ARE AMERICANS EMBRACING THE ATYPICAL CANDIDATE?

A Sea Change in Voter Sentiment – or a Passing Fancy?

By: Jeff Koopersmith, Editor Emeritus

When I was a boy I noticed that people smart enough to express opinions seemed loyal to their party identities.

The 1950s and 1960s passed into the 1970s and 80s voters began to make heavy bets on third-party or what I call “abnormal” candidates.

When I was a boy I noticed that people smart enough to express opinions seemed loyal to their party identities. As Ronald Reagan was the first. Although he had been the governor of California, he was controlled by wealthy  auto dealers and other groups whose interests were mostly financial. He won because he was an unusual candidate with a winning smile and a true innocence about him.

One other candidate cannot be ignored. He is Ralph Nader who cost Al Gore to lose the White House because there would not have been vote fuss-up between George “W” Bush in Florida and New Hampshire. Nader took nearly 100,000 votes and 25 electoral votes from Gore.

I knew both men, Nader and Gore and admired them. My summer place was in the same town that Nader lived – I knew Gore through some of his staff and because I was on the Democratic National Committee “hitter list.” Whether Gore failed to placate the Nader Raiders by making a pact with Ralph on their important issues, or whether he could have asked Nader to be his vice president partner is not predictable – but Nader – unambiguously denied Gore the Oval Office and in doing so destroyed what I considered a path toward True American Values that started and largely continued throughout the 20th Century.

During this 2016 Presidential race we are introduced to just a few “atypical” candidates. One was Barack Obama – a gift, I believe, to all Americans.

Today these are Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. as well as Ben Carson – none of whom could be considered professional politicians They might not hold on in future weeks and months but the message is clear – Americans are finally tired of the lies, the corruption, and the do-nothingness of modern do-nothing government which will show itself in state elections as well – and soon.

Many feel uncomfortable with all three of these candidates. Trump is not politically correct and too flashy. Fiorina is a failed female executive and unsure of world affairs and certainly in business finance as she helped cause almost total destruction of Hewlett-Packard – a powerhouse in the neonatal world of computer hardware and more. Ben Carson is a surgeon. Even if her were a “great” surgeon – which many question – a doctor doesn’t really belong in the White House – or does he?

On the other side many American voters like one of the three enough to push them to the top of the growing heap of wanna-bee presidents – a pile so large that we now find ourselves in an abnormal Presidential cycle with at least three atypical candidates.

Why is this happening now?  There are many and varied reasons that voters are attracted to what might be called mutts by the two major political parties in the United States – but this is to their benefit.  They may not be opposite the usual pols – but they are different – and just their candidacy is giving millions a chance to give the Thumb’s Down to the usual – some say – pathological candidates and look toward at least a few kind-of-regular men and women.  The three I mentioned would be even more popular if the vast majority of people were not as frightened of the future as they are today.

So many typical Americans fear they will lose their jobs, their pensions, their homes and more.  Added to this – and perhaps the most contributive to this fear is the enormous reach of the internet and news media that never existed before – some good, some goofy, and others merely propaganda machines for one side or another.  Fox News is the King of propaganda from the right.  In a way they further infected the atmosphere when they chose to attack – and viciously – our first dark-skinned president, who came from Chicago and swept the nation off its feet with his soaring climb to the top job in this world not in terms of money but in responsibility.

Barack Obama found himself confronted by the most irresponsible government and hate-filled min-media one could imagine. Today we all can imagine worse.

The most conservative Republicans and even Democrats were far too ready to make assumptions about Obama that were never true. On the other hand many Republicans I know well are already worrying about his loss because they know their fellows have gone too far – in war, and what has become a virtual war on the poorest of us that enriches the wealthiest.  No one planned that, but some of us saw it coming – especially economists who suspected – even knew what would come from the Bush Administration a do-nothing Congress which means most  all members of congress – not only Republicans.  If a political party does not control all three – White House, House of Representatives, and the Senate – it seems that bloc(s) simply gives up and only attempts a stalemate at best on a single issue of concern to only one side of the other.

It is true that the newer Republican members of the House and Senate often act like bratty children -moreso than their GOP predecessors. Cable television let us down because they allowed a man who I consider a maniac – Roger Ailes – to get ahead of more centrist or left of center electronic media by several years – and then it was too late. Ailes was and is smart – but he is not wise.  He created a cable news channel that could have landed him and most his executives in federal prison as he flaunted the Federal Election Commission (FEC) laws and depended on protection of the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.  In essence Ailes organized a 24 hour-seven days-a week nonstop commercial for the ultra-right. At that time this was illegal – but instead of the FEC and the Attorney General bringing indictments from a non-stop ad for Republicans which Brit Hume stupidly, but truthfully shouted won the choice for right-wing candidates.

Fox News and its controlling executives including some of its talking heads and certainly writers and producers were, to my mind, guilty of felonies.  When it became clear that I was on a mission to stop Fox, Ailes threatened me – in writing and hired private detectives to dig up dirt on me and mine.  There was no dirt, but it was a life-shaking experience to feel the crush of such a man – who I am convinced, is Goering-like in his eagerness to turn the world into a playground for war and wealthy each feeding the other.  Ailes routine was the frighten the people – especially the older American and the less educated to believe the nation was close to collapse because “liberals” were driving America into the dirt with high taxes and far too many programs designed to help he poorest of us get by.

If I had been of like mind I might have done the same – but I was not, and am not.

Today Ailes is paying the price because a wide-ranging electorate is fully aware of what Fox New really is.  This was last demonstrated by a lack of support for Megyn Kelly – the beautiful, but falsely intellectual anchor on fox who tries to copy Bill O’Reilly’s confrontive style – but fails miserably because she is what my grandma called “full of herself”.  This past week you didn’t see Fox rush to her rescue when Donald Trump attempted – and I argue successfully – to turn the tables on Megyn Kelly and show her for what she was.

Magically – although Fox had garnered 25 million viewers for its poorly arranged “debate” between GOP candidates for the presidential nomination which was controlled by Kelly, the light-minded Brett Baire, and the boy wonder – Chris Wallace, who is not a chip off the old block but a sort of silly searcher-for-lies about Democrats as the anchor on the Fox News Sunday program which is supposed to be competition for Meet the Press or the more serious CNN lineup from 8:30 am through noon covering policy and politics – well thought out and balanced more than anything Fox has ever displayed.

So as not to digress too far with my loathing for Fox news and most everyone affiliated with it, I point out only that more and more voters see Fox for what it is – and who really blew the whistle – Why it was Donald Trump who refused to stand there and take a pile of crap question from Megyn Kelly about “things Trump has said about women”.

What hypocrisy inasmuch as Kelly is no example of a New Woman. She uses sex and shrieking as her top tools to do-in guests or more-important to shape a” Megan Moment” as it’s known in the business. Here, she comes from nowhere and attempts to embarrass her guests.  Her problem is that she isn’t street-smart enough to do this.  She fails but people on the far right love her attempts and now she is supposedly catching up to O’Reilly’s average viewership.

What Megyn Kelly forgets is that she has to show her “leftie” side at times and her gentile side if it exists. If you listen to O’Reilly you will see that even though he is a highly paid whore for the right – he walks a good seesaw and appeals to the left when it’s important to do so – and that is almost on almost every show.

So here we have a short story about what Americans are feeling. They are fearful. And stupid politicians and weak news sources play and prey upon that fear.  We can see that nothing is happening in the hallowed halls of Congress on either side and that the GOP has the congress in a headlock which it does not intend to slacken.

Naturally this causes a kind of undercurrent of despair among Americans – of one intensity or another.

Yes, we are today a nation of despair and desperation.  The wealthy are fearful of losing their billions. The war between classes – a favorite Fox fairytale – is untrue.  It is our leaders who have allowed the rich to become filthy rich – and at the cost of the most vulnerable. I have never known any wealthy American who does not share that wealth and who would covet higher taxes to try to even the field of play.

So we see men and women like Bill and Melinda Gates, and the wise old owl of  Berkshire Hathaway publically pledge to give away half their fortunes while other billionaires seem to badly want to join that donor pool.  Of course this has happened all through the past, but individually. The Koch brothers who have not quietly enough become huge political players are also big givers and are also not opposed to higher tax brackets for the “rich”.

While Donald Trump is not an Astor, a Rockefeller, or a Mellon,  he too is quick to talk about what he will do for women’s health and the poorest among us. Bernie Sanders talks of Robin Hood tax laws, and Carly Fiorina at least stabs at the problems of poverty in this wealthy nation.

Moreover – these “atypical” candidates seemingly are now a part of America’s future – at least until some other problem replaces the current.

Perhaps they will fail and things will continue until something busts – but the powerful politicians today would do well to watch their own backs because people who are tired of what they see in this, our Democracy and the ways in which we lead the world, will challenge them repeatedly and ferociously if need be.

Barack and Michelle Obama are worried that the United States leads too much through the size and might of its vast military, even as it leads the world in do-gooders at the same time.

What the Obama’s and their advisors see, better than most, is that new advances in communications have revealed like a microscope – at least a large part of our own American hypocrisy.

Now a woman or man, even in the least likely places in Africa are fully aware how our American lives are over-the-top in ease and over-all wealth – and that we continue to ignore the poorest of Americans and punish other nations and Peoples who won’t toe our line by our using the threat of death via war, albeit – the final consideration.

I think the ways of the past are over – and even if Donald Trump, who is not the brightest or the nicest has changed Democracy’s  platform. He, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina are the new kids on the political block and this trend of testing new against old will propagate as long as our leaders sit on lethargic egos and waste hours thinking about nothing much but how to get away with additional and astounding nonsense.

Ronald Reagan was the first. Although he had been the governor of California, he was controlled by auto dealers and other groups whose interests were mostly financial. Reagan was a moderately successful actor and television host and the president of a labor union.  He won because he was an unusual candidate with a winning smile and a true innocence about him amidst a group of the same old hopefuls.

One other candidate in the past cannot be ignored. He is Ralph Nader who cost Al Gore to lose the White House because there would not have been vote fuss-up between he and George “W” Bush in Florida and New Hampshire. Nader took nearly 100,000 votes and 25 electoral votes from Gore.

I knew both men, Nader and Gore, and I admired them. My summer place was in the same town that Nader lived – I knew Gore through some of his staff and because I was on the Democratic National Committee “hitter list.”  I met him more than once at one political event or another.

Whether Gore failed because he did not seek to placate “Nader Raiders” by making a pact with Ralph on their important issues, or whether he could have asked Nader to be his vice president partner is not predictable. – Yet Nader – unambiguously – denied Gore the Oval Office and in doing so destroyed what I considered a comfortable path toward True American Values that started and largely continued throughout the 20th Century.

During this 2016 Presidential race we have already been introduced to a few “atypical” candidates. Today these are Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. as well as Ben Carson – none of whom could be considered professional politicians. They might not hold on over future weeks and months but one message is clear:

Americans are finally tired of the lies, the corruption, and the do-nothingness of modern do-nothing government which will show itself in state elections as well – and soon. JMK

Many feel uncomfortable with all three of these candidates. Trump is not politically correct and far too flashy. Fiorina is a failed woman executive and unsure of world affairs and certainly business finance as she helped cause the almost total destruction of Hewlett-Packard – a powerhouse in the neonatal world of computer hardware and more. Ben Carson is a surgeon. Even if he is a “great” surgeon – which some question – a doctor doesn’t really belong in the White House, especially one who spews antithetical about Obama Care.

On the flip side many American voters respect one of the three enough to push them toward the top of the growing heap of wannabee presidents – a pile so large that we now find ourselves in an abnormal Presidential cycle with at least three atypical candidates.

Why is this happening now?

There are many and varied reasons that voters are attracted to what might be called mutts by the two major political parties in the United States – but this is to their benefit.

They may not be an exact opposite to the usual pols – but they are different – and just their candidacy is giving millions a chance to give the Thumb’s Down to the usual – some say – pathological candidates and look toward at least a few kind-of-regular men and women.

The three I mention here would  even be more popular if the vast majority of people were not as frightened of the future as they are today.

So many standard Americans are fearing they will lose their jobs, their pensions, their homes and more.  Added to this – and perhaps the most contributive to that fear is the enormous reach of the internet and news media that never existed before – some good, some goofy, and others merely propaganda machines for one side or another.

Fox News is. to my mind, the king of propaganda from the right.  In a way they further infected our atmosphere when they chose to attack – and viciously – our first darker-skinned president, who came from Chicago and swept the nation off its feet with his soaring climb to the top job in this world not in terms of money but in responsibility.

Barack Obama found himself confronted by the most irresponsible government and hate-filled media one could imagine. Today we all can imagine worse.

The most conservative Republicans and even Democrats were and remain far too ready to make assumptions about Obama that were never true.

On the other hand many Republicans I know well are already worrying about his loss because they know their fellows have gone too far – in war, and what has become a virtual war on the poorest of us that in turn enriches the wealthiest. No one planned that, but some of us saw it coming – especially economists who suspected – even knew what would come from the Bush Administration coupled with a do-nothing Congress which mean all members of congress – not only Republicans.

It is true that the NeoRepublican members of the House and Senate often act like bratty children – moreso than did their GOP predecessors.

Cable television let us down because they allowed a man who I consider a maniac – Roger Ailes – to move far ahead of more centrist or left of center electronic media by several years – and then it was too late.

Ailes was and is smart – but he is not wise.  He created a cable news channel that could have landed him and most his executives in federal prison as he flaunted the Federal Election Commission (FEC) laws and only depended on the protection of the First Amendment and the guarantee of free speech.  In essence Ailes organized a 24 hour-seven days-a week nonstop television commercial for the ultra right. Because Fox News hid behind a new organization shield he believed he was not barred from spending, in fact, billions on GOP advertising posing as “news”  At that time, I felt this was illegal – but instead of the FEC and the Attorney General bringing indictments arising from a non-stop ad dump for Republicans both turned their heads.  The proof that I was correct stood with Brit Hume who stupidly, but truthfully, shouted Fox News had won the choice for right-wing candidates.

Fox News and its controlling executives including some of its talking heads and certainly writers and producers were, to my mind, guilty of felonies.

When it became clear that I was on a mission to stop Fox ruse, Ailes threatened me – in writing and hired private detectives to dig up dirt on me and mine.  There was no dirt, but it was a life-shaking experience to feel the slap of such a man – who I am convinced, is Goering-like in his eagerness to turn the world into a playground for war and wealthy – each feeding the other.

Ailes routine was  to use Fox News to frighten specific people or his viewership in general – especially older American and the under-educated to believe the nation was close to collapse because “liberals” were driving America into the dirt with high taxes and far too many programs designed to help he poorest of us get by.

If I had been of like mind I might have done the same – but I was not, and am not. Ailes was rescued by the Supreme Court twice – and those rulings were travesties

Today Ailes is paying a price because the wide-ranging electorate is fully aware of what Fox New really is.  This was last demonstrated by a lack of support for Megyn Kelly – the beautiful, but pseudo-intellectual anchor on Fox who tries to copy Bill O’Reilly’s confrontive style – but fails miserably because she is what my grandma called “full of herself”.  This past week you didn’t see Fox rush to her rescue when Donald Trump attempted – and I argue successfully – to turn the tables on Megyn Kelly and show her for what she was.

Magically – although Fox had garnered 25 million viewers for its poorly produced and slanted “debate” between GOP candidates for the presidential nomination , the reviews were poor This so-called debate – which was controlled by Kelly, the light-minded Brett Baire, and the boy wonder – Chris Wallace, who is not a chip off the old block but a sort of silly searcher-for-lies about Democrats as the anchor of Fox News Sunday which is supposed to be competition to Meet the Press or the, today more serious, CNN lineup from 8:30 am through noon of policy and politics programming that is well thought out and balanced something it seems Fox  News has never considered.

So as not to digress further with my loathing for Fox news and most everyone affiliated with it, I point out only that more and more voters see Fox for what it is; and who truly blew the whistle – Why it was Donald Trump who refused to stand there and take a pile of nasty schoolgirl questions from Megyn Kelly about “things Trump has said long ago about women he deplored”.  Had he said the same about men – would Kelly have gone after him claiming he was a man-hater?

What hypocrisy she displays inasmuch as Kelly is no example of the New Woman at all. She uses sex and shrieking as her top tools to do in guests or more-important to shape a Megan Moment as its known in the business where she comes out of nowhere and attempts to embarrass her guests.  Her problem is that she isn’t really street-smart enough to do this.  She fails but people on the far right adore her attempts and now she is supposedly catching up to O’Reilly’s average viewership.

My my.

What Megyn Kelly forgets is that she has to show her “leftie” side at times and her gentle side if it exists. If you listen to O’Reilly you will see that even though he is  a highly paid whore for the right – he walks a good seesaw and appeals to the left when it’s important – and at least once on almost every show he hosts. O’Reilly is smart and sly.

So here we have a short story about what Americans are feeling today. They are fearful and this fear is played upon by stupid politicians and weak news sources.  We can see that nothing is happening in the hallowed halls of Congress on either side and that the GOP has the congress in a headlock from which it does not intend to loosen.

Naturally this causes a kind of popular undercurrent of despair – of one intensity or another.

Yes, we are now, a nation of confusion and despair with some desperation.  The wealthy are fearful losing their billions. The war between classes – a favorite Fox fairytale – is untrue.  It is our leaders who have allowed the rich to become filthy rich – and at the cost of the most vulnerable. The rich want to give back, and some try. The poor do not envy the rich – but they see clearly their excesses amid a world of trouble.

Yet we see men and women like Bill and Melinda Gates, and the wise old owl Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway publicly pledge to give away half their fortunes while other billionaires seem to badly want to join that donor pool.  Of course, this has happened all through the past in America and elsewhere, but individually, not in groups too often.

While Donald Trump is not an Astor, a Rockefeller, or a Mellon he too is happy to talk about what he would do for women’s health and the poorest among us – of course and “do it my way”. Bernie Sanders talks of Robin Hood tax laws, and Carly Fiorina at least stabs at the problems of poverty in this wealthy nation.

Moreover – these “atypical” candidates are seemingly part of America’s future. Perhaps these will fail and things will continue on with a yawn until something busts – but the powerful politicians today would do well to watch their own backs because people who are tired of what they see in this, our Democracy. and the ways in which we lead the world will now challenge them repeatedly.

Barack and Michelle Obama are worried that the United States leads too much through the size and might of its vast military, even as it leads the world in do-gooders.

What the Obama’s and their advisors see, better than most, is that new advances in communications have revealed at least part of our own hypocrisy.

Now a woman or man, even in the least likely places on Earth are now fully aware of over-the-top American lives and our general wealth. Those from distant lands also know that we yet ignore the poorest of Americans and that we punish others nations and people’s who won’t toe our line by using the threat of death via war – albeit – the final consideration.

I believe the ways of the past are over  or about to end – and that even if Donald Trump, who is not the brightest or the nicest has changed Democracy’s  platform. He, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina are the new kids on the political block, and this trend of testing new against old will propagate as long as our leaders sit on lazy egos and wasted hours thinking about nothing much but how to get away with some additional nonsense.

Published by

Jeff Koopersmith

From 1978 Jeff Koopersmith, Chief Legislative Analyst for Budgets and Taxation ran the US Senate Campaign for Ed Howard - PA in the primary, lived in Washington DC, and chose later to lobby for green and health legislation including drafting such laws including on Indoor radiation, fuel ethanol blends and manufacture in the US for clean air and for large conglomerates - women's health and wellness. Since 1988 he has been the editor in chief of American Politics Journal - the first political news magazine updated daily on the Net. It is American Politics Journal's 27th anniversary this year. Koopersmith in now semi-retired, writing books on endangered species, aging and the electronics industry. He continues to write opinion re Politics and policy and is the named Editor Emeritus of American Politics Journal. He attended college at UC Northridge and UCLA, at Southwestern School of Law, USC, and Columbia University as one of its youngest admitted students studying logic and semantics, chemistry, and English literature.

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