By Jasper Smith (September 28, 2016)
Either way, the oligarchy wins. In Clinton, they get an able and capable administrator who is solicitous of their interests and gives them the security and stability that they and their markets crave. Banks and billionaires are lining up to support the Clinton brand that brought us the Crime Bill, Welfare Reform, NAFTA, and militarism. They consistently prioritized war over the poor with staggering military budgets and declining domestic spending. She will ably maintain the status quo of injustice and increasing inequality with enough of a human face to forestall any genuine revolt or revolution. The Democrats chose not to offer a change candidate in a change election. Elizabeth Warren might have been a better match and mobilizer of the mood of the electorate. Still, Obama showed us how only minimal incremental progress is possible within the two party system. I look forward to a bolder, less constrained Obama as ex-president.
Trump is more the change candidate the electorate is calling for. They don’t care that he is a lying incompetent hate-monger. They just want someone to blow up the system and don’t care if he gets blown up too. Voters understand the system is too entrenched to change with business as usual. Trump is not the same old same old. Voters hope we will rebuild new and better after Trump’s devastation. They don’t seem to understand that the oligarchs hold all the cards and though they do not relish the cost of cleaning up the mess, they will use crisis as opportunity to perpetuate greater injustice and inequality and roll back gains we have made like they did with the Great Recession, the Great Depression, and with every war and imagined enemy. Andrew Jackson is an apt historical parallel for a Trump presidency. He mobilized the disaffected to allow him to empower the powerful and enrich the rich.
Voting third party at this point is mere protest and not building a change movement. Neither Libertarians nor Greens are on the verge of challenging to be a major party. They need to build at the local level first. If the social libertarian right in the Libertarian Party could join in a new synthesis with the libertarian left in the Greens, there may be a chance to eclipse the Republicans as a second major party that was anti-military, anti-big business and anti-big government, anti-trade deals, and pro-immigration and social freedom and justice.
In sum, not much hope for this election, but hopefully Hilary will inspire many young girls and women who will lead us in the future riding a wave of demographic change and local community activism into a brighter future of greater justice and equality when the US chooses to be a modern nation that is more peaceful, compassionate, and equitable.