Regardless of which candidate, Hillary Clinton (D) or Donald Trump (R), is “appointed” in November, there will be a cacophony of disappointed voters. Both front-runners have “historic” unfavorable ratings in national polls. They both have severe baggage that forces most voters, especially independents, to choose between “the lesser of two evils.”
This begs the question of where do Americans turn who feel disenfranchised, pissed off at the establishment, or just frustrated that their exuberance for change has been misguided? It is imperative that a viable alternative grassroots movement be launched to embrace these frustrations.
As I indicated in Part I of this article, independents must join together in a unified centrist coalition to harness this national sense of frustration. Our push must be two-fold heading toward the 2020 electoral cycle.
As I discussed earlier, the first part must be a concerted effort to foster the creation of independent party organizations across the nation in every state. These must start at the county level and build toward a statewide party structure. These, in turn, must identify, support, and fundraise viable campaigns to challenge the two-party strangleholds on state legislatures.
With significant insertions of independent legislators, no matter how few, the two-party establishment will be forced to seek out alliances that make them beholden to power brokering to pass legislation.
In coordination with this surge of independent party structures and viable candidates, voters must publicly demand and seek legislation that establishes independent redistricting commissions (IRCs). These IRCs are essential to combat the two-party establishment’s rigging of election districts through gerrymandering. Gerrymandering ensures whoever party insiders choose at their county and state nominating conventions will have a sure path to victory.
Thus these “safe seats” guarantee the re-election of career politicians who put party before country. This practice deprives the voters of fair democratic choice at the polls.
The second prong of the independent majority must concentrate on a novel and revolutionary idea to send a resounding message to the two-party political elite—ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Petition drives and legal challenges must be initiated, forcing state legislatures to place NOTA or None Of The Above on all ballots for federal elections. Only a determined and sweeping national grassroots campaign by citizens from all demographic segments for putting NOTA on the ballot will be sufficient to rock the corrupt status quo to its core.
For all of the energized enthusiasm of 2016’s change movements within both the Democratic and Republican campaigns, these electoral, reform-minded citizens deserve REAL CHANGE! We’re calling this two-pronged effort THE POLITICAL REVOLUTION 2.0. The time for action is now. Once Election Day 2016 comes and goes, voters will realize that nothing has really changed. Clinton and Trump are only flip sides of the same coin, bought and paid for by the same corrupt big money interests that have brought America gridlock, dysfunction, and polarization for decades.
As the 2016 electoral primary season winds down approaching the Democratic and Republican conventions, American voters have been given a slight glimpse behind the curtain. Both Donald Trump (R) and Bernie Sanders (D) have asserted that the primary convention delegate process and its effects on the final nominee selection of both parties are “rigged.”
On the surface, these sound like the whining tantrums of poor campaign losers. Yet, both candidates signed up for this game when they declared their candidacies under the respective Democratic and Republican Party banners. Besides neither campaign can honestly claim that this “rigged” system has truly spoiled their ultimate success!
In reality, both unconventional campaigns and their candidates need to quit these hypocritical rants and just be honest. They’re both pandering to pissed off, seemingly disenfranchised constituencies within both parties. The electorate, as a whole, is fed up with establishment Washington politics.
Sanders and Trump have successfully tapped into this public outrage. Unfortunately, after the election is over, the smoke clears and voters have an opportunity to evaluate the election results and a significant majority of these angry voters are going to be left with a bitter taste of disappointment in their frothing mouths.
The hopeful enthusiasm of “Feel the Bern” will surely be tested first. Already the Sanders campaign is retracting as they see the writing on the wall—Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be the Democratic nominee! After Hillary Clinton’s commanding victories in New York and on “Super Tuesday 4.0,” there is no mathematical possibility for Sanders to win the nomination. The “American Political Revolution” is positioning itself to influence the Democratic Party platform. That’s their ONLY viable recourse in lieu of failing to win the nomination.
The looming question becomes, will that be enough to satisfy their driving thirst for real change? Furthermore, should the Democrats fail to swing majorities in the Senate, the House, or even worse lose the White House, what will become of “the Revolution” and where will they turn to seek satisfaction?
That brings us to the swarming mass of Republican Trump supporters. Driven by Donald Trump’s carefully crafted “outsider” persona, combined with his fear mongering, scapegoating rhetoric that purports to “Make America Great Again,” this mass of anti-establishment voters has been disillusioned. They are falsely expecting the “Trump Train” to steamroll into Washington and obliterate a well-entrenched status quo overnight. Trump’s lack of political experience and insight has already been highlighted by his campaign’s failure to cement delegate loyalty at the upcoming convention.
The divisive tone of his campaign bodes ill will for incumbent Republicans burdened with skeptical chances of retaining control in Congress. Consequently, how can anyone expect such a “barbarian at the gate” to successfully govern or institute the sweeping systemic change he promises?
Overall both political movements have set themselves up for severe disappointment!
By continuing to play the role of naive, but well-intentioned, reform-minded Democrats or Republicans, they’ve been suckered once again into the fallacy that either political party really gives a damn about change. Why should they? The status quo system as it presently operates benefits both Democratic and Republican political elites.
In the end, both the Sanders and Trump supporters will ultimately be defeated by one of two dynamics. The extremely well financed and well organized three-decades-old Clinton political machine will subvert the progressive left of Bernie Sanders as well as rout the inept Trump campaign in a humiliating national election. Or, Trump will fail to win a decisive victory in November without maintaining majority control of Congress with his tattered political coattails. This will result in an even more divided country that must face four more years of governmental dysfunction.
Americans must face two fundamental realities:
- Both the Democrats and Republicans NEED independent voters to win elections.
- Since they make up the majority of registered voters the time has come for independents to unite and reject voting either Democrat or Republican.
Every presidential election cycle follows the same pattern. During the primaries, candidates pander to their core ideological bases with rhetoric that the majority of American voters find revolting. Then suddenly after they become their respective party’s nominee a “re-tooling” of their message is undertaken that strives to make them more appealing to a broader national electorate. What political hogwash!
As I’ve clearly outlined in this two-part op-ed, we do have a choice. The American people must re-assert their power and re-claim their democratic rights to vote the career politicians out of office. By abdicating your power to the Democratic and Republican Parties in the naïve hope that they’ll change is foolhardy. Decades of choosing one or the other has brought this country where we are today!
If voters continue down this path of blinded lunacy we get exactly what we deserve—the total disappearance of “a government of the People, by the People, for the People.”