Monday, July 25, 2016

Why Trump May Win

Discouraged By The Democratic Party's Self-Inflicted Wounds

And see, "The DNC Still Just Doesn't Get It," July 29, 2016.

Update July 25, 3:27 p.m. CT: Nate Silver 538 projects if election were held today [July 25] Trump would win by 54.5 to 45.5% for Hillary (percentages change over time).

Update on polls; July 30, 2016: They vary, both over time and between pollsters. The only one that really matters, because it is definitive, is the one that counts voters' ballots on November 8, 2016. Meanwhile, here is what The New York Times "National Polling Average" reported on July 30, 2016: Hillary Clinton 42.6%, Donald Trump 42.1% -- in other words, a toss-up. Of the 5 polls averaged, among the 3 putting Clinton ahead they range from 43-42% to 40-35%; the two favoring Trump are 48-45% and 44-40%. Results for 11 swing states show Clinton leading in 9, by 0.2% (Ohio) and 1.3% (Florida) to 4.5% (Virginia) and 7.0% (Wisconsin). Trump leads in Georgia by 3.3% and Missouri by 8.2%. "2016 Election Polls; National Polling Average," New York Times, July 30, 2016.

As a lifelong Democrat, I have for some years now been discouraged by the actions of the Democratic National Committee, and others who are considered members of the Party's establishment (many of whom are superdelegates). So discouraged that I'm going to undertake a two-part blog experiment.

Today [Monday, July 25, 2016] before watching any of the Democratic National Convention, or reading any of the news reports coming from Philadelphia, I'm going to write about some of the reasons for my discouragement. Later this week, once the Convention is concluded, I plan to write on the same subject once again to see what impact the Convention has had on my thinking.

It is not my purpose in this blog essay to deal with the personalities or qualifications of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donald Trump, or others. It is, rather, to address the way in which the Party, as a Party, has positioned itself in today's America. [Photo credit: Maring Photography; Contour by Getty Images.]

The Democratic Party establishment has historically served, and been supported by, the poor, working poor, working class, union members, family farmers and a broad range of other demographic groups. Were it still both perceived and actually functioning as such, it could elect a majority of officials from school boards and city councils to the U.S. Senate, House and White House. While there are still occasional nods in the direction of the unrepresented, the Party's leadership has become -- and obviously wishes to remain -- funded by, and the legislative advocates for, Wall Street, large corporations, and the top 1% of America's socio-economic elite. It's mission, far more than the enactment of populist policies, is the perpetual re-election of office holders whose highest priority daily activity is raising money.

In the latter years of the 20th Century this evolution might not have been very honorable, but at least it could still work.

The question is whether it will still work in this or any other country when one considers the Tea Party, Occupy movement, Brexit, and the unprecedented numbers and enthusiasm of the supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Whether justified or not, millions of angry Americans now look upon government, corporations, other powerful institutions, and those who run them, not just as uncaring for people like themselves, but as an enemy, deliberately adopting policies and budgets knowing the harms they will impose.

I am not arguing, in this essay at this time, that every Democratic Party official should have joined the Bernie Sanders campaign. But to so obviously trivialize, or oppose, his candidacy -- now documented in the DNC emails revealed by Wikileaks (not that it wasn't well known before) -- and carry on with 20th Century politics, was unnecessary and counter productive. For the angry Americans, independents, youth, Democrats, Republicans, and others, it was "a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

However experienced and well qualified for the presidency Hillary Clinton may be thought to be, when millions of potential voters (and what may turn out to be non-voters) have taken to the streets with pitchforks in hand, for the Party leadership to offer them its preeminent establishment icon only confirms their worst fears about their Democratic Party, not to mention America's future and their own.

And that's, I believe, "Why Trump May Win."

Having written this, I now discover I'm not the only one with this assessment.

Michael Moore has written his analysis of why there is not just a chance that Trump could win, but "5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win."

Frankly, I think that all politics is too volatile to ever predict, with certainty, what will happen 100 days in the future. But I certainly share Moore's sense that Trump could win, and that he has a much greater chance of doing so than the Democratic Party establishment's actions indicate it understands.

Moore's analysis is too long to reproduce here in its entirety. But here are such clues as you may be able to pull from his five headings: (1) Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit, (2) The Last Stand of the Angry White Man, (3) The Hillary Problem, (4) The Depressed Sanders Vote, and (5) The Jesse Ventura Effect.

Read the full text and judge for yourself. Here's the link: Michael Moore, "5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win,", July 23, 2016.

Robert Reich takes a comparable view. Here are some brief excerpts:
Does Hillary Clinton understand that the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment?

I worry she doesn’t –- at least not yet. . . .

In fairness, Hillary is only doing what she knows best. Moving to the putative center is what Bill Clinton did . . ..

But this view is outdated. . . .

The most powerful force in American politics today is anti-establishment fury at a system rigged by big corporations, Wall Street, and the super-wealthy.

This is a big reason why Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. It’s also why Bernie Sanders took 22 states in the Democratic primaries, including a majority of Democratic primary voters under age 45.

There are no longer “moderates.” There’s no longer a “center.” There’s authoritarian populism (Trump) or democratic populism . . ..

If Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party don’t recognize this realignment, they’re in for a rude shock -– as, I’m afraid, is the nation. Because Donald Trump does recognize it. His authoritarian (“I’ am your voice”) populism is premised on it. . . .

Most basically, the anti-establishment wants big money out of politics. This was the premise of Bernie Sanders’s campaign. It’s also been central to Donald (“I’m so rich I can’t be bought off”) Trump’s appeal . . ..

Last January, a Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers found 91 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats unsatisfied or “mad as hell” about money in politics.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to move toward the “middle.” . . .

She needs to move instead toward the anti-establishment –- forcefully committing herself to getting big money out of politics, and making the system work for the many rather than a privileged few.
Robert Reich: Does Hillary Get It? Tim Kaine Is As Vanilla Middle As You Can Get," July 24, 2016

Watch this space. I'll return with my post-Convention reactions by the end of this week.

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1 comment:

Tom Klemesrud said...

It's hard to trust her because you couldn't trust Bill. Once she's in, she will seek the center by "triangulating" then start tweaking the TPP for the usurpation of American law, for the benefit of her multi-national, corporate financiers; and, those shaken down by the William J Clinton Foundation, in exchange for influence.