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New York values

RICHARD HERSHATTER
Staff Columnist
hershatter@lbknews.com

If at first you don’t exceed,

Cry, cry again.

Well, the great New York Republican primary took place this week, and Donald Trump’s victory was nothing less than astounding.

True, it was his home state (where people presumably knew him best), but home state advantages do not always bear positive fruit (Rubio in Florida last month and Gore in Tennessee in 2000.)

The billionaire’s local sweep was such that it established a momentum that may very well take him, contrary to previous predictions, to the 1,237 majority necessary for a first ballot victory at the July convention.

His nemesis, Ted Cruz, only managed a dismal third place, behind Ohio’s Governor Kasich.

The latter even garnered a total of three pledged delegates, his most noteworthy accomplishment since winning his own home State of Ohio.

The nation’s pundits have offered up numerous explanations for the outcome, but one of the most obvious is that it was Ted Cruz himself who turned out to be Trump’s benefactor.

It was Cruz in a moment of loose lips comments who charged the Donald with standing for “New York values.”

No one is sure about what Cruz meant, but his adversary immediately seized upon the statement as demeaning and as proof that “lying Ted hates us.”

Whatever the intention, you cannot insult an entire State without a reaction from that State’s population.  It seems clear that New Yorkers are sensitive to the attitudes of outsiders, and Trump took full advantage of the situation by decrying the concept of New York values at every public opportunity.

An interesting side note to the final tally was the vote in the area that knows Trump best – the area where he has done the most development and the location of his homestead, Trump Towers — the island of Manhattan.

Kasich outpolled Trump on the latter’s own turf, which may be ascribed either to the theory that there is where they knew him best or perhaps it is where the best educated and most sophisticated New Yorkers live.

Kasich, after all, comes across as the most grown up of all the original candidates and the man with a solid record as a former Congressman and as current Governor of Ohio.

This coming Tuesday’s primaries in five northeastern states will most likely be favorable to the front runner, but he continues to insist that “the system is crooked – it is rigged against me.”

It is true that there has been a strong “stop Trump” movement from establishment Republicans, with Cruz a beneficiary, but New York’s results have very likely run that train off the tracks.

Based on his own business experience, Trump may very well be an expert on what constitutes “crooked” or “rigged,” but the concept of achieving results through delegates, rather than directly by voters, is enshrined in the rules of both political parties and follows the Electoral College system laid down by the Founding Fathers.

Those worthy gentlemen reasoned 240 years ago that the average voter could not be trusted and that his determinations should be “screened” through representatives (delegates, electors, whatever).

Observing loose cannons such as Trump and die hard obstructionists like Cruz, to say nothing of the original cast of 17 candidates, who is to say that the Fathers of our country were not right?

In any event Trump should come close enough to an earned majority prior to the convention that he should be able to persuade, promise or bribe enough of the uncommitted to come his way on the first ballot.

Call it “politics” or call it “art of the deal,” the Donald has already shown himself proficient at working with rigged or crooked systems.

Dusting off the clouded crystal ball, it now seems likely that Trump will be facing Hillary Clinton in November.

Bernie Sanders is a likeable gentleman, but his efforts since New York are starting to assume a “Ralph Nader” effect, with his negative comments about a fellow Party member hurting her more than it is helping him.

She is not perfect, but in a contest against a political party fractured three ways and a candidate who has managed to alienate large segments of the electorate, our cloudy crystal ball now predicts that Clinton will take the oath of office as President in January.

Longboat Key, like Manhattan, may well be out of step.

  Dick Hershatter is a retired Connecticut lawyer and novelist who writes an occasional column of interest to Floridians.  He can be reached at Banyan502@AOL.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

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