If the beginning is any indication, the 2016 presidential election is shaping up to go down as one of the strangest in American history. General rules of thumb that have been followed for decades are being turned upside down, and there really is no such thing as “conventional wisdom” this time around. It is no holds barred, which means big fun for those of us who observe all the goings on, blog about it, and hope someone will read it.
For Republicans of the establishment species, things are tough all over, and there is no indication they will get any better. These are the people who were just waiting things out, waiting for the presumptive Republican nominee Jeb Bush to accept from the Party faithful, and proceed onward to a crushing defeat. These are the Karl Rove types, the ones who decide for everyone else who the candidate will be. Their message to American voters, you will vote for Jeb, and you will like it!
But something happened on the way to the nomination, something big. That something is Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, and there seems to be no in between, a movement has been born, maybe you could call it the Trump Party. Donald Trump has awakened average Americans who are fed up with government in its present gargantuan form, fed up with the politicians who perpetuate the monster that is government and the fact that there seems to be no difference in Democrats and Republicans. The message to the voters of both Parties appears to be, keep the money, the votes, and the power rolling our way, and we will continue to ignore you. At this early stage, it could be that Americans have an alternative plan.
The divide between establishment Conservatives and Tea Party types is also getting wider. The establishment is not just the big money donors and consultants. It is also the pundits and commentators. These are the talking heads who jaunt back and forth between New York and Washington. They spend their days talking about conservatism on TV or writing about conservatism in columns or on websites. It is rumored that there are conservative politicians in Washington as well, but when they get there something happens, they cave to liberal Democrats and practically become one of them. This is known as “compromise”.
So where are the Conservatives? They talk about it, they write about it, they are supposed to vote for it in Congress, but where it being practiced? Certainly not on things like the Iran nuke deal, repealing Obama care, or reigning in government spending. They told Americans they would need control of the House and the Senate in order to do what the voters sent them there to do. That is not what has happened. No one with an “R” after their name is willing to challenge this president, a select few maybe. No one wants to rock the boat, be a trouble maker, or be called a racist. Are the politicians just being covered for by pundits and writers who will talk and write about conservatism but not demand any displays of it?
It is the outsiders who are determining where this election is going. The political class knows that average Americans are loving it and they know they have no control over it.
Let the fun begin.