At this point last year, Hillary Clinton looked as if she had a straight shot to the White House. Her only trouble, possibly, coming from the other side of the room in former Florida governor, Jeb Bush.
Oh, how that has changed.
Hillary Clinton, the once “shoe-in” Democratic nominee, has seen Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, come out of nowhere, promising change that, he says, Clinton is unable to deliver.
Bush on the other hand, polled so low in the past three primaries, that he dropped out of the race.
So what happened?
Well, for one, billionaire Donald Trump happened.
Donald Trump came into the presidential race as a conservative, anti-establishment dreamer, with the catch phrase “Make America Great Again.”
His campaign of bringing a businessman to the White House, rather than another “talking head” politician, has sparked a new race. One that goes beyond the traditional two-party system.
His forceful rhetoric has not only increased the vast divide that between Democrats and Republicans, but it has succeeded in splitting up the parties in their own moral divide, the establishment candidate versus the anti-establishment candidate.
Next, there was Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, and his “grassroots movement,” has shaken the democratic party to it’s roots, capturing the vote of many Americans who have grown tired of the imbalance of power that is corrupting the political system.
To take on Wall Street and break up all of the big banks whose poor decisions led to the economy’s collapse in 2008.
So what has sparked America to suddenly start voting against the system? Why change? Why now? Well first, one must understand what the establishment is and why people are turning away from it.
Candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, two people who’s names are rarely used in the same sentence, represent similar movements, just for separate parties. Movements that see a large portion of Americans who are tired of an unjust political system, that they feel, is heading in the opposite direction of “for the people.”
Establishment in the form of politics is defined as: “a group of social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class (often capitalized).” In this case, the Establishment is the American government and how it has ruled for years.
The citizens “elect” and these officials are meant to be the voice of the people. They are meant to fight, not only for their rights, but also their ideas.
Down to its roots, this system was a revolution that freed people from the tyranny they had endured for much too long, best described by the great Abraham Lincoln in the closing statement of the Gettysburg Address:
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
In that quote lies the answer: “of the people, by the people, for the people …”
Is it “for” the people anymore?
The fact of the matter is that, there is no anti-establishment. These people who are fighting for their rights, who are voting “against the establishment,” aren’t voting against it at all, they are fighting for it. Just not the one that currently holds the reigns. A “grassroots” movement that is fighting for a government in which they truly believe has their best interests in mind, one that was created over two hundred years ago, and has slowly been manipulated to serve the needs of only the few, not the many.
That begs the question, who is really the “anti-establishment?”
Lets begin with Donald Trump.
Trump has based his campaign around building a wall on the border and making Mexico pay for it, winning the votes of many conservatives who believe that our stance on immigration is too open. He also talks in length about a “Trans-Pacific Trade Deal” which he says will help America with our trading policies also stating that “Our country is in serious trouble, we don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say China, in a trade deal?”
All these ideas that Trump has given us, but not much on how these will come to fruition, his main talking points, are points that appeal to the emotions of many people who are tired of the way things have gone.
Sanders is a lifelong politician, whose voting record is one of the most consistent this country has seen in a long time. Above all others, his message is simple. Give the citizens of this great country an equal opportunity at success by: providing them with an opportunity to earn a living wage, providing health care as an undeniable right and providing the youth with an opportunity to engage in free higher education.
When this country was formed, the establishment was created so that all of it’s citizens were guaranteed “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” and when one pairs that with “of the people, by the people, for the people,” which candidate is really “anti-establishment?”
The future of American politics could rest on the hinges on the Nevada and South Carolina primaries, with “Super Tuesday” today, both parties may have their candidate by the end of the day. Will the “grassroots” movement hold true, or will the big money of American politics continue its grab on the White House for another four years?
What will you stand for?