The professional political apparatus have worked earnestly to try every scheme, angle and manipulative dirty trick in the book to eliminate the frontrunner of the republican presidential primary. Despite spending hundreds of millions, the GOPe have consistently failed; due in large part to a more in-tune electorate well aware of their ploys.
Last night the Miami-Dade debate returned to a more civil confrontation, and candidate Donald Trump benefitted from the shift. Mr. Trump reminded the republican audience in the auditorium and at home that millions of newly engaged people were joining the party, switching party registration, and aligning with the republican insurgency he’s leading.
The RNC had previously done an autopsy on their historic failings; and Trump reminded the entire party apparatus he was bringing into the tent exactly the coalition they previously identified as necessary.
There was/is a large sense of irony in Trump delivering where the republican party has failed, and yet the party itself seemed less than accepting of the new, more broad, coalition. In his opening statement, Trump put them on notice.
Here’s the debate:
The first question on trade to Senator Marco Rubio brought a response that exemplified the disconnect from a political talker and anyone understanding of trade in South Florida. Rubio brought up Florida’s trade relationship with Columbia, specifically Columbian flower growers, as an example of successful regional trade policy.
However, what political Rubio didn’t identify, because he’s never been immersed in the actual main-street reasoning, was the trade comparison he was making was fundamentally flawed. The floral trade relationship between Florida and Columbia is based entirely on the fact that Florida cannot produce the product.
Most of Florida doesn’t have dirt. Florida’s farmland is almost exclusively comprised of high sand content. The imported flowers, mostly roses, from Columbia are a necessary part of trade because the product simply cannot be produced in the region. Hence the regional success in the trade relationship is entirely because of forced dependency.
In many ways Florida is like an island, it is almost 800 miles from the northern state border to the Southern state border and surrounded on three sides by water. The transportation costs for dependency goods are cost-prohibitive for many industries, this is another factor for the higher than normal cost of many manufactured items within the sunshine state. Main-street businesses understand this, politicians not-so-much.
You’ll also note Rubio never brought up the attack angle on Donald Trump of hiring H2B visa workers at Trump’s hotels and resorts in South Florida. You’ll remember Rubio did do this previously in Detroit. Surely if this was such a big issue he’d bring it up while standing on a stage under the shadow of the very resorts he’s been talking about, right?
So why not last night? Because Marco Rubio would have been laughed off the stage in South Florida, in the current peak tourist season. Everyone in the audience knows every able bodied, working-aged, man, woman and young adult is currently busting their ass working in the resort, restaurant and service community. The current H2B guest workers in South Florida right now are filling the necessary three month seasonal demand – by the thousands.
It was interesting to see the media avoided noticing that.
What was additionally obvious from Senator Rubio was his foreign policy, especially toward the Middle-East and Israel. Rubio announcing that peace with the Palestinians was “impossible” etc., while seemingly oblivious to the fact that Egypt’s Fatah El-Sisi had actually brokered a peace deal just last year between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
El-Sisi accomplished this peace accord, tentative though it might be, by actually supporting the position of Netanyahu. Remember, it was Egypt who told John Kerry to stay the heck away because he was only making things worse.
Just like el-Sisi, accepting the possibility for peace and regional stability while simultaneously advocating for Israel is exactly the position of Donald Trump. Rubio, Kasich and Senator Ted Cruz seemingly prefer to deny this factual possibility, and instead demand we take a militaristic dictatorial view of forced resolution, or no resolution at all.
We’ve tried those zero-sum approaches for years; and you might call me naïve, but my gut tells me Donald Trump, Fattah el-Sisi and Benjamin Netanyahu might just be the perfect blend of principle-centered leadership needed to triangulate Mahmoud Abbas and create the regional stability most of Israel wants. Yet, in neo-con political Rubio’s mind such a concept is unfathomable.
Ted Cruz’s positions on trade were even more bizarre than he previously stated. According to Senator Cruz last night, Americans want to purchase Chinese manufactured products because they are cheaper. Donald Trump just absolutely owned Cruz on the ridiculous manufacturing and tariff positions Cruz was attempting.
Trump outlined a trade policy shift that not only makes sense, it actually does put the U.S. worker back in the drivers seat for good paying jobs.
Ted Cruz really came off as all hat and no cattle trying to claim the mantle of the Washington DC “outsider”. This is only days after taking all of Jeb Bush’s team into his own campaign operations and a factual record which shows him deeply owned by the Wall Street interests who dictate legislative priorities.
In the final analysis the current issues at the top of all the debate conversations, immigration, trade, economics, national security, ISIS, Islamic threats, etc. are all fundamentally now positions that Donald Trump has continuously espoused since entering the race in June of 2015.
Donald Trump made the topics the priorities they are today. There’s not a single candidate left in the race who has brought any of their campaign topics into the race and infused them into the ongoing party campaign.
Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich are all negotiating various policy positions on subjects that Donald Trump put into the race. Stunningly their espoused solutions are various small degrees of nuance from the solutions Trump has maintained from day one.
As a direct consequence, Trump now enlarges his influence and shifts outwardly to the larger electorate. The “tres amigos” are left quibbling over the details.
“Little Marco” -vs- “The PATRÓN“