Our First Third Party President
Trump delivered a referendum to both Democrats and Republicans last night. Democrats seem to be feeling it the most today. Republicans are scrambling to act like they were always onboard. But the truth is Trump ran as a republican in name only. His win is a repudiation of the establishment.
Democrats, that’s a wake up call. A populist almost won your nomination. That should have been a hint of what’s to come. But what’s most alarming: the best candidate you had to offer was one that was not trusted nor liked. And you still backed her unconditionally, to the point of suppressing support for Sanders and giving her an unfair advantage within your party. From where I sit, your party politics had a louder voice than the the will of the nation.
Republicans. Do you even know who you are? What’s your platform? What are your values? Because Trump doesn’t stand for many of the values you have come to embody since the days when you aligned yourself with the evangelical right. Every candidate that you put forward floundered in the face of the Trump. The things the Trump said, the actions he took sparked measured outrage from your leadership. And that’s precisely why he was so popular. Your candidates were responding politically to Trump. They scolded him when it was politically viable to do so. They turned a blind eye once it seemed like Trump was going to get away with <insert last flub>. And what exit polls showed time and again was that people who voted for Trump did so because he “Said it like it was.” Said differently, he wasn’t political. He didn’t care about the ramifications of what he did. He acted authentically. And if people didn’t agree, then that was fine for him. He ran for president as Trump, not as a politician in a thin disguise of someone saying whatever it takes to be popular.
Parties, in my mind, represent likeminded people who wish to see the government operated on the same principles. They are there to represent a point of view and system of values. Last night Democrats and Republicans got a lesson in the purpose of a party. They got reprimanded for fighting hard to stay in power rather than using their office to execute their agenda. Last night Democracy was in action. Whether we like it or not.