I just see this going in so many bad directions, that no one is even considering. I remember several years ago the popularity of a probability concept “the Black Swan” was a catch phrase in fashion. This happened after the Bush era housing bubble and collapse in late 2008, when John McCain suspended his campaign on Letterman because the economy was “cratering”. Housing, real estate, was supposed to do nothing but go up-and-up. All the schmucks bought the argument, and we were heading to a “Black Swan” event like a decades-long Second Great Depression.
The one certainty is that no one can be absolutely certain what a politically erratic person and a Penn bullshit artist (which the school loves to create and I know!) such as Donald Trump is going to do. This is the thing. This is the thing people didn’t understand. We don’t know. That’s great there’s this minority of people scattered throughout the red states are so confident about The Donald. I hope I’m just missing something, or not seeing something.
On the Democratic side, I think we can all agree with Bernie Sanders’ general observation that there have been too many half-measures that have not cured what ails the American economy. People are still hurting—and are pissed—and didn’t have much patience for Clinton/1990’s style politics. I said this ten months ago. I’m read like a far, far corner of the internet, but when I get a chance . . .
I wish I had blogged more about this phenomenon, as I see it played out in places like Pennsylvania. There are these little gem comments that people post, in the hopes, like a lottery, that they end up being featured on a well-read website, like Slate. I saw one earlier this afternoon:
“They could start by evicting all the over-privileged identity politics people running the party, stop attacking men and white people, and start actually standing up for the working class again.”
While that comment goes to the Identity Politics/”PC” problem that the party has had since McGovern, the part that stands out to me is the part about “standing up for the working class again”, which I take to mean, in contemporary language, the vast middle class—the people who have to show up to work and so therefore are the working class. (Yes, they are mostly white, but there is a whole mix of people in America, and I don’t think that’s the issue.)
Very few Democratic politicians are seen as the voice of this large segment of the People. Bernie tapped in, but you know there was Elizabeth Warren. But how many? If I sit and think. Sherrod Brown. Jeff Merkley in Oregon. Who else is more known for talking about the Dollar rather than talking PC? See? It’s so few people, you can count them on just one hand. (Barack Obama doesn’t count, because he’s had to be on all the issues, particularly defense, as President.)
So you see, this is why the situation really sucks for the Democrats. You go to vast parts of the country, and there is no personification of the Party, or where there is, these people are seen as eggheads, goofy, or out-of-touch. They fail the vetting of the elites running the party. Bernie did.
So what happened is, millions of people who showed up for “hope and change” Obama didn’t go to vote (interestingly, also a large number of the Identity Politics, core constituents of the Democrats, which tells you something about patronization, which Trump picked up on.) Trump was a lot more “loose” in what he said, and so these gems of insight kept popping up that the “hope and change” crowd bought. They trusted. I really don’t trust what he said, because he mostly said it on Twitter and in sound bites. I think they’re going to get their asses burned for having trusted—because they really handed their political power over to billionaire economic right wingers and foreign powers like Russia and also people in Asia— and those of us who were totally disenfranchised when Bernie went down are going to get burned in the crossfire. More on that some other time.