Trump's Bridge Over the River Kwai
Should circumstances arise, will Trump check his ego for the good of the country or build a bridge to victory for the enemy?
Bill Clinton learned a thing or two in 1992. He was elected by only 43% of the vote. Reason: Ross Perot garnered 19% of the vote to George H.W. Bush's 38%. The turnout was just over 55%. Though Perot won no electoral votes to the Electoral College, he skewed the vote in such a way as to thwart the reelection of his perceived nemesis for, of all things, disturbing his daughter’s wedding. Small man. Yet, he didn't start out that way.
His campaign started off as a lark spawned of megalomania that soon took on a life of its own. He became outspoken on the issues of the day. His unusual bluntness resonated. He sounded like a smart guy with good ideas. He was definitely outside the D.C. Establishment and political mainstream. He was a billionaire who did not need to yield to special interests in return for their campaign donations.
Soon the momentum swept him and his ego away into the fatalistic vortex of presidential ambitions. He started believing his own pseudo intelligent blather. Though he always felt worthy and deserving, public approval fed the bonfire of his vanity.
Vindication, attention, adulation were all his. So great was his charisma, he assumed the stars of Heaven and Hollywood would bow to him. Many a man has started off with great words and forceful persona. Some so much so that legions would eventually follow them into battle and total destruction. Such men for good or ill come along from time to time. I do not know if Perot had a German Shepard.
Four years later, Clinton was running for re-election and felt insecure. Enter Perot the Spoiler. Results: Rapist Clinton 49.2% (still no popular majority), hapless Dole 40.7%, narcissist Perot 8.4%. Turnout 49%. Again, Perot won no electoral votes but gave the election to Clinton.
Third parties have often given the victory to the lesser in U.S. history. Theodore Roosevelt gave it to Wilson (41% of the vote) over Taft in 1912 and the election was decided in the House of Representatives as early as 1824. With third parties, candidates with the lesser of the popular vote or even, in the case of 1824, the electoral vote, can end up winning.
The election of 2000 was an anomaly that did not fit the pattern. Yes, there was a third party candidate in Ralph Nader, but three things must be considered:
(1) the margin was so close that in the pivotal state of Florida, Democrats blamed Nader for stealing enough votes away from Algore as to toss the victory to Bush, yet the truth is that those votes may have been a choice of Nader or nobody, not Nader or Gore.
(2) Gore supporters loudly whined that G.W. Bush “lost” (barely) the popular vote, ignoring that Clinton had done so by a wider margin in '92. This ignores the dynamics of the Electoral College in that if it were a popular vote contest, the Bush campaign would have not spent as much resources in Florida (or Iowa or Ohio) and instead, would have concentrated efforts to maximize the popular vote in Texas and New York. So, it is an issue based on a false premise.
(3) The selfish tenacity of the Democrats to ignore the collateral damage to the country in their quest for victory.
By many historical accounts, Richard Nixon's victory was stolen by JFK in 1960 but he chose, for the good of the country, not to contest the election for it would not reflect well upon American democracy in the eyes of a world split between two Cold War ideologies.
In 2000, the Democrats had no such qualms. They would drag the country through the chad-hanging gutter to achieve victory. Now, as then, they believe they are the only good force in the world and the GOP is the enemy of good thus they feel justified in stealing. Just like they did in Minnesota senatorial election in 2008.
Now enter alleged spoiler Trump. Rumor has it that Clinton, knowing his incompetent crook of a wife needed help and knowing the Perot I & II lessons that led to his two national “victories,” implored Trump, a Hillary supporter and registered Democrat up until 2009, to enter the race in the Republican primaries, wreak havoc, sully the party and, hopefully, fatally injure the political viability of Cruz, Walker, et al.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, Trump's brutal broadsides on immigration resonated with Americans in the midst of an all-out Obama led Third World invasion. So he insults Senator McCain's war record. There, that should do it. Uh oh, no effect.
Now, Bill and Hillary's Frankenstein monster is walking on his own two feet -- and loving it. “Hillary was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States,” Trump said recently. Now should all this be the case, it would not the first time the left's shenanigans have backfired. Witness the would-be public executions of Lt. Col. Oliver North and Justice Clarence Thomas.
Many other inadvertent results have occurred when the Left tries to roll the 'bumpkins'. Norman Lear attempted to ridicule the conservative middle America with his idea of Archie Bunker as the epitome of a Conservative (racist, male chauvinist) caricature. Middle America loved Archie anyway.
Bruce Springsteen tried to ridicule the perceived jingoism of American patriotism with his song, “Born in the USA.” The lyrics were meant to put down America, but all the great unwashed heard was, “[I'm great because I was] Born in the USA!” So often the left tries to smear America, Americans interpret the attempt as pro-American, and the would-be anti-American propagandists are deluged with millions of dollars worth of sales and ratings as a result.
How frustrating it must be to be a millionaire American who hates his country. Further examples of such backfires, frustrations, and ironies have been documented in the book A Patriot's History of the United States, by Dr. Larry Schweikart. The book even recounts American and British Rock music's effect on youth behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.
I am not saying that Trump at all fits in this category, nor Bill Clinton. On the contrary, Clinton is not swayed by any ideology other than self. Like a shark that swims to eat and eats to swim, Clinton is politically agnostic. He will slam Sister Souljah in front of Jessie Jackson but also veto a ban on partial birth abortion. He will sign a welfare reform bill but also give the Chinese the W88 nuclear warhead via big campaign contributor Bernard Schwartz, CEO of Loral. When it comes to the Clintons, it's all about the power and they don't care how many dead baby parts or Benghazi bodies they have to walk over to get it.
The scuttlebutt that Bill Clinton urged Trump to get in the race as a Republican spoiler is supported by the fact that he was, at one time, a Hillary supporter and rubbed elbows with the Clintons at social events. Perhaps this was nothing more than empty Upper East Side societal norms. Trump seems first and foremost a businessman, which explains why he donated to both parties in order to keep all his options open.
What he may lack in genuine conservative convictions is somewhat made up for in business acumen and savvy. When the media played their predictive part on behalf of their master Democrats and saturated the airwaves with his bombastic anti-immigrant statements, neither they nor the other Soros puppets had any idea of the approving grassroots response whirlwind that would ensue. He is now the man of the hour. The center of attention. The toast of the town.
In the 1957 movie Bridge Over the River Kwai, senior British officer Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, played by Alec Guinness, gets so caught up in showing how well he can build a bridge for the enemy that he loses sight of who he is and of the overall objective of winning the war, that is, until it is too late. His dying words: “What have I done.”
Trump is nothing if not a builder. He already has told us he wants to build a wall along the border, but now he has shown us that he can build a bridge to the great silent majority of the American electorate. Now, we stand ready to earnestly support him should he win the nomination. However, should fate not smile upon him for the nomination, let us pray that he does not destroy that bridge.
Trump may soon face a moral event horizon, where he will be called upon to perform an unnatural act, that is, in his case, a selfless one. Many believe he will fail his moral event horizon by running third-party as Perot did thus moving beyond all redemption. With all the heretofore goodwill squandered and benefit of the doubt about his character removed, he will join Perot in, as Hank Rearden says in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, “irrevocable damnation.” Despite his desires, despite his ambition, he must open his eyes to realize that a third-party run is a sure bridge to victory for the enemy.
Let us hope for the sake of the country that he can show his detractors that he is made of better stuff than this. To think that such a course would not result in his going down in history as a Perot “me too” should be an insult to his intelligence, but intelligence can be blinded. That is why they call it blind ambition. He will either be goaded into such foolishness or he will demonstrate command of his faculties, keep his ego in check, and not rise to the bait. Only time and temperament will tell.
W.R. Wansley is a former press assistant to the Republican National Committee and for the last 30 years has been an investment adviser in Laurel, Mississippi.