Successes & Failures of 2016 U.S. Elections — Part 6

PARTY AGENDAS: DEMOCRATS Versus REPUBLICANS


by Sunil J. Wimalawansa 

While rust can weaken, and destroy iron, none of us manually can do that.  Similarly, no one can weaken or destroy a person, but his own Ego, Attitude and the Mindset can.  

( January 2, 2017, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) It needs courage, ambition, ego, energy, and funds to run for a presidential campaign.  With these obstacles, not too many people have tried for the American Presidency twice.  With two failed attempts for the presidency, her stretch is gone now.  Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, it picked up a flawed candidate as the Party nominee for the 2016 election.

Despite extensive governmental experience, she suffered from suspicion, untruthfulness, and agonized one scandal after another.  Some instigated by others but many by herself.  Although she was an intelligent, resilient, and a persistent political figure, she failed to overcame her negative image of untrustworthiness among half of the American voters.  Moreover, if Ms. Clinton won the election, her presidency with a majority Republican Congress and the Senate meant nothing but deadlock, country would have gone backwards.

Was the ‘Clinton¾Obama’ alliance moved too extreme left?

The politically motivated, leftwing social agendas, including religious freedom, gun control, legalizing and freely accepting gay marriages, transgendered restrooms, etc. became eye-sores for the powerful Catholic Church and most conservatives in America.  Over the past eight-years, Mr. Obama used his executive powers to carry out his progressive left-wing political agendas, to accomplish several aforesaid goals.  Some interpreted this as an abuse, while others felt these as showing courage and commitment; but for many constituents, his executive actions did not go well.

Secretary Clinton had long-ranged planning for her 2016 elections, at the minimum since 2004.  Meanwhile, WikiLeaks exposed the collusion among the nexus of liberal journalists, Democratic National Committee, the Clinton Foundation, and even the U.S. State Department.  Despite these, many independent groups such as social media power houses, dynasties, social media organizations, individual billionaires and lobbyists, supported the Clintons’ and the Democratic Party with millions of dollars of political contributions.  Thus, money was not in short supply for the Clinton Campaign.

Failure of focusing on constituents:

Clintons were relied on the previous Obama coalition (women, minority sectors, particularly African Americans and Hispanics), and counting on Berny Sanders’s prime supporters, the millennials.  Same time, they arrogantly and conveniently neglected the White working class voters, particularly in swing-states, in the Rust Belt states, except New York.

Moreover, those who are over 35 years of age, particularly the blue-collar “middle class” workers¾predominantly White voters, felt the brunt of failed policies and their adverse consequences during the past two decades, including bankruptcies, job losses and economic downturn.  Many believes that progressives do not care about “the little guy”, women, children, or minorities.

Notwithstanding, they individually contributed (in small amounts) mostly to the Trump Campaign and voted for him.  They rebelled against what they preserved as, corrupt establishment.  Billionaires, Silicon Valley folks, Hollywood sector, and the rich Wall Street elite did not fund Trump-campaign.

Consequences if Republicans lost 2016 elections: 

Most Republicans failed to realize that if they lost the 2016 elections, particularly the presidential election, they would not have the slightest chance of regaining political power of any of the three branches of the government: executive, legislative or the judiciary branches, for generations to come.  Republicans just escaped by the luck of a thin feather.

The incoming flood of migrants and Middle-Eastern refuges, millions of open-border crossings from Mexico and South America, together with granting citizenship to over 14 million undocumented, illicit migrants as planned by the Democratic Party, taken together with the rapidly expanding demography, would have created millions of “extra” votes for Democratic candidates in the elections due in 2018, 2020, and beyond.

Consequently, if the Democrats won the 2016 elections, there would have been no chance of victory for Republicans at any level in future elections for decades to come.  The clear majority of Republicans seem failed to understand this reality.  In the Republicans’ point of view, the current victory should be considered as a historic path to prevent or at least postpone that from happening; a wake-up message for the reluctant Republicans.

As of today, with a stalled economy, an estimated percentage of over 90% of aforementioned, new voters are likely to vote for Democratic Party in future elections.  However, when the economy and the job situation markedly improve as expected over the next several years, the situation is likely to change.  With the economic boom and generation of wealth for individuals and families, a larger percentage of the minorities, Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians are likely to change their hearts and vote for Republicans.

Republican aspirations and longer term plans:

Huarache of the Republican Party, need to stop fighting among themselves for petty things, for personality and popularity, and should get truly united (no sign of that yet).  If they are sensible, they should get firmly behind its current leadership (executive and legislative branches) and resolutely follow their promised conservative agenda and “America First” policy to make American Work Again.  This would automatically lead to Making America Great Again.

Despite the clear victory, it is imprudent and suicidal to be over-confident (as it seems currently) and thus, not to consider strategic “long-term election planning” starting now through the Republican National Committee.  Anything short of this would be an annihilation to the party, in years to come.  Republicans are also yet to find a compelling and effective working plan to penetrate their broader messages to Millennials to get them aboard.

On the other hand, if President Trump and the Republican-led Congress and the House of Representatives manage to implement many of the promises made to the public during the election campaign by the President Elect, Trump, Democrats will not have a chance in winning any of the next few election cycles.

2020 elections and future of the Republican Party: 

If Mr. Trump, fulfills at least two-thirds of his key promises made towards the end of his third year of the first term as the president of the United States, there is no way that he or the party could be defeated in 2020.  However, if the victory is taken for granted, despite having the lead in both the House and the Senate, things can become sower as it happened to President Obama.

Moreover, unless President Trump negotiates wisely, and work carefully and cordially with the legislative branch, it could generate a rough political sea water for the president to navigate.  Despite that, predictable, there will be politically motivated storms, distractions, and obstacles created not only by the Democrats but also by a few disfranchised Republicans within the legislative branch.  Instead of being arrogant and confrontative, the President, Cabinet members, and the staff in the Executive branch should take proactively path of actions to work with the Congress, and be smart to diffuse inevitable obstacles.  Next article assesses the potentials for post-election advancement.


 Professor Sunil J. Wimalawansa MD, PhD, MBA, DSc, is a Physician-Scientist, Social Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Educator with strategic long-term vision.
Author can be reached via
 wimalawansa.org 


Read the previous parts of this series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five 

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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