What was clear from the beginning to anyone able and willing to look past the dizzying cacophony of rhetorical bloviage of the past 18 month was that unless the Democrats miraculously managed to take over the Senate and House by large margins with a Clinton victory or despite a Trump victory, a Trump victory could only mean a Republican sweep of government from state houses to governorships to all three branches of the judiciary with the pending appointment to the Supreme Court.
Could anything be less “anti-establishment”? The Reagan Revolution Continues: Nov. 8, 2016.
In what way could this Republican takeover lead to a people’s revolution, other than being likely to make many lives so much worse that we fall into deeper civil unrest, and thereby generating the hope that said unrest will lead to a true revolution along the lines of–well, I am not sure which model was in mind. Maybe the French Revolution. Which of course led to Napoleonic leadership for some 15 years before eventually fulfilling its promise. That’s high stakes gambling at the international level. More on that another day.
Unfortunately, this con fooled both right- and left-leaning voters who helplessly fetishize sweeping “change” for its own sake without considering the incredibly complex system of business and government in the United States and around the world. They bought the theatrics of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who hemmed and hawed over how awful Trump was but never repudiated him in the way some in their party did. They thought that we just need “change” without considering that if the only premise for changing presidents every eight years is party affiliation, then who needs an election at all? (Some argue that the election is a farce, but I don’t share that view.)
Both right- and left-wing “common man” voters somehow ignored the fact that Trump practically lives on Wall Street, despite plenty of news coverage to the contrary. So, no Clinton because she is too close to Wall Street (despite having released her taxes, etc.), but yes to Trump because he is close to Wall Street but talks smack. Is it not obvious that this is INSANITY?
The working-class voters who did vote for Trump got conned. However, we now know that it was not the working poor and middle-class who gave him his victory, but the wealthier white voters wanting to secure their dominance:
Let’s call it the Frat Vote: White and wealthy voters gave victory to Donald Trump, exit polls show.
As Paul Waldman from the American Prospect argues, Trump’s biggest con was the notion that he was “anti-establishment”:
There is another possible outcome here, which is hardly news: the Republicans are not that interested in policies per se, only in control that allows them to line the pockets of their friends the international corporations and global plutocrats. They will likely be more than happy to retain many Democratic policies as long as they are able to take the credit for their success and if they don’t interfere too much with the flow of global capital to the right off-shore bank accounts.
Americans need to redirect their cynicism–or better, healthy skepticism–to the right targets, instead of letting 30-some years of right wing media tell them what to think about flawed but, in my opinion, preferable candidates like Hillary Clinton. If you want a short-cut, John LeCarre books and movies may help develop a healthy and sophisticated sense of nefarious dealings in Realpolitik. But this is no substitute for studying more history, economics, and politics. Unfortunately, many of our fellow Americans are not literate. Another post for another day.