There are many theories about why Hillary Clinton lost the election, but one theory better than any other I have found encapsulates what happened. Articulated by Robert Parry in a recent article in Consortiumnews.com, one single sentence provides by far the most succinct explanation. In his article, Mr. Parry says, “But American voters chose him in part because they felt they needed a blunt instrument to smash the Establishment that has ruled and mis-ruled America for at least the past several decades.” No truer words were ever spoken. This election was, in a sense, a democratic revolution, a revolt against the ruling class conducted in an entirely democratic process. That says a lot for Americans.
Mr. Parry goes on to say, “It is an Establishment that not only has grabbed for itself almost all the new wealth that the country has produced but has casually sent the U.S. military into wars of choice, as if the lives of working-class soldiers are of little value.” More true words as over the past 36 years, ruled by Republicans for 20 years and by Democrats for 16, little difference is observed in the policies which benefited the privileged 1% at the expense of the middle and lower classes. Both political parties are perceived to be puppets of the Establishment that selects the politicians for whom we vote and then dictates the policies they enact. Trump, rightly or wrongly, was perceived as an outsider – an anti-establishment maverick with whom all those who have suffered at the hands of both political parties could empathize.
That Trump was offensive, irreverent, obnoxious, misogynistic, racist and an outright liar on multiple occasions was completely irrelevant to many. He was perceived as an outsider – a maverick who, they believed, could turn things around.
It will be interesting to see how he manages our government. We will begin to gain some insights to his real agenda as he starts choosing those with whom he surrounds himself. If, like Obama, Trump surrounds himself with established pols, neo-cons and party insiders, we can expect little change. But if he chooses his staff, his advisors and his cabinet wisely, we could experience a very positive change.
Let’s hope for the best.