More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Establishment Vs. Non-Establishment in the 2016 Presidential Race

One of perhaps the most interesting thing to me about the 2016 presidential race seems to be that this time around, I think it's all about The People's choice. There is always an idea that floats around that people disengage themselves from politics when things don't seem to be hitting them at home. After seven years of Obama, even the strongest supporters of the once wonder child of Washington are, I think, feeling the pinch. For all of the hype and talk of hope and change, transparency in government, and a "president of the people," the reality is that the rich have grown and the poor have seen no change in their lives. As for the middle class, they have seen themselves shrinking in numbers and we are still in perhaps one of the worst economic periods in our history.

Nothing has changed, and in fact, things have gotten worse. It seems to have sunk in a little bit.

I think we saw a similar effect back when Ronald Reagan stepped onto the scene and rounded himself up a landslide victory. Americans were tired of the status quo. They were tired of politics as usual. And they were tired of feeling like their hard work and paychecks did not match up. And let's not forget those lines of cars during Carter's presidency trying to get a tank of gas. Americans felt that hit right where it hurts, and they remembered it.

We are in a similar time now. There are still two sides to this coin of course. Two top runners in this election are polar opposites of each other.

You have Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman promising to restore jobs in America, and restore the idea that hard work comes with a reward and that everyone should have an opportunity to succeed in America. He wants to go after countries like Mexico and China which have for years albeit stolen away good paying, family supporting jobs. What he is offering is an opportunity for Americans to succeed on their own, unfettered by broken policies, high taxes, and a lack of real marketplace competition (or, unfair trade agreements which make it next to impossible to be competitive, particularly when it comes to manufacturing).

On the other end you have Bernie Sanders, a self proclaimed socialist who wants to offer people a leg up against the rich and powerful who control jobs and wages and trade for profit, and simply give back to the American people what he feels has been unfairly swept out from under them. Bernie Sanders resonates if only because there is still a large swath of voters who believe that the system is rigged, and that the only way to restore the country is through a forced leveling of the playing field.

By the way, I do not believe the latter works, nor that it can.

Still, this is where we find ourselves. We are essentially I think, as an electorate, beginning the painful process of thinking outside the box. Politics are broken. The government is broken. And people as a result of this are suffering. Only now that that is obvious does it have an effect. These two men are on top because they are offering two solutions outside the establishments on both sides, and people are paying attention. It is anyone's guess where this will ultimately lead us, or whether or not either solution offers any real results in the positive. But one thing is clear to me and that is that if any of the other "establishment" candidates want any traction, they better pay attention to why the non-establishment contenders are getting all of it right now.


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