We’ve reached a political fracture point, but of a different kind.
A number of years back, I wrote an article about what I called political fracture points. In summary, it discussed the cyclical nature of changes in government; one party falling out of favour with the electorate and spending a decade or so in the wilderness rebuilding itself to become once more electable. Usually by the time they complete the rebuild, the incumbent party itself has had just enough time in power to become decadent and despised by the electorate. In one form or another, the battle cry of the switch of government election is a variation of “it’s time for a change”.
In the years following WWII, if not earlier, most real democracies had entrenched a political landscape that consisted of a major left-wing party, a major right-wing party and a few tiddler parties who were all things to all men for the percentage of the electorate who really didn’t like making hard decisions. Within that political arrangement, the fracture points analysis held true, but in the four years since it was written, that comfortable framework has started to implode.
Times change and nothing lasts forever. We’ve moved into a whole new landscape. The decadal flip-flop between a disliked party in power and the out of power one promising to get rid of them has broken down. We have a political establishment which is perceived as nothing more than a comfortable club the members of which only listen to each other. Irrespective of which side of the political divide they nominally occupy, they’re all rich, privileged, never worked a day in their life and are totally indistinguishable from each other. You couldn’t slide a fag paper between the differences in the main policies of the left or the right.
They announce with great fanfare policies that are totally irrelevant to the ordinary person’s concerns and only relevant to vanishingly small minorities who’ve long ago learnt how to wank the political/media money cow to their advantage and jump to the head of the queue. Money is handed out in all directions to everyone except you, because you’re the schmuck being taxed to the hilt for that money. And they expect applause from us for their noble largesse?
Even on the rare occasion they come up with what sounds like a commitment to some sane policy people have been demanding for years, it’s announced with more escape holes than a gouda cheese that’s been on the wrong side of an encounter with a Remington double aught shotgun. You just know that policy initiative is somehow going to slip down a legislative crack into oblivion.
They’re like Roman patricians who know exactly what’s best for us, especially as their unpopular policies have zero impact on their high-flying lives, but those policies actually do have serious and detrimental consequences for the ordinary person. This problem is compounded by a mainstream media who’ve been brought to heel, if not actually co-opted into the smug club of political correctness. There is no platform left there for the ordinary person to voice a contrary viewpoint, never mind expressing an honest doubt as to the wisdom of certain policies.
They’re all hurtling headlong into some perfect future dragging us in tow that works for them because basically they’re rich, cosseted, insulated and in a very literal sense don’t live in our world, the one that has some very sharp edges to it that can cut into you, hurt you and the people it’s your duty to protect.
They live in their own exclusive off-planet bubble, high above the grubby day-to-dayness of our groundling lives; finding a first permanent decent job, saving together with your girlfriend for a deposit on a first house, having children and being appalled reading inspector’s reports on the mandated schools in your catchment area, worrying about your not so brilliant job under threat from desperate immigrants who’ll work for peanuts, about taking pride in your nationality and culture without being knee-jerk branded a racist for doing so, and above all wanting a better world for your children and realising it isn’t going to happen with those clowns in charge of things.
There is no hope of change. Social mobility has ground to a total halt. Only a fool would nowadays think the son of an auto worker and a seamstress could become president. He’ll be bloody lucky to even get a third level education unless the both of you work your asses off. The whole thing has been locked up and guess what kiddo, you’re the one with your face pressed up against the glass outside the rich man’s restaurant and locked out of it.
It’s a game exclusively for the well-heeled players and your only part in it is to turn up and vote for yet another bland off-the-peg suit on wheels wheeled onto the political stage like a predatory but house-trained version of Hannibal Lecter and totally expecting your pathetically habitual loyal party vote as some sort of ingrained automatic droit de seigneur conditioned reflex.
It’s a fundamentally broken system. It doesn’t listen to you, doesn’t react to your needs and on so many occasions not only puts barriers in front of your aspirations but also tries to dictate what your correct ambitions should be. It’s therefore pointless even engaging with it. Instead of them helping you achieve your ambitions, it’s become you against them achieving your ambitions. They’re no longer an enabler, they’ve become a problem you have to overcome or at least find a way to circumvent.
People of all social demographics have become deeply disillusioned with mainstream establishment politics. What’s the point of even turning up to vote for people who won’t even keep their big election promises? Even people who always expect an element of slipperiness in politicians have by now lost complete faith in them. It’s not that you can’t trust them as far as you can throw them; it’s that you can’t trust them at all. Period.
That is the extent of the complete breakdown in the relationship.
The bottom line is that electorates are totally pissed off at establishment politics and colourless cardboard cut out politicians who all look like something out of the Truman show accompanied by their equally plastique Stepford wives.
What has been the result of this?
Primarily, a total disinterest in engaging with politics because of the manifest futility of doing so. Don’t bother to turn up, don’t vote, they’ve got it all sewn up anyway. The knock on effect, and it’s not solely driven by chagrin at a political commentary that’s barely above half-drunk bitches in white stilettoes handbagging each other on a dance floor, is to abandon the mainstream media.
Nobody but the intellectually moribund watches the TV news without either yawning or wanting to put their boot through the bloody screen, and newspapers are only bought in advance for reading if you know you’re going to be trapped in some godless hellhole out of internet range or you’re addicted to their crossword. They’re all slowly dying with nary a whimper, never mind a protest.
If you want to find out what’s really going on, it’s easier to follow the twitter feed of a few independent thinkers and their pointers to articles of interest in the free blogosphere. It’s very much rough with the smooth stuff and initially a walk on the wild side, but at least it’s a change from Big Brother’s monolithic party line on everything. However, once you get a taste of the meat in it, you’ll never wimp back to the bland gruel of the mainstream media.
Essentially what developed was a vacuum of disinterest in mainstream politics but vacuums always get filled, most specially in politics. Enter the political aberration, the outsider, the untamed wild mustang unconnected and untainted by a doddering political establishment mouldering away in the pointless rituals of Gormenghast.
I’m of course referring to Donald Trump.
Love him or loath him, but if it wasn’t him filling the vacuum, it’d be another outsider like him. The failure of mainstream politics created the situation and he was astute enough to recognise the situation and simply step into the ring. He really hasn’t had to do much of anything to push the pantywaist opposition aside. Months ago, I thought that barring any accidents, there were only two horses in the race; Trump and Clinton because of what they in essence represented.
Yes, they’ll both be competing for the office of President of the United States, but the conflict is about something deeper – the survival of the current political paradigm.
Hillary Clinton is old school politics and comes with all of its old Tammany Hall sins. The bodies of scandals safely buried in rural Arkansas, the borderline dubious real estate deals of youth, the mysterious and lavish funding of her campaign the sources of which nobody in the media wants to ask any awkward questions about, the backroom deals and horse trading to secure support, the sheer arrogance of holding top secret data on her own unprotected server, the smug I’m totally fashionable look of someone who knows they’ve automatically bagged the media, the East and West coast liberal knee-jerk voters and just has to romance the knickers off the Hispanics and Blacks between either coast and I’m done and dusted.
There’s nothing new about that campaign strategy. Billy Boy used it twice to good effect. It’s by now classic stuff.
In the other corner, we have Donald Trump who doesn’t appear to give a shit about anybody’s sensitivities but definitely believes in a muscular America – first, last and anywhere else in between. He’s picked up support across all the demographics the political pundits said would kill him.
Bible belters actually know when they’re being handled by some city slicker and are pissed off at it, the coloureds know when the race card is being played to get their vote and are pissed off at it, what’s left of the middle class want someone to stop the rot, the poor simply gave up on politics generations ago and as for the rest, the attitude is what the fuck, let’s give him a shot, he can’t be any worse than the shower of bloody fools we’ve currently got.
The media loathe him while they’re not busy ignoring him and compulsively concentrating in a weird Asperger’s manner on the two irrelevant losers battling for second place miles behind him for the nomination. In the ordinary way of things, that’s called denial or displacement activity. It’s not that he sticks in their craw, it’s just that they can’t even bear the thought of mentioning what looks to be the Republican contender for president.
They’ve got strange company in that revulsion. In an act which would only shatter the Republican party into pieces and potentially hand Clinton the presidency, the party grandees are conspiring to deny him the nomination that their own foot soldiers are obviously handing him.
Should they be insane enough to succeed in barring him via some technicality, he’ll simply run as an independent, probably win and in passing kill the Republican party. He wouldn’t be the first one to go that route. A certain Abraham Lincoln ditched his own out of touch party to become a founder of the Republican party.
The mainstream of politics and the media may regard him as a monster, but if that’s so, he’s their monster created by their own inward-looking deaf dumb and blind politics. When someone finally stands up and reflects what the people actually want and looks like they’ll keep their promises, they’ll vote for him, no matter their political stripe, if any.
It’s not so much a presidential election, but more a desperate rearguard fight for survival by a tired old regime.
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