Thursday, April 28, 2016

Now That It's Becoming Clear....

Election 2016

Why Trump Could Win
  

           Now that it’s becoming depressingly clear that Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee in this November’s Presidential election, I’m no longer passionate about any candidate. I don’t say it doesn’t matter who wins, but neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump embraces my core values in any meaningful way. I’m free to look at this election without any personal bias beyond my own disappointment in the process.
            Still, there are uneasy forces afoot in the land that bear watching, and many of these forces attach to those who support the current front-runners and probable nominees of their respective parties.
            Donald Trump represents a large group of people—a number of whom are persuadable Democrats and Independents—who feel cut off from their patriotic roots in the American mythology that we are the greatest nation ever to rise upon the face of the Earth. To these folks—the demographers have identified them as largely white, under-uneducated, unemployed or under-employed males—Trump represents something different, something more muscular and shrewd and, maybe most importantly, inward-looking in a nationalistic sense. America first, and to hell with those who don’t like it.
            Hillary Clinton has said she wants to continue in the direction set by the policies of the Obama administration. She has also drifted quite a bit to the left of Obama in response to Bernie Sanders’ effective challenge to her presumed coronation. She has not, however, made it clear she will stay out there on the left, once Bernie is out of the competition. Her appeal to her party’s base, therefore, is ambiguous.
            Will the present Sanders supporters turn out for Hillary? As a Sanders supporter myself, I can’t say. My present instinct is to stay at home, but we’ll see what the campaign brings. I've always voted, and I suppose I will again.
            The thing is, who will Hillary attract? Her argument is that she will continue the legacy of Obama while adding on some of Bernie Sanders’ proposals, like relief for student loans, bringing corporate tax dodgers to heel, maybe even a tax on Wall Street transactions. But it’s sure to be more of the same on many fronts. The economy will still be rigged, elections will still be for sale, the morass in the Middle East will continue, and the red states will still think they are victims of a great conspiracy to take their country away from them. Hillary haters will compete for those audiences, and some will thrive.
            Meanwhile, Bernie’s political revolution of democratic socialism won’t go away. It may take another election cycle to realize itself, but the Democratic Party, as many have observed, is on the verge of its own nervous breakdown, similar to the breakdown of the Republican party establishment and the rise of the Trump phenomenon.
            In the meantime, though, the country may elect Trump, who is likely to make the case that electing Hillary is a throw-back to the past, while he is something new, a successful business magnate who knows how to make deals advantageous to himself and his interests. People like to hear that, especially if they’re disillusioned with the America they experience today compared to the American dream they were raised to believe in, one of opportunity and abundant reward for all who buckle down and work hard.
            In short, Trump offers change, however one feels about it. Hillary offers more of the same as if the same has been good. That’s a hard sell. Trump appeals to the gambler’s nature. Hillary favors the security of sameness, of the familiar. Yes, she’s a woman, and breaking the glass ceiling of the U.S. Presidency for women is no small thing, just as it was no small thing we elected Obama, our first African-American President. But victories need to be more than symbolic, and, given our times of multiple crises, there’s a widely shared feeling that we need substantive change. Like it or not, at this point in the process it looks as if Trump is the only candidate who offers that.

1 Comments:

At 10:53 PM , Blogger Tom Ellis said...

Say it's not so! Trump is another Gaddafi, another Saddam Hussein, another Putin, another Franco, Marcos, Mussolini, Idi Amin...name your own pathologically narcissistic caudillo, all the way back to Genghis Khan... His popularity with the great unwashed--white, male, ignorant, gullible, angry, frustrated, bigoted, and vain--replicates the same appeal to the Lumpen Proletariat that advanced the likes of Hitler and Mussolini to power.

This is scary shit! Far better we elect the (entirely banal) evil that we know (Hillary) than fly to a self-appointed neofascist messiah who will stop at nothing to consolidate all power in himself and wreck the nation and planet alike in the process!

 

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