As we inch closer and closer to November 8th, one thing has become increasingly clear to me. This election will be viewed by voters as a referendum on the status quo’s itself. While it’ll definitely be a referendum on Obama specifically, it’s much bigger than that. It’ll be about whether the American people want to continue along the path we’ve been on for decades, or if they’re willing to try something entirely different.
Indeed, Hillary Clinton clearly highlighted the choice herself earlier today with the following tweet:
Not a single living president has endorsed Donald Trump. https://t.co/nGXxXTo3NI
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 26, 2016
The message from the above tweet says it all. She’s not running merely as a continuation of Obama’s last eight years, she’s running as a continuation of the last 40. A period during which median wages in real terms have barely budged, while income inequality has exploded. A period during which financialization has hollowed out America’s economy, while a handful of people reaped enormous wealth via labor arbitrage as they shipped manufacturing overseas. A period during which we have seen pointless war after pointless war, all in the pursuit of an enemy largely created by America’s imperial foreign policy in the first place. In other words, it hasn’t been a very good forty years for the average American. Nevertheless, it took a very long time for the public to figure it out, just like the boiling frog doesn’t get that it’s cooked until too late. Since so many Americans hold the above truths to be self-evident, why in the world would Hillary attach herself to the status quo? The reason is actually quite simple. Hillary Clinton, her sycophants, her celebrity supporters, her billionaire donors and her high-level operatives simply have zero engagement with the average American voter. Not only do they have no interaction with them, we now know what they think of them — they are a “basket of deplorables.” Putting the situation into historical terms, I tweeted the following observation earlier today:
Democrats are acting just like the French aristocracy before they lost their heads.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) September 26, 2016
At this point, many of you will frustratingly be saying to yourselves, “but Donald Trump is the status quo.” I would respond to this critique in two ways. First, Trump certainly is the status quo from many perspectives, but from other perspectives he isn’t. For example, he won the Republican nomination without having served as a Governor or member of Congress. Even Ronald Reagan, who so many dismissed as a Hollywood actor, for eight years served as Governor of California, America’s largest state. Trump has done none of that. He hasn’t “played the game,” which is one of the things many voters like about his candidacy. This lack of respect for “how things are done,” is a big part of why so many D.C. insiders resent him and his political success. Beyond that, there’s no debating that he has totally upended traditional GOP policy positions on issues as varied as these fake “free trade” deals and imperial foreign policy.
While all that is true, I’d argue it isn’t even his positions that have truly solidified him into the anti-status quo candidate. The status quo itself has done that for him. As I explained in last week’s piece, The Status Quo vs. Donald Trump:
Taking a step back, it’s become clear to me that many members from the corrupt status quo of both useless political parties are making a huge calculated error by coming together so publicly against Trump. By rallying so aggressively and passionately around Hillary Clinton, the worst of the worst from America’s oligarchy have succeeded in the impossible. They have made a billionaire reality tv star look like a counter culture iconoclast.
When Trump first ran for President, I looked on incredulously as he attempted to portray himself as an anti-status quo stalwart. As someone raised in New York City, I literally grew up with this man’s face plastered all over the papers. In my particular corner of the planet, he was more ubiquitous in the media than the President. Yet as we stand here in September 2016, less than two months away from this momentous national election, the man has remarkably morphed into an anti-status quo symbol in real life. How did this happen?
The incredible irony of the situation is that in its failed attempts to make him unacceptable, mainstream Republicans have made him palatable. Trump couldn’t convincingly turn himself into “outsider” on his own. He needed help, and he has received it in droves from the GOP establishment. Meanwhile, the most pathetic part of it all is the fact that these so-called “conservative thought leaders” and politicians still don’t understand how absolutely despised they are by the general public. They think their “stand against Trump” hurts him, when in reality it just makes him grow stronger and gives him the street cred he never had before.
The above post went on to explain how neocon Republicans and Wall Street rallying around Hillary just gives Donald the ammunition he needs to make this election a choice between him and the status quo. Upon waking up today, I noticed the hits just keep on coming.
For example, Bloomberg published a piece this morning titled, Hillary Clinton Is Outraising Trump 20-to-1 Among Billionaires. Here are a few excerpts:
Hillary gets the vote from America’s richest citizens. Or at least she’s getting their cash.
Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has collected $21.1 million for her campaign and its supporting political action committees from 17 U.S. donors on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Republican Donald Trump has received $1.02 million from 12 members of the group.
The survey looks at FEC disclosures through Sept. 20 and includes donations made to the candidates, joint fundraising committees and super-PACs since the start of 2015. The data exclude money given to national parties, PACs not specifically aligned with the candidates, and money given to other down-ticket candidates and causes. The FEC information doesn’t include donations made to the campaigns after the end of August. Some groups file disclosures quarterly, so information is included only through the end of June.
The analysis also excludes billionaire donors who are not on the Bloomberg index, which ranks the world’s 400 richest people. Thomas Barrack, Jay Pritzker and Haim Saban have given millions of dollars to the campaigns. Many of the billionaires included in the analysis could also be giving to nonprofit groups that have no obligation to disclose who funds them. Renaissance Technologies co-founder Robert Mercer has set up a pro-Trump group and seeded it with $2 million, while this month Joseph Ricketts revealed plans to support Trump primarily through similar vehicles.
There’s our old friend, Israeli-American citizen Haim Saban. I’ve covered him and some of his views before. See:
What does all of this tell you? It tells you that it doesn’t really matter whether or not Trump himself is part of the “elite.” What we know for sure is that the status quo is uniformly and publicly rallying against him. A status quo that has totally failed the American public, and a status quo whom the people despise more and more each day.
So I ask you this: If the 2016 election becomes a referendum on the status quo, who’s gonna win that argument?
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Contributed by Michael Krieger of A Lightning War for Liberty.