Somewhere in the history books of the future, you will be able to read about the 2016 US Presidential Election. And my hunch is, it will say that it was an “outsider election”, much like the Brexit vote in England. It was a vote that pitted the ultimate outsider, a man with no political experience what-so-ever against a woman that was the ultimate insider…while only being a politician for a short time, she managed to wallow in its stench for over 30 years.
So, one would have to contend that enough people felt that Washington needed to change. “Drain the swamp” I believe was Trump’s phrase on the campaign trail. And in order to do that, you can’t elect someone that is part of the mainstream political society. You HAVE to reach outside of the profession and drag someone brand new into the mix. Oh, it’s happened before, but not to this extent. And you don’t have to go that far back to see it either. It happened in 1976 when a peanut farmer and former Governor of Georgia took the presidency from an incumbent who pardoned the only man to resign the office. It happened again in 1992, when a Governor of Arkansas, a total unknown at the time, defeated a sitting president because of a pledge to “read his lips…no new taxes!” Back then it WAS the economy, stupid.
And this time around, America spoke clearly that it wanted someone to change Washington and get away from the “politics as usual” mantra that both parties had spewed for decades. So, why haven’t the Democrats learned anything from their devastating loss? Because the House Democrats just re-elected Nancy Pelosi, herself a major political insider, to remain as their leader in the House of Representatives. The Dems had the chance to opt for a younger, less known political commodity in Tim Ryan, a representative from rustbelt eastern Ohio, but they opted not to do that. With about 70% of the House Democrats behind her, Pelosi won the battle over the Youngstown native.
And that shows that the Democrats haven’t learned a damn thing from the election. The American people don’t want the same ol’ same ol’. They want change. And if they aren’t going to get it from the Democrats, who elect the same ol’ people time after time to lead their losing party, the American people will get it from somewhere else. Maybe it’ll be a Gary Johnson or a Jill Stein (God, I hope not!) next time. But it won’t be the Democrats, certainly not if they continue to use the same playbook they’ve been using since the 1960’s.
For that reason and that reason alone, I wonder what’s going to happen in two years when the Dems have to defend 25 seats in the US Senate…the one institution where being an incumbent certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to be returning to the nation’s capital! If the Democrats don’t realize that they lost the election because of WHO they put up for president, not why, and not that they didn’t get their message out, they are going to be damned to repeat the mistake for all time.
Pity…it would have been fun to watch a good, clean political race for a change!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!