By Robert A. Vella
There was only one presidential primary election yesterday, in the Hoosier state of Indiana, and a more consequential result could not have been predicted. The candidate everyone seems to hate, the fire-breathing nationalist dragon and unabashed xenophobe Donald Trump, crushed his competition and now has a stranglehold on the Republican nomination process. With less than 200 delegates short of the 1237 needed to secure a first-ballot victory at the party convention in July, Trump has forced the GOP establishment to abandon its plans for a contested, brokered convention. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted this concession last night:
And, the GOP establishment’s last best hope of defeating Trump – embodied in the candidacy of conservative ideologue Ted Cruz – was dashed last night when the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy dropped out of the race by suspending his campaign. The last remaining Republican challenger to Trump, Ohio governor John Kasich, vowed to continue on despite his consistently poor performance in the primaries.
However, the GOP’s begrudging acceptance of the populist front-runner is not likely to sway masses of anti-Trump voters who are extremely torn over this year’s election. The sentiment runs so deep that a movement is building among such Republicans to do what would have been unthinkable prior to Trump – to either not vote for any presidential candidate or to vote for the absolutely despised Hillary Clinton. Compared to Trump’s anti-establishment candidacy, the centrist, status-quo Democrat would seem preferable. Clinton is certainly no progressive like her challenger Bernie Sanders. She is fundamentally a corporatist, allied with big business, fervently pro-Israel, and more than willing to use military force to advance American “interests” overseas.
Speaking of Mr. Sanders, he won last night too. Although the delegate math is still heavily stacked against him (Hillary has 2202, Sanders has 1400, with 2383 needed to win the Democratic Party nomination), his insurgent candidacy seems destined to go all the way to that party’s convention. Why? Because Sanders is not just fighting to win the nomination, he’s also fighting to give ordinary Americans a voice in a corrupted political system that has excluded them. And, it is precisely that system which is represented by Mrs. Clinton.