Politics out of joint.
I wrote an article some time back entitled political parties can die. It was an opinion piece highlighting what was a trend I perceived about the electorate’s rejection almost worldwide of the post-war condition reflex of voters’ allegiance to one of the two traditional vanilla-flavoured parties irrespective of whatever democracy you lived in.
In a nutshell, it was about the electorate dumping that tired old Marxist analysis of politics as a class war between the exploiters and exploited, because for them the establishment of neither of those two sides of polity were actually representing the interests of anyone but themselves.
I’d like to explore that trend further by examining in detail its causes in the two mainstream parties in the upcoming presidential election in America.
We have the Democratic party which is nominally left-wing and on the side of the exploited. Their nominee for president is widely seen as tainted by too many scandals and whose only self-declared qualification for the job appears to be she’s a woman, albeit one of that multitude her on/off husband fucked over the course of their marriage. However, she’s totally Washington establishment, which is to say she’s making deals in all directions – anything for power.
Both she and the Clinton Foundation reek of corruption and they’re both sly recipients of large wads of money from Wall Street and some of the most distasteful regimes in the world. We live in an information rich age; perhaps to the point of information overload, but leaked emails reveal the Democratic establishment pushing Clinton to the fore while at the same time plotting to sabotage the Sander’s campaign. They even kicked around ideas about how to use his faith against him. He’s Jewish, if you didn’t already know that, like most of the founders of left-wing political theory.
It’s a worrying aspect of modern left-wing politics that there is a pervasive anti-Semitic element to it that is by now almost systemic. If you’ve any doubts about that, consider the sight of people inside the convention waving a Palestinian flag while outside they were burning the Stars and Bars, and topping off that little ritual by burning an Israeli flag. One of the fools in that little ceremony managed to set himself alight while dancing atop the burning flags.
In a sense, Sanders was a Trump who didn’t have the nerve to ignite. When you go up against the king, you have to be audacious rather than noble. L’audace, l’audace, et toujours de l’audace otherwise the field is lost. The democratic establishment took him out and re-established control over the machine but they’d be wise to think over how far he got and what he might represent.
Bernie Sanders, if anything, was trying to force it back to doing more than nominally addressing its original blue-collar support base. The fact that anyone openly proclaiming themselves to be a socialist could do so well in the primaries is a sign of how disaffected that party’s traditional support base is. In America, declaring yourself to be a socialist used to be equivalent to saying you’re a rabid Marxist which was right down there in the pits with child molesting.
He spoke for the next generation of their support base, and that dissatisfaction with the party as currently configured is not going to go away.
To a certain extent, the popular support for Sanders was also a rejection of the race politics of the left-wing, who’re determined to secure the non-white vote by stoking various grievances, real or otherwise, for the next generation or two. This is exemplified by the utterances, or more significantly the tepid silences of President Obama on things like murdered white policemen, and is seen by insiders as regaining Democratic Party control of the South in the aftermath of the civil rights legislation in the sixties.
Contrary to LBJ’s prediction that they’d lose democratic support for a generation, they actually lost it for two, but Bill recouped a lot of it, with Obama, the most racially divisive president ever, completing the job. In essence, it was simply converting what was a poor white cracker support base to a poor black one. The problem with that simplistic analysis is that while I’m sure there are still a number of crackers and shanty blacks knocking around, that electoral demographic has largely disappeared to be replaced by mildly prosperous lower/middle classers who just want some stability and prosperity to raise their families.
They go to work together every day without much in the way of a race war breaking out, and anyway everyone knows that’d be the quick way to get themselves fired.
The anger displayed at the Democratic convention was really a reaction to the political establishment bending or breaking every rule possible to get their candidate nominated, which they succeeded in doing.
What happened at the Republican one was the reverse because the political establishment were outmanoeuvred, but the rage and anger, while subsumed beneath a grudging acceptance of the overwhelming will of the foot soldiers’ popular choice, was palpable.
We are now presented with the hitherto unprecedented spectacle of a political party actively trying to sabotage the presidential run of their own nominee. This is being spun as a matter of principle, or some sort of concern for that higher abstraction of country, but what it’s actually about is nothing more than petulance, and a real fear that the days of the Republican dinosaurs of the Jurassic period are over, and they are.
A telling sign, because it’s about money, of how much they’ve lost not only the control but respect of their traditional supporters is the funding of the Trump campaign. The usual bulge-bracket party donors were discouraged from contributing and it was widely thought that Clinton would simply outspend him in the run off.
In response, the Trump campaign asked for donations online; ten, twenty or thirty dollars, whatever you could afford. Within a month, they’ve caught up with Clinton’s estimated ninety million dollars a month in donations. A lot of ordinary people kicking in a few bucks and none if any Saudi-sized donors.
A right-wing party being funded by the little people and a left-wing one funded by big business interests and several filthy regimes – you couldn’t make this stuff up. Politics out of joint.
When politicians and commentators complain of electorates being irrational, you know they’re the ones being grossly out of touch with the common sentiment of the people. Believe it or not, they’re there to represent the will of the people, not to impose their will on voters. The longer they ignore that simple reality, the harsher the electorate’s reaction will be.
These stresses in mainstream parties are not going to go away. It’s not some momentary fad. They signal a tectonic shift in both the style of how politics will be conducted in the future and what will be acceptable to the public in terms of mainstream policy.
The Jack is well and truly out of the box and in no mood to get back in.
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