Who Is Mistral Dawn?
Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sunday, May 15, 2016
Have We All #Lost Our #Damn #Minds? Part 2
Back in March, I wrote a rather long-winded post about the primary elections that are going on right now in the US for the next presidential election that will happen in November 2016. In that post I explained a bit about the political process in the US (for those of you who don't live in the US) and the candidates in this election. If you haven't read that post and you'd like to, you can find it here:
This post will be a bit of a long-winded update to that one. ;-) It's been almost two months since I wrote that post, and a few things have changed. First, there is now only one candidate running in the Republican primaries, and he is Donald Trump. Ted Cruz dropped out a couple weeks ago because it had become mathematically impossible for him to win, even if he had won 100% of the votes going forward. Which tells you just how hard Trump is crushing it in the primaries.
That being said, when there were other Republican candidates in the race (Cruz and Kasich most recently), Trump did not win a majority of the votes. In other words, he did not win in excess of 50% of the votes. He did win a strong plurality of the votes, and now he's winning the majority because he's the only candidate running, but he didn't before in most states. So, even though there are a lot of people voting for that nut job, there are also a lot of people who aren't voting for him. Also, keep in mind, these are only the Republican votes. The primaries don't represent the opinions of the entire country, that's what the general election, which happens in November, is for.
Then there are the Democratic candidates, who are still Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. At the moment, Clinton is winning. However, it's still not impossible that Sanders could overtake her lead. It would be difficult, very difficult, but not impossible. If Sanders wins in excess of 65% of the vote going forward, he'll win the Democratic nomination outright. That's not terribly likely to happen for several reasons, but it is possible.
The first reason that's not likely to happen is that no one in power wants him to win. The establishment of the Democratic party is fiercely against him. He won't pander to their corporate donors, he doesn't keep his mouth shut in the name of party solidarity when they screw over the American public, and he wants to get corporate money and special interests out of politics. He seems to have this outlandish notion that elected representatives should represent the interests of those who elected them. Radical, I know.
The corporations (who own the media) don't want him. He wants to wrest control of the country away from them and give it back to the American people. That's the last thing Corporate America wants. If he manages to do that, they might actually be held accountable when they do things like commit crimes that crash the national economy or poison the public water supply. Perish the thought.
Since their corporate overlords don't want Bernie, the mainstream media has been doing its level best to try to convince everyone that he has no chance left. Several members of the media have called for him to withdraw from the race. But Bernie still has a race to run. He could still win!
As I said, he could win outright by winning more than 65% of the vote going forward. That's not terribly likely, but it is possible. Last week, he won in West Virginia. There are two primaries this coming Tuesday that are important, Kentucky and Oregon. Bernie has a decent shot of winning in both states, and if he does it will definitely help bolster his campaign. So if you're in Kentucky or Oregon, don't forget to vote on Tuesday! :-)
After Tuesday, the next batch of primary elections are on June 7th. There are six states that are holding their primaries that day and Bernie is ahead in the polls in several of them. But the states with the largest number of delegates are New Jersey and California. If he wins those by a decent margin, he's pretty much won the nomination.
However, most states only allow people who are registered for a party to vote in the primaries. So if you're in Kentucky, Oregon, New Jersey, California, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, or South Dakota, check your state's rules. If your state has closed primaries, make sure you're registered as a Democrat if you want to vote for Bernie.
But even if he doesn't win outright, it's still possible for him to get the nomination. You see, Hillary Clinton is under investigation by the FBI for some emails they think may have contained classified information. Whether or not that's true, I have no idea. That's what investigations and trials are for. However, there are some rumors that she may be indicted.
If she's indicted, it would almost guarantee that she'd lose the election. So if she's indicted, or there's a strong indication that she will be, the Democratic superdelegates may lend their support to Bernie and give him the nomination. That's not likely. Most of the superdelegates are part of the party establishment and so hate Bernie and everything he stands for. But if their choice is to support Bernie or hand the election to the Republicans, they may choose support him.
So, that's how Bernie could still win the Democratic nomination. If Bernie becomes the Democratic candidate in the national election, most polls currently have him winning over Trump by a rather large margin. Huffington Post has collected data from many polls and posted it here: Huffington Post's Analysis of Sanders Vs. Trump. Can that change between now and November? Obviously it can. But it is telling, espcially when you compare it with the Clinton Vs. Trump numbers here: Huffington Post's Analysis of Clinton Vs. Trump.
As you can see, in almost all polls, Sanders leads Trump by a significant margin. The same cannot be said for Clinton. Also, maybe even more telling are the trendlines. As you may have noticed, in the chart of Sanders vs. Trump, the lines are diverging, with Sanders becoming more popular over time in comparison to Trump and Trump becoming less popular over time in comparison to Sanders. If you look at the trendlines of Clinton vs. Trump, the opposite is true. The lines are converging, which begs the question: will they cross between now and November? Scary thought.
Why, if Bernie is so much more popular than Hillary, is he losing to her in the primaries? That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked! ;-) The reason is simple and I mentioned it before: only registered Democrats can vote in primary elections in most states. Which means the droves of Independent voters who want to vote for him are barred from voting for him in the primaries. They could vote for him in the general election, though! And that's what those polls are trying to predict, the general election results. But all those people who want Bernie only get to vote for him if he runs as a general election candidate.
So, are we doomed? Well, not yet. As I said, it's still possible for Bernie to win the Democratic nomination. It's also possible the Republicans may play some dirty tricks at the convention and manage to deny Trump the Republican nomination. That's looking less and less likely, and it's doubtful whoever they'd replace him with would be much better, but it's still possible. The establishment Republicans hate Trump as much as the establishment Democrats hate Bernie, just for very different reasons.
If Trump does get the Republican nomination, which he probably will, it's possible some Republicans will put forth a different candidate to run as a third-party candidate. Which is perfectly legal and fair in American politics, it's just not generally effective. Most of the time, if there's a third-party candidate in a national election in the US, they split the vote for one of the major-party candidates and hand the election to the opposition party. So, if Trump is the Republican candidate and the Republicans run a third-party candidate, it will probably result in the Democrats winning the election. Which, if Bernie is the Democratic candidate, is great news. If Hillary is the Democratic candidate, it's meh news, but at least she probably won't start WWIII.
Unless...if Trump runs as the Republican candidate and the Republicans run a third-party candidate, or if the Republicans steal the nomination from Trump and Trump runs as a third-party candidate (also possible), and Hillary is the Democratic candidate, then Bernie could, possibly run as a third-party candidate as well. That would be awesome!
Now, let's be clear, Bernie Sanders has not said he would run as an Independent. In fact, he has actually said the opposite and promised to stand behind the Democratic nominee, whoever that might be. And unlike most politicians, historically Bernie Sanders has kept his promises. However, there has been enough chincanery and flat-out illegal trick-playing in the Democratic primaries, that maybe, just possibly, he won't feel bound by his word under the circumstances. Especially, if there's the possibility of having four candidates running in a US presidential election, something that I don't think has happened since 1912! I'm not a political guru or historical expert, so if someone wants to correct me on this point, feel free to leave the correction in the comments.
At any rate, a four-way race is something I would love to see. First, because I believe it would give Bernie a very good chance of winning. And, as I made clear in my last post and probably this one too, he's the candidate I'm supporting. ;-) But also because it might, finally, be an indication that the two-party system is losing it's grip on US politics. Which means all kinds of possiblities might open up in the future.
One thing I think it's safe to say, whatever happens, the next few months will be an interesting time in US politics. And it will be fascinating to watch. Bring on the bread! We've got the circuses covered. ;-)