Republican Presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich have finally admitted defeat. Barring any schemes to usurp the decision of GOP voters and select another candidate, Donald Trump is the Republican Nominee for the 2016 Presidential Election. This is a major problem for much of the political establishment and the hordes of people Mr. Trump has managed to outrage. While the politicians, pundits, and plutocrats of the US political industry are busy calculating whether or not supporting Trump will be advantageous to them, the fact that Donald Trump could be the next US Presidents is now a reality that must be recognized.
Although Mr. Trump’s victory is no surprise, the fact that presumptive Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton is still competing with Bernie Sanders, who has no chance of clinching the Party nomination, is a surprise. Favored by the political establishment, Hillary Clinton has long been treated as the presumptive Democratic candidate. Despite Sanders use of the nomination process to gain leverage over Clinton and the future Democratic policy platform, Hillary will be the Democratic Nominee. To boot, strong anti-Trump sentiments among Republicans could mean GOP support for Hillary, thus creating a true establishment versus non-establishment race.
Political elites are support their Party candidate, but insincerely supporting a candidate, who one finds unfit, is a problem that undermines democracy. Not only does a lack of honest dissent hurt the credibility of individual political leaders, it empowers leaders who do not actually have the support they need to tackle contentious issues. Today, it is impossible to clearly define what makes a person a Republican or a Democrat, because dissent is discourage in favor of electing whoever happens to be the Party’s candidate. Trump is testing the limits of Party loyalty to the point Republican elites may support Democrat Hillary Clinton to block Trump’s Presidency.
Party elites, especially wealthy donors, appear to believe they decide the results of elections. The 2016 Presidential Election forces them to recognize the limits of their influence. Instead of pouring millions upon millions of dollars to try to elect someone they prefer, it would be far more beneficial for these donors, and democracy, if they spent their money supporting the missions of political organizations like the Washington Outsider. In doing so, they would help ensure public officials and the People have the insights, analytical tools, and innovative policy choices needed to adequately address the pressing issues threatening our society.
Furthermore, the organizers of the “Never Trump” and “Stop Trump” movements will not simply disappear. They will start to directly confront Mr. Trump on the issues in an effort to derail his campaign, which might not be possible even though he is the underdog in the general election, and/or force him to reformulate his positions. Aside from a handful of secondary issues, such as illegal immigration and abortion, “free trade” and world security, a.k.a. global governance, will be two areas where Hillary will be pressured to “distinguish herself from Trump” by aligning her policy platform to favor the interests of the political establishment.
Such tactics may have limited success, but efforts to ensure the agendas of political elite are self-sabotaging. Just as President Obama’s efforts to appease the Left, amid a campaign of Right-wing obstructionism, undercut his popularity and broad base of support, politicians, who cater to the interests of political elites, will face intensifying backlash. Candidates might be able to garner support for confronting Russia, China, and the Islamic State with sound arguments, but “free trade” is DOA. Public policies, which serve the interests of the political elite, must be aligned with the interests of the American People, who must now be convinced that is true.
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