US Party Elites Hemorrhage at the Edges
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 17/04/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX19388
American party politics have been dominated for so long by the "same old, same old" that with months to go until November, 2016 already stands out as an exception. Most clearly in the case of the Republicans, but palpable as well with the Democrats, the "center-right" and "center-left" elites, who have graciously taken turns administering year-in, year-out misery for more than forty years, have lost control. It appears that Washington and Wall Street are loathed by a majority of people across the spectrum.
For all the decades (more than four of them, and counting) during which American workers, white, black and brown, have been downsized, outsourced and deindustrialized, who has been talking to them? Not the elites of either party. Not the denizens of the cool campuses of high-tech firms in Silicon Valley. Surely not the middle-class left, which has been busy twisting itself into knots about various forms of identity politics.
Who, precisely, has been speaking to the hundreds of thousands of ex-workers and their extended families in ravaged ex-industrial cities such as Detroit or Youngstown or Pittsburgh or Buffalo or Rochester? Or to similar hundreds of thousands of working-class retirees and their families seeing their often-miserable pensions cut or eliminated? Or to the former furniture workers (there used to be a million of them) and their families in the forgotten small cities of North Carolina or Virginia? And who is speaking to such people today? Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.