Some feel it is a coincidence that the Pope visits America, Donald Trump leads in the polls and Bernie Sanders is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination all at the same time. It could be, but some feel that there are no such things as coincidences.
It is possible that Donald Trump’s presidential run is good for America despite his inflammatory comments about immigration and his other populist non-republican positions. Trump’s flamboyant style includes a knack for saying exactly what many voters feel, but do not want to say for fear of being politically incorrect, or racist. His pronouncement that he does not trust those who receive large donations from corporations, and wall street as worthy of the publics trust.
The proof is in his consistently high poll numbers and his ability to draw crowds and obtain the equivalent of millions of dollars in free press because he has been the focal point of the Republican Party since he announced his candidacy. The reasons for his rise and popularity is complex, but the one thing it surely signals is the fatigue America has with insincere candidates who support issues that pander to voters, but are more like skilled magicians drawing attention to one hand but doing something else behind the back with the other.
Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have also been beneficiaries of voter dissatisfaction in Republican ranks. Voters have become tired of the stable full of candidates staying on script with talking points, rather than expressing passion, and sincerity which is what voters really want in a candidate.
Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders popularity represents the same dissatisfaction many feel on the left having raised 25 million dollars in small individual donations from donors. Sanders doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional Democratic Party candidate, but he is appealing to a large number of first time voters and Democrats that either do not trust Hillary Clintons connections to wall street and feel she is obligated to big money donors and special interests. Sanders reminds supporters in each speech that he is beholden to no one.
The Democrats are not as dissatisfied or disillusioned as Republican voters because they have had the fortune to win two consecutive presidential elections. Some conservative political experts and even Trump credit President unforeseen Barack Obama’s victory to utter dissatisfaction with the George W. Bush presidency. The Iraq War, the ousting of Saddam Hussein and no evidence WMD’s proved unanswerable and embarrassing to the base of the Republican Party.
Now, how does Pope Francis come in?
First, his visit and the needed reinforcement of Christian beliefs and principles made a good portion of Americans take a look in the proverbial mirror. Perhaps, some like House Speaker John Boehner took a long look and did not like what he saw. Many of the programs touted by the conservatives have sought to reduce funding, and deemphasize programs to help the less fortunate. Regardless of why the Speaker resigned, there is no question that Americans of all creeds, colors and religions were touched by his comments and inspired by his obvious love and devotion for his fellow man.
So, what does all of this mean for the upcoming presidential election? It is hard to say, except that all the hard and fast rules are out of the window. Jeb Bush is not necessarily the imminent Republican candidate despite all the money he has raised, and neither is Hillary Clinton.
It also just may get more people who have not been attending church regularly to start going again and not looking on the less fortunate and those in need of help as tax burdens.
In the book “When A Nation Forgets God” by Erwin Lutzer quoted Benjamin Franklin who said “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
The combination of the Pope’s visit, the general dissatisfaction of both Democrats and Republican voters and the potential reshuffling of the Republican standard talking points and party platform as a result of Trump’s moderate position on selected issues just may create a new more accepted card game.
And just maybe it will be one the the average American can win.