Wednesday, July 6, 2016

After the Party: How to Understand the Election of 2016

It is always risky to predict how the future will see our present, but this year’s election could be seen as a major turning point for American politics.  As Donald Trump exposes the dark side of both the Republican Party and the billionaire class, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has disemboweled the Democratic Party and the establishment media. In order for the Democrats to make sure that a real Left alternative was an impossibility, the party had to do whatever was necessary to stop Sanders from gaining the nomination, but the result of this corrupted process is a lost faith in establishment politics and media.  

The Dems know that their greatest strength is the absolute backwardness of the Republic Party: no matter who the Democrats nominate, they know the other side will pick someone worse.  Of course, there is always a possibility of a third party candidate, but the system is so rigged against this alternative that there is no choice.  Also, voters have been sold on the idea that any third party candidate is a spoiler who will throw the election to the Republicans.

On one level, all of this does not matter because the Republicans have successfully redrawn voting districts in almost every state.  Even if Clinton wins and many more Democrats vote, the Republicans will still control the House of Representatives due to gerrymandering after the 2010 census.   The one possible reason to vote for Hillary is the Supreme Court, and for union member and people who care about labor, this is a huge thing.  However, people should not fool themselves to think that Clinton will be able to get anything past a Republican Congress that will obstruct her at every turn, even if the Dems win back the Senate. 

One thing this current system shows is that the Republicans have out-worked and out-organized the Democrats.  In order to win the right to redraw voting districts after the 2010 census, they had to win the state houses in key states.  Once they won, the put all of the Democrats in a small number of districts as they made sure the Republicans had control of the majority of the newly drawn districts.  This is why the Dems can win many more votes but still lose most of the races. 

Of course Trump is a huge problem for the Republicans because after they pushed for unlimited money in elections, they are now tasting the bad effects of their own medicine.  Trump shows that someone with no experience but a lot of money and fame can run around the party establishment, and the more the party tries to counter him, the stronger Trump’s claim of a rigged system becomes true.  Trump also shows the logical conclusion of a party that has tried to market itself as an outsider group who stands against the government.  Since the Republican Party fed the Tea Party’s call to throw out the establishment, we are now seeing the Republican establishment implode. 

It is clear we need a real Left alternative, but we cannot do it through a fake revolution; we need to follow the Republicans and organize with a strategy to take back the state houses and redraw the voting maps, but this can only be performed by a party that wants things to change and is committed to the long game. Unfortunately the Democratic Party appears to be dedicated to holding onto the status quo as they rely on the Republicans to always promote someone more evil.

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