From my assessment of the figures, I believe the general election will be a battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Bernie Sanders is doing well (according to himself, at least, and in the eyes of his wide-eyed supporters) but is now likely to become second, even if he gets all the possible delegates and goes all the way to the end of the primaries. Just the shortage of one lousy vote will see to that, if not more. At the moment, Hillary needs an additional 181 before she notches up the 2383 for the nomination, which should be soon, within the next two weeks. Can anyone doubt that she will not get the easy 181? And the number of available delegates suggest that from now on till the finish, even if he were to get the maximum delegates to support him, Bernie Sanders will be at least one short. In other words, he will miss out this time, no matter how hard he campaigns. Even at the Democrat Convention in July, I imagine he will be given the wide berth, a very wide berth, for his out-and-out socialist ideas. But Bernie has been a very determined candidate, and certainly he looks like he will stay the distance. He inspires and enthuses, and must provide much needed cheer and hope to the people who would emulate him. Go on, Bernie, go on! enthusiastic crowds, especially of the young, cheer him on. I wonder if it was his own grandchildren?
For the Republicans, Donald Trump now seems to be the presumptive Nominee, and his campaign team's eye is on the prize : they would like to stop Hillary Clinton getting into the White House.
Equally, I imagine the Hillary for America team's mind is focused on the prize : they don't like the idea of Donald Trump reaching the Oval Office.
It will be a great battle between the philosophy of what makes America great, and how to make it whole again, from Mrs Clinton, whereas Mr Trump seems to have an ideology to turn a Crippled America (that is the title of one of his books) great again. Come again? some have been found wondering.
Mr Trump is a generous man : when he asked how many of the 10 other Republican candidates had not received some donation from him, none was able to put up their hand, bar one person. And all of them, thenceforth, became tongue-tied as beneficiaries of his largesse. He is a patron, and would probably buy peoples' loyalty this way. He has mentioned in his fantasy budget of $14 Trillion that he would put fully 85% of the social budget, because it is wasteful. So many of the jobless, the retirees and the disabled would lose out; and it the trademark of a dictator to prepay his army with offers of increased numbers and boosted pay. From his Foreign Policy announcements, it seems King Donald Trump would actually engage in wars overseas. The past ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq proved very expensive, costing about 3 trillion, according to Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. At the moment, America is inclined to cut the budget, not increase it for war. The Republicans are least likely to buy this idea of Mr Trump, or to support it.
On the other hand, in her experience as Secretary of State for Defence, Mrs Clinton has seen first hand in the field the theatre of war, and I surmise from her writings (in Hard Choices) that she would like to see America make peace and curtail war. In these times of huge shifts in global warming, the world does not need more bombings, it needs the cool winds of peace.
She is a lady who is frugal by nature, putting back olives left on the plate back into the jar. Bill Clinton's good deeds of providing mid-day meals to deserving students in India and elsewhere is much to be admired and appreciated. He mentioned an idea of creating jobs in America (something like 300,000 jobs a month, at a cost of approximately half-a-trillion) which seems a capital idea. In practice, it would produce jobs paying between $20,000 to $50,000 - so who says Hillary does not care about the working class? It seems Mrs Clinton would bring much-needed peace around the world, and a growing prosperity at home.
After the Conventions in July, people will decide in the elections up until November, who would be best as President, who will uphold the respect America enjoys worldwide, who will further the cause of peace and win new friends, who will provide the economic dynamics that ensure a continued prosperity, with the chance to carve out a life that people dream about, with security, safety and respect. Perhaps those today holding banners 'Hillary for America' will be holding 'America for Hillary'.
I pray the world will be rejoicing to that on 9th November.
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