By Beatrice E. Rangel
This electoral season has one trace too many resembling the 2008 competition.
The 2008 campaign -- just like this one -- started early, as by January of 2007 both Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama had expressed their intent to run. Then the Democratic Party showcased 7 candidates although all pundits would prognosticate that ”these elections are Hillary’s to lose.”
Today’s flavor sampler is offered by the Republican Party which exhibits 14 candidates. Just as in 2008, most voters and card-carrying party members deny the possibility of a dark horse succeeding.
For the democrats it will certainly be Hillary Clinton. But for the Republicans, in spite of evidence in favor of the potential victory of Voldemort (or "The Donald" whose name Republicans are afraid to utter), denial is the daily routine.
But polls continue to show growing popularity for Donald Trump and as campaign season advances his victory is beginning to seem inevitable. Coming to terms with this fact is essential to develop a successful strategy for the GOP to recapture the White House. Denying the potential outcome will only strengthen Trump’s chances to wrap up the Republican nomination which could successfully grab the White House -- or destroy the Party.
What could we thus expect of a presidential campaign with Donald Trump brandishing the GOP’s banner while Hillary Clinton represents democrats?
Given the truly arcane nature of Trump’s candidacy we need to first consult the planets. Looking at the hemispheric skies, this year and next seem to be favorable for dark horses, for example in Argentina, Guatemala and Haiti.
Experts predict the spell to last for at least 10 more months. This means Mr Trump will fully benefit from the hemispheric trend.
Then comes the environment into which Mr Trump’s candidacy finds itself.
In the US people are confused and disillusioned. The middle class promise seems to be evaporating under the influx of moderate inflation and salary stagnation. People went through the financial crisis with masterful envoités that would make Nureyev envious as they jumped from one job to the other to make ends meet. They held the expectation that, once balance came back to the system, they would find a well-paying job that could allow them to cover the costs of living, enjoy family and perhaps even take a vacation to Cancun or Punta Cana. Sadly, this has yet to materialize.
Then comes safety. US citizens proudly felt their country to be safest in the world. And while there have not been any significant jihadist attacks on the homeland, everywhere in the U.S., geography has birthed lone shooters that have brought havoc to communities from Colorado to North Carolina to Oregon.
Last but not least there is ISIS whose leaders seem to enjoy beheading people in front of cameras to the chagrin of Americans whose lawful living rejects violence. As a result of this environment, main street seems to be dreaming of a savior who like Prince Valiant would come to redeem the land.
Although Donald Trump is no Prince Valiant he has managed to position himself as the defender of the weak and the outsider to an inept party system that is incapable of bringing Americans back to the yellow brick road. His one liners” I shall bomb them” or “they are out the minute I am in” assure voters that he has a plan. In a rapidly changing world, conferring the idea that you have a plan does wonders for your following.
As time passes and none of the other Republican candidates seem to correctly gauge people’s sentiment, Mr. Trump’s simple talk instilling trust and pride could do wonders for him.
Once elected republican nominee, he would certainly make life difficult for Hillary Clinton, the U.S. government, our allies and the world at large.
Because it is highly unlikely that he will take time to reflect and construct an effective foreign and domestic policy strategy, he will most likely thrive by continuing to propel soundbites that like steroids convey temporary strength.
Once the effect is gone, real clear public policies need to be in place, and that would probably be Mr Trumps day of reckoning. But perhaps President Clinton will prevent him from going through this test.Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis
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