Some readers might want to pass on this post, as it mostly consists of Super Tuesday musings. Even though I don't back Donald Trump's candidacy for president, my concerns are more about the political background which has led to the present circumstance. Should Donald Trump win the presidency and turn out to be the "loose cannon" that some fear, perhaps a bit of this merely reflects government restraints on freedom in general, as the real loose cannon.
Plus, Washington has remained passive about structural problems for far too long. Policy makers maintain a status quo which few are happy with, but even fewer are willing to change. But doing nothing indefinitely, leads to irrational desire to do something, even when that something is reactive destruction. How many more freedoms would be lost? I can only hope that blogs such as my own aren't eventually disallowed, should economic and political conditions worsen in the world and by extension in the U.S. Admittedly I have already thought a few times: got something important to say? 2016 may be the year to say it.
However, I do understand the pushback from several commenters, re Scott Sumner's strong reaction to Trump in recent posts. Like many who assume that economic conditions should remain relatively stable, he clearly hoped for a reasonable degree of political stability as well. And it's not easy to see where the remaining economic problems are, because for the most part they exist well out of sight of where many policy makers live their lives. As a result, too few realize how many areas have changed for the worse, since the beginning of the new century. Even though a "boring" political outcome remains possible in this election, that may not prove the case, next time.
Perhaps Democrats could be "forgiven" for thinking that governmental budgets are not an overwhelming concern. Supposedly, fiscal policy is lackluster because the drive to make it happen, isn't there. On the other hand, Republicans spent decades insisting that government budgets needed to be realistically faced, only to back off, once it became clear that substantial solutions would mean ruffling too many feathers.
There's an even more pressing problem: where is the traditional Republican role, as driver of a thriving economy? It's been replaced with further divisions, beyond the normal divisions one associates with Republicans and Democrats. In many instances, economic and monetary concerns have been replaced with cultural and class issues. Perhaps if Republicans had focused their efforts on maintaining economic vitality, their party would not be having the identity crisis it appears to be experiencing now.
One odd thing about this election cycle, is that no one can figure out what - if anything - people even expect to be resolved. It would almost seem the time for resolution has come and gone, and righteous judgement is all that's left. Occasionally in the middle of television political ads, one still hears a Republican advertisement promoting limited government and, er, um, freedom. Really? How, exactly? Oh, and by the way, we know what the other candidate supposedly can't do, but in your own words, who are you? One would think that after all these debates and discussion we'd know more about actual policy preferences and intentions. But we don't.
Fortunately I don't have a stake in this race, especially after rooting for the "underdog" too many times over the years. Perhaps with a little luck, it will all turn out for the best. Let's hope so.