clinton and Trump?

We respect the opinion of Andrew Bacevich. We’ve mentioned him here before. He’s a West Point graduate and a retired Army Colonel who lost a son in our current conflict. He is now a professor at Boston University.

Bacevich recently wrote an incisive evaluation of Clinton and Trump as Presidential candidates. He compared their candidacy to that of Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956. Bacevich thinks Clinton and Trump are both decidedly inferior candidates. He offers some compelling thoughts on what makes them inferior and what would make for better candidates in the future. While well written, we think Bacevich’s solutions address secondary concerns, not the primary ones.

Accordingly, here is a link to Bacevich’s article and the text of the email response we sent him.

Good Afternoon, Colonel

Thank you so much for being such a voice of realism and candor.

I just finished reading your article about “The Decay of American Politics” with its ode to Ike and Stevenson. An outstanding work.

To your list of causes of what has brought us from our circumstances then to now, I would suggest these two additions.

Actually, you named one of them when you named the shiny new television in your household. Read “Just How Stupid Are We?” (Yes, it’s a real book.) Its author contends the coming of television is one of the keys to our decline as a body politic and makes some very compelling arguments in that regard.

But here is the second thing that I am very much involved in. Our election process has become overmatched by our society. The election system restricts our choices as voters and limits the competition candidates must face. The voting public has been conditioned to think of elections as a horse race with the candidates as the horses. All the focus is on the horses and we devote zero time and energy to considering whether the design of racetrack is optimal or whether the rules the race is run under make sense. (The answer is no to both considerations.)

Consider this. In a nation governed by representative government, shouldn’t that government’s policies reflect the will of the majority? Of course. We don’t want government to be a reflection of the will of the minority, although the book you refer to points out that is where we are. But, if the answer is yes, then shouldn’t our elections be used as a means to determine what the will of the majority is? Once again, you would say, of course. Then why aren’t we doing that? Real Clear Politics shows that Trump got the nomination with only 46% of the vote. In North Carolina, he got 32.4% of the vote, but left with 100% of its delegates. His first majority victory did not come until April 19.

My personal belief is the thing we must do first is to enact Election Reform. There are three specific proposals I advocate which can be done within the bounds of the existing Constitution that will make all the difference in the world. They would have the positive impact on our politics and government that Goldwater-Nichols had on our military. If voters don’t want to have to choose between the lesser of two evils, then they need to demand a system that will give them more than two competitive choices.

Would be happy to discuss them if you’re interested.

Keep up the terrific writing.

Very Respectfully,


What Is Our Perspective on Republican Objections to Trump?

Lately there have been several prominent Republicans who have very publicly objected to Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee for President. We’re bringing this up today not to denigrate Trump, but to make a point about how our election system functions.

Here are some examples of some of the rejections that have been offered recently.

Here is one by John J. Pitney Jr. in the “Sacramento Bee”. Pitney worked on Republican campaigns as a teenager. He went to register as a Republican at age 18 with the enthusiasm some people give to going to bar when they turn 21. Pitney explains in a very articulate way why he will not vote for Trump.

Here is another letter from 50 Republicans saying Trump would put the nation’s security at risk.

In a similar way, a great number of “Never Trump” Republicans have called on the Republican National Committee to divert funds normally intended for the Presidential campaign and give them to the “down ballot” races for lower Federal and State Offices.
And finally (although we could go on) the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael J. Morell rejects the candidacy of Trump. (As a bonus, you may find Morell’s views on what to do about the situation in Syria to also be intriguing. There’s a tit for tat appeal to his reasoning. )

Again, our purpose in pointing out this Republican opposition to their own nominee is not to validate their reasons for opposing Trump. Our perspective on Republican objections to Trump is that they demonstrate the flaws in our Election System.

The probability is that in years past that the Republican nominee may have been equally unacceptable (for different reasons) to those who are today supporting Trump. Now the shoe is on the other foot. In years past, those who perhaps found McCain, Romney or some other Republican unacceptable were told to sit down, shut up and vote for the nominee. To do otherwise was to risk losing to their greater of two evils, the Democratic nominee.

But now that the shoe is on the other foot, and a significant part of the party is on the outside looking in, that significant part is having extreme difficulty taking its own medicine.

Why is the Republican Party in such a fix? (And don’t gloat Democrats. There but for the grace of God go you.) The Party is in such a fix because the Primary system we’re using to establish the nominees for the General Election is failing us.

Why? Because the Primary system is failing to identify the consensus choice of the majority of the Party’s membership. Our Primary system is instead a fight to determine which faction of a Party will gain control of a Party by having the largest plurality of the vote and then the majority is expected to go along with whatever the plurality wants.

Why else is the Party in a fix? Because our Primary system will not allow more diverse political points of view to form their own Parties and be competitive in the General Election. Were this so, not only would the General Election be able to clearly articulate which political point of view they prefer. The General Election would also clearly establish which political points of view are unacceptable and, therefore, rejected.

The other decision this election should be leading you to (the first being who to vote for) is find and vote for candidates for your State offices who will support the Election Reform that will correct the flaws in our system.

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