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the electoral earthquake
What We Saw

None of us on the staff of The American Interest predicted the world-historical event that took place yesterday. But we have spent the last year rigorously assessing the phenomena that made it possible. If there has been a theme to our coverage, it is this: The American managerial class leaned too far over its skis with its cosmopolitan project. Eager to reap the rewards (and there are many) from technoglobalization, people in power on both sides collectively neglected the interests and preferences of broad swathes of the country. The political establishment, utterly convinced in the rightness of neoliberal internationalism and the sanctity of the status quo, never found a way to responsibly co-opt the sentiments of Americans who did not buy into cosmopolitan vision. A vacuum was created, and Donald Trump has now filled it.

We will continue to discuss the fallout from this stunning elite failure in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, here are five essays from this year that help put yesterday’s events in historical and sociological context:

1. Andrew Jackson, Revenant, by Walter Russell Mead, describes Donald Trump as the continuation of a distinctive American political tradition dating back to Old Hickory:

Whatever happens to the Trump candidacy, it now seems clear that Jacksonian America is rousing itself to fight for its identity, its culture and its primacy in a country that it believes it should own. Its cultural values have been traduced, its economic interests disregarded, and its future as the center of gravity of American political life is under attack. Overseas, it sees traditional rivals like Russia, China, North Korea and Iran making headway against a President that it distrusts; more troubling still, in ISIS and jihadi terror it sees the rapid spread of a movement aiming at the mass murder of Americans. Jacksonian America has lost all confidence in the will or the ability of the political establishment to fight the threats it sees abroad and at home. It wants what it has always wanted: to take its future into its own hands.

2. Immigration and the Political Explosion of 2016, by Nicholas Gallagher, looks back at other instances in American history where an explosive mix of mass immigration and structural economic change has wrought dramatic political upheavals:

Twice previously in U.S. history, concerns over mass immigration have combined with a growing sense of social and economic crisis to wreak havoc on the political status quo. Popular reactions against the Irish immigration (c. 1830-1860) and the so-called “Great Wave” from Southern and Eastern Europe (1880-1924) became potent political movements when a segment of the American public connected the immigration issue to deeper questions about the economy, community, and national identity. These movements destroyed or took over old parties, changed the national agenda, and altered the course of our history. Now, as concern over the breakdown of the Blue Model intersects with anger about mass immigration, we are experiencing a third such crisis in American politics.

3. When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism, by Jonathan Haidt, discusses the social psychology of elite cosmopolitanism and the ways that it can inadvertently activate nationalist and even authoritarian passions:

Rather than focusing on the nationalists as the people who need to be explained by experts, I’ll begin the story with the globalists. I’ll show how globalization and rising prosperity have changed the values and behavior of the urban elite, leading them to talk and act in ways that unwittingly activate authoritarian tendencies in a subset of the nationalists. I’ll show why immigration has been so central in nearly all right-wing populist movements. It’s not just the spark, it’s the explosive material, and those who dismiss anti-immigrant sentiment as mere racism have missed several important aspects of moral psychology related to the general human need to live in a stable and coherent moral order. Once moral psychology is brought into the story and added on to the economic and authoritarianism explanations, it becomes possible to offer some advice for reducing the intensity of the recent wave of conflicts.

4. How Samuel Huntington Predicted Our Political Moment, by Jason Willick, uses Samuel Huntington’s 2004 book Who Are We as a lens for explaining the nationalist-cosmopolitan divide, and how it played out in each party since the end of the Cold War:

According to Huntington, postwar globalization had given rise to a new class of “global citizens” at the highest echelons of American academia, industry, and (bipartisan) politics—a “de-nationalized” elite whose “attitudes and behavior contrast with the overwhelming patriotism and nationalistic identification of the rest of the American public.” The jet-setting cosmopolitans tended to be far more supportive of free trade, open immigration, and activist foreign policy than most Americans. Huntington described this wide and allegedly growing gap as a major source of the decline in trust in democratic institutions since the 1960s.

5. Declassé: Nothing New Under the Sun, by Harold James, looks to 19th century European history to explain the social forces that come into play when a native working class’ social position is threatened by economic change:

Alas, the term déclassé fills books of European social history that, evidently, no one remembers or reads anymore. Yes, all this has happened before and, as social phenomena go, déclassement sits at the very foundation of the social theories and political ideologies that are the subject of basic political science and history courses. Karl Polanyi’s famous The Great Transformation, for example, has as a central focus the 19th century story of how many artisans lost their occupations as a result of the spread of factories. This process occurred through periods in which most modern historians believe inequality was rising and real wages were declining, but also in periods in which real wages were rising. The most conspicuous losers in the first half of the 19th century were the armies of workers who were spread out over the countryside in small villages and towns toiling on textiles with old-fashioned equipment such as hand-looms. They were put out of business by the application of water and then mechanical energy to weaving or spinning—some of them, led by Ned Ludd, gave rise to a certain well-known English vocabulary term. On the whole they eventually formed the basis of radical protest movements all over Europe—from Chartism in Britain to the revolutionaries of 1848 on the Continent.

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  • Somebody has to point out that confederate globalism is ipso facto opposed to democracy, as it bleeds visible sovereignty from the nation, not into an international elected body, but into outer space. No globalist proposes a global electorate. International and regional bodies have been made deliberately so obscure in structure, that even interested publics cannot really influence them. So the defining mandate of the populace is not transferred to another assembly: it just evaporates. It no longer exists.

    Three (out of many) implications. (1) Decision power never really fades from politics. Everything revolves around it: experts pronounce and committees report, but the power to finally decide has to exist somewhere. If it’s not explicit and publicly visible, this means it’s occult, hidden, residing in some unaccountable actor. So the confederate globalism we have been seeing is by its very definition constructing a non-democratic system. It aggravates this by referring to unaccountable instances such as ‘international law’ or ‘global civil society’ as allowed to override popular mandate, and by empowering NGOs and likewise non-elected actors.

    (2) The entire thing is framed as opposition, not to democracy and the decision of the electorate, but to ‘nationalism’, sometimes aggravated as ‘racism’. When you name (as democratic principles suppose you do) a sovereign assembly, that assembly is always specific, belonging to a territorially-limited state. When you are empowering specific people, who are likely to favour their own and their kin. This is not necessarily ethnic, though it tends to be. But when the globalists see this phenomenon, they cast it as immoral and vile.

    (3) Therefore, in a culture dominated by globalists, ‘democracy’, the word, would mean globalism and confederate obfuscation of democratic process. There would be no legitimate words to designate the opposition to it. Those who do, would find themselves speechless, mouthing incoherent syllables which will always sound crass. This crassness would then come to identify opposition to globalism. One is allowed to choose between the civil position (embodied in the confederate and non-democratic internationalism), and adherence to almost animal-like vulgarity and brutality, which is what is left to people when their speech is taken away. The election of Trump does not break this binary. It enforces it. A fine mess.

  • WigWag

    “The political establishment, utterly convinced in the rightness of neoliberal internationalism and the sanctity of the status quo, never found a way to responsibly co-opt the sentiments of Americans who did not buy into cosmopolitan vision.” (Via Meadia)

    That’s putting it mildly.

    The reality is that the political establishment didn’t fail to co-opt the sentiments of ordinary Americans, it expressed no interest in even trying to co-opt the sentiments of ordinary people. The reason they didn’t make the attempt is easy to understand; American elites (both Democrats and Republicans) literally hate ordinary Americans unless those ordinary Americans are black, Latino, gay or transgendered. Those elites consider white, working class Americans to be bitter deplorables who cling fervently to their guns and religion while being part of the 47 percent of Americans who are takers not makers. Obama had nothing but contempt for them, the same was true for Romney and Clinton. Harry Reid didn’t give a damn about them; neither did Mitch McConnel or Paul Ryan.

    The deplorables struck back; Trump is the revenge of the deplorables.

    But there’s another falsehood embedded in this post; it’s the suggestion that most of the American Interest posts discussing the recently concluded election were measured and erudite. They weren’t. A majority were hit jobs that always disparaged the now President-Elect and frequently disparaged his supporters.

    The Jeffrey Haidt article alluded to above suggested Trump supporters were authoritarian craving dopes.

    Then there were the articles that demeaned Trump and his supporters in much more vitriolic ways.

    One that comes to mind by Jeffrey Herf questioned whether Trump was a fascist (which by implication would make his supporters brown-shirts). See,

    Then there was the Robert Kaplan article calling Trump illigetimate (which, by implication made it illegitimate to support him). See,

    Jeffrey Gedmin was another AI commentator who found it impossible not to disparage Trump and the people who thought a change in approach to foreign policy was called for. See,

    Worst of all was the commentary written by AI contributing editor, Eliot Cohen who’s dreams of returning to a prominent role in a Governmental foreign policy or security post have been dashed by the Trump victory. See,

    The American Interest should not be congratulating itself for its great work in covering the recently concluded Presidential campaign. For the most part that coverage constituted of a litany of ill-advised, narrow-minded, nasty and naive anti-Trump diatribes authored by self-interested “C” level elites.

    As a big fan of the “American Interest,” it brings me no pleasure to say that for the most part, the sites campaign coverage sucked.

    • f1b0nacc1

      As always, on target.

      Let me add that the endless sniping and ad hom insults from TAI against Trump (and by extension, his supporters) got truly tiresome and did much to undermine the credibility of the TAI staff. I was not a fan of Trump, but even my own rather harsh critique of him never descended to the level of what I saw from the authors here. They shamed themselves and deserve far more than the gentle critique that you gave them.

      • WigWag

        The always perspicacious Joel Kotkin gets it right in his current essay in City Journal. Kotkin quotes Thomas Frank who correctly notes that the collapse of the Democratic Party can be attributed to the fact that the Democrats were once the party of Dacutur. Now they’re the party of Martha’s Vineyard.

        Take a look at Kotkin’s article. I predict you will find it to be spot on.

        • Anthony

          Kotkin’s article written yesterday adds nothing new but aligns with City Journal editorial point of view though different than TAI’s Trump coverage by your lights the organ (like TAI) represents its interest.

        • johngbarker

          When I learned that the more desperate neighborhoods in my county (where I lived for years) had record early voting turn out, I realized that Trump might really win. The question is, will he perform as promised?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Of course not. He will double down on the traditional Ryan/McConnell/Chamber of Commerce priorities and cave on everything “heard” in the desperate neighborhoods of your old county. Even “bait and switch” is wholly inadequate to describe what just happened.

          • Angel Martin

            The same people who told us Trump could not win a major party nomination, and then told us he couldn’t win a general election, now tell us that Trump won’t be able to achieve anything he campaigned on.

            I think those with that record of forecast failure should be a little more circumspect when making sweeping statements about what Trump will and will not be able to do.

          • FriendlyGoat

            He will achieve those things talked about LESS which align with making the already-wealthy much better off (together with a whole collection of short and long term take-aways from the not-already wealthy) and will not achieve many of the MORE-talked-about populist bait items. The reason why is the Congress. Trump may not need the perpetual stream of future campaign money from deep pockets. Everyone in Congress does. The ole razz-ma-tazz is going to be spectacular.

          • Angel Martin
          • FriendlyGoat

            McConnell won’t be getting memos from me. He may get some kinda-sorta second hand from our allies. He might get some from China.

          • Angel Martin

            Oh dear !

            It looks like Obama’s extra-legal moves on illegal immigrant amnesty has inadvertently created a giant deportation list complete with real names, addresses and confessions of illegal entry and unlawful presence.


            I do love the law of unintended consequences !

          • JR

            Liberals being wrong just proves that they are right. It makes sense. If you are a liberal.

          • seattleoutcast

            You could be right. He already appointed Christie as head of his transition team.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Read it earlier, and you are right, I did enjoy it a great deal.

        • seattleoutcast

          Thanks, WigWag.

          I also want to add that Steve Deace pointed out that Catholics went Republican in numbers not seen since Reagan in 1984. It seems that some people don’t share the idea that a fetus is a blob of semi living tissue worthy of disposal up to birth, when it magically turns into a human being.

          • USNK2

            I would think the shift in Catholics to Trump was after the Wikileaks where Podesta suggested reworking that medieval Catholic Church unto something more secular.
            Apologies for not bothering to get the exact quote, but I noticed the polls shifted against HRC immediately after that leak, and I thought it was Catholics.

          • seattleoutcast

            Thanks. I didn’t know that.

        • Jim__L

          So does WigWag lose points, or gain points, for misspelling “Decatur”?

      • Jim__L

        The question is, are the TAI commentators teachable, or not?

        I think there’s a non-zero chance they could learn something from this situation, and both they and American in general could be better off for it.


        • Andrew Allison

          This post suggests that they are, in fact, not teachable.

          • Jim__L

            One of the most important things I’ve learned as a dad is that no one has truly learned anything until they claim to have known it all along.

          • Andrew Allison

            Exactly my point. Although, all the Dems now saying that they knew all along Hillary was the wrong candidate and anybody else would have beaten Trump makes me question the hypothesis. They appear to be oblivious (or in denial) of the fact that at least 33 States now have GOP governors, and 24 of them total GOP control. A rational individual (which Sen. Warren, who thinks the answer is to move further left, is clearly not) would conclude that the Democratic Party and most the country are moving in opposite directions.

          • Jim__L

            I suspect it’s more that the Coasts are moving in the opposite direction as the rest of the country.

            That may well be the problem of our times — the one that movement on Toynbee’s model could solve, and find great success in solving.

            Personally, in California’s embrace of MJ legalization and sanctuary cities, I see a compromise available — a return to states’ rights and true federalism.

            California gets to keep its divergent viewpoints, so long as California does not try to force the rest of the country to share those viewpoints. Say, Kansas does not force its point of view on California, and California does not force its point of view on Kansas. Likewise, Washington state and Ohio. Washington DC shrinks to the role it was always meant to fill.

            Lower the stakes, lower the temperature, lower the polarization.

          • Andrew Allison

            I think you are probably right about the cause of the drift. The trouble is that the power of the establishments is located on one of the coasts. Despite living in California, I couldn’t agree more about States’ Rights. At present, the population density and political persuasion of the coasts threaten the rest of the country.

        • f1b0nacc1

          I suspect that they are not teachable….once you get your head far enough up your ass, everything looks pretty much the same…

          • Jim__L

            Did you read WRM’s election-night comments? They were astute observations couched in the gentle language of “may be the truth might be this”, that’s sometimes necessary to use when you’re dealing with people used to unquestioned authority and unused to accepting outside ideas.

            I think that there’s a good chance that both the truth, and good ideas, will be found on this site. (Perhaps, as Winston said, once everything else has been tried.) It’s why I come here. =)

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually I had an entirely different take on his comments, which only goes to prove that reasonable people can differ.
            My feeling is that WRM (and the rest of the TAI crowd) really cannot get past their visceral dislike of Trump sufficiently to look at him as anything other than a barbarous cretin unworthy of even the slightest consideration. Granted, I have a very low opinion of Trump myself, but to simply dismiss him out of hand (and ultimately that is the take I get from WRM) is not particularly useful or worthy of someone who aspires to an understanding of our politics.
            Like you, I hope that eventually the brighter bulbs at TAI will at least stop looking down their nose at Trump and start trying to understand him and what he represents (for good or for ill), but I am not terribly sanguine about the prospects for that. Too much of the academy’s inbred “he isn’t one of our sort of people” attitude leaks through, and this is more appropriate for a British drawing room circa 1900 or so than a modern American blog.

          • Jim__L

            Maybe I’m projecting, but I see WRM as someone who — while probably not as far to the right as I am — deals on a regular basis with friends and colleagues much farther to the Left than he is. Bard is one of the most Left-leaning institutions in the country, after all, and if you read WRM’s books, his thoughts and conclusions are totally out of place in a highly Politically Correct environment.

            What could also be interpreted as dismissive and belittling talk (about Trump) could also be a well-developed a suite of diplomatic phraseology to introduce ideas to his far-Left friends and colleagues that will get them to think about their own iron-clad assumptions critically (or at least adhere to what positive principles they may have), without causing friendships to break and paths of communications to be cut. Disparage cocktail party invitations if you like, but there are very human advantages to camaraderie, even (especially) among people you disagree with. (People are typically people, no matter their political stripe, and being absolutely unable to find a level on which to relate to another individual human being is something I run into very, very rarely, if at all.)

            Some people may (justifiably) wonder why I’m not more diplomatic here; well, I am sometimes, but especially with this audience, non-Leftist ideas obliquely presented in diplomatic phraseology get lost in the sound and fury of the Internet. At a Silicon Valley dinner party, pointing out small countervailing facts in the face of a unanimous, deep-rooted narrative of Leftist assumptions, can land on a conversation with a great deal more force. Stop it in its tracks, even.

            The art of getting people to actually **think** in those next few moments, seeing how those facts interact with those values they hold that I share, and getting the conversation to carry on in a constructive and expansive way — instead of devolving into reflexive attacks on the countervailing fact (and me) — is a hobby of mine. Sometimes I suspect WRM shares that hobby, though I could be wrong. =)

          • f1b0nacc1

            You are a far more gracious man than I am, and I hope that your analysis is closer to the mark than mine is. I have spent quite a bit of time in academe, however, and the sort of dismissive, snobbishness strikes me pretty much as the norm for that world. Not so much as an ideological matter (that too, I am sure, but that is a different matter), but a cultural/social one. Trump is, after all a businessman, a boorish merchant, someone who actually earns his own money! You can almost hear the pearl clutching…. As I said earlier, I can easily picture WRM (who I have never met!) with a slight British accent saying, ‘not on old boy, he isn’t one of our people…’

            As I said however, lets hope that you are correct and that this has a happier outcome.

      • FriendlyGoat

        That’s because TAI had enough discernment and courage to try to seriously articulate something coherent. That’s why we read “them” and they don’t read “us”.

        • Tom Scharf

          I think “bitter” is the word I’m looking for here. Have a tough night?

          • f1b0nacc1

            First of many more for him….grin…

    • Andrew Allison

      Indeed. An acknowledgement by the TAI staff that their coverage of the election was both biased and wrong-heated is in order.

    • AJ

      “American elites (both Democrats and Republicans) literally hate ordinary
      Americans unless those ordinary Americans are black, Latino, gay or

      I’m not sure how you come to that conclusion on life in the U.S. Hate is a strong word, do you think it’s that one sided against poor “joe” and so much in favor of poor “juan” ? If anything, I’d say it’s the opposite.

      Republicans always sell Americana to their voters, aimed at these specific voters, far as I see its embedded into the ethos of the party line : old fashioned, christian, white, American values.

      What’s his face in the primaries calling out trumps “new york values” , and the fact that trump ran for the Republican party, in part, to get to these voters. If they comprise 40% of the voting block, do you think that a savvy elite politician isn’t aware of their importance?

  • Anthony

    What we saw is a country that remains without consensus (Trump wins election – Hillary wins popular vote) which given our historical context traces perhaps to our beginning. That is, failure to historically manage our inter-group cultural fusion beyond designating immigrants from the Old Country white without fashioning a true American Nation reflective of the themes to which the rest of the world assumed America represented from afar.

    What we saw is that America is an unfinished Nation yet grappling with its history of cultural fusion (and many other socio-economic appendages). What we saw is that America is a Nation that lies to itself about who and what it is – it has always from inception been a country inhabited by more than identified whites. What we saw is that large segments of Americans yet want to operate and assume that it were a Nation solely of white interest (which once given the irony of today was explicit provenance of Anglo-Saxon Whites).

    So, yes, what we saw play out thus far are remnants of the still held lofty dream by some Americans (despite our historical self-delusions) that “Make America Great Again” implies a cultural rebirth of an illusory idea; One can only hope this idealization of what never truly was does not dissuade, cripple, or smother the cultivation of real democratic pluralism in America.

    “…not only does the public consist of many parts but many of these parts are mutually and irrationally antagonistic on grounds irrelevant to the welfare of each. Their various ethnic, religious, nationalistic, regional, occupational, class, and cultural differences have in most cases nothing to do with their personal and mutual welfare. Yet they enjoy indulging these irrelevant infantile predilections as though they mattered…In any event, the rank-and-file citizen prefers to accept a party/ideological label in which in most cases he is permanently enrolled as in a religious brotherhood.”

    • Jim__L

      In one of Terry Pratchett’s books, civil disorder in a major city led to people building barricades to keep the “wrong sort” out of their neighborhoods.

      Over the course of the book, the barricades spread from one neighborhood to the another, as neighbors and neighborhoods (who all turned out to be rather like-minded) joined up. At one point one of the characters — an old Fool-archetype who would probably be both a Brexit and a Trump voter — opined that they should just keep extending the barricades, and once they let everyone in the city into the barricades, that would be an end to it.

      Now, I doubt that some coastal enclaves would ever allow themselves to be overrun by deplorables that way; but the fact is that without the radically polarizing communitarianism of those coastal enclaves, their belief we should all freely get along in exactly the way they want us to get along, and their pushiness for everyone to tolerate everything except actual differences in points of view, America could probably get along just fine.

      • Anthony
      • USNK2

        a few or more years ago, The Bronx County Democratic Party had a civil war where there were actual barricades delineating the “border” separating the Hispanic coalition from the Jewish + Caribbean+African-American coalition.
        Fortunately, the war was settled in the courts. It was tense for a few weeks, not the media ever noticed because, after all, it is The Bronx.

    • Angel Martin

      If Private Eye published writing by non-journalists in Pseud’s Corner, I would definitely submit this gem:

      What we saw is a country that remains without consensus (Trump wins election – Hillary wins popular vote) which given our historical context traces perhaps to our beginning. That is, failure to historically manage our inter-group cultural fusion beyond designating immigrants from the Old Country white without fashioning a true American Nation reflective of the themes to which the rest of the world assumed America represented from afar….
      …. …. etc.

      …”Make America Great Again” implies a cultural rebirth of an illusory idea; one can only hope this idealization of what never truly was does not dissuade, cripple, or smother the cultivation of real democratic pluralism in America.

      • Anthony

        Disappear! (you try to hard and it shows)

        • Jim__L

          You don’t try at all sometimes, and it shows. =(

          • Anthony

            Perhaps, I don’t care too!

          • Jim__L

            You care enough to reply, and I guess my heart will just have to be content with that. 😉

          • Anthony

            There you go my friend.

  • USNK2

    Why is Patriotism automatically redefined as Nationalism? You can be patriotic AND cosmopolitan, although some of us can be cosmopolitan while wanting FAIR trade deals and regulated immigration and a realist foreign policy.

    Paradigms need to shift some more.

  • Boritz

    Don’t forget Eliot Cohen’s explanation:

    “Moral rot.”


    “American culture is, in short, nastier, more nihilistic, and far less inhibited than ever before. It breeds alternating bouts of cynicism and
    hysteria, and now it has given us Trump.”

    and this accusation for which there is, of course, no symmetry hinted:

    The Republican Party as we know it may die of Trump. If it does, it will have succumbed in part because many of its leaders chose not to fight for the Party of Lincoln, which is a set of ideas about how to govern a country, rather than an organization clawing for political and personal advantage.” </b'
    [emphasis added]

  • Andrew Allison

    It’s the American POLITICAL class which leaned too far over its skis.

  • Proud Skeptic

    While it is true that Jacksonian America is rousing itself to fight, we seem to still be missing a Jackson. A few weeks ago, I finished HW Brand’s biography of Jackson and acquired an appreciation for this great man. As for Donald Trump, I offer two comments…

    1. I read about Andrew Jackson and you are no Andrew Jackson.



  • CosmotKat

    “Eager to reap the rewards (and there are many) from technoglobalization, people in power on both sides collectively neglected the interests and preferences of broad swathes of the country.”
    No kidding. And they were eager to reap these rewards while demonizing the rest of us. Those who were so eager to reap these awards were in positions of power and able to pay-off those who would give them the confidential information that provided the blue print that enabled their theft from the rest of us. In the stock market they call this insider information and it is supposed to be illegal. Therein lies the global elites problem. The rest of us are on to their con.

    • Jim__L

      The general claim of Silicon Valley types, the one that absolves them of even any velleity towards a system that isn’t rigged against everyone but them, is that “people have to be adaptable”.

      • CosmotKat

        Well said, Jim! What’s especially sickening to me was Eric Schmidt of google and FB’s Zuckerberg using their wealth and the political connections they gained from that wealth to manipulate the country toward their view of the world.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Apparently they aren’t very good at it. Both Schmidt and Zuckerberg were big HRC supporters….
          Your point is well taken though, fortunately they (thus far) they haven’t figured out how to translate their money into power….yet

          • CosmotKat

            They backed Clinton and lost. I would expect them to try to influence Trump.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Absolutely, that is how crony capitalism works. I wonder how much luck they will have. They are dealing with a businessman now, someone who has spent a lifetime doing deals, not a narcissistic community organizer with delusions of godhood.

          • Jim__L

            I think that the link between money and votes is highly overrated. Look at how little money Trump spent.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Precisely right….Trump understood this because he isn’t a politician, he is a businessman (really a marketer), and hence isn’t going to be as easily taken in by that sort of game.
            In point of fact, one very positive outcome of Trump’s campaign (and believe me, attributing ANYTHING positive to this long awful debacle is a stretch) may be that the political ‘professionals’ may be seriously discredited as a result. HRC did everything in the political professional’s handbook, and it failed spectacularly….

          • Jim__L

            Talent can never replace hard work, and hard work can never replace talent.

  • Tom Scharf

    Look, I like this site, but this is really a pathetic “Look, Squirrel!!!!” defense. This site dumped on Trump and his supporters as much, if not more, than anywhere else. The “we saw this one coming” meme here is not persuasive at all.

    Sorry, but you need to own it.

  • Anthony

    “What has happened in America should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure.” (Robert Reich)

    At some level Robert Reich is on target; many Americans share his view. Meanwhile, we shall see shortly if “governing mechanisms” (laws, legislation, public policy, etc.) support intent of repudiation.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Thank you for sharing that. Good insight and one of the rare times where I find myself in agreement with Robert Reich!

      • Anthony

        You’re welcome.

      • Jim__L

        It’s a pity that the rest of the time, Reich is so far off the deep end. =(

        • f1b0nacc1

          True enough, but as I like to say….Hitler built the autobahn, nobody is wrong 100% of the time.

  • Peter M Todebush

    Pat Caddell’s findings

    Several years ago, I began, with my colleagues at Armada, an ongoing, in-depth research project on what has become known as the “Candidate Smith” project. A good friend of mine, Lee Hanley, who sadly just passed away, volunteered to begin this project with only one charge: that we explore my hypothesis that something profound was happening in the collective consciousness of the American people.

    What we learned in our in-depth research was as astonishing as it was unexpected. It became clear from this really deep public opinion inquiry that American politics has entered an historic paradigm. What is emerging in what had been assumed to be the static political system was about to be reconfigured in ways and that we still do not know fully. But one thing is certain: the old rules of politics are collapsing and a new edifice is emerging.

    The conventional wisdom that America is absolutely divided into warring tribes is a tired falsehood. Overall, in the attitude structure of the American people, the elements of this new paradigm are commonly shared by upwards of 80 percent of the population – from the Occupy Wall Street movement on the left to the Tea Parties on the right. The political battleground is no longer over ideology but instead is all about insurgency.

    The larger atmosphere is dominated by three overriding beliefs:

    First, the American people believe that the country is not only on the wrong track but almost 70 percent say that America is in actual decline. The concept of decline is antithetical to the American experience.

    Second, for more than three centuries, the animating moral obligation of America has been the self-imposed obligation that each generation passes on to its children a better America than they themselves inherited. This is what makes us Americans. In Armada’s polling we found that a majority of Americans believe that they are better off than their parents were. But a great majority says that THEIR children will be worse off than they themselves are today. This is the crisis of the American Dream. And it is no surprise that a majority of Americans agree that if we leave the next generation “worse off” that there will still be a place called “the United States” but there will no longer be an “America.”

    Third, when asked whether or not everyone in America plays by the same rules to get ahead or are there different rules for well-connected and people with money, a staggering 84 percent of voters picked the latter. Only 10 percent believed that everyone has an equal opportunity.

    These over-arching attitudes provide the framework for today’s political revolt.

    Unfortunately, I suspect, if you asked these questions of the political, financial and media elite they would have a very different response.

    From the time I was a teenager and a self-starting pollster I have had an acute interest in the phenomenon of political alienation. In our research, the current level of alienation that now grips the American electorate is staggering and unprecedented.

    Here are some of our latest results among likely voters from early October 2016:

    1. The power of ordinary people to control our country is getting weaker every day, as political leaders on both sides, fight to protect their own power and privilege, at the expense of the nation’s well-being. We need to restore what we really believe in – real democracy by the people and real free-enterprise. AGREE = 87%; DISAGREE = 10%

    2. The country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists and other powerful money interests for their own gain at the expense of the American people. AGREE = 87%; DISAGREE = 10%

    3. Most politicians really care about people like me. AGREE = 25%; DISAGREE = 69%

    4. Powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions and political interest groups have used campaign and lobbying money to rig the system for them. They are looting the national treasury of billions of dollars at the expense of every man, woman and child. AGREE = 81%; DISAGREE = 13%

    5. The U.S. has a two-track economy where most Americans struggle every day, where good jobs are hard to find, where huge corporations get all the rewards. We need fundamental changes to fix the inequity in our economic system. AGREE = 81%; DISAGREE = 15%

    6. Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege than doing what is right for the American people. AGREE = 86%; DISAGREE = 11%

    7. The two main political parties are too beholden to special and corporate interest to create any meaningful change. AGREE = 76%; DISAGREE = 19%

    8. The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but between mainstream American and the ruling political elites. AGREE = 67%; DISAGREE = 24%

    These numbers and many, many more from our research paint the true outlines of the emerging political paradigm and the insurgency that it has ignited. In fact, it is the last question above that is agreed to by “only two-thirds” of the American people. Despite everything we are told day and night – that political battle in America is between Democrats and Republicans – two thirds of the American people believe that the battle lines are drawn between mainstream America and its ruling Political Class. THIS is the battle of 2016 and beyond.

    These are findings that the reader has likely never been told. For they reflect the legitimate dissent of the American people from the actions and leadership of their establishment institutions. This is something the political class and mainstream media refuse to recognize much less acknowledge.

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