Hilary Clinton’s road to the White House started on a less than impressive footing with a narrow win in Iowa, which was made worse by the fact that she only secured the win by dint of questionable luck in six precincts where she won by the unconventional toss of a coin. It looked, in those early days, like it was going to be very hard for her to secure the nomination, as she seemed to stumble with an eventual loss in New Hampshire later. The media was vigorously reporting a new political “phenomenon” of a surging a Sanders and the tides were clearly turning on the democratic front-runner with some polls predicting a national tier between both candidates. After nipping some really strong wins lately, the question now is, what changed?
The self-professed democratic socialist, preaching the ideology of a “political revolution”, calling for the reform of US campaign finance system, does not spare any opportunity to attack Mrs. Clinton on her links to Wall Street and its money. His appeal to young and first time voters has been aggressively highlighted, his enthusiasm and “trustworthiness” perception are known to be his strongest strengths, both of which factors are undeniably very important in politics. Sander’s promises of free college, free basic healthcare and a redistribution of wealth, are quite lofty and his fiery attacks on the top 1% of people who own the vast majority of wealth in America is arguably justified.
He has accused Mrs. Clinton of not being a “true progressive”, a noun which in my opinion is merely a use of political language and nothing more because for what it was, he wasn’t questioning her liberal ideologies, the progressive realism of her policy proposals or her record as a democrat, it seemed he had issues with Hilary’s campaign funding, her support for a strong banking system and more specifically, her connections to Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and the big banks which he says are “too big to exist” if they are too big to fail. He has shamed her for receiving heavy sums of money for speeches to investment corporations and pointed out that such funding is part of what is fundamentally wrong with American politics and democracy and he, throughout the campaign, has relentlessly pushed through an ideology of socialism and “extreme” liberalism.His message at its core calls for “a political revolution” which will, no doubt, take America through a political journey to the “extreme far left” and probably, as some people despair, to the threshold of “communism”.
Clinton’s argument in desperate rebuttal that she is a “progressive who gets things done” did not make sense either and betrayed the fact that she lacked a proper answer to the accusation of being a “democratic centrist” and that she has not been “consistently” progressive in the past, having for example voted in support of the Bush War on Iraq. When I heard Sanders make that accusation for the first time, I pictured America taking the unfamiliar journey through socialist reforms and an epic transformation of America’s democracy which is known to be the oldest in the world. I concluded that his ideological revolution was going to engender a change never before seen in America, one that may eventually bypass democratic socialism to reach “real socialist ” and I was convinced that if the revolution he was setting to sail went through, America would sail slowly towards socialism. What is concerning to me is the fact that his teaching and ideologies will permanently be part of America’s political discourse and argumentation henceforth and would have cemented its place in American politics if Sanders were to clinch the democratic nomination.
It is unclear and questionable why more and more young Americans are willing to embrace an utterly confusing social and political construct and ideology that challenged the political ideology of their heritage. Right now, we can be sure, with the hundred of thousands of Sanders’ sympathizers across America, the ideology of socialism has been planted in the American political psyche.
On the other side and at the same time, Mrs Clinton was receiving accusations, attacks and criticism from Republicans who surprisingly have been unable to “contain” a rightist revolution within their establishment. Sadly, the revolution on the right has been unfortunately one that attacks American values. It is a revolution that defeats reason, engendered by the Trump campaign that has unleashed the worst of sentiments in “extreme right” Americans. Trump says he is representing “a lot of anger” of the people (on the far right), which seems to be his moral justification for every racist, divisive and repugnant statement he has made throughout his campaign. The Republican Party, despite “condemning” Trump’s ideologies, have found it hard to portray it as not the core ideologies of the party and that Trump is simply telling “it as it is”. Of course, it still behooves many of those politicians who are still held by general standards of proper public behavior as everyone else to be “politically” correct, while Trump seemingly has obtained a license to break every existing rule of proper conduct.
Clearly, after New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign returned to the basics; changed strategy, reinvigorated their momentum, identified her major weaknesses and adopted changes in approach. Even her facial expressions and her style was redesigned and she has since embraced the old fashion approach of improving on her appeal, with the birth of her call for love and kindness. She since quit defining being different as being a woman and has equally abandoned the rhetoric of being the “best qualified”. It seems her campaign realized that voters are not so much thrilled by record and self-gloating.
Voters expect more from their President than rhetoric and self-gloating, even so, given that elections are the bidding process of negotiating the social contract, the electorate wants to seal a deal with someone they can trust.The stakes are always very high, especially to informed voters!
Remarkably, the Clinton campaign started running ads that denounced particular misdeeds by large corporations and changed the rhetoric from regulation, to taxation of corporations that are shoring off capital and profits to evade taxes. Clearly, there has been work on the general outlook of her campaign and the results are telling. She won massively on Super Tuesday actually wiping out the extreme left revolution almost permanently and to use Bernie Sanders’ own words his revolution was “decimated”. That goes to show that America is still ready to be true to itself and to its democracy and is not ready for a revolution and a reshaping of her political, economic or social culture.
“Voters expect more from their President than rhetoric and self-gloating, even so, given that elections are the bidding process of negotiating the social contract, the electorate wants to seal a deal with someone they can trust. The stakes are always very high especially to informed voters!”
It is my argument that Trump’s success in no single way shows the willingness of a majority of Americans to lean towards the far right either. Trump is building his campaign on hate, media attention, vulgarity, unpredictability and inconsistency. His success is testament to the greater failure of the GOP to take any concerted action. I have said that the GOP should have done all to prevent the real estate mogul from running on their ticket even if it meant suing him when he initially made bigoted remarks against Mexicans. They failed to act when the outrage began and slowly, Trump is hijacking the Republican party, winning massively, leading in every poll and yet, staying true to his racist and inappropriate appeal. Now apparently with Clinton close to clinching the Democratic nomination, she is going to be faced with stopping yet another revolution; this time, the vile, obscene and violent one. Trump calls his campaign a movement, a subtler word for Bernie Sanders’ revolution.
Given that Hilary will rely on some of the best campaign organizers known in American politics while Trump will clearly not have the backing of all of the Republican party, she will easily beat his revolution with huge margins. Trump will rely on his characteristic erratic style while she will attack him on his patriotism, temperament and his inconsistencies. The GOP fears that Trump may have dealings which are now “skeletons” in his cupboards and his refusal to release his tax returns is already unsettling for most Republicans; fears which are legitimate given that with several bankruptcies to his name, Trump’s businesses, if not the man, may have walked on the fringes of wrongdoing. The attacks on Hilary’s emails will increasingly die as all of the expected emails have been released with nothing critical coming forth therefrom and there will be little on which Trump will rely in any offensive when her campaign goes after him for his comments made as recently as last weekend when he refused to disavow the KKK on CNN. With little material to play his Trump game, I will expect to hear Trump return to talking about Bill and his indiscretions which is stale even now.
So, the responsibility to return America to wholeness apparently lies on someone who can kill two revolutions threatening America’s democracy.