On the Republican side, we’ve had well over a dozen candidates coming and going and endlessly debating, and for the first time ever, more than one of them is not a member of the political elite. As expected, those that espouse beliefs that challenge the status quo in our federal regime have been marginalized and silenced - with two remarkable exceptions. Donald Trump remains in the race, both due to his front-runner status and the fact that he does not have to rely on America’s owners to foot the bill for his campaign. Ted Cruz is still in the race despite the fact that the Washington power elite despises him and their corporate masters distrust him. Marco Rubio is an empty suit that rode the Tea Party into the Senate, then promptly proved himself to be an obedient servant of the congressional power brokers.
On the Democrat side of the race, there is Bernie Sanders; a crotchety, aging, Jewish guy from Brooklyn who openly espouses socialism; an ideology America spent trillions of dollars and more than four decades to defeat in the form of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Despite this fact, he is beloved by vast numbers of supporters. Then there is Hillary - the poster child of establishment Washington, corporate cronyism, and cynical pandering and political machinations - also beloved by millions.
How, one may wonder could Donald Trump be leading the race for the Republican Party? He is an arrogant and bombastic bully that has said a dozen things on the campaign trail that would have ended the career of any other aspiring politician. He has overly simplistic and sometimes blatantly unrealistic plans to solve America’s problems in international trade, immigration, and terrorist threats, yet people love him.
What most observers fail to see is that Trump and Sanders are tapping into an underlying emotional current in America’s hopelessly ignorant electorate; that is that something is wrong. The game is rigged; the system is unfair; America can’t get the job done anymore. The Tea Party and Occupy movements are opposite sides of this same coin. While virtually no one understands why things are so wrong, they are, sadly, correct. Bernie says he’ll fix everything by having the government take all money from the greedy rich people and give free stuff to everyone. The Donald is going to fix everything by getting ‘really, really smart people to come up with really, really great ideas, while telling the rest of the world to pony up their fair share of cash and trade fair with us, or go pound salt.’
Both Sanders and Trump are right - and they are both wrong. Yes, Bernie, the game is rigged; Wall Street and multinational corporations do control the election process. They select and vet the candidates and only the people upon whom they bestow their money get to have a chance at winning. They rig the rules at the SEC and other government regulatory agencies to allow them to loot the public and the US Treasury out of trillions of dollars. But you are talking about a tiny handful of people, and even if you take all their money it won’t begin to pay for all your promises of free stuff for everyone, nor make even a small dent in our 19 trillion dollar national debt. An even more powerful and wealthy government is not the answer to problems created by our corrupt government in the first place. Moreover, aside from the handful of criminals that manipulate financial markets and deliberately defraud investors to make their billions, the vast majority of very wealthy people have earned their money; it’s not yours or anyone else’s Bernie. Didn’t your mother teach you not to take things that don’t belong to you?
Donald, you’re right; America doesn’t win anymore, we haven’t won a war since 1945, we have open borders, no foreign policy, bankroll the free world’s collective defense, tolerate unfair trade policies, and if we are going to prosecute a war against ISIS, we ought to be doing it with some sense of urgency and ruthlessness. But the solution is not to build up our military empire still further. You and every Republican have pledged to “rebuild” America’s military. With a global military empire that occupies every continent and nearly every country on earth, and with a budget that outstrips the next ten biggest military spenders combined, it strains my imagination to think what you could possibly mean by “rebuilding.” Yes, something must be done to secure our borders and deal with the millions of illegal aliens in this country. However, deporting them all is both politically and logistically impossible.
After Super Tuesday, it will come down to Bernie/Hillary and Donald/Marco. America’s owners will do whatever it takes to make certain we can only choose between Clinton and Rubio; they represent the width of the political spectrum we are allowed to choose from, and both can be relied upon to do as they are told. While Bernie can be starved of cash, and Hillary has mounting legal problems over her mishandling of classified documents, Trump is an entirely new phenomenon; he has his own money and just plain doesn’t care what the establishment says about him.
The two year long presidential race serves merely to distract the public and provide a false belief that we have some say in how our government is run. Still, it will be instructive to watch what the establishment does to derail Trump and Sanders; it has been a very long time since an unapproved candidate was nominated by either party. Whether the puppeteers go all in for Hillary as a solid Wall Street soldier, or hedge their bets with Trump figuring he’s one of them and can be reasoned with on immigration once in office, will be interesting to see.
Even if Trump or Sanders were somehow to win the White House, nothing will change. Voters are completely unaware of the fact that it is congress that makes law and spends money, and that the vast majority of laws are made by unelected, faceless bureaucrats in Washington’s regulatory agencies. As for our foreign policy in terms of trade, war du jure, kill lists, and the rest, this is set by forces larger than the president; people you never hear about at CIA, NSA, NSC, and influential think tanks and corporations.
Here’s the spoiler folks; regardless of the November election, four years from now our national debt will have grown larger still, there will be thousands of new federal laws and regulations, the government will still be collecting your phone data and emails, we will be at war somewhere and everywhere, and if you work for a paycheck your real earnings will be lower. But at least this one will be fascinating to watch.