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Presidential Horse Race 2016: #NeverTrump should join the living in this year’s election

Hard as it is to believe, we’ve reached mid-September in the 2016 presidential horse race and by all appearances the contest is nearly tied. As of yesterday, the Real Clear Politics average showed Crooked Hillary Clinton maintaining a slim lead of a little less than two points over Donald Trump. In the four way contest that includes Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Hillary’s margin shrinks to a little over one point.

In other words, the overall race is within just about every poll’s margin of error and the size of each candidate’s Poltergeist Never Trumpsupport depends heavily on what turnout model is used by the analysts crunching the raw data.

The fact the consensus of the polls shows Hillary steady at around 45 percent support is an astonishing thing to me. Despite all that’s happened in the past few weeks proving that not only does Hillary hate a large percentage of the American public and lie about every topic imaginable, nearly half of voters still consistently favor her.

We are indeed living in strange times.

Hillary is quite possibly the most corrupt candidate for any office at any level in our lifetimes, and that’s saying a lot considering her husband and who she surrounds herself with. I attribute her continued poll standing to:

One, sustained public antipathy to Donald Trump. Even with Trump’s recent improvements of late – teleprompter for speeches, less inflammatory tweeting and policy oriented themes – his unfavorable ratings still remain high at around 58 percent;

Two, about half of the electorate is either so tied to the federal dole or apathetic and uninformed or anchored to the liberal social agenda that they can justify voting for someone who’s a crook beyond any reasonable doubt. As long as she promises to give them more handouts, abortion and favors for the LGBT lobby, they’re okay with her;

Or three, #NeverTrump’s continued attacks makes it okay for some Republicans to stay away from Trump.

The past few days it’s almost looked like #NeverTrump has been hiding away since their ranks are noticeably thinning and people by and large aren’t listening to them anymore.

But just to prove they haven’t gone away completely, Steve Berman at The Resurgent penned a post called “Even Jimmy Carter Could Be President, But Not Trump Or Clinton.” In his article, Berman basically argues that anyone can be president because the job essentially runs itself.

Comparing being president to holding a job as a TV weather person, Berman writes, “I’ve been told that meteorologists are professional liars, and that anyone can be a weather person. Just stand in front of a green wall and point at ephemeral maps while staring into a TV camera and reading from a teleprompter. That’s what it takes to be president–the national weather person. You don’t have to be right, you just have to give a decent looking forecast.”

Pretty simple definition, isn’t it? If being president is so easy and any dolt can do it, why is it so tough to win the job?

Despite this description, Berman argues that neither Crooked Hillary nor Trump can fulfill the role. For Hillary, it’s because she’s a revenge-filled hateful person who will force her policies down our throats with a vindictiveness unseen before.

For Trump, Berman said the New York businessman can’t be president because he’s incompetent and would end up being the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Berman writes, “Carter was self-assured of his own intelligence and ability. He was a micromanager, and an emotional, petty dictator. He (and America) would have been better off were he an empty suit. Actually Trump is even worse, because nobody has yet proven The Donald is ‘a good man.’…

“This will be the Trump presidency. He will be consumed with looking good, micromanaging, and when he fails, he’ll just say ‘to hell with it.’”

This is quite a statement for someone who’s spent the past several months insulting not only Trump himself, but also his supporters (like Hillary did last Friday). Berman didn’t call them “deplorables” like the Democrat nominee, but he just as well could have. And even if the presidency is an “empty suit” job as Berman insists, how about all the other executive offices that will need to be filled with good and capable people?

A TV talk show host may be in front of the cameras but there are many people behind the scenes making sure he can do the show. Is the presidency so different?

Further, who’s to say Trump’s judicial appointments and cabinet members will be just like him in terms of personality, temperament and capabilities? It doesn’t make sense to put so much emphasis on one person, but none of the #NeverTrump arguments hold water anymore.

Berman concludes his piece by predicting the upcoming presidential debates will make for good television with Trump insulting Crooked Hillary and her trying to play the audience off of him to make herself look less awful. Nothing to see here.

Berman’s is an interesting post, but I’m not sure it really contributes much to the real debate -- that being the binary choice between Trump and Hillary in this year’s election. Once again Berman and the rest of #NeverTrump are exiled in some place that can’t be defined, supposedly supporting no one, opposing everyone. Their numbers have to be dwindling to something close to non-existence. Most people that would normally be inclined to vote will do so on November 8. Where does that leave them?

The last remnants of #NeverTrump are getting so ridiculous that I now picture them as a small group of lonely losers huddled in the corner of a dive bar somewhere consoling each other with pitchers of cheap beer, jokes that only they understand and laugh at and sustain themselves on pretzels and peanuts until they have to slump off alone and write their next columns for no one to read.

Meanwhile, the real contest is going on all around them, full of vigor and interest. This is an election like no other with the forces on both sides gearing up for the final push.

Like the evil spirit in the 1980’s movie Poltergeist, the poor souls of #NeverTrump crave to be included in the “living” world but can’t join it. They’re stuck in between existences; they won’t admit that they’re basically helping Hillary Clinton get elected yet they also can’t get themselves to come to terms with Trump.

Only this time, unlike the movie, they can’t kidnap a living life form to try and lead them into the light.

I don’t know whether to condemn them or pity them. It’s sad. 

Turning the tables, Trump giving the Clintons a dose of their own medicine

It’s safe to say every presidential election contains a fair amount of name-calling and labeling. For example, in 2012, Democrats sought to cast Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch rich guy who flip-flopped all over the place and because he put his dog on top of his car’s roof when traveling to family vacations, clearly had no compassion for any living being.

Then they accused Mitt of being the leader of the “War on women” in which he made the famous gaffe about having “binders full of women” to consider for hiring. We don’t hear much about that anymore, thankfully.

To be fair, Republicans did some the same for Obama, casting him as a golf playing, lazy lightweight who was living it up on the public dole.

Oh wait, that part happened to be true.

At any rate, this year’s election seems to have an added dose of verbal back-and-forths, reminding one commentator of elementary school playground behavior.

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner writes, “Welcome to the ‘I am rubber, you are glue’ election. The schoolyard taunt ‘Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you’ has now become a campaign tactic.

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both begun to turn some of their opponents' sharpest attacks against them.”

As an example, Trump is now using Crooked Hillary’s “deplorables” remark against her in saying she can’t possibly unite the country with rhetoric such as hers, which is basically restating the exact same argument Hillary’s been using versus Trump for months.

And they’re both taking turns claiming the other one’s a bigot.

No Republican has ever gone that far before, though certainly there have been many Democrats who claim that EVERY Republican is inherently bigoted if they don’t support policies such as unfettered immigration, gun control and social engineering measures like affirmative action (which in itself is inherently bigoted because it judges solely by race and ethnicity -- and now gender and sexual orientation too).

As far as Hillary’s attacks on Trump go, they don’t appear to be affecting his image any.

Antle writes, “Trump has always sought to muddy the waters on his biggest controversies. He often succeeds, leading Clinton supporters to complain about false equivalence. The businessman also bet that many voters would tune into the general election campaign in earnest only after Labor Day.”

Democrats’ attacks aren’t working primarily because Trump is already so well-known that it’s hard to pin a label on someone everyone already recognizes. It’s not to say Trump’s image is squeaky clean – it certainly isn’t – but how many are really going to think he’s a racist or a bigot because Hillary Clinton says it’s so?

The same goes for Hillary. Everyone already knows she’s a liar and isn’t trustworthy. Name calling isn’t going to add much to the reputation – but it might cause people to look closer at her statements to see if there’s any truth in them.

What separates this year from all the others is Donald Trump. Hillary isn’t markedly different than any other Democrat in her words or proposals. But Donald Trump isn’t the least bit intimidated by the name-calling games and gives back as good as he gets.

So perhaps it really is a case of “I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” Maybe if we acknowledge this ahead of time we can cut through the nonsense and get down to the real difference in the candidates’ policy proposals. That’s a schoolyard tussle Hillary is certain to lose.

Trump’s characterization of Michigan pastor as a “nervous mess” is much ado about nothing

Speaking of name calling, the Democrats and their willing allies in the press are trying desperately to turn the public’s attention back towards Trump in a negative way, so they’re using Trump’s statements about a black pastor he met on Wednesday in Michigan as kindling to reignite the flames of outrage.

Rebecca Savransky of The Hill reports, “Trump was giving brief remarks at Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint, Mich., on Wednesday as part of his tour of the city, which has been plagued by lead-contaminated drinking water.

“When he began criticizing his Democratic rival, pastor Faith Green-Timmons came onstage and interrupted, asking him not to launch political attacks in a church.”

End of story, right? Not so fast. In an interview on Thursday morning, Trump was asked about the non-incident and the pastor’s interruption. He said he thought something was amiss when the pastor approached him.

"The audience was fantastic. But she was so nervous, she was like a nervous mess, so I figured something was up."

If you don’t believe Trump’s story, look at the video. It’s hardly a confrontation…

Not to be deterred, our friends at POLITICO tried to claim Trump was up to his old “attacking” self again.

Nick Gass of Politico writes, “Donald Trump’s newfound commitment to message discipline and restraint showed some cracks on Thursday, with the Republican presidential nominee attacking an African-American pastor who cut off his political speech in a Flint, Michigan, church…

“Trump’s slam on Timmons was a return to form, after the brash billionaire scorched through the Republican primary field with a steady delivery of incendiary comments about minorities, women and his GOP rivals.”

Gass also touched on Trump’s off the cuff “Do you think Hillary could stand up here for an hour?” quip he made at a Wednesday night rally in Ohio as well as including the latest on Trump’s refusal to produce his tax returns. The reporter then concluded his article with remarks by the Trump children that could easily be misconstrued as inflammatory.

In other words, the whole kitchen sink is being thrown at Trump now to steer focus back in his direction rather than Hillary’s forced “leave of absence” from the campaign trail due to “pneumonia”.

Maybe people are tired of reading about how awful Hillary is so the media is going back to Trump instead. There has to be some reason for the sudden reverse, because this latest “reporting” is all about nothing.

And since when is calling someone a “nervous mess” an attack?

Hillary insults tens of millions of people the other day and then collapses at a public event and now the media is back to saying Trump is “off message?” Spare me.

Swing state polls show Trump gaining ground; Democrats are starting to panic

Finally this week, I mentioned above that national polls are moving in Trump’s favor, which is certainly good news for the Republican nominee. It should come as no surprise then that swing state polls are going along with the national trends – and it has Democrats beginning to panic.

Jonathan Easley of The Hill reports, “Hillary Clinton’s once formidable lead over Donald Trump in national and battleground polls is evaporating.

“Trump has pulled into the lead in Florida and Ohio, two crucial states where he has trailed Clinton for most of the race, and several states that once looked out of reach for Trump — Colorado and Virginia, among them — suddenly appear competitive.

“One survey showed Trump swinging to a lead in Nevada, a state that President Obama carried with ease during both of his presidential campaigns. And a poll of Iowa, which has only gone for the GOP nominee once in the last seven elections, found Trump ahead by 8 points.”

The sudden poll shift also explains why the media is suddenly so concerned about what Trump might have said about the level of nervousness of a black woman pastor who Trump interacted with on Wednesday.

And it places added importance to the three debates between the two candidates (and the vice presidential debate featuring Mike Pence and Tim Kaine).

I personally believe the only way Crooked Hillary can stem the bleeding is to be seen more. The only problem with that is the more she’s seen the more people are reminded of how much she lies and how awful she is as a person.

It also reminds them of eight years of Obama, especially since she brings nothing new to the political table.

One way or another, there are many events yet to come that could make a difference in the race…we’ll just have to wait and see what those might be.

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