Like all people, establishmentarians believe what they want to believe.
If you’re convinced that the establishment is better for you then you’ll vote with the establishment.
A few generations ago what was best for the nation was the best for the people in it, and they’d vote their conscience first and their wallet second.
Nowadays it’s all wallet. Pro-establishment forces must include all those whom directly benefit from the status quo. Put in that box of establishment voters all those who earn their living from ongoing government spending.
Clearly many industries are dependent on the federal budget. For contractors, the Feds are a great employer. The highest concentration of millionaires is located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C..
I saw a map of every US county and its average resident’s income shaded by color. During the 2008-9 recession, the counties near Washington all stayed neutral as poorer area went red, or negative.
These people will all vote to continue the ongoing spending in Washington. Perhaps they know the system is unsustainable but they will be the last to suffer, tied so closely to the spigot as they are.
The beneficiaries of our current system have grown in number. Mitt Romney was correct in his assessment that a large percentage of Americans want their benefits to continue to flow.
Odd how the very rich and poor both have an incentive to keep a system running, even if such a system is financially unsustainable. Instead of criticizing this big chunk of useless eaters, perhaps Romney should have wooed them, as the candidate less likely to cut their benefits.
An ongoing piece of the federal pie is clearly at stake when the tenants of reason encourage more fiscal restraint and threaten to restrain the trough.
In a Marxist way, it could be said that the recipients of federal money are counter-revolutionaries. It is their political aim to continue to receive economic benefits. Their economic standing motivates their participation in the political process. In Marxist terms perhaps more accurate now than ever, the political system is run on behalf of the owners of the means of production.
The big problem politically is the lack of nationalistic fervor. I mean I just can’t see establishment forces working to support any ideology or belief system operating on a set of motives more morally relevant than self-interest.
And the people can see that. They can see that those in power mean to serve the moneyed interest, not them. They understand that the best interests of the people do not lie with an endless stream of borrowed capital, and that what is good for the Oligarchs is not good for the country.
The Oligarchs are globalized. Sure, they can play the nationalism card with the domestic audience. But once they’ve jetted off to Davos, you can bet all national loyalties fall to more lucrative opportunities that degrade working standards and wages so they can make more by deconstructing borders.
Unions get in the way of an Elysium-type world where employees have no workplace rights and the standard of living has declined to Third World levels. Clearly a big part of continuing the status quo is disempowering labor, and American manufacturing has been decimated by this offshoring, a sacrifice made quite willingly by our supposed protectors.
Transnational investments go where they want, where capital flows are unimpeded. The next stage in the devolution of the American economy could be controls over our money. Some proposals, like Larry Summers’ (Obama’s candidate for Secretary of the Treasury,) would destroy our currency.
A cashless society is an example of how deluded the establishmentarians have become. It shows how far they want to take the neoliberal experiment, and how little they think they have to worry about the political ramifications of crushing the American Middle Class.
By removing hundred dollar bills from circulation, people will have to use digital currency exclusively. And like so many things passed off as security necessities in the wake of 9-11, going cashless allows people’s spending to be tracked. (No, those nagging upgrade notices aren’t there to protect you; they’re simply posing as security items to force your ongoing obedience and compliance to arbitrary impositions from above, in this case the Master Control Program.)
Privacy has no place in the Orwellian world these people are creating right here and now. The idea is that individuals will do as Big Brother says. Of course no system, even the most totalitarian, can control the behavior of millions of independent actors. But they can sure try, and in so doing create a surveillance society that may stave off domestic political threats.
Dissent becomes a big problem for a small group of rulers when large numbers of angry voters can wield political power. Therefore a hallmark of establishmentarianism is the crushing of dissent. Totalitarian methods become acceptable when the elite’s own security–or more accurately its control over the masses–is threatened.
Just how far will they go? As far as they can. The establishment will use the machinery of the state–police, military, post-9/11 security controls, interrogation, and agents provocateur. They will use career blackballing to control whistleblowers whom they hate so for revealing the truth.
The establishment is concerned only with their own continued amalgamation of power and with countering any threats to that aim. When the establishment went global, it brought in a dangerous new dynamic–transnationalism.
I guess the rich have always identified more with each other than with the common man. We saw in the early 20th century what can happen when monarchies are replaced–war. There’ve always been wars in Europe but a clash of ideologies is more dangerous than a set of monarchs who can inspire nationalism, albeit less effectively when their nobility intermarry with those of other nations.
Ideologies transcend borders, and give people in one country reason to meddle with another–a surefire prescription for war. Nothing is more dangerous to the landed aristocracy than an ideology. Ideologies can’t be controlled by the establishment; like Marxism, they rise in opposition to the establishment.
The ideology that advocates the removal of borders is a dangerous one. Borders serve a purpose in protecting those in one nation from an absence of laws and rules that lies in an adjoining country.
Take Mexico for instance. Trump has proposed building a wall, and making the Mexicans pay for it. Of course the Mexicans have taken issue with that, as it is them that we seek to keep out. [Curiously, some Mexicans have taken to build a wall to keep us out–which would be mere comedy if not for the fact that net migration is higher to Mexico than the other way around!)
Mexico has laws and regulations that allow for more pollution and fewer workplace safeguards that Americans take for granted. Criminal organizations dominate both sides of the border but are allowed greater impunity where corruption is more rampant.
Without the border, there’s nothing to keep the US from becoming more like Mexico. Higher crime, lower wages, and an inferior standard of living will spread across borders where there is none.
It’s too late to stop the Third Worldization if the establishment has their way. Already life expectancy is dropping here and long-term unemployment persists. The unemployed have been forgotten on whichever side of the border they happen to reside. The Middle Class needs jobs, and private sources of economic activity dwindle (due to the lack of a Middle Class market) so too does dependency on government grow.
How many of Romney’s “47%” would vote if they knew their check would stop or shrink? The benefit of getting so many people on the dole is that they will participate politically in sustaining the status quo, or at least not act to change it if it means losing their check.
If they vote, the 47% presents a real threat. Revolutions have been started by a far, far smaller percentage of the population. I believe at the time of the Declaration of Independence, active support for independence was in the single digits.
Democracy is a system with weaknesses yet oftentimes people are blinded by nationalism into thinking it’s different this time, or it can’t happen here. So they’ll go with the majority–an approach wracked with issues. The Founders knew we needed to beware the risks of democracy but they also saw that the inclination of all governments was towards tyranny.
Democracy isn’t a problem for the establishment if they control the candidates. But this year, we may be in for a treat with the candidacy of Donald Trump. The man is clearly posing as an outsider. Ironically it was Mitt Romney who came out to criticize Trump, in a move which did more to solidify the public perception that Trump was anti-establishment. (Romney’s poll numbers have plummeted just as Trump’s have risen since the comments.)
The Republican establishment is clearly terrified of Trump. And it’s showing! The more they do to hinder Trump’s popularity, the more they increase it.
The establishment is clearly so used to believing that they control outcomes that the thought that they don’t, and the people do, shakes them to their core. The Emperor Has No Clothes analogy has been at work so long that the emperor and his sycophants are deeply disturbed that he may be in fact naked, and that the sycophants have been exposed as the liars they are.
Add up the numbers and things don’t bode well for the establishment or their candidates. In what I believe to be the ultimate sign of anti-establishmentarianism, huge numbers of Americans support both Trump and Sanders–who are seen as anti-establishment.
The typical solution to an unruly, ungovernable mob in a democracy is to control the candidates for whom they can vote. But Trump isn’t controllable–look no farther than the way he speaks, so crudely, unpolished, and prone to inflammatory prejudices. Like an average dude on the street perhaps–a person with whom many Americans–at least white ones–will identify.
We know from the Bush-Gore election of 2000 that Americans tend to vote for people with whom they identify. Clinton is seen as the establishment and many will not vote for her for that reason.
Paradoxically, establishment Democrats have done more to support Trump by going with Clinton than they are capable of perceiving. Liberals are incapable of grasping the scope of anger towards the Establishment. Therefore they don’t see the scope of the threat of going with an establishment candidate (or perceived to be) over an anti-establishmentarian (or perceived to be) like Sanders.
There’s no do-over. Once Sanders loses the Democratic primary to Clinton, anti-establishmentarians will have only one choice: Trump.
Lessons from 2000 have gone unheeded. Arrogance and presumptions emerge whenever big mistakes are forthcoming. And assuming the Republican establishment can’t dump Trump–because the other candidates are inadequate, among other reasons–the nomination of Clinton will assure that Trump garners a great deal of support from white people who will identify more with him than her.
Disturbingly for Trump, he lacks an open tent–a post-racial approach. He’s instead alienated non-whites. I saw that Romney captured 59% of the white vote in 2012 and Trump would need non-whites as he only controls 53% of the white vote. Non-whites now compromise up to 40% of the electorate, so I guess Clinton will be trying to get them to identify more with her.