2016 Election Ushers in Balkanization As A Campaign Strategy

Brian Brady Brian Brady 9 Comments

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Politicians have been bashing one another since the founding of the Republic. John Adams called Thomas Jefferson a “weakling, ‘son of a squaw’ and libertine,” while Jefferson called Adams a “hermaphrodite, fool, and tyrant.” While slamming the other fellow has been fair game in politics, it is generally believed that politicians should do their best to not slur the voters. Uniters, rather than dividers, are rewarded in American politics.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney made the mistake of insinuating that close to half the nation were “moochers” when he made the now infamous 47% comment. In fairness to Romney, those ill-chosen words were spoken off-the-cuff at a private fundraising event. He was trying to express that incumbent President Barack Obama would have the votes of those receiving any sort of monthly benefit from the US Government and that the campaign would be focused on a narrow group of undecided voters. Two lessons should have come from Romney’s indelicate comment: (1)  there is no such thing as a private event anymore and (2) don’t attack the voters.

The current Presidential campaign seems to defy those maxims. Republican hopeful Donald Trump refers to foreign nationals, here illegally, as “murderers and drug dealers.” While Trump is targeting people who can’t vote for him, illegal immigration is such a hot button topic that his rhetoric excites not only xenophobes among our electorate but the newer Americans as well. The difference between Romney’s remarks and Trump’s attack was that Trump’s was purposeful. It was a strategy designed to split Americans into camps.

Not to be outdone, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton called close to half of the country “terrorists” based on the fact that they hold pro-life views. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough noted that her attack was planned:

“You know what was the most disgusting part of it? She was reading notes,” Scarborough said. “This was planned…. this is a strategy of her to engage in gutter politics to distract from the fact the FBI is investigating her, because she’s been called a liar by the American people.”

Scarborough referenced the fact that Clinton is dropping quickly in the polls because her credibility is suffering from her email scandal as Secretary of State. Clinton figures “those pro-lifers” won’t vote for her anyway, so attack them, to rile up her base and move eyeballs away from the front-page stories about her scandal. Different than Romney’s extemporaneous utterance was her planned attack on American citizens.

It won’t work. Neither Trump nor Clinton will earn their parties’ respective nominations. Both represent the worst in American politics by seeking to divide rather than unite us. Our country has an immigration problem but I attend Mass, and pray alongside pro-Life, illegal immigrants. I don’t think they should flagrantly break our nation’s laws but I know why they did it — economic opportunity, not drug-dealing or rape was their motive. Trump is a charlatan for suggesting otherwise. Similarly, Hillary Clinton is a monster to suggest that those illegal immigrants (and I) are “terrorists” for believing that Life begins at conception.

Americans really are good arbiters of inflammatory rhetoric; we generally make the right choices in elections. Trump would do well to plan his next television series while Clinton would do well to shop for accessories which match orange jumpsuits. Neither one of them has a place in our national politics.

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Comments 9

  1. Brian- Spot On!

    I fear the concerted and determined effort by the Progressive Left diminishing the educational and wisdom level of the American people through the collapse of the public education system fuels the ignorance and complete misunderstanding of the founding principles of our nation. Result- Obama, Hillary and Trump…all fueled by emotion over reason.

    The dems, along with a complicit RINO class has solidified the agenda of the Progressives; Conniving Progressive politicians have no issue with giving away your liberty to ensure as many ignorant people they can will get free stuff in return for votes.

  2. Brian, I do not agree. The 93 million Americans who are out of work or underemployed due to existing immigration policies and other policies do not agree. If all Americans were working in a great economy with great jobs , we wouldn’t care if we were taxed to help others less fortunate. However, there are millions of under employed and unemployed. i feel that Trump will bring back the jobs to all people of all races here in America. I wouldn’t count him out yet, Univision just came out with embarrassing numbers re: Trump w Hispanics ! 32 %
    The more public media come out against trump, the more people love him. Your article actually inspires supporters of trump when you compare him to Clinton who has done nothing for the economy and nothing for jobs . Let me just say everyone I know is going Trump right now. we mostly work in the healthcare field where Obamacare, lack of jobs, and illegal immigration has affected us dramatically in the last 4 years. So while the pundit’s job is to pontificate, don’t forget about the real jobs like healthcare that are necessary for a healthy society. It’s still early, but for now, GO TRUMP!!

  3. That’s actually a hoot that someone would read the 93 million stat somewhere, as did we, but come away with such a gross misunderstanding of the number. Wow. Anyone care to correct Sugar?

  4. T.A.,

    Are you referring to the tens of millions of retirees who are counted as part of the 93 million or are you referring to the tens of millions of young children who are also counted as part of the 93 million?

  5. The 93 million number, released in July, is the number of those 16 and older that are not working AND not seeking employment. Indeed, that number would include many that have given up on seeking jobs, some of that due to government policies, and it would include those abusing the system so as to not have to work. But, it also includes non-working students, retirees, those incapable of working, and those choosing not to work because of other income, such as stay at home spouses/partners with a working spouse/partner. It makes up the non-participation rate, which, yes, is higher than ever before, for several factors, a lot of it bad.

    Yet, to say the entire 93 million are out of work or underemployed due to immigration or government policies is a gross exaggeration. In fact, none in the 93M make up the official unemployment number, although certainly those that have given up on jobs make the unemployment number smaller than it should be.

    The workforce participation number, on the other hand, which includes both those working and those unemployed but looking for work, is completely different. We’ll seek the stat out, but it is indeed about 160M or higher.

  6. According to http://www.statista.com, there were 116 million full time (35 hours per week of more) employees in 2014. In July of this year, that number was up to 123 million. By comparison, there were 97 million full time employees in 1991. With the exception of 2007, full time employment has never been higher. The major reason that the non-particpation rate has also never been higher, is simply demographics – Baby Boomers are retiring.

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