Trump: A Revolution in Waiting

By | 3/28/2016 Leave a Comment
republican party brokered convention trump

The Washington Post’s Chief National Correspondent Dan Balz expressed a dire view of the current political climate in the U.S. in an interview on David Axelrod’s “The Axe Files” podcast today, saying, “We're in a very difficult, bad period in American politics, in which, with each election cycle, it seems to drive things... farther apart.”

And there are doubtless a great many who would agree with him. But is the sky really falling in, or are we fortunate to be living in one of the most interesting and transformative periods of recent U.S. political history?

Take the rise of Donald J. Trump. When the billionaire real estate mogul/TV personality announced his bid for the nomination back in June of last year he was roundly dismissed as a fringe candidate and certainly not someone to be taken seriously. In the months that followed, despite his consistently high poll numbers in many of the early voting states, the party establishment and the mainstream media continued to sideline him, all waiting for the bubble to inevitably burst, either from his increasingly provocative statements and public spats – many of which would have already doomed a “normal” candidacy – or when it got down to the grave matter of actually voting, at which time the public were expected to stop their silly celebrity flirtation and get serious.

But, of course, none of that happened. And the reason it didn’t wasn’t because so many of these voters were unable to kick their TV celebrity habit; it was because here was someone finally putting voice to what they’d been feeling for a long, long time. After years of their party giving tax cuts to the wealthy and tax breaks to big business; of signing free-trade agreements that saw jobs in their communities shrink or disappear altogether; of seeing their wages stagnate while their party continued to bailout and protect Wall Street and the big banks, at long last they finally had someone willing to stand up and call it all out.

The party had taken them (or more accurately, their votes) for granted for far too long, and had paid scant attention to their economic plight and resultant frustrations. And so when Donald Trump descended on an escalator inside Trump Tower to formally declare his intention to seek the presidency, he became the quintessential right man at the right time.

There’s a revolution taking place among the GOP’s electorate, and it’s not fuelled by red hats or bombastic slogans. Its energy comes from a long-simmering resentment at being ignored and condescended to by an elitist culture in Washington that nevertheless returns to the well every four years to ask for the same votes with which to give them more of the same.

This year, however, those voters are biting the hand that doesn’t feed, and the Republican Party may never be the same again.

How it will all end up remains to be seen, but it’s not a bad period in American politics – it’s a fascinating one.

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