Shannon Williams

Shannon Williams

Tuesday’s primary election put Indiana on the map, as Hoosier voters chose Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over his rival Sen. Ted Cruz.

In Marion County, Trump’s 49 percent lead over Cruz’s 39 percent was substantial.

So, too, were Trump’s statewide numbers, with the latest showing 589,416 Indiana votes for Trump compared to Cruz’s 405,581. Trump’s 53 percent majority easily landed him the win and resulted in Cruz suspending his campaign.

What began as a 17-member race has resulted in one man standing on the GOP ticket: Trump.

I’ve stated it in previous columns: Trump is a dangerous man. He degrades virtually every demographic that is different from him — immigrants, minorities, the LGBT community and women — and he does so in a very overt and hateful way.

Trump’s propaganda has garnered him a devoted following of people who also hate others and aren’t afraid to display their feelings. He very clearly has the ability to take this country back decades to a time with less freedom and fewer rights. Even his campaign slogan states his focus: “Let’s make America great again.” The word “again” is what is so impactful in that statement.

Trump’s whole agenda is based on perspectives of the past, when Blacks were seen as inferior. He is promoting that same ideology now, except the field of those disenfranchised expands to include people of Hispanic descent and other ethnic minorities, women, the homosexual community, Muslims and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes we are so blind or out of focus that we don’t see the writing on the wall, even as it is spelled out very clearly in front of us: Lets. Make. America. Great. AGAIN.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders defied early predictions as he bested front-runner Hillary Clinton in Indiana. With 99 percent of precincts counted, Sanders beat Clinton with nearly 53 percent of the votes. There were 331,445 Hoosiers who voted for Sanders, compared to Clinton’s 296,988 (47 percent).

Clinton maintains a dominant lead over Sanders nationwide, with 2,202 of the 2,383 delegates needed to get the party nomination. And while I like Sanders’ perspectives on a multitude of issues, the race is over for him — Clinton has already won. However, Sanders’ approach and way of thinking make him a debate winner, and he should be applauded for that as well as his appeal to young people — something most 70-somethings wouldn’t be able to accomplish.

Now is an essential time for Democrats and even modern-thinking Republicans to get serious about the next commander in chief of the United States. America needs someone with foreign policy experience, knowledge of the economy, strong government relations and decorum. Trump doesn’t possess any of the aforementioned, so to overcompensate for his lack of knowledge, he will play the political game a bit more strategically. That means he may be a little less likely to offend people. He may scream a little less, and he may even appear to have knowledge of key issues. Already, he has changed things up drastically. Once he defeated Cruz in the Hoosier state, Trump praised his counterpart. He spoke more softly, seemingly as if he had more sense, and he said, “We have to bring unity to the Republican Party.”

Trump is dangerous, and America needs to understand that. Perhaps some people took Donald Trump for a joke. I don’t think that’s the case. Instead, I think Trump’s win shows his people/supporters are far more engaged, and they are taking this election seriously.

Democrats need to adopt the same way of thinking and let their voices be heard at the polls in November. Clinton needs to be careful and strategic, as well. She can’t sink down to her competitor’s level, because Trump has proven with his acceptance speech that he is stepping up and changing his game plan.

Because Indiana as a whole is highly conservative, there is added pressure on Marion County voters to participate in November. Currently, Marion County has 675,568 registered voters; in the primary, only 220,870 ballots were cast. Democrats led turnout in Marion County with 118,884, followed by Republicans with 101,928 votes. The remainder of the ballots were nonpartisan or blank.

Indiana was an integral part of securing Trump’s fate in the primary, and we will remain such a force in November. For me and many others, the race between Clinton and Trump is less about political affiliation and more about who will be the best, most qualified president. Clinton is that person. Now it is time for Indiana Democrats, liberals and moderate Republicans to join forces in an effort to elect the best woman for the job.

At press time, figures mentioned don’t represent 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Shannon Williams is president of Recorder Media Group @IndyRecorder

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