As is often the case in the hall of mirrors that is the Establishment, the election of 2016 is not what it seems. Officially, it is about choosing nominees from a wide variety of candidates, at least among the Republicans, then hearing them battle it out in policy-oriented debate.
But that is just kabuki for the rubes out in flyover land. The Establishment knows the real game, or thinks it does. Each party will, in the end, choose an Establishment nominee, and which one wins is not important. The Establishment will remain in charge, and nothing will change.
On the surface, that is probably what will happen. If there is a credible third party candidate, he will find the system is so rigged by the two parties that are really one party that he has small chance. The Establishment will remain in power, confident it will always do so.
That confidence is misplaced. At a level deeper than the kabuki and the Establishment’s rigged system, powerful forces are in motion. What the election is really about is these forces, their outlets, their prospects, and the likelihood that the Establishment, which is blind to them, is already living on borrowed time.
Both here and in Europe, popular support for anti-Establishment candidates and parties is skyrocketing. Trump and Sanders are both troubling the Establishment by their levels of support and its staying power. The Establishment knows neither will become president, because it has rigged the game.
Still, their popularity sends a message that has brought unease to the corridors of power. Who are these awful people? What leads them to dissent from the Establishment’s combination of, on the one hand, cultural Marxism, and on the other, a fat cat world where one hand washes the other (Wall Street and Washington) and Establishment membership brings great wealth? I mean, don’t they see there is no other possible way? Could there really be so many “thisists” and “thatists” out there, people who dare express views that would cause every door in Washington to slam in their faces? Seen dimly in the candlelight, angry faces are staring in the hall of mirrors’ windows.
What is driving this, both on the Right and the Left, is a growing understanding at the grass roots level that the Establishment’s policies do not work. We start stupid “humanitarian” wars–Hillary loves them–and then lose. We flood America and Europe with immigrants who will never become Americans or Europeans. We praise every culture and religion except our own. In the U.S., the crime problem is discussed with no reference to the fact that most of the violent criminals are black or Hispanic.
On Wall Street, the .1%, whose enormous wealth seldom comes from producing a product but rather from financial manipulation (which, when it fails, has to be bailed out by the rest of us) buy Congressmen and Senators by the dozen. Those Members of Congress make sure “free trade” continues to benefit the super-rich while the middle class, what’s left of it, sinks into poverty. As the jobs vanish and the institutions ordinary people depend on fail, the Establishment, both its political and its financial wings, insulates itself from the failures. They take the lifeboats while everyone else goes down with the Titanic.
Both here and in much of Europe, at least a third of the public knows the Establishment’s policies don’t work. That has put anti-Establishment parties, Right and Left, in places like Sweden, France, Switzerland, and Greece in power or within striking distance of power.
Here, again, the Establishment is right in its confidence that both major parties’ nominees will come from and represent the Establishment. One will almost certainly win.
But here’s an idea that would give them fits. When the conventions are over and the nominees chosen, an independent ticket emerges that can get itself on every ballot. What ticket? Trump for President, Sanders for Vice President, with both promising that Sanders will handle foreign policy and defense policy (only) and Trump domestic policy (only). Sanders would keep us out of more wars and begin defunding a military that can’t win Fourth Generation conflicts. Trump would start stripping political correctness out of federal government policy and enthusiastically turn on his fellow billionaires and their dragon hordes.
Would a Trump/Sanders ticket win? A plurality of the popular vote, maybe; the Electoral College, almost certainly not. But Left/Right coalitions against the center have potentially great power. And voters would have a choice, not an echo.