For any fans out there, apologies for the absence. I just haven’t had the time to blog recently.
Actually, when someone says you don’t have the time, apparently you’re also saying you don’t care. When Stephen Harper was destroying Canada, I cared. Now that we have a slightly more sane leader and a glimmer of hope of surviving the next few years, I’m more in the ‘I don’t care’ department when it comes to Canadian politics.
But the US! Lordy, what a mess it is.
Donald Trump is not the only realistic contender for taking the crown with the Republican Party in the United States and will most likely be their candidate for the 2016 American election.
What a frightening thought.
But then, wait a second. Let’s think about this.
In context of the last 40 years of American politics, Trump’s rise to ‘power’ makes perfect sense.
Let’s look at the last 40 years of Republican leaders:
- Nixon (President, 1972-74)
- Gerald Ford (unelected President, 1974-76)
- Ronald Reagan, retired actor (President, 1980-88)
- George HW Bush (President, 1988-1992)
- George Bush, Jr. (President, 2000-2008)
- McCain/Palin (candidates, 2008)
- Mitt Romney (candidate, 2012)
From 1992 to 2000, Bill Clinton lead the Democrats to a big win in American politics and was probably the most ‘stable’ by way of defense spending and overall budget management. By the end of his term, the Democrats were actually creating budget surpluses.
Through this history, what’s important to note is the decline of ‘Rockefeller Republicans‘, those moderate and almost liberal candidates and leaders that were a critical part of the intellectual base of the Grand Old Party (GOP). They were the thought leaders that made your parents vote Republican and push most Baby Boomers that want a ‘return to the good old days’ to vote for the GOP, regardless of what nut job is in control.
Nixon changed all of that. Through these last 40 years or so, we see the rise of the ‘military industrial’ complex that (republican President) Eisenhower warned us about in 1961 and who were embodied by the likes of Reagan and Bush, Sr., the latter whom came from this complex. Even Clinton wore this badge, albeit somewhat quietly.
Puppets, meet puppeteers.
Then in the 1980s, we also see the rise of other ‘movements’ with the Republicans: Religion and the Tea Party. Both are working well to alienating rational thought from the political process.
The radicalization of the Republican party and fragmentation as a result pretty much guaranteed the Obama Democrat wins in 2008 and 2012. This fragmentation is what keeps most Democrats hopeful about a 2016 win.
(It’s also what fueled Stephen Harper’s power grab and consolidation of Canada’s Conservative Party through the 1990s. He was very wise in observing the same trend in Canada and blocked it at the pass, securing a 10-year leadership in Canada.)
What’s interesting is that Trump may not actually be a puppet to any of these groups – be it religion, rebellion, libertarianism or militarism.
He’s just Trump.
And that’s what scares the bejesus out of everyone.
After 4 decades of people being puppets, what happens when someone like Trump comes along and cuts the strings?
He might actually be able to do something.