Time for a Change

In May 2014, Robert Reich, the liberal democrat who served as Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor, said (http://robertreich.org/post/84984296635):

Says a top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer, “it’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.”

Everybody on Wall Street and in corporate suites, that is. And the “nightmare” may not occur in 2016. But if current trends continue, some similar nightmare is likely within the decade. If the American establishment wants to remain the establishment it will need to respond to the anxiety that’s fueling the new populism rather than fight it.

This was in his blog post warning “the establishment” that the current nightmare was coming. Now he seems like a prophet. Dan Carlin summed up the mood around the same time in his podcast (Common Sense 275 – The Specter of Dissent).

Both Reich and Carlin were hinting at something similar. That a growing populism is not rooted in one party or the other. Each party has its populists and these populists share a lot of common ground. All of the common ground seems to center around the idea that too few in our country have too much power. While reasonable left wing people can disagree with reasonable right wing people on methods, the ends seem to be aligned – return the power to the people.

Of course there is an even more primal shared grievance. It is that there are insiders and outsiders and if you are not an insider, then you have no power over things that really matter to most people. We have been fooled before. Remember the promise of hope and change in 2008? How did we end up with Bush the Third?

It’s no accident that Trump and Sanders are both doing well at the same time.

Clinton seems likely to win, but we have all been wrong about Trump before haven’t we?

I would vote for almost anyone over Clinton, but consider this. At least she is not pretending to be an outsider. She is running on a platform of knowing how things work. And she can get things done. Guess who she will be getting things done for? You and me? Yeah, right. 1992 called and told us we’re suckers if we think a Clinton will bring positive change for anyone other than the wealthy elite.

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