None of the Above

I’d like to expand on something I said in the last blog post. If there is anything the electorate has been saying since 2008 it is that they are dissatisfied with the political system and both parties. Obama’s election in 2008 and 2012, Hillary’s loss in 2016, Trump’s victory in 2016, and the midterm elections in 2018, show that they are dissatisfied with mainstream politics and they want something else. These are votes against the usual suspects. There is no one ideology they support as those voters who switched from Obama to Trump attest. They want someone who will shake up government whether it be a young black senator, a talk show host, or a freshman congresswoman. This is happening on both ends of the political spectrum. Conservatives support Trump for his anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, and anti government regulation stands while he pretends to be a nationalist and a populist all the while being a clear part of the 1%. Trump may be a racist, narcissistic, misogynistic, poorly informed, inexperienced, dyslexic, ignorant, and disrespectful draft dodging son of a bitch, but he is their son of a bitch. He promised to drain the swamp yet his administration will go down in history as one of the most corrupt ever, when all is said and done. If he is what conservatives have to put up with to get their agenda pushed forward, then so be it.

It is happening on the left where a 76 year old democratic socialist has and continues to attract young voters in droves. Young, inexperienced Alexandra Ocasio Cortez was able to unseat an incumbent Democrat while incurring the wrath of not only apoplectic old fart conservatives and Republicans, but also the old fart mainstream of her own party like Dianne Feinstein and Claire McCaskill. Although Trump’s office is ripe for the taking, the Democratic Party shoots itself in the foot by not noticing that voters are rejecting the mainstream by voting for candidates who represent and promise change. The Democratic National Committee and its Code Blue funding arm have stated that they will not support candidates who challenge incumbents in primaries when that is precisely who the electorate is calling for. The mainstream supports Joe Biden whose long career in public service makes him exactly the person who voters will reject. It is waging a civil war against the progressive wing of its own party when it is change that poses the strongest challenge to Trump. It was the belief among enough people that Hilary Clinton represented more of the same old, same old that sank her presidential bid even though some saw her gender as a challenge to the status quo. It is change that will excite the base, attract those who were dissatisfied with Rodham Clinton, and bring people out to vote. It is the mainstream who don’t recognize that the political landscape has changed. They have gotten away from their concern with the working and middle classes to become almost as much the tool of their corporate masters as the Republicans.

My only hope for this mainstream is that the challenges within their own party push them leftwards. If you don’t like the soak the rich schemes of Warren and AOC, the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, relief from college loans, then come up with your own plans. I do not have high hopes for them however. They have become so addicted to one way of doing things that I do not anticipate that they will change much. They have been entrenched in power so long that maintaining it becomes its own imperative. Maintaining their hold on power however will eventually force them to confront the changes that the electorate is demanding, just as the Republicans have adapted to hold their noses and support Trump. It is now the Democrats who must evolve or die as people keep voting for “none of the above” whenever the usual suspects run for national office.

The affects of income inequality and economic instability are everywhere. Most people now do not think that their children will be better off than them. Even Wall Street is beginning to realize that Trump’s misguided and ill fated trade wars will eventually lead to recession. His refusals to abide by congressional subpoenas pose a potential constitutional crisis and threat to our democracy. His foreign policy has made the United States the laughingstock of the world and no longer the shining city on the hill that it once thought itself to be. The U.S. has become more of a threat to the world, its environment and its peace than ever before and that is saying something. It is therefore more critical than ever that the Democrats win this presidential election, but the question remains whether they will be able to get themselves together enough to do so.

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