Donald Trump is a national and international embarrassment. But Americans should be even more embarrassed by the circumstances that led to Trump’s victory — in particular, Hillary’s nomination. This post delineates the 12-step process that made it so.
Here’s how it happened:
- In the 1980’s, the Republican Party figured out how to game the system by throwing money at state elections.
- By the 1990’s, the Democratic Party was forced to take large campaign contributions to compete. By the 2000’s they were firmly entrenched in moneyed pockets.
- At that point, each of them became a different wing of the same “Big $$” party.
- As a result, the economic situation of the average American continued to decline, even as the already-wealthy prospered:
- The estate tax was repealed, allowing wealth to concentrate even more.
- Protections put in place after the Great Depression were rescinded.
- As a direct result, America experienced the “Great Recession”.
- Middle America never did recover, although the wealthy and the technology-hotbeds did well.
- Come the 2016 election, Trump lies his ass off. He makes big promises, and poses as an “outsider’ who will end the reign of the Big-$$ party.
- At least he offers middle America a chance, in that respect — even though it turns out that he puts Wall Street in charge, and does everything he can to dismantle the government.
- Clinton meanwhile, has secret meetings with Wall Street. Those are her death-knell.
- Middle American voters cannot be won over to socially liberal policies. Yes, such policies are intelligent. Yes, they’re right. But they fly in the face of entrenched religious orthodoxy. It just ain’t never gonna happen.
- So how are middle American voters courted? With jobs. Trump makes empty promises, saying he’ll deliver them by the thousands. At that point, no knows for sure that he is a total fraud. Sure, he’s blowing a lot of smoke. But he could make a difference, if he had a mind, too.
- Unfortunately, it turns out he doesn’t have a mind to. In fact, he has no mind at all. His attention span is so short, he is incapable of learning on the job. Every company he ever had failed miserably — but he prospered, nonetheless. So he looks like a success.
- Meanwhile, Clinton offers no real alternative. Everyone knows that she is on the side of Wall Street. So Democratic voters stay home. What’s the point?, they ask. Meanwhile, Trump voters go to the polls. Color Middle America solid red, and watch Trump take office.
- There were ways to change the narrative, but none of the came to pass:
- Bernie Sanders was a real populist who could have made a huge difference. But the DNC was another wing of the Big-$$ Party, remember? So they did everything they could to derail Bernie, and give Hillary the nomination.
- If the U.S. had multi-candidate elections, with either a runoff system or Instant Runoff Voting, someone like Bernie could still have won. Or another, more centrist (and easily more competent) candidate could have won. But we don’t have such a system in America, for the very same reason that the DNC gave Hillary the nomination — Big-$$ doesn’t want it that way.
Learn more: American Politics (for a systems model of these points and summary of the American system)
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