Monday, July 04, 2016
rollingstone | One of the underpublicized revelations of the financial crisis, for instance, was that millions of Americans found themselves unable to get answers to a simple questions like, "Who holds the note to my house?"
People want more power over their own lives. They want to feel some connection to society. Most particularly, they don't want to be dictated to by distant bureaucrats who don't seem to care what they're going through, and think they know what's best for everyone.
These are legitimate concerns. Unfortunately, they came out in this past year in the campaign of Donald Trump, who'd exposed a tiny flaw in the system.
People are still free to vote, and some peculiarities in the structure of the commercial media, combined with mountains of public anger, conspired to put one of the two parties in the hands of a coverage-devouring billionaire running on a "Purge the Scum" platform.
But choosing a dangerous race-baiting lunatic as the vehicle for the first successful revolt in ages against one of the two major parties will have many profound negative consequences for voters. The most serious will surely be this burgeoning movement to describe voting and democracy as inherently dangerous.
Donald Trump is dangerous because as president, he'd likely have little respect for law. But a gang of people whose metaphor for society is "We are the white cells, voters are the disease" is comparably scary in its own banal, less click-generating way.
These self-congratulating cognoscenti could have looked at the events of the last year and wondered why people were so angry with them, and what they could do to make government work better for the population.
Instead, their first instinct is to dismiss voter concerns as baseless, neurotic bigotry and to assume that the solution is to give Washington bureaucrats even more leeway to blow off the public. In the absurdist comedy that is American political life, this is the ultimate anti-solution to the unrest of the last year, the mathematically perfect wrong ending.
Trump is going to lose this election, then live on as the reason for an emboldened, even less-responsive oligarchy. And you thought this election season couldn't get any worse.