The Washington establishment – Democrats, a healthy number of Republicans, the unelected “deep state,” and the political media – has been fighting tooth and nail against the stunning rise of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will obviously celebrate if she wins in November, but make no mistake about it: Plenty of GOP leaders will breathe a sigh of relief as well. Losing to the Democrats is bad; losing to the true will of the American people is much, much worse.
To many of these elites, Trump is something to be endured. One of those years, they say. Nothing to do but to sit back and wait for this tasteless display of patriotism to die down. Get some Hollywood producers on the horn; they’re failing hard if the American people are suddenly this interested in politics. We need another phenomenon like American Idol or Lost. Something to take the people’s minds off our shenanigans.
Unfortunately for them, it may not be that easy.
Trump isn’t going away. Well, let’s put it another way. Donald Trump, the New York real estate billionaire, may go away. He may lose, head back to Trump Tower, and leave politics behind forever. But his message – his movement – is not going anywhere. This is no fad. This is the product of deep, seething anger from sea to shining sea. Anger brought about by a crippled middle class, a stagnant economy, a liberal president who knows no boundaries, and a Republican Party that refuses to fight back.
In an ironic way, therefore, Trump may be the establishment’s last hope. It would prove to millions of Americans that, despite all appearances, we actually do have a voice in the direction of our own country. We can work through the political process, overcome an onslaught of propaganda, and reign victorious at the polls. Sure, the game is stacked against us, but there is still hope. Our democracy is still very much alive.
But what happens if he loses?
Then we see that anger calcify into something stronger and scarier. Despair and desperation will take root. The game isn’t just stacked against us; it’s rigged from the top all the way down. No real choices are being made by the voters. We’re replacing puppets with puppets. And when we do somehow vote successfully for change, it gets nullified by the Supreme Court.
What does this look like in reality? We don’t know. It has been a long time since this many people felt this powerless and disenfranchised. We can’t reasonably take anything off the table, as much as we might like to.
Hopefully, Trump will win and we can avoid all of this.
And no one should hope for that outcome more than the establishment. Their little party is coming to an end, one way or the other.
They don’t want to see “the other.”