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The American People vs. the Political Establishment

Posted by addisethiopia on July 13, 2016

January 22, 2016

Over the course of 228 years since the ratification of the United States Constitution every presidential election cycle has been identified in history by an overriding issue or movement. In 2016 the underlying theme is the anger and disgust directed toward the political establishment. Per the polls, an overwhelming majority of the American people see their family’s’ and the nation’s future as extremely bleak, and the current political leaders in Washington as being megalomaniacal, avaricious, narcissistic or feckless. Not since the early days of the Great Depression has the citizenry, regardless of political affiliation, been so fearful of the future and so infuriated with the nation’s governing class.

There are, at present, 14 declared candidates running for their party’s presidential nomination — 3 in the Democratic Party and 11 in the Republican Party. Considering the general mood of the country where do these hopefuls fit into the overall framework of the political establishment?

On these pages in January of 2012 I defined the political establishment as being made up of the following:

  1. A preponderance of current and retired national office holders whose livelihoods (re-election for current office holders and lobbying or consulting for retired politicians) requires fealty to the Party in order to maintain financial backing as well as access to government largess;

  2. The majority of the media elite, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York, whose proximity to power and access is vital in order to gratify their self-esteem and to sustain their standard of living;

  3. Academia, numerous think-tanks, so called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in any administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;

  4. The reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party; and

  5. The crony capitalists, i.e. leaders of the corporate and financial community as well as unions, whose entities are dependent on or subject to government oversight and/or benevolence and whose political contributions assure political cooperation.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, there is no one currently in the race for president that exemplifies the current governing class more than Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist and the antithesis of the establishment as defined above, is doing extraordinarily well against Hillary notwithstanding her overwhelming starting advantage in fundraising and having the weight of the Democratic Party behind her. Among the factors contributing to Sanders’s showing is that Hillary is unlikeable and untrustworthy, but more importantly a large percentage of the base in the Democratic Party is also fed up with the political establishment, as well as the paucity of choices foisted on them by the Democratic Party hierarchy, and is venting that frustration in their backing of Bernie Sanders. Nonetheless, the Democrat wing of the establishment will make certain he will not win the nomination regardless of what may happen to Hillary Clinton.

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