Hoosiers Are Savvy Voters

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Apparently Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina do not know Hoosiers. We can see through the ruse and understand the optics. We will not be fooled.

For Cruz, who is mathematically eliminated from winning the Republican presidential nomination going into the summer convention to be so audacious to choose a running mate is be overly presumptuous.

Cruz is also insulting Hoosier intelligence.

We can do the math. We can read the papers. We know that Hoosiers will either keep your campaign alive or seal your fate.

Choosing a vice presidential running mate does not make you more acceptable or more likely to become the nominee.

For this Hoosier, Cruz reminds me of the huckster at a medicine show hawking snake oil. Or Cruz brings back memories of televangelists living lives of sin while scamming Grannies out of their pennies to support their lifestyle anathema to their preaching.

Hoosiers will not be pawns. Hoosiers will make up their minds without gimmicks and pandering.

Hoosiers may not agree with Donald Trump or John Kasich on all issues, but that does not mean Hoosiers find your shutting down the government and being so rigid as to disrupt governance all that palatable either.

The stunt on Wednesday naming a running mate only makes this Hoosier determined to not vote for Cruz.

While I do like Fiorina, I find this a kink in her armor by accepting the Cruz “Hail Mary” and trying to run with the play. I expected better of Fiorina.

From the Cornfield, give us a break. Don’t misread Hoosiers and do not malign our intelligence or ability to cast an informed decision on your candidacy.

Hoosiers are independent stock.

We will vote not on stunts, but on realities that hit home.

Hoosiers, Time to Roar

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Indiana may be one of the smaller states in the Union in geographic size and population, but Hoosiers have much of which to be proud.

We have our share of Vice Presidents: Schuyler Colfax, Thomas Hendricks, Charles Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle.

Ties to Presidents: General William Henry Harrison, whose Grouseland is located in Vincennes and his grandson Benjamin Harrison, born here as well as being Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home. 

Celebrities: James Dean, Anne Baxter, Carole Lombard, Karl Malden, Steve McQueen, Sydney Pollack, Clifton Webb, The Jacksons, Florence Henderson, Phil Harris, Red Skelton, Axl Rose, CNN’s Kate Bolduan, Joyce DeWitt, David Letterman, to name a few.

Sports Figures: Larry Bird, Don Mattingly, John Wooden, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, to name a few.

Authors and More: James Whitcomb Riley, General Lew Wallace, Jim Davis, Theodore Dreiser, Phil Dresser, Ernie Pyle, T.C. Steele, Kurt Vonnegut, to name a few.

  Universities: IU, Notre Dame, Purdue, ISU, Ball State, to name a few.

Supreme Court Justices: Chief Justice John Roberts was born and raised here.

Astronauts & Aviators: Amelia Earhart, Gus Grissom, Joseph P. Allen, Frank Borman, to name a few. And of course some we are not so proud of such as John Dillinger, Jimmy Hoffa, Sam Bass and Johnny Ringo.

But this year, the voters in the Cornfield and coal mines of Indiana will have a chance to do something which has never happened in my lifetime – determine who will be a presidential nominee and impact the other party’s selection.

Traditionally, the state’s late-to-the-game May 3 vote is merely lip service to the process. The decision has long been made as to who the presumptive nominees will be for the two major parties.

Not this year.

If all goes as expected tonight in the Atlantic Seaboard Primary of Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware, Hoosier voters may well determine whether Donald Trump becomes the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

At the same time, Cornfield ballot-casters could seal the fate of Bernie Sanders and push Hillary Clinton to the presumption for the Democrats.

Never has there been such an important primary season for Hoosiers. We have the power. It is time for Hoosiers to roar.

A week out and Donald Trump leads on the GOP side. Clinton is ahead, but Sanders is closing.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich, Governor of neighbor Ohio, struck a deal to target resources which would be of the most benefit. At the same time, both are calling on supporters to continue to vote for them.

Hoosiers hold in their hands the ability to either confirm or stop Trump’s Sherman’s March to the Sea.

Which way will Hoosier vote?

Indiana is more conservative state – both with Republicans and Democrats. I have often claimed that our Democrats would be Republicans in other states and vice versa.

Hoosiers are rather independent in that we go our own way.

Look at one of our longest serving and most powerful Senators, Dick Lugar. Lugar was the consummate moderate, which is where despite some socially conservative veins, most Hoosiers will identify as being.

It is, therefore, surprising that our next door neighbor’s Governor is not doing so well in the polls. Kasich not committing resources to the state does not serve him well. He could upset the general consensus if only tried.

From the Cornfield, next Tuesday I will be walking across the street to the Ruritan Building and casting my vote.

When I sign in I will declare as either a Republican or Democrat and receive the appropriate ballot. How I will vote I am keeping quiet at this time.

Now is the time for Hoosiers to let the nation hear our voice. This is the primary of our lifetimes.

Come on Hoosiers, let our roar match that of our most famous sporting event – the Indy 500!

More on influential Hoosiers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Indiana

 

Trump Effect Redux

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In July of last year when the 2016 presidential campaign was in its infancy, I wrote this article on Donald Trump’s candidacy for president: Trump Effect Or How to Lose an Election.

All the points I made then, still hold water as of today – but – it is too late.

This past week, the Republican “Establishment” woke up to the reality of what is. But, it also is too late.

As I wrote on February 21 this year, there is An American Revolution taking place. It is happening in the Republican Party.

That revolution is gaining and likely to be a win for the insurrectionists.

Suddenly the Establishment is planning for either an open convention with no candidate getting the necessary delegates on the first couple of rounds of ballots or mounting its own third party run to keep down-ticket candidates safe from a Donald Trump nomination and run against likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

So what to do?

At this point, if Republicans want to win the election, it looks like the only choice is to consolidate around the one candidate who has voters enthused, turning out new voters, attracting more voters to the party. Then hope that a grand jury indicts Clinton over her private email server.

The time to stop Trump was last summer. Now, it is too late.

Why else would everyone be humming and singing along with Carol King’s, “It’s too late, baby. Now, it’s too late. Though we really did try to make it. Somethin’ inside has died, and I can’t hide, and I just can’t fake it, oh, no, no…

All the beating breasts and pounding chests in the world is not going to make a difference. The GOP has only itself to blame.

From the Cornfield, as the Republicans have shown so often in the last few years, they refuse to learn from the mistakes of inflexibility and of taking the people seriously.

Once more the GOP has ignored the groundswell, pooh-poohing the reality locked away in fake ivory towers made of plastic, until it is too late.

Now the party, like the Wicked Witch of the West, is melting.

Will it survive or evolve?

Wannabes Punch, Weave, Jab

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Things are getting serious in the Republican fight for the nomination to represent the party this fall in the presidential election.

Last night during the debate hosted by CNN at the University of Houston in Texas, there were more fireworks than a Fourth of July extravaganza. From the get-go Marco Rubio came out swinging. Ted Cruz joined in the fun from time to time as Donald Trump was pummeled by the junior Senator from Florida.

Standing on the outside of the ring were John Kasich and Ben Carson. Kasich appealed like a mother trying to break up her sons in a death match to be civil, calm down and play nice. Carson begged for someone, anyone to attack him so he too could brag of battle scars. The moderators were left bound and gagged on the sidelines as Rubio and Trump traded barbs, sometimes seeming to hit below the belt.

Looking for a chance to throw a sucker punch here and there, Cruz looked like the kid running around the schoolyard fighers waiting for a chance to throw a hit or two.

The money bags, the Establishment snobs, were oohing and aahing wondering where was this Rubio for the past nine months.

Cruz may have won one caucus by a hair while Rubio has came second twice with no wins, it is Rubio today who is getting all the buzz. Cruz’s sure win in Texas on Tuesday has been overshadowed by his fellow classmate.

But has Rubio come alive too late?

Mitt Romney, screaming at his television screen, managed to slip in some jabs of his own while Trump and Rubio went toe-to-toe.

It is obvious the Establishment is getting even more nervous that Trump is indeed reshaping the Republican Party in his own image.

But there are cracks in the ice.

Today former presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took his place in Trump’s corner. A Congressman came out as a Trump supporter telling CNN that 15-20 other Representatives told him yesterday they too were ready to back Trump.

Is it too late?

Is my analysis of An American Revolution on the money?

Is the Grand Ole Party become the Great New Party?

From the Cornfield, unless Rubio can score a win or two come Tuesday and his own state of Florida a couple of weeks later, his shedding of the robot suit and shaking the tree may be in vain.

Cruz may take Texas, but like the defenders of the Alamo who lost to the overpowering force of Santa Anna, he may find himself overrun by the armies of Trump and Rubio.

Sorry, Governor and Doc, looks like you both will end up being mere footnotes in the annals of history of Election 2016.

An American Revolution

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A political revolution is taking place in America.

Sorry, Bernie, you are not the catalyst of this upheaval.

Fact is the revolution is not even taking place in the party in which you are running to become president.

Fact is the party in which you are competing, the Democratic Party, has been moving your direction for decades, beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in your political direction.

There is not nor is there a need for an insurrection with Democrats. If and when a revolution comes it will be to return the party to the center-left where it has been for most of its existence.

There is an American revolution going on, but it is in the Grand Ole Party. It is Republicans who are seeing their party transformed before their eyes.

The party moved to far to the right and now there is a correction. There hav been other attempts to revolt and transform the party with mostly failures, but also success.

The Dixiecrats with the lead of Strom Thurmond tried in the 1960s in reaction to the Civil Rights Era. The Dixiecrats were assimilated.

The Moral Majority, which became the Evangelical force, tried and succeeded in the 1980s. Until this election cycle, they have held the reins of power.

But now, American voters are saying, “enough” to the extremes of social conservatism when there are more pressing issues – the economy, terrorism, immigration.

The Tea Party tried, but were assimilated.

The Liberty Movement tried, but were assimilated.

Last summer along came a business tycoon, a reality TV star, worth billions. Until it was too late, the so-called “Establishment” thought his campaign to be the nominee for president from the GOP a joke.

Even the opposition and the current resident in the White House saw this brash, media-hogging celebrity as an entertainer bent on a publicity stunt. President Barack Obama, just last week, said America was not ready for an entertainer in the Oval Office.

Fact is, America has already set a precedent for a celebrity, an entertainer in the White House – Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump is upending conventional wisdom.

Donald Trump is capturing the hearts of the voters.

Donald Trump is changing before our collective eyes from a do-anything-for headlines reality star into an actual (gulp!) politician.

The Grand Ole Party is turning from being the party of “No” into a party of “Why Not?”

Fact is we are getting next to zero in the way of substantial policy blueprints.

Fact is we are not finding any substance to Trump’s ideas.

Fact is, Americans do not care.

While some state lawmakers and governors may be digging in, their constituents are moving away and turning another direction. These governors, representatives, senators may find themselves in political trouble come November unless they are willing to change and adapt to the new reality.

The conventions to select the nominees for both Democrats and Republicans are still a long way off. The election is more like an eternity away.

After only four states voting, no one can say if the revolution will succeed or fail. After only four states, no one can say what may happen.

Bernie Sanders may become the candidate of the party of Thomas Jefferson by default if Hillary Clinton is indicted.

The Establishment may congeal around Marco Rubio or John Kasich, impeding Trump’s march to Lake Erie.

From the Cornfield, what is certain at this point is that there is a political revolution in the US of A. Sides are forming and the fight is on.

The vaunted autopsy by the central committee of the GOP may have identified some of the problems with the party, but the committee did nothing to change the party.

Voters are now doing that and are cheering their general, Trump, with ticker-tape parades in community after community, state after state.

Will Trump and his troops be halted, sending The Donald into exile in Manhattan?

Will Trump’s forces lay waste to the terrain, installing him as leader of a new Grand Ole Party and claim the White House?

This is not the Whiskey Rebellion, easily put down by George Washington.

This is not your grandma’s and grandpa’s politics.

This is an American Revolution.

Is anyone in Washington DC listening?

Bare Knuckles Brawl

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Last night’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina broke out into a bare knuckles brawl as Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz took off the gloves. John Kasich and Ben Carson stayed out side the cage, yet both scored points with a more gentle approach.

From the get-go, it was obvious that most of the candidates were out for blood and would give no quarter.

Where the Democrats have devolved into a three-person race with President Barack Obama being very much a part of the debate on stage between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the Republicans have turned into an eight-person race where former President George W. Bush is in the fray.

While neither President was physically in the room, both Presidents were very much impacting the discussion.

In a surprise, Rubio came out in defense of GW and backing his chief rival, Jeb, on the issue in a free-for-all with The Donald. The audience, packed by the South Carolina State Party with Establishment types, booed over and over at Trump especially when he slammed GW.

Jeb disinvited The Donald to a Monday rally where former First Lady Barbara Bush (the nation’s Grandma) would be in attendance. Jeb said he was “sick and tired” of The Donald blasting his family.

Liar, liar – over and over Marco, like a Chihuahua, nipped at Ted’s heels. Ted did not lay down, but punched back at The Donald and Marco. The Donald could not decide who was the biggest prevaricator in the room – Ted or Jeb.

Kasich called for a time-out which went ignored.

The Doctor got more questions and speaking time than in previous debates.

One point where all the candidates agreed was that the choice of who should filled the vacancy caused by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court should be put off until a new person takes over the Oval Office.

Who won and who lost?

Each of the candidates scored points. Each won in their own lane.

How that will translate come the South Carolina primary and the Nevada caucus is anyone’s guess in this atypical and strange, topsy-turvy election cycle.

Likewise each of the wannabes lost in that most likely none expanded their appeal much beyond the base already supporting each one.

Clear losers were the moderators of the event put on by CBS. It was clear that the moderators were not in control as the candidates continuously talked over each other, interrupted each other, demanded to interject and respond.

The moderators caved.

From the Cornfield, there will be another debate on February 25 after the primary and caucus. Whether the field will narrow after those votes is up in the air.

Before the votes are cast Republicans will get one more chance to talk to the voters of South Carolina as CNN hosts three candidates on Wednesday in a town hall and the remaining three in a town hall on Thursday.

‘Trust Me’ – Um – No

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Nearly two years ago I penned an article on politicians telling people to “trust me“. With a couple of alterations that article is on point with this year’s presidential election cycle.

It is not as if we have never been warned.

Our parents warned us. Our teachers warned us. Our ministers warned us. Psychologists have warned us. Prosecutors and judges, especially television judges, have warned us. Talk show hosts with cheating guests have warned us.

Yet over and over again it seems we, human beings, never listen.

The first words out of someone caught doing something they shouldn’t or someone’s other half is caught cheating, it is always the same two words, “Trust me.

Americans, especially voters, seem to throw all caution to the wind every time some politician answers a question or peppers a speech with those two problematic words. A defendant or witness in a criminal or civil trial is immediately suspect, yet jurors seem to ignore the flashing red letters, as the person sitting in the witness box declares, “Trust me.

What is it in the psyche of humanity that seems prone to allow those who intone as if pontificating from the heavens, “Trust me“, to get away with it?

In this election season we have a candidate in the world of politics, in the land of public service, who has in essence pronounced this dictate to potential voters, “Trust me.

That candidate is Texas Senator Ted Cruz. A banner is emblazoned in the background at all his rallies with “TrusTed”.

Sadly, too many will be duped by what we have all been warned is a clear sign and reason to run the other way. Sadly too many of us will hold our nose, close our eyes, grin and bear it. Sadly too many of us will once more fall for those two words which almost never end well – “Trust me.

I am not saying that Cruz is not worthy of a vote or cannot be held to his word.

What I am saying is that we should all “trust, but verify“, as Ronald Reagan advised. Sadly, too many of us will find it too hard to verify and hope for the best instead.

Let’s not go blindly down a road pitted with potholes and think we can escape the jarring and damage to the undercarriage of our life vehicles.

From the Cornfield, when will we learn, especially when it’s a politician who is mouthing the words, “Trust me“, to stop, look and listen before crossing a busy highway into the onrushing traffic?

How many more times must we be fooled before there is “reasonable doubt” when anyone, especially a politician, looks us dead in the eyes and says, “Trust me“?

When is enough, enough?

No-Show Wins

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Republican contenders for the presidency met in a debate in Des Moines, Iowa last night to make their last major televised pitch before Iowans go to caucus on Monday.

But it was not the seven on the stage who were the star of the show.

The one contender who won the debate was the one who was three miles down the road doing his own thing – Donald Trump. His name, however, did come up 13 times during last night’s main event.

The big loser may have been Ted Cruz, who could not seem to get it together. He tried his knack for telling jokes and cracking humor, but most were lame or fell on an unappreciative audience.

Time and again he was slapped down by both Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Cruz was not used to be the center of attention.

Paul and Jeb Bush had their appearances and debate night yet. Still there was no wow moment to move the needle. Rubio was in full command many times. He made a direct appeal to Evangelicals which was a slap to Cruz’s face.

However, Rubio got a bit of come-uppance from his former mentor, Bush, on the immigration issue.

John Kasich and Chris Christie appeared as themselves in last night’s ongoing GOP saga.

Unfortunately, Dr. Ben Carson seemed to be the wilting wall flower. Not that it was entirely his fault. The moderators gave him less than half the time allotted to Rubio and Cruz. Polls say that around 40% of Iowa voters have yet to make up their mind even though they must go and caucus in three days.

Last night, if they were able to stay awake and were not watching the Trump fund raiser for veterans, would have seen and heard a much more substantial debate on the issues from the seven on the stage.

But though deeper and meatier on policy than past debates, it is doubtful anyone of the seven or the four who debated earlier (Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore – yes, Gilmore) made much of an impact or swayed anyone closer to a decision.

From the Cornfield, on Monday we will find who truly won the debate.

Kids Revolt Against Fox, Media

cornfieldlogoThe undercard Republican debate among presidential contenders as only begun. Yet, already one thing is clear – “We’re not gonna take it!” – is the consensus among those at the kids’ table.

Immediately all of those competing in this first round event struck out at the moderators (read Fox) and the rest of the media of trying to influence and drive the discussion.

The candidates made clear they were not going to allow it and would only talk issues, not each other nor Donald Trump, the GOP front runner skipping the main debate at 9 p.m.

The moderators shut down quickly. Even Jim Gilmore was on stage with Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Gilmore has not been seen since the very first debate.

Gilmore admitted it was a strategic choice of us not to campaign in Iowa. Gilmore instead said he is focused on beginning his run in earnest in New Hampshire.

From the Cornfield, based just on the beginning of this first debate, I would say that in the Fox News/Donald Trump war, Trump has already won.

Audience reaction to the kids revolt against Fox and the media in general proved that. This election cycle is breaking all the rules and upsetting the balance of power.

Sorry Fox – you ain’t the Republican darling and powerhouse you once were.

Shameful Veterans’ Abuse

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Let’s call it what it is – veterans’ abuse.

While coming to the aid of veterans and wounded warriors is a commendable action, when it is done as a side thought or as a way to counter another event all in the name of political expediency, it is nothing short of abusing the service and the loss our military members have suffered. It is an assault to our former service warriors dignity and actions to protect our freedoms.

First it was Donald Trump in a row with Fox News who decided to hold a counter-event to the Republican presidential debate tonight. He said it would be fund raiser for veterans and wounded warriors.

The motivation and purpose, however, was not to benefit those who have put their lives on the line, but rather the purpose and motivation was to show the uppity news network, that he, Donald Trump, was more of a media star than Fox’s news anchors.

What crassness!

What despicable action to abuse our veterans for political gain and to prove who has the bigger set!

Now piling on is both Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. Both are playing the same gain for the purpose of scoring political points.

Cruz offering to donate $1 million to vets if Trump debates him one on one.

Fiorina offering $2 million to vets for Trump to show up tonight at the debate.

Just donate the money and forget the “what’s in it for me” attitude!

From the Cornfield, I deplore the motives of all three of these Republican presidential candidates. In my book, this selfish reaction should be a disqualifier.

Saying this, I am going to be even more in a quandary of whom to support if any of the three become the GOP nominee depending on who is the Democratic nominee.