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The Democratic Party, in its Current Form, has No Worthwhile Future: 4

January 5, 2017 7 comments

In the previous and third part of this series- I pointed out that the democratic party, in its current form, is highly dependent upon continued support by the professional (and wannabe professional) class. In that post, I also talked about why this particular socio-economic group has such an outsize influence on the actual policy positions of democratic party. To quickly summarize: a number of overlapping factors such as their geographic distribution, co-localization with other groups of reliably democratic voters, importance in fund-raising, filling the lower ranks of their party apparatus etc make them an especially important category of likely voters for establishment democratic candidates. It is worth mentioning that the professional (and wannabe professional) class also benefit and profit from their association with, and their support of, the democratic party.

The level and depth of support by this class of the democratic party does however bring up another seldom asked question- Why are members of the professional (and wannabe professional) class in USA so likely to support, and vote for, establishment democratic candidates? I mean.. why are people in the top 10-20% of the income distribution scale, at least on the national scale, so supportive of a party which still brands itself as pro-working-class? Now some of you will point out that not all people who make a decent income tend vote for democrats.. and that is true. There is however a big difference between people who make a upper-middle class level income for 5-20 years of their life and those who are part of that class.

A working class person with a decent paying job (cop, electrician, tradesman or some other blue-collar type) is not part of the upper-middle class even if they, in some parts of the country, make an almost upper middle-class income for a couple of decades in their life. On the other hand- somebody born in a family where both parents, and frequently close relatives, have post-graduate degrees will almost always end up as part of the professional (and wannabe professional) class. Curiously people born into that class tend to remain part of it even if they are not as financially successful, at least in the short-term, as their parents. So while the kids of a professor, doctor or lawyer might not end up in occupations similar to their parents, they are rather unlikely to end up as electricians or plumbers.

But what does our brief discussion on socio-economic class in USA have to do with future electoral prospects of the democratic party? As you will see in the remainder of this post- a lot!

To better understand what I am going to say next, ask yourself another simple question- What is the idealized self-image of the professional (and wannabe professional) class? Who, and what, do they see themselves as? What do they aspire to become? At the risk of making an over generalized statement, it is fair to say that this particular class sees itself as the truly deserving elite- though most of them would never admit it loudly in public. But why would they think like that? Well.. because it is kinda true. All highly unequal and pyramidal wealth distributions owe their continued existence to the striving of those in the levels immediately below the uppermost level of the social order. To put it another way, it is the professional class who do all the hard work that keeps the status quo going- which benefits the rich elites far more than it benefits them.

And this brings us to peculiar relationship between the professional class and the rich elites. The former, you see, want to become the later. There are however only two pathways for them to realistically achieve that goal. They can either replace them through violent revolution or ingratiate themselves further to the elites. If you have read enough history, it becomes obvious that ingratiation is by far more common than outright replacement- largely because most members of the professional class are clever but spineless creatures who are better at being courtiers than warriors. The professional class therefore spend a lot of effort imitating the moneyed elite. Such mimicry ranges from the fairly harmless copying of their masters tastes in food, drink, dress, mannerisms and leisure activities to the far more insidious process of adopting their worldview as their own.

But why is the false consciousness of the professional (and wannabe professional) class in USA so problematic for the future viability of the democratic party? And why now?

To better answer this question we have to ask ourselves: has the class composition of decision makers and their flunkies in the democratic party (aka the establishment) changed over the decades? As many of you know- the answer to that is a big fucking YES! The democratic party establishment, right upto the early 1990s, represented a far wider range of social classes than in 2016. My point is that, while the party establishment then was just as (or more) corrupt and hierarchical as it is now- it was not the near perfect echo chamber of ideological conformity we see in 2016. But why is having high levels of self-imposed ideological conformity in an organization dangerous for its future? I mean.. didn’t state communism in eastern European countries last for decades under similar levels of self-imposed ideological conformity?

Which brings me to the real reason why extensive support by the professional class is so damaging to the future of the democratic party. Rigid ideological conformity, you see, works pretty well as long as external conditions don’t change too much. Think about using cruise control on a car.. it works great as long as you are driving on a road (and under conditions) similar to the one under which it was turned on. However you cannot keep on using the cruise control setting you turned on a straight and uncrowded stretch of the freeway once you reach its more crowded sections or exit onto a smaller road with different speed limits. And you certainly cannot drive on a snow-covered road like you would do on a dry road in southern California. In other words, keeping yourself on the road requires you to adapt the way you drive according to prevailing road conditions and traffic.

Similarly large human organizations such as political parties have to adjust their mode of functioning and strategies to the prevailing conditions. But how do they “know” about changes in the political and socio-economic climate? In a democracy, elections are supposed to provide such a feedback. But what if they are unable to do so? What if the entire electoral process is so rigged and gerrymandered that most incumbent candidates of either political party keeps on winning “fair and free” elections until the whole underlying system is literally about to collapse? What if a political party is capable of consistently winning elections in certain parts of the country regardless of their policies and performance in office? In case you didn’t realize it- I was talking about the electoral process in USA.

Anyway.. my point, here, is that elections are basically unable to effect any real change in the policy directions of established political parties. Any change in that area (short of the public losing all faith in the system) has therefore to come from people inside the establishment of political parties. We already know that “leaders” and other high-ranking officials in any political party will never change their ways or accept the need for such change. And this brings us to the loyal rank-and-file of political parties. As far as the democratic party is concerned, its loyal rank-and-file = professional (and wannabe professional) class. To put it another way, the loyal rank-and-file of the democratic party is basically a large echo chamber which supports and vigorously defends the interests and worldview of rich elites.

That is why the democratic establishment and its loyal supporters have been able to consistently reelect their repeatedly unsuccessful leadership. That is why they keep on acting as if they were not badly defeated in 2016. That is why they keep on nominating mediocre insider presidential candidates like Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and HRC. That is why all the electoral reverses of the previous eight years had little to no effect on their political strategies. That is also why they are busy blaming everybody but their own strategies and policies for their electoral setbacks. That is also why they are so interested in getting the votes of “moderate” republicans rather than increasing their turnout among the working class.

To make a long story short, establishment democrats will very likely continue on their disastrous trajectory because everybody who has any real say in making that decision believes it to be the only path. Perhaps more troublingly, they will continue to win enough elections in certain populous parts of the party to keep them relevant as a national party and thereby allow them to dismiss (or stifle) emerging internal dissent in the party. Unless some combination of persons and events discredits the current democratic establishment and their flunkies, in the near future, to an extent which makes it impossible for them to be seen as a credible national political party- they have no worthwhile future.

What do you think? Comments?

The Democratic Party, in its Current Form, has No Worthwhile Future: 3

December 30, 2016 7 comments

In a previous (and second) post of this series, I wrote about the largely unspoken reasons underlying the inability and unwillingness of establishment democrats to change their political strategy and choice of electoral candidates. I made a case that the “managed” version of democracy (actually an illusion of democratic legitimacy) which was prevalent in western countries over the previous 40 years has now experienced irreversible systematic failure. The real question, then, is “when” (not “if”) the current status quo will implode.

To be clear, I am not implying that this hollow and rotten edifice will come down tumbling in the near future. It is, in fact, unlikely to fail over the next few months or even the few (say.. 2-4) years. I am merely pointing out that the current setup has demonstrated its inability to maintain the status quo which perpetuates its own existence. The exact sequence of events that will trigger its final implosion are still a matter of chance. My guess is that they will unfold over a time-span of the next 2-12 years, with my best guesstimate being 3-7 years. But that is a topic for a future post or series.

Readers might recall that my previous two posts in the current series were about the numerous systemic failures of the democratic party establishment over previous 40 years. As they might also recall, these failures have become especially obvious over the last decade. But are establishment democrats the only group responsible for their own slow motion destruction and increasing irrelevance? Have other identifiable groups contributed to, or accelerated, the pace of destruction and loss of relevance for democrats? Well.. as much as I would like to assign all blame for their (own) destruction on establishment democrats, it is clear that they had lots of external help.

The rest of this post is about one external group, which more than any other, has facilitated the ongoing slow motion destruction of the democratic party. To better understand what I am going to say next, ask yourself a simple question: how can any political party, as well-funded as it might be, keep on winning elections at any level of government if it cannot get enough people to vote for it? In other words- tribal minded voters who will loyally vote for a given political party, no matter what, are crucial to the continued survival of that party. This dependence on a core of enthusiastic and tribal minded voters is especially important for political parties in stage-managed “democracies” such as USA.

You might have noticed that party primaries in USA tend to favor candidates who can fake fidelity to the most extreme version of what their most loyal and tribal minded voters want to hear. That is why republican primaries (at all levels of government) have traditionally been dominated by candidates who profess extreme religiosity, want to eliminate income taxes, cut “deficit spending”, expand the military-industrial and prison-surveillance-industrial complex, support racist incarceration policies and want to restrict the right of women to get abortions. Similarly, democratic primaries have historically been dominated by candidates who pretend to profess fidelity to ideals such as defending and expanding credentialism, promoting and expanding rule by technocrats, maintaining the economic status quo, paying lip service to racial equality and pretending to support expanded access to better education, healthcare etc.

In other words- beyond promoting the interests of their big money donors, candidates of any political party are most beholden to issues that animate their most loyal and tribal minded voters. And this brings us to the next question- what kind of person reliably votes for democratic candidates in party primaries? As it turns out, most of these super loyal democratic voters fall into one of two major categories. One category consists of middle-aged and elderly black women who live in predominantly urban or black-majority neighborhoods. Voters in this particular category are also promptly forgotten and ignored by establishment democrats after each election season.

The other reliably enthusiastic category of democratic voters consists of the professional (and wannabe professional) class- and they have carry more clout with the party establishment than black women. This category of voters is also an important secondary source of campaign funds in addition to providing the bulk of their electoral campaign volunteers. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the policies of establishment democrats, beyond those required by the big money financiers, are mostly driven by the concerns and needs of their professional (and wannabe professional) class supporters- who have become increasingly concentrated in a few coastal states and major metropolitan areas.

The willingness of the democratic establishment to promote ideas such as gun control, transgender bathrooms, even more credentialism, “free trade” policies, increased immigration, austerity and policy wonkism is largely due to their desire to satisfy their professional (and wannabe professional) class voters. The desire to maintain support of this particular category of voters is also behind the reluctance of establishment democrats to support ideas such as increasing the minimum wage, reducing immigration and job outsourcing, reducing growing economic inequality, investing in infrastructure development, reducing the costs of housing, education and healthcare etc. You get the picture..

But why is reliable support of professional (and wannabe professional) class so harmful to the future electoral prospects of the democratic party? And why did such support apparently not hurt them in past elections?

Well.. for starters, it has hurt them in the past. The loss of a majority in the house after almost fifty years in 1994, Gore losing the electoral college to Bush in the 2000 election, Kerry losing to Bush in 2004, the loss of a majority of state legislatures and governorships by democrats (between 2008-2016) in addition to their loss of majorities in the house (in 2010) and senate (2014) during that same time period owe a lot to major policy positions of establishment democrats and the type of candidates chosen in party primaries. I should add that HRC, who was the dream candidate of this voter class, lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump.

But it gets worse.. Establishment democrats have responded to these electoral setbacks by doubling down on widely unpopular policy positions favored by the professional (and wannabe professional) class. While there is certainly an element of ego in not admitting to screwing up, I believe that maintaining the continued allegiance of this voter class also plays a role in democrats maintaining their current course. It is not exactly a secret that winning elections without much effort in certain populous and highly urbanized states such as CA, NY and MA requires democrats to promote the beliefs and concerns of this professional (and wannabe professional) class.

To make a long story short- the 2008 financial crisis and it’s still ongoing aftermath has made it hard for democrats to win elections in non-coastal and non-metropolitan areas of the country. The majority of eligible voters in most parts of USA don’t want to vote for them or prefer the other party. It seems that the whole ‘socially liberal + fiscally conservative republican-lite’ shtick is no longer capable of convincing enough people to vote for them. Even worse, these electoral loses have made democrats even more dependent on continued electoral victories in coastal states and major metropolitan areas. In other words, trying to keep this particular class of loyal voters has forced establishment democrats to double down on the very policy positions and type of candidates responsible for their continued electoral losses in the rest of USA.

What do you think? Comments?

The Democratic Party, in its Current Form, has No Worthwhile Future: 2

December 28, 2016 7 comments

In the previous post of this series, I had written about how the democratic party establishment plus its major supporters and financiers have been thrown in total disarray by the surprising (to them) election of Donald Trump. It seems that most of them are still in deep denial about the combination of factors and trends which led to the humiliating defeat of their chosen candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Even more troubling, is their almost complete unwillingness to analyse and act upon factors behind the slow-motion electoral rout of their party at multiple levels of government throughout the entire country. While the democratic establishment and its flunkies have put forth a number of reasons for their massive electoral losses at both the federal and state levels, it is clear that they are trying to avoid the proverbial elephant in the room- low turnout of voters for their candidates.

So why is the democratic establishment so unwilling to confront the real reasons behind low voter turnout for their candidates? Why are democrats so obsessed with talking about various voter suppression laws passed by republicans which have, at best, a marginal effect on the ultimate outcome? Why are they unwilling to address the far higher numbers and percentages of eligible voters who choose to not vote in any election? Would it not make sense to increase the low turnout among working class voters- who tend to vote for democratic candidates? Furthermore, why have democratic politicians been rather unwilling to actually pass legislation which would increase electoral turnout (for example- by making voting easier and more convenient) when they had the ability to do so. Why are establishment democrats obsessed with who votes for them, rather than how many cast their votes for them?

Well.. it comes down to one the conspicuously unsaid but fundamental precepts of the neoliberal worldview that is the official ideology of both major parties in USA and indeed all major political parties in countries of the so-called “democratic west”. Neoliberalism works only as long it operates in a command-control type of socio-economic-legal environment. In other words, neoliberalism cannot function in anything approaching a functional democratic socio-economic-legal environment. Now, this inherent contradiction poses a peculiar problem for all those supposedly democratic countries in the “west”. How can the government and elites in such countries retain the veneer of democratic legitimacy while continuing to act in an undemocratic and authoritarian manner? For almost 40 years, elected officials from all major political countries in the so-called “democratic” west have addressed this contradiction by increasing levels of voter suppression by consciously, and unconsciously, discouraging them from voting.

Ever wondered the rates of voter participation have kept on dropping in almost every single “democratic” western country over the last 40 years? Why are so many people, especially in younger age groups, not interested in voting? Perhaps most tellingly, why are the majority of political parties in these countries not concerned about this progressive decline? Why do they almost never do anything to address this issue beyond paying lip-service to it near election time? If you ask people who do not vote about the reasons behind their decision- they will tell you, almost to the last person, that they do not believe that their vote makes a difference. If you dig down a bit further, they will tell you they do not believe (with good reason) that their elected representatives will ever legislate in their interests.

A significant percentage of people in the supposedly “democratic” west have come to the realization that their elected representatives are not answerable to those who elected them. Even worse, every conventional political party in countries as (allegedly) diverse as USA, UK, France and Sweden is utterly beholden to elites- especially of the financial and managerial type. For a long time (late 1970s- 2012?) there was no real alternative for the rapidly rising percentage of people who were unhappy with the official range of choices for political representation. The elected representatives of conventional political parties were, however, quite happy with this situation as it allowed them to maintain the veneer of democratic legitimacy while they were servicing their moneyed elite masters. It is worth mentioning that this situation was tenable for so long largely because inertia kept covering up (if somewhat incompletely) the growing numbers of cracks in the system. Then 2008 happened..

Sophistic CONmen (academics from “famous” universities) and other assorted public “intellectuals” want people to believe that the 2008 financial crisis was the direct initiator for our current era of political instability. I would argue otherwise. The financial crisis of 2008 was, if anything, the end of an era. More specifically, it marked the end of an era marked by widespread public support for the neoliberal worldview. Prior to 2008 a majority of people in the west were willing to believe that the neoliberal way of doing things might, one day, let them become part of elite or at least the upper-middle class. The financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent establishment reactions to it destroyed the last vestige of hope that kept people from challenging the increasingly disconnected and authoritarian nature of their “democratically elected” governments.

I would argue that the response and reactions of credentialed “experts” and elected officials to the 2008 crisis between 2009 and 2012, rather than the actual event, heralded the current era of political instability. The resurgence of hard leftist and populist right-wing parties in western European countries, the Brexit vote in 2016 and the election of Trump in 2016 are therefore responses to exposure of the almost complete incompetence of the conventional political establishment in those countries. It does not help that all conventional political parties in these countries are almost totally controlled by moneyed elites. The aftermath of the 2008 crisis also reopened supposedly settled questions such as the inevitability, let alone the desirability, of “free trade” and “internationalism”. In short, it made many once respectable ideas and their promoters people look like greedy tools and confabulating idiots.

But what does any of the stuff I talked about in the preceding paragraphs have to do with the future of the democratic party in USA and its inability to increase voters turnout for its candidates? As it turns out.. a lot!

The democratic party in the USA, like its republican counterpart, is a conventional political party full of politicians and advisers who cannot imagine a world that is not based in neoliberalism. Consequently they will do anything and everything in their power to maintain the status quo- even if doing so destroys them in the end. That is why the democrats keep blaming everybody except HRC and themselves for their shitty performance in the most recent election cycles. You might have noticed that even an electoral defeat as humiliating as the one dealt to them in 2016 has not resulted in any worthwhile changes in their focus, overall strategy and leadership. They have, if anything, doubled down on all their pre- Nov 8 positions and will make themselves irrelevant in the near future- at least in their current form. I predict that the republicans will also suffer the same fate once they become the incumbent (and largely unopposed) party at all levels of the federal government.

Establishment democrats are not, and were never really, interested in raising general voter turnout for their candidates because that would result in the selection and election of candidates who were not beholden to their moneyed elite patrons. That is a reason that establishment democrats punch left, rather than right. That is why HRC was far more interested in getting the votes of suburban white republican women than poor working class whites. It was always about finding enough voters who were willing to vote for perpetuating neoliberal agendas. Establishment democrats don’t hate working class whites because the later might be racist. They hate them because getting their votes requires making and keeping some populist promises. Establishment democrats love black voters because getting their votes has (at least until now) not required them to make and keep any populist promises. Similarly they love hispanic voters because getting their votes does not require them to promise anything that is not on a neoliberal checklist.

The preference of establishment democrats for getting votes by appealing to identity politics, rather than class politics, should therefore be seen as part of a strategy to win elections without making promises which might contradict the neoliberal agenda. While they have had some success with this general strategy in past elections (especially in 2008 and 2012), it is clear that it is not working- inspite of demographic trends which were supposed to make it even more successful. As it turns out, an increasing number of people are no longer interested in voting for candidates who have no desire (or ability) to improve their lives. However the magnitude of institutional inertia in the democratic establishment is still too high for it to make the necessary strategy and personal changes necessary to win in 2020, let alone 2018. I expect them to double, triple and quadruple down on their positions and ride their hobby horses into electoral irrelevancy. But don’t worry.. establishment republicans will join them in that quest within 2-4 years.

What do you think? Comments?

The Democratic Party, in its Current Form, has No Worthwhile Future: 1

December 18, 2016 5 comments

The many reactions of democratic party establishment to its loss in the 2016 presidential election have been, to put it mildly, rather amusing. On a related note- the horrible performance of democrats in this election cycle at other levels of the government such as the senate, house and state level seem to have (oddly enough) escaped the kind of scrutiny and analysis devoted to the abyssal performance of HRC in the presidential election. FYI- I am certainly not the first person to notice that establishment democrats seem to have given up trying to win elections other than the presidential one and those in reliably “blue” coastal states like NY, CA etc. But that is a topic best left for a future post.

Let us restrict this post, as far as possible, to analyzing the many reactions of establishment democrats to HRC’s “surprising” loss of the electoral college in the 2016 presidential election. As you will see, their reactions to her loss is actually a pretty good primer (and microcosm) for understanding what is wrong with the democratic party and why I think that the party, in its current form, has no worthwhile future. To be clear, I am not implying that the republican party has a bright future either. Indeed, in some ways it is even more damaged than the democratic party. It just happens to be the case that the democrat facade has cracked before its republican equivalent.

And this brings us to the question why most organisations decline or fail without recovery, while others can recover (if usually only partially) and keep on going for a bit longer. A study of history shows that the resilience of an organisation, especially its ability to recover from defeats and serious setbacks, is largely related to how it reacts to negative external events. In other words, more resilient organisations seem to be better at changing themselves to adapt to new circumstances. Some even manage to partially reinvent themselves. Doomed and declining organisations, in contrast, respond to setbacks by doubling down on the very practices and behaviors that caused the setbacks in the first place.

So how have establishment democrats responded to the big setback of HRC losing the presidential election to Trump? Have they initiated any attempt at an objective analysis of the factors behind the humiliating loss? Have they replaced party leaders whose presided over them losing the house in 2010, senate in 2014 and presidency in 2016? Have they even attempted to look back at the decisions that cost them the presidency in 2016? Have they changed, or even attempted to change, what the party is about? Well.. as many of you know they have not done any of the above. In fact, they have doubled down and basically reaffirmed their fealty to their old leaders and not changed any of their public (and private) positions.

As far as the democratic establishment is concerned, it is still business as usual. Moreover they have rolled out a list of “reasons” and talking points to explain HRCs humiliating defeat in the presidential election. These include, in no particular order: Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Russian Hackers, Vladimir Putin, racist white working class men, self-hating white women, inadequately enthusiastic black voters, uninspired millennial voters, James Comey, the FBI and of course Bernie Sanders and his “Bernie Bros” (a significant percentage of whom are female and non-white). It is as if they are invoking and promoting any reason they can think of which does not require them to self-reflect or change course.

The public reaction and talking points promoted by establishment democrats and their servile presstitutes in the 4-5 weeks since Trump defeated HRC are especially telling. Readers might be aware of the non-stop “Russia hacked our elections” hysteric bullshit promoted by establishment democrats (from Obama to every democratic politician with a pulse) and more than a few establishment republicans. I have not seen so much bullshit and lies promoted by establishment media and presstitutes since.. they were predicting Trump losing to HRC as late as early evening of November 8. It is especially striking to see democrats so willing to “believe” in unsubstantiated leaks and hearsay from the CIA- who also told us that Iraq had WMDs in 2003. Furthermore, the CIA is no longer even moderately successful at doing what it is supposed to do.. look at Syria.

Many of you might also have witnessed the ridiculous spectacle of “prominent” actors and entertainers making TV and YouTube ads with the objective of sway republican members of the electoral college into not voting for Trump on December 19. You might also have come across similar pleas from “famous” “ivy-league” academics and other assorted “public” intellectuals. To put it another way, establishment democrats and their flunkies have been reduced to begging republican members of electoral college to vote for establishment republican assholes like Kasich and Pence. The fact that establishment democrats are willing to help elect people like Kasich and Pence over Trump says a lot about the current direction and priorities of that party.

Perhaps more problematically for them, establishment democrats do not appear to have learned anything from the humiliating defeat of HRC in 2016. The list of potential candidates the democratic establishment is currently trying to groom for the 2020 election is full of spineless, corporate friendly, empty talking, mildly photogenic, anti-gun, working class hating morons. In other words, all their current potential presidential candidates for 2020 are in the same mould as HRC and Obama. Corey Booker (Obama-lite), Kirsten Gillibrand (HRC-lite), Andrew Cuomo, Julian Castro are the very type of people rejected by the electorate in 2016, Even the so-called “progressives” among these potential candidates such as Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren are more known for making the right noises than for actually demonstrating a strong desire to change the status quo.

Even more troubling is the democratic establishment is still almost totally beholden to large corporations, especially rich fake-liberal donors and the bi-coastal upper-middle class. So there is still no real chance of somebody like Bernie Sanders winning the democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Also, social and cultural issues keeping up democratic donors at night such as “gun control< "checking your privilege", "transgender bathrooms", "trigger warnings" and promoting fat women in films and TV just do not resonate with the majority of people who are struggling to make a half-decent livelihood. It bears repeating that democrats have never vigorously defended actually popular socio-cultural issues such as the right to abortion.

The democratic establishment has been more than willing to sell its voters down the river through their willingness to cut (or as they call it reform) social security, medicare and medicaid. They have not demonstrated any real compassion towards the plight of people who survive on food stamps or are disabled. Establishment democrats have also demonstrated no real willingness or urgency to actually fix the criminal justice system and substantively reduce or eliminate mass incarceration in USA. They have been quite enthusiastic about scams like the charter school movement, precarious employment, mass surveillance, militarization of police and funding endless unwinnable wars. Establishment democrats have also never seen a "free" trade agreement that they did not like.

The real platform for establishment democrats for the last thirty years can be summarized as: We will do everything the republicans promise to do for their rich donors- but will do so while looking liberal, polished, professional and cosmopolitan. The problem is that many of their voters have stopped buying the product they are offering.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Democratic Party’s Unfortunate Obsession with Gun Control

August 26, 2017 35 comments

A few months ago, I wrote a short series enumerating the many reasons why the democratic party, in its current form, has no worthwhile future. Some reasons, such as the nature of their core support base and institutional inertia, are systemic in nature. Others, like their obsession with promoting certain allegedly “social causes”, are a cover for the neo-liberal policies promoted by them. But a few do not fall neatly into either of these two categories. One of the best example from this category is the obsession of the democratic party establishment with implementing severely punitive gun control policies.

As some of my regular readers might remember, I have written many posts on why attempts at tight gun control are unworkable, futile and likely to backfire in more ways than at the ballot box. The very short version of those posts is that deaths due to guns in USA are largely the result of socio-economic factors (suicide, financial problems, lack of job security) and explicit government policies (“war on drugs”, abandoning poorer areas). To make a long story short, attempts at stricter gun control do not address the far larger and much more dangerous underlying systemic issues which drive the relatively high incidence of deaths by guns in USA.

However, time after time, we have seen the democratic party establishment try to use every newsworthy shooting to push for stricter gun regulations. Of course, we have also seen the democratic party lose election after election in many areas of the country during that period. As it stands today, the democratic party does not have control of any elected branch of the federal government and almost 2/3rds of state governments. The democratic party of today is so weak and impotent on the national stage that they cannot even properly exploit the ongoing train-wreck of the Trump presidency, which would otherwise be a god-send to a marginally competent opposition party.

Of course, there are many reasons why the democratic party has been on a downward path since the mid-1990s. Firstly, their embrace of neo-liberalism and its policies such as “free trade” and laissez-faire regulation of corporations which started during the Clinton era have antagonized a significant part of the population, especially in non-coastal states. Secondly, the leadership (and top cadre) of democratic party is full of people who either got in during the 1960s-1980s or are ivy-league credentialed C-grade actors who look ridiculous and phony in 2017. They would rather hold on to their premium berths on the ‘Titanic’ than change course and avoid the iceberg.

But none of this provides a satisfactory answer for why establishment democrats are anti-2nd amendment. I mean.. wouldn’t a political party in semi-permanent political wilderness prefer its supporters to be armed than not? Also, it is fairly well-known that taking an anti-gun stand was a factor in them losing the 2000, 20004 and 2016 presidential election- in addition to many more at the states level. So why persist in pushing a cause that does not make sense from the viewpoint of winning elections? And let us clear about something- politicians, regardless of their party affiliations and stated ideologies, are in to win power. Some are more corrupt and easily bought than others but basically all politicians compromise on their beliefs.

So how can you account for establishment democrats repeatedly pushing an electorally bad ideology? One theory I have seen being floated is that democrats think that decrease in overall rates of gun ownership will somehow translate into future success of their campaign to criminalize civilian ownership of firearms. While that might sound like a nice story, ground reality as measured by sales of guns and relaxation of rules and regulations surrounding gun ownership since 1994 suggest otherwise. It appears, then, that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was the high point of democratic success in legislating for greater gun control. It has been downhill for them since then.

Another theory, I have heard, suggests that the establishment democrat obsession with gun control is linked to institutional stagnation within the party. There is some truth to the idea that political parties whose establishment is led by people who are mentally in the 1980s and 1990s might try to maintain what they believe to be the status quo and keep pressing for more bad policies, especially if their positions within the organisation are secure from competition. But that does not explain why the somewhat younger establishment types (Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand etc) in that party are still pushing such disastrous ideas.

Well.. I have a theory that can explain the obsession of democrats with gun control. You see, it comes down to appealing to their core base of supporters and volunteers- to be more specific, the credentialed professional class. As I have said in some of previous posts, a lot of the odd behavior displayed by democratic party makes sense once you realize that its most important non-corporate supporters are people who owe their well-compensated livelihood to credentials obtained from “famous” educational institutions. It is also no secret that most of those who work for or volunteer at higher levels in that party have such socio-economic backgrounds.

But why would that translate into support for gun control? Why would such a socio-economic group, or class, be interested in gun control? Let me try to explain it in the nicest possible language.. never mind- because they are greedy and insecure parasites. The credentialed class (especially in USA) derives its income, livelihood and social status from thievery and extortion through law and rules. That is why doctors in USA makes much more money than other developed countries while not being any better than them. That is why tenured professors at large “famous” universities in USA can make so much extra money though side projects. That is why pretty much any credentialed or licensed professional makes more in USA than other developed countries.

The degree of parasitism displayed by the credentialed professional classes in USA is second only to outright legalized theft and extortion practiced by corporate entities. But why then are corporations not especially interested in gun control? Why the professional class but not corporations? The answer to that is simple- because corporations already have the full might of the state behind them. Credentialed professionals, on the other hand, are in that peculiar zone where they are visibly doing better than others in a rapidly impoverishing society but lack any special protection by the state. In other words, they can feel (if only on a subconscious level) that they will become targets for popular rage if the proverbial shit hits the fan.

And that is why the credentialed professional class, which is the 2nd most important constituency for democrats as well as the source of most of their party establishment cadre want to disarm “less deserving” poorer people. Parasites, you see, prefer hosts who are unable to stop the party. Credentialed professionals perceive the widespread ownership of guns as a threat to their cushy livelihoods which depend on theft and extortion via laws and regulations. However, unlike corporations, they are not powerful or singularly important enough to get special protection by the state.

Attempting to ban widespread ownership of guns, then, appears to be the second best option. And that is why the democratic establishment keeps on pursuing a policy that has brought it repeated electoral failure in parts of the country that are not New York or California. On a side note, I do not think that their obsession with gun control is going to change even if they perform poorly in the 2018 and 2020 elections. As long as they can still win a few coastal states, they will keep shooting themselves in the foot.

What do you think? Comments?

Trump is Still the Favorite for Winning the 2020 Presidential Election: 1

June 17, 2020 13 comments

Many of you might have seen a slew of recent polls which claim that Dementia Joe currently has a 10-point lead over Orange Man. These polls have elicited a bunch of reactions from the “properly credentialed pundit” class. Some see them as the first definitive sign that Trump will finally lose in 2020, others as validation that 24/7 smearing by corporate MSM finally working. Yet others see them as evidence that the country is finally moving in the “right direction”, whatever that means. You might notice that one word keeps popping up in these reactions.. finally. But is that really the case or are these pundit reactions just more wishful thinking? Well, in my opinion these reactions are the later aka more wishful thinking. Here is why..

1] As late as 7 pm ET on November 8th 2016, every “serious” person was certain that HRC was going to win the presidential election. Any suggestion to the contrary was met with a haughty laugh of the type usually associated with “credentialed experts” educated at “elite universities”. Wonder how did all of that work out? Trump won by the only measure which matters according to the constitution aka the electoral college and became president. But have you ever wondered how so many polls could be so wrong? Now, sad pedants such as MikeCA will try to tell you that the polls correctly predicted the popular vote which HRC won by 2-3 million or about 3%. Let us dissect that defense of polls a bit further.. shall we.

Almost all of HRCs margin in popular votes came from two states with a large population (NY and CA). In other words, Tangerine Man won more votes in you add up the other 48 states than HRC. But let us ignore this trivial issue right now and ask a much bigger question- how does a reality show clown with a very public scandal-ridden past become the presidential nominee of one of the two parties in this country- and why would so many people vote for such a sketchy guy over the ultimate “credentialed diversity” candidate? While many are still in deep denial (MikeCA?), the majority of those who voted for Trump did so despite his numerous shortcomings because they preferred him over somebody who represented everything they hated about the system.

But.. but.. some might say, just because every pundit of any fame was wrong in 2016 does not mean they will be wrong again in 2020. Surely these “credentialed experts” must have learned something from their utter humiliation in 2016.. right? Also, wasn’t Trump positioning himself as an outsider in 2016- something he cannot do in 2020 after being a pathetic president for the past four years.. right? Well.. if you think that most people who voted for Trump did so because he was outsider with great promise, I have a bridge to sell you. And no.. the “experts” haven’t learned a damn thing, otherwise they would not be so certain and giddy about Dementia Joe 2020 prospects almost five months before election day.

So let me repeat the obvious.. again.. most people voted for Trump because he sounded, looked and behaved like them and was therefore a giant ‘FUCK YOU’ to an incestuous political system which ignored and immiserated them for the past 40 years. The conditions which led to his rise are still there and in some areas have worsened considerably since 2016. This is also why the 24/7 smear jobs by corporate media outlets, bullshit reports and impeachment hearings have had very little effect on his popularity ratings- which, face it, have always hovered around the mid-40s. Trump’s ratings are bulletproof because the majority of Americans (voters and non-voters) have lost faith in ability of current system to deliver a better future for them. And one more thing.. most people hate the Professional Managerial Class (PMC) with a passion.

2] Since we are talking about the PMC, let us also talk about the political party that represents them in modern american politics aka the Democrats. As I have written repeatedly in numerous older posts, the biggest difference between democrat and republican politicians is that the former tries to portray itself as more enlightened and of “superior breeding”. However other than such superficial differences between the two parties, they are identical and interchangeable for all practical proposes. Now this was not always the case, and upto the late-1970s, the democratic party (both pre- and post- civil rights) was a different beast from the republican party. Then the great realignment of 1968 and rise of neoliberalism occurred.

To make a very long story short, since late-1970s the upper echelon of democratic party have been increasingly populated by people who even a decade prior to that time would have identified as staunch republicans. Yes.. I am talking about the PMC, especially their coastal versions. These are the type of people who say they are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal and pretend to have a “black friend”. But why do the PMC and wannabe-PMCs matter? Well.. because the ideology and apparatchiks of democratic party (even non-white ones) are almost exclusively drawn from this class. Their ascendance in ranks of democratic party and society began in late 1970s and their stock kept rising until GFC of 2008 after which their fortunes have taken a increasingly steep downward turn. But why does these McMansion dwellers matter?

Well.. because almost every major problem facing this country from deindustrialization, job outsourcing, a shitty and expensive “health care” system, over-policing, high levels of income equality, widespread loss of institutional competence etc can be traced back to the rise of this class in american society. Remember when I said that one of the reasons many people voted for Trump over HRC even though she was the ultimate “credentialed diversity” candidate. The thing is.. HRC reminded people of the generic PMC drone who humiliated them in real life, destroyed their livelihood and profited from it. Interestingly, that is also why Romney lost to Obama in 2012. As I said before in this post, most people just hate.. hate.. PMC types.

But what does any of this have to do with Trump likely winning in 2020? Well.. for starters the VP candidate of Dementia Joe is almost certain to be a member of the PMC. Now this would not be totally disastrous if Dementia Joe did not have senile dementia, because most people who vote in presidential elections tend to focus on top of ticket. But as we all know, Joe Biden has.. should we say, serious and progressive neurological issues.The man is a shadow of what he was as late as 2016, and his declining cognitive status will become a major campaign issue and point of attack by Trump’s campaign. But as you will see in the next part of this short series, choosing Dementia Joe as their presidential candidate is a proverbial tip of the iceberg as far as the deliberate incompetence of democratic party is concerned.

In that part, I will go into how the democratic party squandered 3.5 years on fake scandals like RussiaGate, UkraineGate, Mueller Report etc while quietly going along with traditional republican (in reality, corporate) agendas. I will show you how democrats have acquiesced to almost every corrupt move by Trump and republicans- from appointing conservative judges, approving massive increases in military spending, further gutting the already threadbare social safety net, increasing militarization of police and much.. much.. more. But why does any of this matter? The very short answer is- the democratic party can only win elections at all levels in this country decisively IF they exhibit a concrete and sustained desire to differentiate them from the other party in a manner that actually matters to the average voter. I will also go into why Joe Biden is a uniquely bad candidate for 2020, albeit in a different way than HRC was in 2016.

What do you think? Comments?

Some More Thoughts on Principal Conclusions of the Mueller Report

March 27, 2019 2 comments

In the previous post of this hopefully short series, I wrote about how the release of an executive summary of Mueller’s report has sunk the hopes of many partisan democrat voters. Apparently, many of these retards were fully expecting the report to be some sort of deus-ex-machina which would magically end the Trump presidency and then “everything would just go back to normal”. As I have written in many previous posts, the election of Trump in 2016 is just another symptom of an ongoing slow-motion implosion of neoliberal status quo and imperial pretensions of USA. In other words, removing Trump from office via some sort of legal coup will have zero effect on the constellation of factors which enabled his rise in the first place. But try telling that to the hordes of partisan democrat voters clamoring for Trump’s impeachment for “collusion” with Russia.

Which brings us to an issue that I hinted in the previous post on this topic. Why were so many partisan democrat voters animated by the possibility of Trump being impeached through proof of him “colluding” with Russia? Let me rephrase that question to better explain what I am getting at. Why were they fixated on the “collusion with Russia and Putin” bullshit story when there are tons of far more legitimate reasons for legal prosecution? I mean.. we all know that the orange buffoon is a walking disaster, in addition to having a highly shady past and serious conflict on interest issues between his business empire and office since he was elected in 2016. So why did partisan democrat voters and affluent Reagan democrats (such as MikeCA?) focus on the most ridiculous accusations against this real life version of George Bluth Sr.?

On Sunday, Matt Stoller made an insightful tweet: What Democrats really wanted from Mueller is evidence Clinton was a good candidate. Let me now unpack what he was talking about. See.. the peculiar obsession of partisan democrat types with the bullshit “collusion with Russia” narrative, to the exclusion of far better ways to nail the orange buffoon, make sense only if you consider the possibility that it is about validating their belief that HRC was the better candidate and destined to defeat Trump in 2016. Yep.. they desperately want validation for their comic belief that Hillary was meant to win in 2016 and the victory of Trump was due to some mysterious and nefarious actions by “Russia” and “Putin”. But why would they want to believe such tripe, especially given how democrats lost in mid-western states which were considered democrat strongholds during presidential elections for over two decades. Well.. it is both easy and complicated.

As I have written in more than one previous post (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5 and two short series- link 6 and link 7) the democratic party is increasingly led and organised by “credentialed” white liberal professionals who believe in the religion of neoliberalism. But what does this have to do with their obsession about HRC being the “better candidate” who was “destined to win” in 2016. As it turn out.. everything. HRC, you see, is an embodiment of the ultimate neoliberal political candidate. She checked all the right “diversity” boxes, employed advisers and interns from “elite” universities, constantly talked in empty platitudes and gave false hope through carefully chosen words, indulged in constant triangulation on contentious issues, pretended to care about “social justice” issues and generally embodied everything which people in 2019 find repulsive and loathsome about CEOs and other corporate critters.

But it was not always like that and between 1980 and 2009, many in USA (especially middle-class baby boomers and older Gen-Xers) actually believed in neoliberalism. That is why people born before 1970 (like MikeCA?) were far more supportive, if not downright enthusiastic, about HRC’s candidacy in 2016. To be more precise, people above a certain age, income level and living in coastal states saw HRC as their perfect candidate. That is why support for the “Trump colluding with Russia and Putin” bullshit narrative was so high in coastal democrat strongholds but almost absent in parts of the country which have been devastated by decades of neoliberalism. But how does this translate into a singular focus on the bullshit “collusion” narrative while ignoring all the other shitty things Trump has done in the past and is doing right now.

Well.. it comes down to what particular narrative promises and covers up, at the same time. In comparison, blaming the rise of Trump on the effects of neoliberal policies pursued by republicans and democrats since 1980 (or earlier) implicates politicians and presidents from both parties. The “collusion” bullshit narrative allows establishment types to present the victory of Trump in 2016 as an anomaly, one which they can recover from and restore the old status quo. The alternative explanation, namely that Trump’s victory in 2016 as a sign of the old order collapsing, seems to be too frightening and depressing for them to contemplate in public. Blaming Trump’s victory in 2016 on “Russia” and “Putin” allowed establishment democrats to pretend that there is no need for fundamental change while covering up the complete lack of sustained public enthusiasm for their corporate-approved candidates. And they believe they can get away with it.

So why were many coastal partisan democrat voters eager to drink the koolaid of “collusion”? To better answer that question, let talk about the other political figure who is also disliked (if not outright hated) by the biggest lay supporters of the bullshit “collusion” narrative. Does the name, Bernie Sanders, ring a bell? Yes.. there is a very strong overlap between partisan democrats who believe in the bullshit “Trump-Russia-Putin collusion” narrative and those who proudly voted for HRC in the 2016 primaries. And guess which states Bernie had many upset victories during the 2016 primaries? Yep.. many mid-western states which voted for Trump in the general election. Also remember that Bernie won far more votes from people below 40, than those past 50. The thing is, lay supporters of the “collusion” narrative are (in many ways) similar to the last generation who worship a dying religion- which in this case is neoliberalism.

Might write another post in this short series.. but not sure.

What do you think? Comments?

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 1

September 6, 2017 28 comments

One of the more peculiar fact about contemporary american politics is that approval numbers for the democratic party are still slightly worse than for Trump. Let me rephrase that.. one of the two main political parties in USA has lower approval ratings than a rich asshole turned reality star who has flipped on almost every single electoral promise he made to this supporters. To be fair, the other political party (aka the republicans) is not doing any better and we seem to living in a very partisan era. But that still does not help explain why the democratic party has not been able to capitalize on the insane levels of incompetence and corruption displayed by the Trump administration since it took office in late January 2017.

So, how can the main (and only) opposition party in USA not gain any extra public support at a time when the ruling party and its titular leader are busy screwing themselves in public? Why is widespread public disgust towards Trump and republicans not translating into increased support for the democratic party? Why are so many voters, especially those from non-white communities, just not that enthusiastic about the democratic party? And why is the only generally popular national level politician a 75-year-old Jewish guy from Vermont who joined the democratic party about two years ago?

I have explored some of the many interconnected reasons for this failure in a previous series of posts. The main points I made in that series were as follows: a] democratic party establishment has become too incestuous, sclerotic and generally resistant to any type of change. b] It is almost completely funded, controlled and run by neoliberal corporate interests who try to hide their economically regressive policies behind token identity politics. c] The party bureaucracy and primary system is almost completely dominated by a bunch of corrupt assholes and hyperpartisan idiots. Also, there is no accountability for repeated failures. d] The major financiers, supporters and top-level cadre of the democratic party is almost exclusively derived from the rich and professional class- two groups with little, if any, real connection to the rest of the population.

There are of course other related reasons for the shockingly low approval ratings of democrats. The desire of coastal elite within that party to push gun control has not helped its cause in non-coastal states. Similarly, ad nauseam repeating of the “russian interference in our elections” trope since Trump got elected in Nov 2016 has not helped their overall public credibility. The point I am trying to make the democratic party establishment has done an incredibly good job of sabotaging its own electoral prospects. It is almost as if they are intentionally and systematically trying to lose public relevance. Even their new crop of leaders are full of photogenic, insipid and obvious fakes such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joaquim Castro. I can go on about the many other structural reasons that the democratic party, in its current form, is doomed- but that is best left for future posts.

Instead I will focus of one of non-systematic reasons behind the failure of democrats as a party. I am certainly not the first to point out that Barack Obama’s two terms as president have seen a considerable diminution of the power of the democratic party on both the national and state level. His tenure as president has seen the democratic party lose control of the house, senate, over 1000 seats in state legislatures, multiple state governorships to the point where republican are the ruling party in almost 2/3rd of the states. The establishment democrat response to these massive electoral setbacks have mostly consisted of them saying that all those setbacks occurred happened because majority of the american electorate is irremediably racist. Of course, that does not explain how Obama got elected in 2008 and then re-elected in 2012.

I have a better theory to explain why the rise of Obama and his two terms as president have contributed to the ongoing collapse of the democratic party. My theory is largely based in how that rise shaped the democratic party- specifically its institutions and strategy. This is not to say that other factors such as increasing use of internet and social media by general public were without effect in that process. However, the more we look at all the facts over a longer time span, the more it becomes obvious that the rise of Obama and his style of politics was extremely damaging to the electoral prospects of the democratic party. But before we do that, we have to first understand Obama’s style of politics and its ideological underpinnings.

Barack Obama, for the lack of a better description, is a Reagan-era Republican. There.. I said it and you knew it too! The problem with his politics and its ideological underpinnings is that it is basically 1980-1990 era republican with a veneer of coolness and “inclusivity”. Also, since he is black, few people dare to say it aloud on any corporate mainstream media outlet- even Fox news. While he may not talk and act like a republican, almost every single policy decision (domestic and foreign) made by him is almost identical to what your average 1980s-1990s era republican would make. But don’t just believe my assertion without considering the evidence..

1] For a person who made his pre-political career as a “community organizer” in the black community of Chicago, it is remarkable how little Obama did to combat racism (overt or systemic) when he became president. As I pointed out in a previous post, it was smartphones with HD cameras and social media platforms which created public awareness about murders by police and other legalized atrocities against black people. Even the two biggest achievements of the Obama administration in that area (overview of some police departments and stopping police from getting military grade equipment) were insipid and in response to massive public outcry and demonstrations against murders by police and other flagrant violations of laws. To put it bluntly, Barack Obama did not care about black people.

We cannot also forget the harmful effect of deliberately rigged foreclosure assistance programs, created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, on the black community. While these banker-friendly programs hurt homeowners of many ethnicities, the black community was (as often is the case) disproportionately hurt by them. We can only imagine the effect that this had on the lives of many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of black people who were the subject for sneaky and unfairly foreclosure on their homes. It is no wonder that HRC, running for the 3rd term of Obama, had such a lukewarm response among the younger members of the black community. Simply put, Obama’s two terms were quite disappointing for the black community and has affected their enthusiasm for the democratic party.

2] The supposedly most important legacy of the Obama administration, aka “Obamacare”, was a massive public disappointment. While it did provide some improvement over the previous patchwork of rules and laws, it has not been able to tackle the issue of rising costs or provide universal health coverage. We can spend hours discussing how Obama killed the ‘public option’ in Obamacare and basically rejected universal healthcare coverage for a frankenstein which appealed to all the corporate interest donating to his election and re-election campaigns. Obama’s greatest achievement, then, is pushing out a ‘healthcare’ program modeled on the beliefs of some conservative think tank from 1993. If you call that an achievement, well.. perhaps your standards are really low.

It also did not help that the rollout of “Obamacare” was an epic public relations disaster. While the law is popular enough for republicans to be unable to repeal it today, its appeal mainly lies in being not as shitty as the alternatives- which is a very low bar. The point I am trying to make is that “Obamacare” is a microcosm of what is unpopular with the Obama school of neoliberal policies and its ideological underpinnings. It contains, within it, an example of every problematic aspect of his policies- from supporting corporate oligopolies and monopolies over public interest, unnecessarily complicated regulations meant to confuse and rob its users, broken promises about something as important as health care coverage, “credentialed experts” and other assorted conmen (and conwomen) padding their already fat paychecks to neglecting public concerns about the system.

In the upcoming part of this series, I will talk about how the Obama administration policies of immigration and deportation dis not help democrats increase enthusiasm among Hispanics for their party. I will also talk about the enthusiastic promotion of various “free trade” agreements and other secret corporate backed “trade agreements” by Obama over his two terms hurt the democratic party.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Antifragile Political Campaigns of Sanders and Trump: 1

April 24, 2016 7 comments

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the nomination process for the 2016 presidential election has been most unusual- for both the democratic and republican party. Based on how things look right now, it is very likely that Donald Trump will be the republican candidate for the presidency. On the other side- the officially anointed candidate (aka Hillary Clinton) will not be able to get the democratic nomination through elected delegates alone, IF it comes to that. Some of you might think that this situation is not that big a deal or things like this have happened before. Well.. things like this have not occurred before- at least not in living memory. Let me explain.

Ask yourself- when was the last time republicans selected a presidential nominee who had not previously been elected to any public office? Here is a hint.. he won the 1952 and 1956 general election. On the other side- when was the last time an independent socialist non-observant Jew was a serious and extremely popular candidate for the democratic party nomination? What about- never! My point is that the immense popularity of traditionally shunned outsider candidates in both parties at the same time tells us that something pretty fundamental about the american political system has recently undergone a major change. The successful candidacy campaigns of both these outsider candidates does however raise another important question.

Why has the establishment of both parties, including their coteries of supposedly “apolitical” gatekeepers and subservient presstitutes been so spectacularly unsuccessful at derailing the candidacy campaigns of Sanders and Trump?

Why do Trump and Sanders keep on winning primaries inspite of constantly negative coverage by supposedly “mainstream” and “respectable” media outfits? Why does every attempt by the establishment and media to concoct a narrative about how those campaigns get rebuffed by the results of the next set of primaries? Why has the cacophony of opinion pieces against both candidates by supposed “experts” and “professionals” made no worthwhile dent in their popularity, ability to raise money or the enthusiasm of their supporters? Why do mainstream media attack on these candidates result in an increase in their popularity, donations to their campaigns and ever bigger rallies?

Clearly, something about the established way of doing politics in the USA is no longer working. But what is not working and why now? Well.. as I wrote in my previous post, there are many mutually reinforcing reasons for this change. A significant part of this change has to do with the rapid and terminal decline in trust of the “establishment”, its “institutions” and their “experts” and “professionals” among the general public. Basically, today only older adults (above 50 yrs?) have a significant amount of residual trust in the old order. The rest, especially the younger ones, have seen and experienced too much to have worthwhile amounts of belief in the old order.

I will address the issue of people losing trust in the “establishment”, its “institutions”, “experts” and “professionals” as it applies to the current political environment in future posts. This one is, however, about a smaller issue peripherally related to that topic.

How can Bernie and Donald treat their respective party establishments with a mixture of open contempt and disdain? How can they get away with not playing by the “establishment” rules? How can they get away with basically telling their party establishments to go fuck themselves? Why are they not submitting to the rules and opinions of their party establishments- like every other potential presidential candidate in living memory? What makes them immune to the pressures of their respective party establishments?

Well.. it comes down to the fact they have no real reason to play by the rules. In the case of Bernie Sanders, who has been an independent since he entered politics, pissing of the democratic establishment carries no real consequences for him. He is in his mid-70s and a very popular senator from a state that likes politicians like him. Perhaps more importantly, he is not doing this to make tons of money and therefore has no vested interest in playing nice with the party establishment in case he does not succeed. His plan B is to continue being the Senator from Vermont.

Donald Trump, too, is also not doing it for the money. While he may not be worth over 10 billion, as he claims, he is still a multi-billionaire. His failure to win, therefore, has no worthwhile effect on his financial situation. He will still be filthy rich and famous. He also has no reason to play by “establishment” rules. Furthermore he knows the political establishment is full of greedy spineless critters who will come back begging him for campaign contributions in the future. In other words- he knows who is the driver’s seat and why.

Contrast the situation of Bernie and Donald to “establishment” politicians whose entire careers, fortunes and legacies are dependent on how well they play with whichever asshole or group of assholes is driving their party at any given moment. Do you think Hillary or Bill Clinton would be anything without the support of the “establishment” in the democratic party. What about Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb Bush or even George W Bush? Do you think they would be anything without unfailing loyalty to whichever asshole or group of assholes is dominating the republican party at any given moment?

My point is that the outsider candidates in both parties are just not in a situation where the “establishment” of those parties can exert any worthwhile influence on them. Consequently, Sanders is very likely to go all the way to the end of the primary nomination process for the democratic party. Trump is also going to go all the way to the republican convention and any attempt to deny him the nomination WILL fuck up the republican party for many years- if it can survive in its current form past the 2016 election.

What do you think? Comments?