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Monday, August 31, 2015

Let sleeping dogs lie

Are you a Trump supporter? Or are you just bidding your time waiting for the race to play out further? It could be others will force you into a decision in the coming month. There is wisdom in the adage "let sleeping dogs lie".
In 1780 British Major Patrick Ferguson  paid the ultimate price when he forced the neutral Overmountain men to choose sides. The Overmountain men were men who settled with their families on the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. The settlements were in violation of the Treaty of Lochaber, signed in 1770 between the British and the Cherokee but these adventuresome souls had defied British law and purchased land from the Cherokee chiefs who fancied themselves to be real estate agents. They were not part of the original 13 colonies, nor were they loyal to Britain. They were content to sit out the Revolutionary War with the dream of one day establishing their own independent nation but that change when Major Ferguson, following a skirmish with a few Overmountain men who had aligned themselves with the Americans posted the threat  “If you do not desist your opposition to the British Arms, I shall march this army over the mountains, hang your leaders, and lay waste your country with fire and sword.”
With that brash threat Ferguson went from being an object of curiosity to an existential threat, a threat the Overmountain men could not tolerate. So they assembled an army, trapped Major Ferguson and his army of Loyalist irregulars and killed him on the North Carolina Piedmont in what became know as the Battle of King's Mountain. The loss of Ferguson's army exposed the western flank of Cornwallis and his British regulars and hastened his ultimate defeat all because Ferguson was too dumb to let sleeping dogs lie.
On July 8 I wrote a post, GOP donor would ban Trump from debates. "Whose party is it? Since when do big donors think they have the right to decide who shall and who shall not have the right to run in the presidential primary?" I wrote. At that time it seemed that Republican donors were outraged at Trump's strong language. Now their motivation is clearer. They are the Republican Establishment and they see Trump as a threat to their Washington hegemony. This was never was about Trump's language and its possible alienating propensity on minority voters. This is about their loss of power, this is about the loss of their ability to foist immigration and trade policies on the country that redound to their advantage at the expense of the average American. Donald Trump may not be a populist but for them the he is a threat to their privilege.
It looks that soon we are going to be forced into choosing sides. Like the passive Overmountain men we will be forced to chose sides. From CNN;
An anti-Trump ad deluge after Labor Day?
It's no secret the Republican establishment is unnerved by Donald Trump and his lead in national and key state polls.
And now, after weeks of assuming his support would be fleeting, there is a debate about how to take aim at Trump -- and just who should finance such an effort.
CNN's Maeve Reston noted that most GOP strategists see risks in having the attacks come from the other candidates or their directly affiliated super PACs. So, she reports, there is conversation about what other group might raise money for anti-Trump TV ads.
"There are a lot of donors out there who see it as much too dangerous, obviously, for the candidates, or their allied super PACs, to go after Trump," said Reston. "So they're looking to more establishment PACs to potentially take him down in post-Labor Day ads."
Obviously Trump has said enough in the past 30 years that would normally exclude anyone from elective office even at the municipal level so we can expect to hear most of it. His detractors do not have to answer for their misspoken words. They pay other people to dish the dirt while they appear on PBS expressing concern for the nation, concern for the GOP, concern for black lives, concern for women's health, and concern for the environment. They are the reasonable people, the good people, the bipartisan crony capitalists who are willing to work with those from across the aisle to further their considerable affluence. They are the money changers in the temple.
Like the Overmountain men we fence straddlers may not have a real choice. It may come down to who down to who we dislike the least and when push comes to shove the donors may learn the wisdom of letting sleeping dogs lie.

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