I don't want the 'Pub to become a political commentary blog, but this election has me worried, and not (like Lisa) because I seem to becoming objectively Trump-curious or (like PF) I'm worried that Hitlery will invade Poland.
I'm worried for what I see as the long-term implications for the United States' system of government.
First, let's agree that it is blindingly obvious to anyone that hasn't drunk the wingnut Koolade that the GOP in it's present incarnation really offers only two policy "things":
1. Working for open oligarchy, and
2. Comfort for white nationalism, Christian theocracy, and fear of the "others" (whether those others are gay, or brown, or Muslim)
I know that sounds harsh, but...that's really it, isn't it? It's all tax cuts and privatize and deregulate and unshackle Wall Street and shove the homos back in the closet and no abortion and open carry everywhere. "Small government"? Sure...unless you count the DoD. Or the NSA.
There's no GOP vision of a future United States that doesn't really come down to a return to the Gilded Age, is there?
Now...don't get me wrong. I'm not in love with the mainstream corporate-whoring Democratic Party. The Dems' neglect of the horrible effects of capital flight, economic inequality, and crony corporatism are a yuuuuuuge part of why we're in this mess right now.
The Sanders movement shows that the Democrats CAN be pulled to the left.
Not only can the GOP not go there...it's obvious that it won't even let the corporatist centerist Democrats go there - it won't let them be corporate centerist Democrats because they're insufficiently fucking nutzoid for smacking homos, luuurving Jesus and snowflake babies, hugging rich people and big corporations, and bombing the shit out of darkies and fuzzy-wuzzies.
The ugly parallel that jumps to my mind (and I’m not the only one, given the spate of articles about this…) is the rise of Jacksonism in the 1820s.
And the reason that scares me is the damage Jacksonism did; the next thirty years of American politics were dominated by Jacksonians and Jacksonian policies like internal minority genocide and external aggressive war. Plus the malign neglect of slavery (or the outright approval of and expansion-encouragement of it). A whole bunch of our worst Administrations were Jacksonian, culminating in Buchanan. Basically Jacksonism was the bedrock on which the Civil War was founded. One of the worst features of the politics of Jacksonism was that it helped made it impossible for the United States to simply outlaw slavery as Great Britain did between 1830 and 1845. Jacksonism wasn't the only reason, or the main reason...but it was a reason, and not a small one.
The upside of GOPism (call it "Trumpism if you want, but can we accept the the Donald is just the inevitable culmination of 40 years of what the GOP has asked for?) versus Jacksonism is that we no longer have a franchise limited to white males.
The downside is that the GOP’s propaganda machine has done a helluva a great job pulling in the “white male allies”; Christian theocrats, people fearful of imaginary jihadis under the bed, and the plutocracy into a coalition that looks like it represents about 40% of the public.
And the downside of that is that this hard nut of "conservatives" is dead-set against allowing the United States any government but the one they desire.
Do I think that we will see “another Jackson Administration” anytime soon? Probably – and hopefully – not.
But I think that the GOP has become a self-licking icecream cone; I think that regardless of whether the media comes down hard on the Trumpeters after November that this hard core of Jacksonians will not dissipate, and the United States will be, in effect, dealing with the same situation that broke the nation in 1860; there will be a large, indigestible, irredentist minority that will never, NEVER accept the legitimacy of their opponents. No non-Jacksonian/Trumpter will be allowed to govern. Obstruction will be the order, not just of the day but of the week, the year, the decade.
And let's not even start into the nightmare place the GOP is taking us with it's "vote fraud" and "rigged election" fantasies.
And the problem with THAT (beyond the problem of a dysfuntional U.S. government) is that I think, eventually, the American public will get frustrated with the dysfunction. And, as now, there won't be an acceptance that one of the two major parties our first-past-the-post system allows us is a craven lickspittle for corporate power while the other has gone utterly Jacksonian-batshit-nuts but anger and frustration at "both sides".
We the People will writhe and fume - not at the oligarchy we have become, but - that the oligarchy itself no longer "works".
We the People will look for a “savior”, and in my horrified imagination that "savior" will be a Man on Horseback.
And then all the sort of worrying and fretting and discussing things like policies and strategies and politics that we do here will be over and done with, and I hope I am safely dead long before that happens.