I have been an avid student of politics all my life, with American Presidential Elections always having a special fascination. My first experience of it was in 1940 when I was just 9 years old. I clearly remember sitting by the radio with my grandfather listening to the result of Wendell Wilkie’s failed attempt to toss Franklin Delano Roosevelt out of the White House.
Three quarters of a century has passed since then and I can tell you with great certainty that no US Presidential Election has ever been more baffling than the current one. Who would have believed that the most powerful nation on earth would contemplate having Donald Trump as President.
Given the immense tragedy that would be, can we take a few moments to look at the pointless struggle of mediocrity that took place in Iowa yesterday.
Ted Cruz, a dangerous born again Christian, won by gaining huge support from evangelicals in the bible belt of Iowa. Thankfully, he won’t be able to repeat this in the New Hampshire Primary next Tuesday as fundamentalist Christians are thin on the ground in this very liberal State.
Donald Trump did not cover himself in glory, but his New York tycoon image was never going to go down well with the farmers of Iowa. We have not seen the end of him yet. This is sad because he has no ability whatsoever to be President of the United States. Nevertheless, he is a very cunning promoter of himself, one of the best I have ever seen.
The encouraging news from Iowa was that the young Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, did far better than expected. He went within a few votes of pushing Trump into third place. He has the capacity to be President one day, but he is a bit of a greenhorn at the moment.
Jeb Bush did badly and he will repeat that poor performance in New Hampshire thereby forcing him to drop out of the race because he is an absolute bore. Besides which, who wants another Bush in the White House. The last one almost destroyed the world.
The fascinating contest in Iowa was in the Democrat Race. Hilary Clinton scraped home against Senator Bernie Sanders by a wafer thin margin. Her status is diminished, not destroyed.
Sanders is a 74 year old self proclaimed socialist who gained 85% of the vote of the Under 30’s in a conservative State. This is staggering. He may actually win New Hampshire as well, but I reckon that Hilary will get the Democrats nomination in June even though voters are telling her that they don’t want her. It is then highly likely that she will go on to defeat the Republican candidate, whoever that is. She will become President by default with no mandate to do very much. Not a good omen for the world.
How did America reach this point.
Every political analyst tells me that middle class Americans are in revolt as their incomes are being squeezed lower and they feel that their jobs are under threat by the rapid advance of technology, particularly those who are without qualifications.
They support Trump on the Right and Sanders on the Left because they think they will destroy the political establishment for which they have no respect. They will stay angry right through to Election Day in November.
The big question is this. Can this manifest itself in Australia when we go to the polls later this year? The answer is a clear yes as those same angry voters are waiting to hit the political establishment with whatever blunt instrument they can find.
They don’t want to vote for the Liberals, Nationals or Labor and they are reluctant to lodge their protest vote with the Greens as they are looking too much like the establishment having lost the revolutionary fervour of the days of Brown and Milne.
So, they are looking for a home. Independents will do very well indeed and minority parties will swamp the Senate. If Turnbull wins, as looks likely, he will face the largest Senate Crossbench in the history of the Australian Parliament.
It will be astute for us to keep an eye on Nick Xenophon. He will win two more Senate seats in South Australia and will probably pick up Christopher Pyne’s seat in the House of Representatives. Thankfully, he is a much more sane and pragmatic politician than Trump and he is in the centre politically. Interestingly, he says he is in the radical centre.
Fortunately, Pauline Hanson is now a lost cause even though she may run again.
Be this as it may, we can be sure that there is yet time for another nutter to appear in her place.
Yours at Large
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5 thoughts on “Iowa sends message to Australia”
This New post came whilst I was in Darwin and given the New Hampshire result you may wish to revise some comments. We face a lack of leadership quality in the world. This is no more evident than in our coming local government elections and the field for Mayor in the South Burnett. It look like becomnig a race amongst also rans. I don’t want to vote for any of them. The incumbent is not standing and he is the 2nd in the two regional councils we’ve had. Two who are standing are Councillors and both the most useless of the 6 Councillors; there are two others who’ve thrown their hats into the ring and I’ve heard of neither.
The US of A may have it’s leadership problems because who’d want any of them as well and although I’d supported Hilary against Obama I certainly wouldn’t want to see her there this time. Maybe the Donald may be a wake up call. And as far as Australia is concerned when we have a leader like Shorten for the so-called alternative Government and a Nick Xenophon knocking at the door ….ugh!!!
Rod …..quite agree with most of what u say. I am against voting for the donkey ….. Xenaphon never answered my emails regarding legalization of Medicinal Herbal Cannabis (not smoked) grown & made in Australia and pays huge taxes to Australia – not pharma from UK/USA. It would save my life as it has done overseas. If Malcolm loses support there is in my mind one outsider (apparently was an outsider for selection for Aston too) who could be good for Australia. Alan Tudge new SS Minister. He is my Aston Federal MP. Youngish…..Very personable + honourable (maybe too quiet) Harvard Graduate, (wife is Civil Engineer Melbourne Univ.) compassionate always ready to talk, meet with me on matters of seniors/disabled in my community. He has organised excellent community support in combating ICE programs, instigated the Mental Health (Ignored for too long) Head Space program. The Indigenous card trial. He is a very good listener and let me speak for 20 minutes on legalizing medicinal cannabis on a medical card/script. He tried to get help with access to the local public hospital outpatients even tho its a State matter. I must ask him about legalizing Voluntary Euthanasia next. 96% of Aussies want. I’ll get him a MAKE Australia GREAT red cap a set of contact lenses (his hair is nice no comb over needed). I’ll stand there for him with a loud speaker. Everald I’d say he would be very interested in your and others Dam the Northern Rivers sending water inland down to the Thompson – his wife + Melbourne University could start on it pronto.
Agree on Xenaphon he could win many seats. Particularly if he upgrades his web site on a few issues. Dick Smith could pull a few votes if he runs.
I am now not impressed with any political party libs/labor/greens and won’t vote for them.
Trump always knew he’d not win Iowa. I believe he will take Presidency as he is talking the talk and walking the walk of many of the issues at forefront of USA. Mexicans taking too many jobs off American citizens (bit like our 457’s) doing here. China owns l/4 of Australia now …boy oh boy is that wise … I think not. Hilary don’t think so as her campaigns etc. funded by Monsanto yet half of Europe, much of Russia & now USA turning against GMO’s and Round Up sprayed crops.
Rubio will be popular amongst immigrants – particularly latinos but not enough.
No one thought Kennedy would win either………
You are spot on as usual Everald but, having taken a very close interest in Australian politics and even been through a pre-selection process as a potential Senate candidate for Qld., I despair at the way our aspiring political representatives are treated. Our politicians in Australia are so poorly treated by the public and disrespected by the media that we will always be struggling for a majority of worthwhile political representation.
Fascinating stuff, Everald, well up with your best — and now on we all go and see how your predictions turn out. For me, you’re pretty well ‘bang on the money’, and we’d better all get a trifle more concerned and personally ‘involved’ in our own Aussie situation if we want to avoid becoming little more than the 51st State………………or is that battle already lost?
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