Carlo's Think Pieces

Reflections of a Filipino in the Netherlands

Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

After a Trump Defeat

Posted by butalidnl on 3 November 2016

The US elections are still some days away; and any side can still win. However, the odds that Hillary Clinton will win the elections are quite good. Trump will lose. Let us take a look at how the how the loss will be for Trump.

Accepting the Results
Inspite of all the furor about whether or not Trump will accept the results of the elections, I believe that he will accept the results of the elections as soon as they are declared. Cinton’s victory will be by a large enough margin that there could be no objection to the result. Trump will probably avoid saying that the elections were rigged, because this may cause violence, and he will be blamed for it. He will resort to blaming his loss on the media and to Republican ‘traitors’.
Incidents of angry Trump supporters being violent will be isolated and short-lived.

Things will have Changed
Trump will not be able to go back to the way things were before his presidential bid.
The accusations of sexual assault by a number of women will keep him busy for a long while. He will probably not sue them, because it would be difficult for him to prove them wrong, and things will turn out worse for him if he sued and lost. After the elections, I expect more women to step up and accuse him of misbehavior.

The campaign has broken the aura of invincibility and impunity around Trump. Media is no longer scared of exposing him in various ways, and people are now more open to revealing his bad business practices (e.g. the case of Trump University).

His businesses will suffer from his presidential bid. His brand is now ‘damaged goods’ for a very big part of the population. Many of his former customers will no longer consider it classy to go to a Trump resort or to buy Trump branded products. His current supporters are not the kind of people who patronized his luxurious brand.
The Trump brand has suffered immensely in Latin America and the Muslim world.

Trump’s unethical business practices will be subject to increased media scrutiny. As a result, Trump will have to stop his practice of employing illegal immigrants, using dubious tax avoidance strategies, etc.. This will significantly increase his cost of doing business. If the Democrats win the House of Representatives, the loopholes that Trump used to avoid paying income tax will be closed.

Trump’s political clout (i.e. his ability to influence politicians) will not be the same as before. Previously, he would contribute to a wide range of politicians, and then collect favors as he needed. Now, only those who are politically aligned to him will ask for his support and potentially do him favors.

Trump TV
What Trump has gained is his popularity among a segment of working-class whites. Many of them will continue to be devoted fans after the elections. There are indications that Trump is preparing to launch Trump TV, which will cater to his new-found base of support. If he did so, it will have to position itself to the right of Fox News.
I believe that the space to the right of Fox News is too small. What will the difference be between Fox News and Trump TV in programing, in news content? If Trump’s outlandish statements would be the main difference, they will not be enough to sustain its audience for long.
It would make good business sense for him not to launch ‘Trump TV’, since it is poised to be a big failure.

Chaos Among Republicans
The elections will probably result in a Democrat majority in the Senate, and a reduced Republican majority in the House of Representtives.  This means that Clinton will be able to appoint progressive Supreme Court judges; but will have to court moderate Republicans to get her legislative proposals through the House of Representatives. She would need only a few Republican congressmen to break any boycott by the Tea Party and Trump’s hard=line followers in Congress. In the previous Congress, the Republicans had boycotted everything that President Obama proposed.

Republicans who supported Trump will blame those who didn’t for the defeat. This internal struggle will push the more moderate Republicans to cooperate more with the Democrats in passing legislation.

The Republicans  will have to reevaluate their opposition to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and gay marriage. If they continue to oppose these, they stand to lose even more ground in subsequent elections.

Trump will retain his wealth after the elections are over; but he will lose a lot of prestige, and have a lower capacity to make money. He will continue to make political statements that may cause some commotion from time to time.

It is even likely that Trump will make another try for the presidency in 2020, especially if Clinton runs for reelection. If he does, the Republicans will be able to stop him early in the primaries.



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US Elections 101, for Filipinos

Posted by butalidnl on 21 March 2012

The US election process is well under way, with the Republican primaries becoming a fierce battle between four candidates. It is sometimes difficult to follow and understand the process, especially if you are a Filipino thousands of kilometers away. But the US elections could be easily explained to Filipinos.

It all boils down to putting Filipino faces on the main candidates.
Mitt Romney‘s equivalent will be Manny Villar. Like Romney, Villar is quite rich, and they both used their own money to finance their campaigns. Both claimed that since they were businessmen, they knew how to run the economy.

Rick Santorum. His Filipino equivalent would be Brother Eddie Villaneuva. They are both conservative Catholics, for whom a conservative stand social issues is important.

Newt Gingrich. His Filipino equivalent is Jose De Venecia. Both have been speakers of the House of Representatives, and are experts in the art of making political deals.

Ron Paul. His Filipino equivalent would be Raul Roco. Both men attract a loyal but relatively small following on the basis of rather sensible policy proposals. Unfortunately, they do not appeal to the broader masses, since their message is more intellectual than emotional.

Barack Obama. He is the only one so far who is sure of really running in the November elections. His Filipino equivalent would be Noynoy Aquino. They have both run based on the emotional appeal for better government: Obama with “Yes we can.”, and Noynoy with “Kung walang korupt, walang mahirap.” People are ready to forgive their policy mishaps because they like them as persons.

The big difference between US and Philippine elections is mostly in terms of scale (the US is a much bigger country) and the state of technology.

Elections in the US are held every 2 years, and Philippine elections every 3 years. The presidential elections in the US is every 4 years, and every 6 years for the Philippines. In the US, a sitting president could run for a second 4-year term; in the Philippines, the president gets only one full 6-year term.

In the US, when there is more than one person vying to be his/her party’s candidate for president, then they would have primaries to determine which one would run. In the Philippines, candidates have a wide choice as to which party they could run for. Usually, there are more than two parties that field presidential candidates.

Going back to the Republican race: just imagine Manny Villar competing against Brother Eddie Villaneuva, Jose De Venecia and Raul Roco. Who do you think will win? I will put my money on Villar winning that slugging match, with Bro Eddie as second (with the support of the Catholic Church hierarchy). And viola! – this is similar to what is happening in the uS – with Romney leading, followed by Santorum.

It isn’t too difficult to understand, after all.

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