Small Thinkers

In the latest copy of the Oklahoma GOP magazine Trunkline, it is pointed out that in 2014 there were 62 offices elected without opposition, 46 Republicans and 16 Democrat.  In contrast in 2016, only 13 offices are unchallenged, 11 Republicans and 2 Democrats.

The writer of that paragraph offers no opinion on what changed over the last two years to make people want to defeat incumbents.  The only comment made is we have a lot of work to do and it is critical we all remember the theme of the 2016 OKGOP State Convention, “We Stand United.”

Across America, it is easy to see the anti-establishment feelings played out in both Republican and Democrat primaries. Here in Oklahoma it is more profound.

Just a few years ago Oklahoma was the only state west of the Mississippi to lose a congressional seat.  Our population was not keeping pace with other states.

Today Oklahoma is facing a revenue shortfall of over a billion dollars.  Our public schools are in decline and graduation rates are not high enough to populate the industries of the future.

Why is that?  First of all, our political leaders as a lot are small thinkers.  The vast Republican majorities in the legislature have squandered the opportunity given to them by those who made it possible 20 years ago.

It seems that instead of confronting problems and looking for bold new ideas, the Legislature spends its days with where the Ten Commandments monument will go or how to defeat Common Core again.  Most legislators are for watered down education standards, no school district consolidation and fewer tests.  Where are the reforms to make public education what it once was?

No company or individuals will move to Oklahoma as long as they perceive public education as a failing enterprise.  Public education and economic development go hand in hand.  They are both dependent on the other being robust.

At the state GOP level here, too, they bet wrong.  Almost the entire GOP Executive Committee – as the “Trunkline theme goes  – “We stand united” for Ted Cruz.

The night of May 3 the date of the Indiana primary must have been a great shock to those who have no candidate going to Cleveland.

As Yahoo Finance points out, nearly $400 million has been given to Republican Presidential candidates who were defeated or dropped out.  The donors have “zilch” to show for their effort.

According to Jim Hoft, anti-Trump groups spent $75.7 million on 64,000 negative ads against Donald Trump this election cycle.  And that’s just broadcast television.

A pro Marco Rubio group spent $19.7 million against Trump. Right to Rise, a Jeb Bush supporter, spent $10 million and even Hilary Clinton spent $5.2 million on anti-Trump ads.

Even when Ted Cruz told what he really thought of Trump, saying he was a “pathological liar,” a “serial philander” and a “narcissist,” it didn’t stick.

In Indiana Trump beat Cruz at every level, all ages, all incomes, college graduates and noncollege graduates.  Very conservative, somewhat conservative and moderates. Evangelicals, non-evangelicals.  Everybody according to Byron York. When Ted Cruz accused Trump of being a liberal and Hillary’s vice president selection, people did not buy it.  They did buy the idea that the process was “rigged.”  Oklahoma’s GOP, according to insiders, may have tried to stack the delegates in favor of Cruz going into the convention. Unfortunately for them, “lyin’ Ted” was a no show.

What Republican voters have said since last summer is they want Donald Trump to be their nominee.