The Donald in Ay Yo Way


However you slice it, “experts” were wrong. Media was too eager to project their “bias” that I wonder how much the projections were meant to influence “indifferent” America at the caucus in Iowa. The American political decision making of “caucus” is closer to the native Algonquian word cau’-cau’as’u for “adviser” more than the Latin for a shared goblet that a group commonly drink from. In Iowa, 99 counties with 1681 precincts held meetings and are indicative of the diversity but highly participatory nature of the U.S. election process.

The Donald media figure shrunk in Iowa, and the contest for the conservative vote was between Ted Cruz of Texas and Mark Rubio of Florida. It appears it will be the Latinos turn after Hillary’s stay in the White House one or two terms. The protest vote The Donald rode is raucous, temperamental, and momentary, as it is whimsical. When Middle America’s winds settle down, the contest will be between a progressive (Hillary or Bernie) and a conservative TexMex Ted or Florida Cuban Mark. The latter are populist Republicans who have equal chance against perceived establishment Hillary or the Liberal Bernie.

We are three days before the NH primary results so we will refrain from commenting on speculations, but what we know is that Trump leads the polls for the Republicans again. Democrat Bernie Sanders hails from next-door Vermont so he should not have any difficulty earning deservedly the limelight this time. Hillary primps that if voters simply considered record, she’d be the runaway winner!

Obama crossed the color line to the White House so the next in line is a woman. Coming not too far behind is a Latino, either of TexMex descent, or Cuban through Florida. They might still be ambulatory.

The Donald is a great sideshow, an ironic and iconic bona fide anti-establishment figure vintage NYC, for the freshness of his brassiness. But the Presidential election process of the U.S. is an organic complex across a broad landscape, more than just a popularity contest. Iowa’s Caucus eliminates those who cannot hack it in the long run rather than sharpen the choice. The first time he ran, Bill Clinton was fourth at 3 percent of the vote to 76 of Tom Harkin. Iowa’s designated electors in the Presidential process constitute only 1 percent of the national total.

Ay Yo Way is a great test for a candidate’s staying power and the New Hampshire three days away is already filled with media speculations, but having seen how wrong the media were on the Iowa Republican and Democratic Party’s results, we defer from relying on “experts” and let the electorate cast their votes.

A Conservative-Progressive spectrum defines American politics. The Conservatives stick to what works, while Progressives innovate to pursue general welfare. There’s nothing mysterious about this. It is the same political dynamic in any country of whatever ideology, though labels to name the dynamic may differ. The Conservatives favor words like “stability and order” while the Progressives identify with “innovation and change.” Both dynamics operate in any given society; the balancing act pulls the extremes into the center. That they often go after each other’s throat is a function of dialectic rather than the spectrum.

The dichotomy is not always straight laced. Nixon was a conservative but he flew into China to shake Mao’s hands. In spite of the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon’s policy developed during the Korean War more than a century ago is to contain China. Not surprisingly, Progressives are cautious in any belligerent policy on China containment except in rhetoric, recognizing the huge role Chinese manufacturing contributes to the U.S. economy, and their ownership of U.S. government bonds.

Liberal-Progressive JFK was a breath of fresh air after conservative General Eisenhower projected a US taking over British Imperial designs. Giddy Camelot caused lethal acts in Dallas.

With a battered country from the divisive debacle of the unwinnable Vietnam War, George McGovern stood no chance. The country clamored for an assertively pro War veteran hero. Conservative or progressive, U.S. governance desired a law-and-order President to still the turmoil of the time. We got tricky Dick, instead.

What Ay Yo Way and New Hampshire shows is that the presidential selection always makes a pleasant mess. The free wheeling discourse of The Donald provokes a process proven as a third party option rather than as a mainstream political party position. Lively, but it does not stand a chance at the nitty-gritty organizing effort in the local that the mainstream parties undertake.

It is a long way from February to November, with Progressive Democrats fine-tuning the details of how the Executive Office enable things to happen under their watch. Colorful language emanates from the Republicans but it is defensive, loud and plodding, definitely not Lincoln, rudely anti-immigrant cold Tea Party confusion. The Donald provides a distraction!

Jaime R. Vergara | Special to the Saipan Tribune
Jaime Vergara previously taught at SVES in the CNMI. A peripatetic pedagogue, he last taught in China but makes Honolulu, Shenyang, and Saipan home. He can be reached at

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