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Why this Democratic senator fears Donald Trump can win

In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on Capitol in Washington. Spanish-language radio is fixated on the 2016 presidential campaign, sparked by Republican Donald Trump’s caustic remarks about immigrants, mainly Mexicans, and a GOP field of contenders trying to out-duel each other on the contentious topic of overhauling immigration law. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Some musicians don’t write their own songs and some politicians don’t write their own speeches. These people rarely get the respect of their peers because insiders will always differentiate between success and earned accomplishment. Donald Trump sees this distinction and as a capitalist he only cares about the former. He applies his business methods to politics: Cut in line, then start negotiating the biggest deal possible. In essence, he wants to know if “We the People” will consider being his business partners. My answer is “of course not,” but our answer may be different.

As a state senator, the only contribution I can make to a musical conversation would be a simple reminder that a talent for songwriting takes a distant back seat to entertainment because art is still subject to capitalism. Nothing is more important than sales, right? Donald Trump believes this, and that is why he doesn’t need to be the most talented politician. In fact, someone should tell my colleagues that to challenge his political qualifications is futile. Donald Trump is to politics what Alice Cooper was to music- he is the king of “shock rock.”

Andrew Sherwood

Andrew Sherwood

You’ve heard about how national politics is like a pendulum that swings from side-to-side. I don’t agree with this. Americans are in a constant search for whatever their incumbent doesn’t offer but that answer can still be found in the current political party, hence my refutation of the pendulum theory. I call these cyclical changes “antithetical candidacies.”

Here is my logic applied: When George W. Bush was leaving office, if you asked an average person to describe him in one word, that word might have been “stupid”. The opposite sentiment would, of course, be “smart.” Now think back to 2008’s Democratic candidates: John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. What turned voters “on” was “smarts” which Barack Obama capitalized on through the perception of his sophistication. It was the perfect juxtaposition. Experience and other skills were less marketable. Supporters of the Hillary Clinton and John Edwards campaigns said that Barack Obama wasn’t ready yet, and Republicans said that Barack Obama wasn’t qualified at all, but those sentiments fell on deaf ears. The electorate overlooked a political career that was still green and focused on Obama’s dazzling oratory and his academic performance, like the Harvard Law Review. These things provided all the proof of intelligence we so badly desired.

As an outgoing president, Barack Obama has been criticized by voters in both parties as being “timid.” Democrats wish he would have been firmer with the GOP on Capitol Hill and Republicans think his foreign policy is weak. So if the current product is “timid” then the antonym must be “bold.” Donald Trump is bold. His campaign is bold and therefore his product is bold. All the discussions in the world won’t change this candidate’s stunning reflection in the 2016 presidential mirror.

The Republican field of candidates this cycle has proven exactly what voters do and don’t want; experience is not the most desirable trait this cycle and decency hasn’t been in style for a long time. Not to mention that political pedigrees are more of a liability than an asset these days. That is why Trump’s first order of business was to send Jeb Bush’s campaign into an irrecoverable tailspin. Jeb Bush’s campaign was so highly anticipated that his candidacy created panic surrounding a prospective Clinton v. Bush dynastic showdown. Alas, a bold attitude is what is in demand.  So go ahead and debate the merits of a Trump campaign, but if the GOP want to replace Trump with a candidate who has qualifications, they are going to need a personality to sell it and I don’t see one.

Now that Trump won big on Super Tuesday, the only remaining variable to address is the assumption that the Trump campaign will eventually collapse, presumably from self-inflicted wounds. I’m not saying this won’t happen, I’m saying this can’t happen. It’s not possible. I’ve seen firsthand how bold personalities can extend political-life far beyond their flaws.

The best example of this lives here in Arizona. Sheriff Arpaio’s refusal to acknowledge even a single accusation on anything less than his own terms has enabled him to survive years of scandals. When handled correctly, periodic attacks can enable candidates to appear as exceptionally decent human beings. A confident response looks powerful and a heartfelt response can generate sympathy.

Subsequent attacks rarely discover the guilt that probably exists at the end of each claim. Instead, these attacks produce loyalty by providing supporters of the accused with another layer of street-cred for their beloved champion.

This next part is where the real magic takes place; the only thing better than not getting caught, is getting caught and then being found not guilty. Those criminals are truly free. And similarly, through the court of public opinion, this is the pathway for politicians to achieve invincibility.

Talented candidates can sometimes build enough momentum to rewrite the facts; meaning that if enough supporters believe a candidate’s version of the story, then society will stop arguing about the facts. That is the exact moment in time when the court of public opinion has returned another verdict of “not guilty.”

Three things are certain here in America: Businesses need profits, politicians need voters, and media needs ratings. Donald Trump has blended these three industries well enough that his bluster and his legitimate accolades have become indistinguishable, thus rendering facts and merits to be meaningless. But one thing is for sure, Donald Trump doesn’t care about being good at politics, business, or media; he just needs you to stop arguing that he is not. That is how Donald Trump just might win the White House.


Sen. Andrew Sherwood of Tempe represents District 26 in the state Legislature.


  1. I came on board the political Pirate ship, but only to vote for Donald Trump and not for corporate welfare or sing the praises of an extreme Socialist Bernie Sanders or even serving on a silver platter a Hillary Clinton win. I have no use for the lawmakers that sell their vote to the highest bidder in Washington. My colleagues, who normally don’t bother to vote, have come out the shadows to vote for the New York CEO Trump. I want nothing to do with John Kasick, who cannot hide the fact he voted for the NAFTA (Mexican deal) that has slowly disintegrated our Auto industry, by sending our jobs across the border. John Kasick on other red flag issues stated it’s a silly argument to ship 11M illegal aliens back to Mexico. (Nov 2015)

    Another of his focuses on immigration should be to keep families together. (Sep 2015) While Cruz has a good history on stopping illegal immigration, so he would be a good contender as Presidential nominee, but like Kasick he has no choice but to take money from Special Interests, which eventually want a return on their loans. Cruz only suspicious act was defending a Chinese company, for stealing intellectual property, but voted to end the import Export bank, which is definitely corporate welfare. Cruz additionally, has led the fight to defeat the Reid-Schumer amnesty bill. (Feb 2016).


    The lucrative gravy train is coming to an end for both political parties, and please don’t tell me the Democrats receive no money from Special Interest. For instance Hillary Clinton collected a sizable amount of dollars from billionaire Gorge Soros, an entrenched hard-liner Socialist. In years past, there was no way to unearth the facts about any politician other than by the telephone or the written word. But the hard facts can be dredged up today, revealing their true objectives. For me my top issue is President Donald Trump building a giant wall, and deploying more US Border Patrol agents. The 1000 mile border wall may not hold at bay all the drugs that cross daily over the Southern border, but it will have a substantial impact.

    I have seen friends and relatives succumb to drugs and it’s not a pretty site. My cousin was addicted to METH, but he is well on the way to recovery. Old colleagues who saw action in Viet-Nam, normally exempt themselves from voting, but currently have a positive view of having a businessman in the Oval office. My black friend who lives in the house opposite to me, I managed to persuade in voting for the Manhattan billionaire. His sister demise was caused by toxic poisons from across the border and this is one of the reasons. All the issues that are dragging down our sovereign nation can be resolved. Perhaps even seeing Ted Cruz as Vice President, as he has a healthy attitude for similar policies as Donald Trump.

    I am very aware of all the current problems, which threaten our country such as the huge slew of jobs disappearing overseas and to Mexico. Mega companies with prominent names as Ford, Carrier and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost to our manufacturing base. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg, as companies at home are substituting American workers with an assortment of foreign skilled workers, which is another corporate welfare program.

    Trump supporter are closely watching the GOP establishment and the rumor of a plan to stop Donald Trump in some concocted sideshow at a rigged delegate convention to prevent the man form gaining the Presidency. Trying any kind of ‘sleight of the hand’ will be a very dangerous agenda, if Trump gets either the 1237 delegates or a near miss, and thinks ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ are going to stand back and do nothing. The rioting idea is not in the advocate’s minds, but millions walking away from the election, including my 20 people is an absolute necessarily to show that America comes first and not Special interest and wealthy donors.

    Its not hard to imagine if Donald Trump is eliminated from being the nominee for President, and replaced with John Kasich, Mitt Romney Lindsey Graham of any of the GOP Professionals, then without hesitating the ‘Silent Majority’ and millions of more will walk away and comprehending for sure the whole election system is rigged. Then I am afraid that Hillary Clinton if not indicted for violations of the National Security Act, will inherit the high office.

  2. The paradox of supporting Donald Trump is that he purports to be free of the “wealthy donor” when he is in fact THE wealthy donor. Kind of like selling your soul to the devil in the name of God.

  3. A most perceptive analysis by Sen Andrew Sherwood, and I fear that his predictions re Trump’s winning the presidency may indeed come true. As a centrist Democrat with a strong public health background, and a vocal advocate for health care reform, I voted for Obama the second time only because Romney was (in my opinion) forced to cow-tow to the GOP establishment and pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Paradoxically, as Gov of Massachusetts, Romney was architect of a state universal health insurance program that served as the prototype for Obamacare. If his party had allowed him to speak his own voice on this matter, I believe he might have been elected and as President would have been ideally positioned to keep the many good points of the law intact while concurrently championing the many needed reforms.

    I believe that Obama had been the most divisive President we have ever had and has shamelessly set our country back decades. Rather that addressing our nation’s drainage of good jobs at the root cause level, he has consciously fostered a culture of dependency in which food stamp recipients and disability claims have skyrocketed. He has shamelessly unraveled the welfare reform implemented by Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich and has done severe damage to our nation’s once proud work ethic. In the international arena he refuses to even recognize the true enemy, radical Islamic terrorism, and has obstructed our military from effectively combating the growing cancer of ISIS across the Middle East. We are no longer recognized as the protector of the free world, as we once were.

    As Sen Sherwood perceptively points out,Trump has masterfully played upon voters’ intense and understandable frustration with our country’s deteriorating state of affairs over the past 16 years, and has skillfully marshalled an ever-growing base of staunch supporters via his charisma and glowing promises that are way too often lacking in substantive back-up. He does have some good ideas, and if he were truly presidential I might be inclined to support him. However, I cringe at the thought of a brazen and – yes – divisive bully in the While House. Do we really want to risk someone of his temperament having his finger next to the nuclear button?

    The other Democratic candidates offer no real alternative, and Ted Cruz, in my opinion, rivals Richard Nixon in his “dirty tricks” and is disliked by the vast majority of his Senate colleagues.

    WHERE DO WE TURN? In stark contrast to the other contenders, Ohio Gov John Kasich brings to the table an impressive record of leadership at the national level as well as in his home state of Ohio. As a Congressman, as Chair of the Budget Committee he actually BALANCED THE FEDERAL BUDGET while also serving 18 years on the Armed Service Committee. As Gov of Ohio he turned around a state on the brink of disaster and transformed Ohio into one of one nation’s leading job-creating states.

    Unfortunately, both the media and debate moderators have failed to give Kasich the attention he deserves. Are they afraid that if voters were truly aware of Kasich’s credentials, and his decency as a person, that they woul turn away en masse from the theatrics of Trump, Hillary and Sanders? I sadly suspect that this may indeed be the case.

    In short, I see Kasich as presenting the only real opportunity to get our country back on track. As President he will serve our nation as a dedicated leader who personifies our country’s core values while forging consensus across part lines. He will truly listen to the people and be widely respected throughout the world. As Commander in Chief he will renew our commitment to military strength, renew our alliances with strategic partners and orchestrate a strong international coalition to win the war on terror. Drawing on his combined successes in Congress and as Gov of Ohio he will lead our nation in truly meaningful and cost-effective reform in the realms of health care, welfare, job creation, education and vital areas. I firmly believe he deserves the wholehearted support of everyone who truly wants to get our country back on track!

    John Newport, PhD
    Author and Commentator

  4. Not only was this post very insightful, the three follow up letters were all very well thought out. I only have one more thought to consider. As a registered Republican myself, I am completely disenfranchised with the direction of the party as it continues down an archaic path. The policies that candidates such as Ted Cruz wish to implement would be catastrophic to this Country in my opinion. As a moderate, I feel I’m being pushed out of the party. I have a feeling there may be millions of Republicans like me out there who are disgusted with the actions of the tea party movement I can only speak for myself as I do not have statistical data to back it up As much as I despise Donald Trump, I would easily choose to vote for him over Ted Cruz I do not feel any of this years Republican candidates represent a high percentage of our party very well. Consider the fact that the rise of trump may have to do with moderate Republican backlash

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