What if Donald Trump isn’t that bad? In reality, there’s even worse.
While the latter seems destined for the nomination, some of the preachy members of the Republican Party, outraged, could fall back on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the only one so far to have resisted the Trump wave.
Better a “real conservative,” they say, however radical, than a free electron.
For common mortals, however, Trump's victory would be less dangerous than Cruz’s.
The latter, a Princeton and Harvard graduate and a highly effective attorney, is the most educated of the Republican candidates and is certainly less vulgar than Trump. But his superiority to Trump stops there.
Unlike Donald Trump, who is a practical businessman and therefore capable of negotiating, compromising and even changing his mind — as he just did on the subject of torture — Ted Cruz, a pastor’s son and a favorite of the Evangelical church and of the tea party, is purely dogmatic. His stances are uncompromising, be it on the death penalty, abortion, gun control, global warming or gay marriage — issues on which Donald Trump has much more liberal opinions.
All his actions in Congress, where his intransigence made him a number of enemies even among Republican ranks, aimed to severely reduce the reach of the federal government. He was one of the leaders of filibusters, which paralyze Congress so often.
Unlike Trump, who is not against “Obamacare,” Cruz is relentlessly opposed to the government’s intervention in the health care system.
Unlike Trump, who was against invading Iraq in 2003, Cruz swears to send areas taken over by the Islamic State “back to the Stone Age” through massive bombing — untargeted no less, as is the case currently.
Although Trump is talking about building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, Cruz says the same thing. For him, Obama has become a “financier of radical Islamic terrorism” (!) by lifting sanctions against Iran.
As we could easily have predicted, the offensive launched against Trump by the party imploded. The electoral base, which was already furious against the elites, couldn’t stand receiving lessons from politicians who lost their own elections, such as Mitt Romney, who was defeated by Obama in 2012, and John McCain, who was defeated in 2008, only after offering the role of vice president to Sarah Palin, who is even less qualified than Donald Trump.
The latter just got Michigan under his belt, a downgraded blue-collar urban state, and Mississippi, a rural state that contains the largest proportion of African-Americans in the country.
Meanwhile, the Democratic campaign is becoming an unpredictable adventure for Hillary Clinton, who was defeated in Michigan even though all the polls predicted her victory by over 20 points.
She remains ahead in terms of the number of delegates, and her popularity within the black electorate allowed her to win Mississippi easily. But Bernie Sanders just had a breakthrough with black voters by winning a third of their votes in this state. He could surprise everyone again on March 15, in Ohio and Illinois, both states being in the Rust Belt, a declining industrial region where Mrs. Clinton has been criticized for supporting free trade.
Besides revealing that a substantial part of the American electorate is now leaning left, the unexpected success of the elderly Vermont senator embodies a strong disapproval of someone we thought — and who thought herself — to be destined for the throne.