Opinion Shorts: Trump, State of the World, Economic Development, Etc.

lavarr policy insightsHow the Republicans can win. I keep waiting for Donald Trump to become a smart, strategic, capable candidate.

I keep thinking he might have it in him. But it doesn’t happen, and I doubt it will ever happen. It appears the Republican Party faces a monumental drubbing in the presidential race. That is enormously unfortunate because Hillary Clinton is a bad candidate who will make a bad president if she follows through with her campaign promises.

The only way the Republicans could win the presidency at this point is for Trump to spring the biggest surprise of all on the country – resign as the GOP nominee. I don’t even know what the mechanism would be to replace him, but I assume a process exists for the party to do so.

Even this late in the election year, the right Republican candidate could defeat Clinton.

It is only wishful thinking, of course, to hope Trump would resign. I doubt he has enough self-awareness to understand how poorly he’s doing. And he’s already developing an excuse to use if he loses – the system is “rigged.” He doesn’t do things for the good of the country or the party. It has to be good for him. So, (more wishful thinking) if his family and Mike Pence could convince him he’s cruising toward the biggest, most embarrassing loss in recent political history, perhaps he would find a good reason to step down.

He won’t, of course.

How bad is the state of the world? Maybe not all that bad. Here’s what Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings foreign policy expert, recently wrote:

“On the state of the world, we need a nuanced view. Yes, there are big problems. Yes, ISIS is a greater threat than President Obama has sometimes acknowledged. On balance, however, things are troubled but not bad. Democracy has taken a hit in recent years, and the world’s economy has struggled in many ways for a decade, and Russia and China have caused considerable problems of late. But taking a larger perspective, the international order still has many strong points. Our alliances are strong. Despite recent setbacks, a higher percentage of people around the world live in democratic countries and above the poverty line this century than ever before. Child mortality globally is way down. U.S.-India relations are better than ever, as are America’s ties to other key rising powers like Indonesia. The U.S. military is indeed very strong, even if there is much to do to make it even better.”

Two big economic development wins. The 700-acre state prison property and surrounding undeveloped land in south Salt Lake County/North Utah County have been touted by experts as some of the most desirable land for development in the entire country. However, I keep hearing that development surrounding the new prison site west of the airport could be even bigger over the long term. Salt Lake City was wise to recognize that potential by recently designating the area a Redevelopment Agency project.

With the state paying for an extension of utility lines and putting in roads and other infrastructure, the northwest quadrant of the city will be opened up for major development. It is a very attractive location. It likely won’t be similar to housing and business developments in more populated areas. It may not include much housing or retail. But it will be a terrific location for manufacturing, freight and shipping terminals, and aerospace activities. So the prison move could spark major development in two much different areas – all for the good of jobs and Utah’s economy.

Nominate a Utah Dem for Eleanor Roosevelt Award. From Lauren Littlefield, executive director of the Utah Democratic Party: “It’s time, once again, to nominate someone from within our ranks for the annual Eleanor Roosevelt Award! Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the role of the First Lady in the 1930s. She dedicated her life to others and became one of the most revered women of her generation. In her memory, Utah Democrats honor a woman of our party each year for her tireless efforts to transform our state, nation, and world.

Past awardees have included former Party Chair Meghan Holbrook, Rep. Patrice Arent, Sen. Karen Mayne, former Sen. Paula Julander, former Utah First Ladies Norma Matheson, Jill Remington Love and Lucy Beth Rampton, and many more. It is an elite group, and we need your help to nominate this year’s honoree. With Hillary Clinton’s historic nomination last week, we have groundbreaking women on our minds, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award is the perfect time to honor our groundbreaking women here in Utah. The 2016 Eleanor Roosevelt nominees will be evaluated by a committee of past recipients based on the following criteria: Visibility within the party, Visibility in the community, Long-term commitment to the Democratic Party, Ability to accept the award in person at an award ceremony, Long-term commitment to the issues supported by the Democratic Party.”

Help us nominate our 2016 awardee! Nominations must be submitted by Friday, August 5. Then, join us for the awards luncheon on October 5th at the Falls Event Center in Salt Lake City.”

Quote of the day. From the Charlemagne column in The Economist magazine: “’Never read the comments’ is useful advice. It is rare for the discussions that take place underneath online articles to resemble Socratic quests for truth. Instead, warring antagonists stake out opposing positions, and complex political debates are reduced to a stream of insults and vitriol.”