03.16.2016 1

Trump, Cruz two-man fight to the finish in GOP contest


By Rick Manning

Some people say that their vote doesn’t matter, and perhaps they are correct.  However, anyone watching last evening’s GOP returns from Missouri would likely beg to differ.

As more and more votes came in, the margin between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz continued to narrow.  At 10 pm CDT, with more than 576,000 votes counted (about three quarters of the total) Trump led Cruz by a paltry 305 votes with the margin narrowing.  Eventually, Trump’s advantage increased to around 1,700 votes and it was over.

Donald Trump both knocked Marco Rubio out of the race with his dominant showing in Florida and upset Ted Cruz in Missouri leaving the second place candidate with zero state wins for the evening and giving the front runner a significantly increased delegate advantage.

With Trump racking up all 99 delegates from Florida, and receiving the most delegates in Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri, the only blemish on Trump’s evening was a loss to Ohio Governor John Kasich in his home state’s winner take all primary.

A very good night for Donald Trump, but not a complete knockout blow.  The one glimmer of hope for those who hope to stop the real estate mogul is that with Rubio out, the battle for the nomination becomes a much clearer fight with Cruz. One which the Texan has been hoping to set up since the SEC Super Tuesday primaries two weeks ago.

But it is Trump with the momentum, and the luxury to turn his sites to the general election while Cruz, will need to claw for every delegate.

Still this is a two-man race between Trump and Cruz now.

However, there is one major wild card in the race and that is the Bernie Sanders supported efforts to disrupt the GOP nomination process by placing trained protesters into rallies and seeking to paint the Republican candidates in a negative light as the socialists attempt to provoke responses for the ready television cameras.

Trained on the streets for years, funded by George Soros amongst others, and encouraged by President Barack Obama and Sanders himself, these street activists will attempt to define the Republican candidates as intolerant while seeking to intimidate and shut down their opponent’s free speech rights. The pernicious goal of this odd stew of 60s radicals, millennial hipsters, student dead enders, Black Lives Matter anti-police activists, La Raza open borders advocates and Muslims is to disrupt the political process.

Encouraged by the dangerous and false meme that anyone who opposes unfettered illegal immigration is a racist, and anyone who points out that letting tens of thousands of Muslims from Middle Eastern countries that don’t like America is not wise in this time of terrorism gone wild is a religious bigot, this unstable motley crew has all the earmarks of being 21st century brown shirts. All the while justifying their intolerance with the same end justifies the means mental gymnastics that has fueled every fascist or communist regime in history.

Ultimately, no matter who is the GOP nominee, it is important that everyone from the disparate wings of the party join together around the eventual winner to push back the tide of hate coming from the professional left. In 2016, we are seeing the fruits of President Obama’s seven years of using the government to attack his political opponents, and of a Justice Department that labels stopping voter fraud racism.  With the Supreme Court in the balance, and our nation’s very future at stake, the gulf that separates some Republicans from their eventual nominee is like an unnamed stream when compared to the Mississippi River like divide between any of the Republicans and either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

As the primary campaign becomes a mano y mano affair between Trump and Cruz, voters need to remember that stopping Hillary from getting the presidency is job one, and no matter the flaws, any of the Republican candidates would be immeasurably better stewards of our nation’s course.

So even as the GOP struggles toward finalizing their nominee, remember that no matter the emotions now, it would be the height of petulance to fail to join together to beat Clinton.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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