The Bridge to End Polarization: Anti-Establishment
Despite the depressing nature of day-to-day reporting on politics and the current democratic primary race one thing about this election is extremely exciting, promising, and hopeful: The organization of grassroots campaigns around the central message of anti-establishment. Whether they be Donald Trump supporters or Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, or Elizabeth Warren supporters. Border wall supporters, Medicare For All, or Universal Basic Income supporters, one thing you find in common with everyone is being anti-establishment. While this may seem like one thing out of the drastic differences between the people and policies aforementioned this was an idea powerful enough to get Donald Trump and, almost, Bernie Sanders nominated in 2016. Now we have a slate of candidates unlike any seen before and hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring in from every corner of the country in small amounts to support these campaigns outweighing what even the big donors can do. Consider that this idea is what young people on both sides of the aisle are centering around.
People are fed up with the adage of “Nothing gets done in Washington” because they need things to get done. Young voters have grown up in a world where the wealth-gap has continued to grow without signs of change and where the people who have the power to stop this are getting paid to not do it by the ones causing it. No matter which specific policy proposals and diagnosis of the problems you have one thing is for sure: The problems that people are noticing are the same. This means there are underlying values of wanting to have honest, sincere, and direct conversations not clouded with political favors, previous promises, and power grabs. The people are starting to speak and they value the popular opinion over the donor class. They want their problems to actually be represented by our representatives. They want to see things get done and they want to see that the people in power care about our well-being. Candidates that are part of the establishment, which may as well be analogous to the old way of doing things, have no chance to win a general election anymore. Donald Trump proved that in 2016 and he’ll prove it again if the nations’ democrats don’t choose an anti-establishment candidate.
The only chance for Trump detesters is to choose someone who will represent the people like he posed to do for the right. The reality is that the data shows these are the candidates that could pull Trump voters and have cross-over support and could actually beat Trump in a general election. The same thing was true in 2016 with Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton but the traditional voters stuck with the establishment and lost the election the second they nominated Clinton. This time around we only really have a few choices that could go toe-to-toe with Trump. If you couldn’t already guess, here’s a hint: Sorry Biden, Warren, Buttigieg, and anyone else the establishment media like MSNBC worships, you don’t have a chance. While Warren may seem anti-establishment and basically just another Bernie she’s a massive facade who is actually a centrist who is saying whatever she needs to to get the progressive vote. Among the wide field there are only four real candidates to choose from: Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Tom Steyer. These are the only ones to speak out against the democratic party and the way that politics run in this country and two of them, namely Yang and Bernie who just so happen to rank the highest in crossover support and swaying Trump voters, have displayed an impressive, continually growing rally with the grassroots and especially young voters, who, by the way, will turn-out to vote.
All of this considered it is impossible to deny that anti-establishment is a huge issue among both parties and especially the new base of both parties. While it still may seem to be impossible to bridge the gap between policies we all know the power of an honest, sincere conversation. This is how compromises are reached and how diplomacy actually gets done. In our country we basically have two countries, but instead of countries separated by geographical borders we have countries separated by ideas. These separate populations elect two governments that must work together to reach the best solutions for everyone who shares the actual country. Domestic diplomacy is as real as foreign and the young voters and representatives realize this. They also realize that the first step is getting those in office who will do this in the name of the peoples’ interests and the rest will follow.
People think they need to elect a veteran of D.C. because they know how to get things done there but the fact of the matter is that nothing gets done there in the current system and if you elect someone different things just might. The conservative base has already realized this on some level which was displayed by the 2016 election but the democrats are seeming slow to the punch. The only way to fix this is to keep talking about the issues. Unfortunately, a lot of Biden voters, the current frontrunner and an establishment candidate, are older voters who don’t pay attention to politics and the changing scene. They see a face like Biden’s who they’ve seen around for a long time and go with him. They don’t realize that things don’t work that way anymore and they won’t win this way. He is, in fact, not the most electable. We need to be talking about the changing scene with everyone we can and hopefully these people. We need to help them become aware of what is important among the base of the country now and educate them on how this is what will move us forward, be better for everyone, and bring the change Obama promised.
The time of the people is coming and we may be in a time where we’re about to see democracy work at peak efficiency. Where true conversations are happening for the people not just in the capital but around the country. The current polarization may be bad and extreme but we have a path forward and millions of people are realizing it. If we truly want to change the saying of “politicians get nothing done” we need to come together and change who we are electing and change the system to work for us.