The Result of Insurgency

For the first time in my career, I decided to travel abroad to watch the Super Tuesday elections. I primarily did this to get a feel for how our allies and partners view this election. I started in Canada last week, and am currently issuing this report from Israel. I am attending a retreat at Migdal on the Sea of Galilee. I am here with a group of Americans from different parts of the country. Being here with them gives an added perspective on the elections. We are here exploring and analyzing secular and spiritual solutions to problems facing America.

The three most frequent questions that I have been asked by foreign citizens are: What in the world is happening in U.S. presidential politics? Why doesn’t character matter anymore in the selection of nominees? And what do I think the outcome of these elections will mean to their country? It is important to note how our elections are in fact watched very closely around the world. I would surmise that the average American has little or no knowledge of elections outside our country.

Let’s take the questions in order. A lot has been written about what is going on with our elections. We can come to the conclusion that a segment of American society is angry, fed up, and refuses to accept business as usual. There is a feeling that elitists are arrogant and insensitive to the average citizen’s protest. There is an awareness that a professional, political, privileged class is oppressing the middle class. And the result is an insurgency.

The first question was expected. The second question was not. Our foreign friends have a suspicion that Americans do not take into account character and civility in deciding who to support for President. They ask this question in reference to several candidates, but particularly to Hillary Clinton. In Europe, a candidate under the cloud of possible indictment would most likely have to step aside until all issues were cleared or adjudicated. In other words, even the appearance of wrong doing could be a serious enough issue to eliminate the candidate from consideration in their countries.

The third question may require some explanation. We as Americans have little concept of how important we are to the rest of the world. Our military literally holds the world together. This benevolent military may appear to be an oxymoron given our wars in Iraq and our ongoing engagements in the Middle East. But if the U.S. military withdrew back inside the borders of the United States, China would threaten Taiwan, Russia would escalate its aggression against the former republics of the Soviet Union, and India and Pakistan’s border disputes would accelerate. And of course the Middle East would be even more volatile. The United States was the first country in the history of the world to have such a military power and not use it against other countries for personal gain. Regardless of your thoughts on the Iraqi war, its purpose was not to gain oil or control land.

The United States produces 25% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We consume 50% of the world GDP. Our open trade policy allows for foreign investment with less restrictions and regulation than any country in the world. Foreign economies are dependent on our open trade system and on our currency to facilitate international trade.

The most important service that the United States provides the world, and upon which the world depends, is our commitment to freedom. The Constitutional protection of due process and rule of law that we enjoy is restricted in other parts of the world and unavailable in certain countries. The hope provided by the freedom of the United States is the emotional energy that gives the citizens of oppressive countries the ability to survive from day-to-day.

What then are the immediate results of this political insurgency?

The GOP establishment has been reduced to an irrelevant influence. Not only have they not been able to derail Donald Trump, they haven’t been able to support a single candidate. Most telling about their own crisis is the recent meeting held in Washington DC among major political establishment operatives who complained that there was no leader who could lead the American people in a different electoral direction. This point of desperation is the sign that the establishment is in disarray. The structure of the Republican Party will forever be altered.

The media elite have been humbled. They continue to pontificate about future primaries that will ultimately reflect their influence. It isn’t going to happen. The more they criticize, the more the criticized gain power.

What now will happen to the disaffected?

The millennials who support Bernie Sanders will have to decide whether to join forces with the Democratic establishment or to seek their own course. The Democratic establishment has been more successful in strong-arming the process for Hillary Clinton. In Nevada at the last minute, Senator Harry Reid called in all of his markers from the casinos to make sure that the workers’ unions turned out to support Hillary. It worked. The establishment did its job.

Minorities in America, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, have an opportunity to dramatically impact the general election. It is yet to be seen whether or not they will choose business as usual.

The national parties have been diminished in two different ways. The Republican Party now must re-identify its brand and reestablish its credibility. It didn’t have to be that way. They became the party of incumbents and business as usual. The party of Lincoln would have asked the grassroots: what are you upset about and how can we work together to solve it? Instead, they became the vehicle of the professional political class, and results were not part of the measure of success. Now the insurgency has overwhelmed them.

The Democratic Party on the other hand has maintained its image of business as usual. Hillary Clinton will propose that government programs are OK, that they just need better management. At least half the public will question this conclusion.

The early polls on a potential November matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump show Secretary Clinton to be ahead by as many as eight points. The talking heads on news shows are already salivating to point out that this is a liability for the GOP. You would think that they would have learned from experience that their predictive analysis is flawed. Both Hillary and Donald have higher negatives than positives. Hillary’s negatives are very hard and intractable. Donald’s may yet be manageable. Trump scores higher than Hillary with the public on the economy, immigration and national security. Any one of these three issues could be elevated by events prior to the November election. Hillary scores highest on health care. I doubt that will be any greater an issue by November.

Neither candidate has spoken with great specificity on their plans for trade expansion and the protection of the world militarily. The world awaits further clarification.

As I write this report, I am looking at the Sea of Galilee. Directly across the sea is the country of Jordan. Water is critical to this region of the world. Jordan and Israel work together to manage the tributaries of the Jordan River. The body politic of no two countries could be more divided than these two with their Arab-Israeli conflicts. Yet Jordan and Israel live in relative peace. I would submit it is because they have to in order to survive. Neither is blessed with large reserves of oil. Both work very hard for what they have. Their people have an identity with their country and it solidifies the generations. In Israel, everyone serves their country gladly for at least two years in some capacity. Of course there are great differences among the electorate of Israel, yet their common purpose is not in dispute.

This insurgency in U.S. politics will require that America reestablish its identity, its brand, its purpose, and its goals.

The result of an insurgency can lead to progress and hope for the future. What is required is for a nation to rally around a common cause. In 1776, our insurgency resulted in the establishment of United States of America. All the promises of freedom that it presented gave hope to the world. The insurgency of 2016 can result in the same hope for a better future, if in fact we as a people will commit to a common destiny.

March 1st Super Tuesday will be a turning point in the election for President of the United States. The people have engaged. In the democratic process, I trust the character of the American people.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?