The Donald and an excerpt from a Left/anarchist conspiracy theory
It's clear that democratic politics has to be centrist. It's the only way for a politician to maximize his vote. It's the uncommitted voter who decides who wins an election. And by the very virtue of being uncommitted, such voters are mostly pretty centrist. So no politician wants to rock many boats.
That process can go too far, however, so that the options at election time often seem to have a great sameness and stand for nothing distinctive. Both options seem boring and uninspiring. Mitt Romney was arguably one of those last time round. Like many conservatives, I certainly could not get enthused by him. And politics in both Britain and the USA at the moment are seen by many as very bland. Similar trends in the two countries are not uncommon -- perhaps because of their common demographic origins. Britain has just got a Conservative Party government with full control of both the administration and the parliament so that is a good augury for America in 2016.
And for the bored voter right now there is Donald Trump in America and the unapologetic socialist Jeremy Corbyn in Britain. Both have seen huge popularity surges. Jeremy Corbyn will almost certainly get nowhere but Trump does clearly have prospects. Both men are seen as believing in something and saying what they mean. Ronald Reagan is the last successful American politician with a forthright and "incorrect" personal style so that can sometimes be a big winner. Trump is no Reagan but he could win for similar reasons.
A bland facade does not of course mean that the actions of a politician, once elected, will be bland. Barack Obama is the past-master of presenting a bland, commonsense facade but his actions have undoubtedly been very impoverishing for Americans. Despite continuing technological progress, it is a long time since general living standards rose in America. And that is largely because of the way Obama and his congressional allies have obstructed and destroyed job creation. A far smaller proportion of the population are in employment these days than has been the case for a long time. Finding a job has become so difficult that many people have simply given up looking for one. Obama's statisticians count that as a policy success and remove such people from the unemployment statistics! See: Record 93,770,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 38-Year Low
Even some informed political commentators fail to understand all that, however. Norman Pollack (writing below) is from the anarchist Left and what he sees is deliberate conspiracy. He is right to see that there is what some call an Overton window of what is possible politically but simply abuses it rather than trying to understand it. Conspiracy theories are the recourse of people who don't really understand what is going on. They are a substitute for real enquiry. So Leftists have always been big propagators of them. This guy sounds off his head. He absolutely oozes hate. He hates everybody, Democrats and Republicans alike
Republicans have had a bad rap, Democrats being equally if not more responsible for unleashing the structure, planning, and energies of militarized capitalism. Obama is the perfect embodiment of the American comprador [intermediary], a black president, an added convenience to liberals in sanctioning policies of intervention, conquest, and at home corporate consolidation (all of which he has exemplified as well if not better than any president in memory), his compradorean stature earned as the intermediary for the American war machine, foreign policy establishment, and as the mock-regulator of the business system, the seemingly benign, because of race, representative of America’s ruling class—yes, despite liberals’ denials, a ruling class to which some are members and others gladly serve.
Liberalism here is political psychopathology carried to Everest-heights, an utter sham, unworthy of even the possessive individualism Macpherson so well described emanating from a Lockean philosophic base. Our liberalism is warmed-over market imperialism zipped up militarily to stabilize a world order in which counterrevolution becomes the modus operandi to stave off decline—the more gargantuan the military forces the more safety we feel. Every push for democratization, incremental or large, is perceived as a mortal threat.
The problem is, the world can’t wait on our neuroses, actually, psychoses, after seventy years of stirred-up anticommunism which has taken its toll of shifting the political-ideological spectrum rightward. Greetings, 2016: a leadership choice so pitiful, reactionary, confrontational as to provide a macabre shadow over the land. Pity the Republicans, they do not enjoy a monopoly on war-preparation and feelings, a subservience to wealth, despisement of the environment, etc. Democrats will do in a pinch, if not already crowding them out.