Michael Cook: Donald Trump, Political Dinners And Arkansas Republicans

by Michael Cook ([email protected]) 310 views 

Next weekend, both major political parties in Arkansas hold their annual fundraising dinners. Their respective keynote speakers are a study in contrasts, offering reflections on both organizations and their political philosophies.

For the annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, the Democratic Party of Arkansas brings former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to address their almost sold-out event.

Clinton”s announcement speech last month outlined her vision for America with a theme entitled “the four fights”: building an economy for tomorrow, strengthening America”s families, defending America and our core values, and revitalizing our democracy. Clinton made it clear she would fight for “everyday Americans”.

Regardless of your political affiliation, you must admit Hillary Clinton has a very reasonable shot in becoming our next Commander-in-Chief.

For their annual Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner, the Republican Party of Arkansas chose to invite Donald Trump, the blow-dried, blowhard reality-TV star.

Donald Trump is a joke – in my opinion there”s no other way to describe him when considering his prospects for becoming President.

For an added giggle, consider the fact that, by his own admission, Donald Trump is “very pro-choice,” which I”m sure will go over swimmingly well with rank-and-file Arkansas Republicans.

During Trump”s Presidential announcement, he made the following comment that created a hurricane of controversy:

“When Mexico sends its people,they”re not sending the best. They”re not sending you, they”re sending people that have lots of problems and they”re bringing those problems. They”re bringing drugs, they”re bringing crime. They”re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they”re telling us what we”re getting.”

If I have to explain what”s wrong with Trump”s comments, please just stop reading this column now.

This is who the Republican Party leadership decided would make for mobile casino a scintillating keynote speaker. Then again, it makes total sense for many Republicans to want Donald Trump as their speaker since he appears to be the unfiltered voice for the Republican Party.

Notice how it took a political eternity for some of Trump”s Republican presidential opponents to denounce his comments?

The likely reason for the recalcitrance of the major GOP Presidential candidates to denounce Trump”s remarks is because some in the Republican Party”s base agree with Trump and they were nervous about offending their voters. In fact, Senator Ted Cruz called Trump “terrific” and said he shouldn”t apologize for his comments.

Trump”s rants against Hispanics has gotten so bad that Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus recently called Trump, darn near begging him to tone down his rhetoric.

Priebus understands the importance of the Hispanic vote in a Presidential election and is probably terrified of how Hillary Clinton is deftly lumping all the Republican Presidential candidates in with Donald Trump on the topic of immigration.

We could argue for hours over the formal names of each political party”s fundraising dinners and there are valid points to be made on all sides of the issue.

What cannot be argued though is how one Arkansas political party decided to bring a qualified and credible candidate to its fundraising dinner. While the other decided to invite an unqualified, bloviating, immigrant-bashing, joke of a candidate.

But what”s even more enlightening than the Republican”s choice of keynote speaker? The Republican Party had to get a bigger venue to accommodate folks who wanted to hear from Donald Trump.

If that doesn”t tell which party is looking to a hopeful and prosperous future and which party is stuck in the past, then nothing will.