Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

Democrat and Republican faithful continue to slog towards their respective conventions, trying to unify their parties behind a single candidate for president. The majority of Republicans are unified only in their dissatisfaction with their party’s seemingly unstoppable front runner. Talk has it that if he becomes the nominee they will not only loose the White House, but also their majorities in Congress. Some even seriously suggest the possibility of a split in the GOP forming a new party.

Meanwhile, most Democrats say they would be happy with either of their candidates getting the nomination, even though the two choices fundamentally disagree on substantial issues of both domestic and foreign policy. Far less sanguine, a growing number of Sanders supporters warn of a major disruption at the convention if the undemocratic power of superdelegates actually threatens to decide the outcome. The GOP, free of any superdelegate tampering with their nomination process, are actually the more democratic party in the practice of delegate allotment. More ironic still, though both sides mouth the virtues of a truly participatory democracy, each are now blindsided by its sudden be-careful what-you-wish-for topsy-turvy current manifestation.

Both parties’ traditional political machinery is majorly malfunctioning. On either side, big money influence has never spent so much with such meager return. The same old same old can’t seem to find its mojo. Things once predictable now stand convention on its head. About the only thing still predictable is the media’s ability to prey upon whatever ensues, fully capitalizing on politics’ familiar bloodletting and fear-mongering. The Fourth Estate used to pride itself in educating the public towards an informed decision in selecting a president. Now it’s largely about market share bean counting and jump-starting the next, hopefully even more inflammatory, news cycle.

Contrary to what’s left of conventional wisdom, all of this quite likely bodes well for our body politic. If nothing else, from the get-go this election’s captured everyone’s attention. The more sensational and disruptive the campaigns become the more engaged the electorate seems to be. Apathy’s inertia has been magically transformed into a trans-party populist free-for-all portending a tipping point in redefining traditional party identities.

Both parties have been trying for years to reinvigorate their ranks. Now many have answered the call, many for the first time. The rub is that many are doing so but disregarding the established order. They’ve joined ranks but reject much of their affiliation’s status quo. Both parties feel the burn of having their feet held to the fire of outrage. While firing up a fresh progressive leaning youth vote, “Feel the Bern” reminds many Democrats of why they hung their hat on “Hope and Change.” Like Obama, Sanders is galvanizing those young and old wanting a major altruistic realignment of our nation’s priorities.

Trump’s bombastic no-holds-barred grandstanding appeals to others equally hungry for a radical departure from been there, done that.

Hillary, the ultimate insider, ducking and weaving, force-smiles and glad-hands her way roundabout the campaign trail, trying to sell people on Hope and Same.

Sanders reignites the passion of Obama’s once inspiring ability of getting the political process reclaimed “by and for the people.” His is another inspirational grass roots insurgence rallying behind an all-in investment of idealistic purpose similar to that which defeated Hillary the last time around.

Hillary tries to bring excitement to a conventional Democratic game plan where two steps forward still ends up being four steps behind. Hers is a continued circling of establishment wagons against the constant obstructionism of radical conservatives burning all bridges.

Trump’s campaign is a bulldozing of all whom stand in the way of the rank ambition of his towering ego. Small hands or large, so far all challengers from his own party have proven impotent. Those that think Hillary’s insider pedigree is up to the task of stopping his anti-establishment break-all-the-rules rallying cry likely haven’t seen nothing yet, especially if Bernie loyalists break Democratic ranks. Sanders is obviously the singularly best qualified opponent to defeat America’s most notoriously ridiculous icon of conspicuously obscene wealth and its bullying pulpit perversion of what a “return to American greatness” would be.

The Establishment’s pants are definitely in a bunch. Big time. Blue pants and Red pants.

Bernie’s a persistently advancing dark horse in a Democratic race which remains rigged for a one option choice. Trump is Peck’s bad boy on steroids, mooning the GOP.

During Super Tuesday returns coverage, Lindsey Graham giddily remarked that his party had gone “bat-blank crazy.” His total abandon was a blatant bellwether of what nears outright panic on the part of the powers that be as they helplessly stand around and watch all control take leave.

The media talks about a lame duck presidency with little mention of an equally lame duck Congress. Washington cautiously awaits the push of a reset button while the Supreme Court vacancy brouhaha quietly quacks on. Elsewhere, the elimination process in choosing a new presidential silver bullet to our complex troubles continues to loudly voice its frustration while the Establishment hustles to obscure the fact that America was born by revolution.


Gary Anderson lives in Bath.

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