By Joshua Tartakovsky, 10 April 2016
Ted Cruz is revealing himself to be a more formidable poe than he first appeared. He is far from being written off. His victory in Wisconsin and the fact that many delegates may find him more of mainstream, acceptable candidate, — unlike Trump who dared to take on the establishment, — mean that Cruz is not only not to be dismissed but can surprise. If Trump does not clinch the nomination, if he falls just a little bit short of the 1,247 needed, Cruz, who has not been wasting any time and has been working to seduce delegates on an individual basis, can turn them over to his side. As Cruz rightly said, supporters of other candidates may well turn to him and already are. The “Never Trump” slogan may be put into practice by fearful delegates. Nothing is set in stone yet.
Trump with his focus on the crowds, should not forget the fact that he needs to win over more delegates and has to make sure Cruz does not sneak in behind his back. If he falls short of the 1,247 delegates, which is very possible, every delegate will be crucial. Speaking to crowds is important, but working in a charming way with the various delegates on an individual basis is very important. That is Cruz’s strong area. He has not been taking on the establishment and changed his opinions as a chameleon, but he does know how to speak as if he is a responsible candidate and he also knows how to speak to each delegate at his level, telling him or her what she wants to hear. Charming is his specialty. He is a son of a Cuban preacher, can speak well, and allegedly, he knows his way around with women too.
It is true that if Trump continues to win state by state, his chances of clinching the nomination are good. However, as Nate Silver in FiveThirtyEight argues convincingly, Trump has a problem. With time, the share he would need to gain for victory is constantly growing but “his actual vote share is barely growing.” Trump’s percentages have been growing: It “was 37.4 percent on average in the five states to vote on March 15. And it’s averaged 40.3 percent in the three states to vote since then, including 42.6 percent in Wisconsin.” However, in the upcoming votes, Trump is “going to have to be in the 40s to win” but it’s not obvious Trump can do gain as many votes as he needs. The pace of the percentage needed for him to win is ascending faster than the percentages at which he is winning.
Add to that two other points mentioned by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver: The late undecided tend not to vote for Trump, and in California Cruz is trailing Trump by only 6 or 7 points. And California is two months away so a lot can change by then.
Trump needs to start getting serious and preparing for California now. But how?
Trump has a lot going for him when it comes to his integrity in comparison to Cruz. Cruz switched and flipped-flopped many times. To name but one example, Cruz took money from gay hoteliersand attended a party hosted by them in a Manhattan penthouse but then had the chutzpah to speak against “New York values” and said “I think most people know exactly what New York values are.” When Fox’s Maria Bartiromo responded by saying “I am from New York,” Cruz rudely responded: “You’re from New York, so you might not. But I promise you, in the State of South Carolina, they do.”
Trump had the guts to take on the establishment. He took on US war-mongering, spoke outagainst the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad which will almost for certain lead to a jihadist takeover, spoke out against NATO and its wrongdoings, and spoke against the NATO war on Libya for example (as did Bernie Sanders). Critics, however, can rightly point out that Trump is an opportunist just like Cruz. After all, Trump supported the war in Libya in the past, just as hesupported the war in Iraq. However, while Trump did err in the past, or at least had a different position — he is a social animal as all of us and may have been swept away by the media’s disinformation, — now Trump opposes the toppling of Assad which no other Republican candidate is doing. That in itself should be a good sign since for the Christian community in Syriathis is the difference between life and death. Also, Trump is taking on US corporations, is against the offshore of American jobs, and is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Which other candidate is doing that? Which other candidate stands for American workers? Hint: Not Hillary and not Cruz.
Cruz sounds convincing when he speaks about Conservative values, but there is little to suggest that he is not pro-corporations, not pro-“free trade” (i.e. the offshore of jobs), will be a forceful implementer as Trump, or has the backbone Trump has to deal with immense pressure (just look at how Trump is nonchalant regarding the disinformation campaign from the press). Ted Cruz is a master charmer, but the White House already had a Bill Clinton.
But Cruz has an advantage. While Trump continues to speak out his mind freely, Cruz is in New York preparing matzo for Passover. In other words, Cruz is working with minority groups, Trump is not. Furthermore, Cruz can also get the Hispanic vote while Trump is not doing enough to get the Hispanic vote which will be crucial in California (39%, reportedly).
Trump needs to start thinking ahead.
The truth is that many Hispanics and Latinos support tighter control at the border and oppose animmigration increase. But, at the same time, it is also true that most Hispanics said that immigration is an issue they worry about and a majority supports the Democrats. However, in recent years, more Mexicans returned to Mexico than came into the US according to a major study conducted by the Pew Research Center. This means that US capitalism is in crisis and there are fewer and fewer jobs. The polls above may indicate that many Hispanics and Latinos are actually worried about more and more migrants coming in once they realize there are not enough jobs for everyone even though they may be emotionally more comfortable having more Hispanics around. White liberals with jobs may get offended by what Trump says, but Latino immigrants may agree with Trump that migration needs to be brought into control.
But while only 29% of Latinos usually support the Republicans, Trump can increase this number and get more Latino supporters, more than those who are worried about losing their jobs or admire his business skills.
Trump is already ahead-of-the-game and has a dedicated die-hard fan base of white Americans. Now he needs to appeal to more Latinos. Trump can come up with a reasonable offer: all the migrants who are in the country, or, say, half of them, would be legalized, but a wall will be built and no more will be taken. Trump needs to start going to Latino communities, hug people and speak about how he wants to help Latino workers earn more. He needs to talk to people directly, not ignore the Latino communities. In the mean time, Cruz appears more ‘multicultural’ than Trump, even though Trump’s proposals would help blue collar workers more.
But Trump needs to be bolder than that. Ideally, he should take on an attractive, feminine, intelligent, sharp and no-nonsense female Latina candidate as his number two, (a Latina Sarah Palin if you will). This will make two things clear right away: Trump is not anti-Hispanic, he cares about hard-working Latinos who are US citizens, and he wants to make sure Latinos will have a better life; it will also make clear that Trump is more ahead of the game than Cruz as he has a Latina as his number two, and is also ahead of the game of white American Democrats who say he is a Nazi. Choosing a female Hispanic vice presidential candidate will leave both Cruz and white liberals back in the dust while Trump’s jeep speeds ahead to the White House. One should also not forget that Trump is married to a foreigner from the former Yugoslavia, so it is not as if he has an issue with foreigners per say, it’s more a question of national economics.
Latinos in the US don’t always get paid high-earning jobs, and many of them can turn over to Trump if he chooses a Latina as his number two and promise take care of their needs. Most Latinos prefer a no-nonsense candidate who can speak to them directly and help them out, than an elitist who is pro-corporations but politically correct. They want to see action and care less about words. Also, a Latina female candidate would leave Hillary and her ilk out in the cold. Radical feminists who hate Trump while they support US imperialism need to realize that they don’t have a monopoly on what constitutes a proper woman or on what is an acceptable female behavior. They cannot install a dictatorship that will define who is a misogynist and who is not and decree that a woman cannot look attractive and feminine yet assertive. If they want to have things their way in their communities, that is their right, but they have no right to impose their radical western feminist version of a cold female executive on all Latina women who have hot hearts and bodies.
By appealing to the Latino communities and getting a Latina as a number two, Trump can win California and not only New York. He can get the popular vote behind him and clinch the delegates too. He can convince the delegates that he is their card to the White House. He can even leave Hillary’s supporters out in the cold and win the national elections mobilizing many millions of Americans that the time has come to put Americans first, not American corporations. But first, Trump must start working one-on-one with delegates now and must start working to get the Latino vote. He cannot continue to rely on his power only and needs to move beyond being politically incorrect. It’s time for him to get more inclusive.
Trump needs a Latina.