First National Primary Results: is establishment politics in trouble in America in 2016 race for the White House?
If Hillary Clinton won a complicated process of caucuses with a rather slim margin in Iowa, the victory for Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire gave a sense of a new urgency for establishment politics. Preliminary results on the Democratic side show Bernie Sanders upsetting Hillary Clinton with a sixty to thirty-nine percent margin with ninety-five percentage precincts’ reporting. The question of: ‘who-can-do-the-job-that-needs-to-be-done-in- America-Come-January- 2017’ as touted by the former US Secretary of State, either fell on deaf ears, remains mute, or appears not to be catching much fire. The close to landslide victory for Bernie Sanders, was accentuated with an allegation of possible attempt(s) by establishment democrats to throw everything at Bernie and his campaign, in the coming months.
On the Republican side, despite an unconventional campaign messaging, the ‘beyond-the-waterboarding-thing-is-fine-with-me’ talk, shaky temperament, and possible active future incursion foreign policy, the non-so-establishment Republican, ran away with the victory. The distribution of percentage and delegates vote for the night reads as follows: Donald Trump (35.3% - 10); John Kasich (15.8% - 3); Ted Cruz (11.7% - 2); George Bush (11.0% - 2); and the remaining candidates’ data and performance were all insignificant with 95% precinct reporting as published by Associated Press. With Donald Trump responding to his victory with “Wow, wow, wow” or “We are going to make America great again’, you can suspiciously ask the question, where does establishment politics go from here on. What are the plausible options for many Americans who had fallen into romance with conventional establishment politics? Should America be contemplating a Socialist or Reality show host with indeterminable temperament for a US President?
Two outsiders to the two major political parties in America appear to have sent the message that, there is probably a desire for new faces at looking and resolving America’s political problems. Donald Trump, a reality television show host had appeared to be a long shot at the time of his announcement of a run for 2016 White house; and, Bernie Sanders, a self-styled Democratic Socialist had been considered a reactionary politician by establishment Democrats, and his arch-rival Hillary Clinton, had attempted to gloss him over as, a one-policy reactionary politician, without the type of experience to manage the tasks ahead for America. Incidentally, or unexpectedly, these two new faces to national politics, Trump and Sanders, are not only thriving, they are close to humiliating the establishment candidates in the run for 2016 White house. The large number of voters who had longed for establishment politicians replacing President Barack Obama, were not expecting a possible radical reformer from the Democratic side or an effusive reality show host with a lot of money to spear, to steal the day at New Hampshire primary or Iowa caucuses. It is gradually appearing that the vision of liberal reform on the democratic side have not gone far enough for voters; and for Republicans, the reflective, inward looking and carefully planned policy application of the current White House Administration, are rather unsatisfactory as they remain un-hawkish or aggressive enough. Or else, how do you explain the results from New Hampshire primary?
The failure of Hillary Clinton to translate her experience and establishment political campaign backing into votes at the New Hampshire primary, are much reasons for concern. The former US Secretary's brand of where America must go from here, appears not to be exciting as those professed by Bernie Sander's choice and claim that it was time to make Wall Street accountable for its excesses. Though Hillary Clinton added in her concessional speech in New Hampshire that: “[Americans] have every right to be angry. But they are also hungry. They are hungry for solutions … and I know how to do it”, it appears that, that declaration is not holding water with many democrats; and many are getting apprehensive and wondering if she actually the right person to take the party to the promised land. On the Republican side, policies to engage in foreign interventions and possible attempt to engage in underhanded and internationally unapproved national foreign policies to fight international terrorism and keep America safe, are gradually gaining strength and credence Republican rank and file, most of whom are lining up behind Donald trump's candidacy. The nationalistic favor statement of: we are going to make America great again, is gaining more recognition and appears to be a mantra, supporters of Donald Trump are willing to embrace just a he spews out racist as well as xenophobic and offensive statements at his rallies. The combination of all of these is making establishment Republicans asking themselves the question: Wait a minute, where is our party heading with these type of campaign rhetoric; where is the party of Reagan of the eighties now digressing?
Before entertaining the idea of collapse of establishment politics in 2016 run for the White house, it is safe to assume that it is unlikely that a general election will accommodate vulgarity and or, an extremely radical liberalism that may border an apocalyptic presidency. Neither could one anticipate complex internal and external forces re-shaping the major parties’ ethos of relations with American voters, as both of these sensitivities guarantees a repudiation of xenophobic and racist campaign messaging in general election among American voters; concurrently, few voters will rally round a candidate that is assumed to have falter on the claim of sexism from an opponent within the Democratic party enclave. The overwhelming internal complexities that have relegated establishment politicians to the back of the burner in New Hampshire, may be rooted in other issues that are not currently and readily decipherable by the parties’ power-brokers. Maybe the gradual breaking down of establishment political oligarchy that has progressively metamorphosed into greater power and influence of the Tea Party group in the Republican party, is now migrating somewhat to the Democratic Party, where outside to the party's establishment are weighing enough power to stir-up stuff within the party. With the current rise of support for Democratic Socialism in the Democratic party, via support for Bernie Sander's candidacy, one may not completely rule out, the re-shaping of power politics within the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party traditional ideologically infused vision of elevating the socio-economic and political status of middle class America households is recognizable in both the Clinton and Sander’s campaigns. The best way to address solutions to the issues that are uppermost in the hearts and minds of this gradually disenfranchised economic group. are somewhat of a "duzzy" for both leading candidates in the Democratic Party. The possible decline in support of establishment politics in the Democratic Party may point finger to the need for a more urgent and proactive approach in accelerating the goal of the greatest generation message of FDR. The resultant decline in the quality of life, even collapse of middle income lifestyle because of stagnant wages, unequal national economic successes’ distribution, Wall Street reckless malfeasance and insufficient financial reform effort as contained in Dodd-Frank, are possibly driving the anti-establishment politics in the current 2016 White House race. It is telling, if not compelling to appreciate that the greatest advocate of the primary desire of the middle income earners, is a democratic socialist that would hardly have been tolerated five decades ago, not to say, entertained in any parlance in either the Democratic or Republican Parties.
The urgency of repairing the image of the Republican Party with mainstream Anglo-Saxon male, possible loss of political power influence of the past centuries, and probably, the fear of losing racial dominance of the Anglo-Saxon over the rest of America, appears to be driving the current debate for the White house. The Anglo-Saxon male is afraid to be subjected to a minority class in the nation, supposedly built “only” by their forebears. The failure of the establishment Republican elite to engage the supposedly gradually disenfranchised Anglo-Saxon male and commitment to more foreign incursions to pad the wallets of the few upper-class rich Republicans, are material to the growth and revolution in the party. A television entertainer, yet to master the use of political language and communication, and one vast in audience manipulation for temporal gratification, have overtaken seasoned Republican politicians and turned upside down, all known political strategies to captivate voters support in presidential campaigns. The consequence of the eight-year failure of the George W. Bush’s Administration has not only disadvantaged or blacklisted his brother Jeb Bush before voters, it has progressively thrown the party into chaos, with some politicians without a track record and some, with blemished executive government experience, aspiring to carry the Republican Party flag for the 2016 general election. After the frustration with George W. Bush Administration, rank and file Republicans gradually considered outsiders to the internal power politics, a better alternative to mainstream Republican Politicians; and some, sort solace in extreme ideologues that populates the Tea Party group. Tea party group within the Republican Party have gradually, if not deeply, discredited establishment politics, and probably put in notice, a possible incursion to the unknown: “Picking anyone but establishment politicians to contest on the party’s behalf.”
There are other institutional factors that are shaping or constraining mainstream politicians, Democrats and Republican, for the White house oval office in 2016. For several years, political strategists, many of whom occupy offices on the K-Street, Washington DC, innocuously referred to as lobbyists, have repeatedly sold America politicians on the idea that they own the knowledge and systemic power to change the course of the nation, with or without the voter’s influence. The cohesiveness and internal party stability that had afforded establishment politicians to rise, run and win national elections, is now probably threatened, shattered, or in tartars. The frustrations from the Tea Party groups are now engulfing the Republican party; the emergence of extremism among influence groups within the party is now serving as a self-serving tool for hitherto outside politicians like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, three inadvertent and probably, unexpected polls grabber in the current primary and caucuses. The insurgency, or Clinton’s labeled reactionary politics from Bernie Sanders is not accidental; it probably emanated from the pessimism among the middle or lower class income groups in the Democratic Party, who feel they have been short changed; that the collapse of their income, quality of life and political influence within the party, were by design of establishment Democrats, an uncomfortable truth that have essentially benefited politicians like former US Secretary of State; a candidate financed and supported by Wall Street, as put forward by Bernie Sanders.
Sadly, the new resurgence of non-traditional establishment politicians in both major political parties may not go too far, and if it does, may not translate to meaningful political influence or public policies that will completely address all the wants of these supposedly disenfranchised groups of Republicans and Democrats. Political circumstances change and politics by nature, is a game of number. If the disenfranchised groups are unable to give a United States Congress that will work to address their disaffection or unhappiness, there is just too little they can achieve, as urgently as they want. I critical example or fore-runner, is what the current White House is going through: “As a President, if you do not have both houses of congress working with you, and seeing things the way you or your supporters during the general election conceive, there is no very much you can do but resort to executive orders; no amount of presidential power that can automatically pass bills that address all the desires of your supporters. The passing of the Affordable Care Act in the first term of President Obama’s Administration sent strong signal to the middle and lower income groups that their healthcare problems were been addressed; however, since the passing of the law, the opposition party have introduced over fifty bills to overturn the law. The lesson to learn from this is this, even when you are able to get your choice into the White House, you still need to give him or her, a US Congress that will make things happen for you!