Yes, it sounds shocking but after the treatment both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have received in this election cycle, it may be time to send the party system to timeout. For months, the Sanders campaign has been greatly hindered by a media blackout, misinformation, and restricted voting practices in states run by Democratic establishment players. In Trump’s case, the GOP has schemed to deny him the election by way of bureaucratic collusion – even though Republican Party rules technically permit down ballot candidates to make headway in the event of the frontrunner not surpassing the delegate threshold. And trust me, my pity for Trump is limited as he has tapped the most xenophobic and jingoistic sentiments present in the American electorate. However, one must admit that labeling his entire support base in a negative light isn’t fair – what’s more, generalizing Trump’s constituency is not much different than Hillary’s sleazy approach. According to her campaign, Bernie’s supporters primarily consist of beer guzzling, explicitly sexist, muscle dummies. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Rather, the Sanders’ campaign has formed a coalition between millennials, adults under 45, working class whites, unions, Asian Americans, and Native Americans (and other groups not mentioned here as well). And this campaign is unique in that it’s bringing ostensibly disenfranchised left-leaning Independents back into the Democratic Party. Despite Sanders’ recently narrowed path to the nomination, he still has a slim chance of closing the gap. In all honesty, had Sanders not run for the presidency, the vast majority of Independents would have presumably joined ranks with Donald Trump. Sanders is actually growing the Democratic Party. This factoid will be disregarded by Hillary fanatics, but there’s no doubt that his anti-status quo rhetoric has impassioned a base of supporters that will impact the Democratic Party for years to come.
To Trump’s credit, he has run a similar campaign in that he hasn’t accepted insidious money, nor is he beholden to powerful interests. Moreover, Trump’s economic policies have some crossover with Bernie in that he’s willing to rebuild America’s infrastructure, raise taxes on the rich, and challenge two-party entrenchment. Now, don’t misconstrue my perception of Trump with an outright endorsement. That’s simply not the case. The thing to that’s most important in regards to Trump’s ascendency is that he has ruffled establishment feathers. How much so? Well, to the extent of the Party being the impetus behind both Cruz and Kasich’s campaigns. I mean, come on, Cruz? His favorability rating – after his government shutdown idiocy – is on par with Chipotle. As for Kasich, he’s just a stopgap measure – an unrealistic one at that.
I can already assume a Hillary supporter’s reaction to my piece so far: “But if Trump is elected, the end of the world will arrive.” Please, stop with the hyperbole. Trump will be dealing with an establishment Congress unwilling to do his bidding. By the time the 2018 Midterm Elections come around, there will likely be a wave election of Democrats taking back both chambers – this is backed by history as well. Most presidents have seen support drop off immensely by the time of the first Congressional Election. In addition, Trump is a malleable and opportunistic businessman that only cares about his public perception and success. Meaning, Trump has the capability of governing as a centrist due to his egotistical personality. So, does this mean Trump isn’t a threat? No. The dismantling of the Affordable Care act, the massive deportation of illegal immigrants, and Supreme Court vacancies are all causes for concern.
These concerns, however, are secondary to America’s hatred of the two-party system. A system whereby restricting voter access has become a normality. It’s sickening really. Many are still wondering where the dreams of Obama went? The dreams didn’t go anywhere – they were stifled by the major influx of corporate money into the American political system. And this election has proven one thing: corporate money has permeated the establishments of both parties and this reality is eroding the very foundations of American democracy. Jacksonian intentions of the two-party system have fallen victim to the American oligarchy. Common people are largely forgotten. Whether it’s voter ID laws, closed primaries, lack of oversight, less precincts, machine failures, ballot errors, or understaffing, the preponderance of evidence elucidates the establishment’s objectives. Voting is the number one enemy of the status quo.
So what’s the solution? It may lie in Trump in the event of Bernie’s demise. A Trump victory could fracture both the Democratic and Republican Parties. For one, the GOP will probably branch off from Trump’s populist brand. Secondly, Independents would send a message to the Democratic Party by supporting Trump that playing games with one of the most crucial rights – the right to vote – in the United States is an absolute no-no. Many Bernie supporters will vote for Trump, vote third party, or write Sanders in – and they have a right to do this. Trying to force them to support a morally flawed candidate is unfair.
Change won’t come without the status quo being rocked and the only two ways for this to occur is through the election of Trump or Sanders – anything else is a major concession.