I cannot think of another Presidential election in American history where the stakes were as high as they are today. Both the Conservative Right and the Liberal left seem to be pinning the entire nation's future on who wins in November. Believing that the election of their opponent candidate will lead to disaster.
I see things a little different than that. For me it is the mainstreaming of radical political views, and the recalcitrance of the establishment which is the real danger to the nation. Especially when you consider that it is the establishment’s unwillingness to change which breads and legitimizes radical political viewpoints.
If Clinton wins this November than it is the establishment which wins. If Trump wins than many will conclude, wrongly in my view, that it is a win for the radicals. Given that Bernie Sanders, the Democrat’s version of a radical, has already been rejected by his party, the race for the Presidency has transformed from a contest not between two political parties, but to that of a decision between staying the course and electing someone who promises to upend politics as we know it.
Forget the issues of the day, both individually and collectively, they are transcended in both scope and impact by the institutionalism of radicalism as a form of conventional American politics. However, less we fail to recognize the true enemy here, let us reflect on the basic principles of the modern post-Enlightenment Western Idea, and see if we might gain some insight into where the real problem lies.
America was born out of the Age of Enlightenment, which, if you boil it down essentially states that the people of a nation have a basic right to be governed by those who can reliably maintain a free society and produce conditions through public policies which lead to prosperity for its people. So long as it accomplishes those two core goals it is for all intents and purposes a government which is as good as it gets.
Failure to succeed in one or both of those tasks undermines its rightfulness to govern. This is the conclusion of those greats minds of the Enlightenment, and those great minds who put their ideas into practice.
It is true that for many decades of the twentieth century that the Republican party primarily focused on rights and freedoms based issues, and that the Democratic party mainly focused in on issues related to the poor and disadvantaged. But again, in recent years both the Democrats and Republicans have witnessed the rise of radicalism within their ranks, and the growing closeness, even that which might be best described as an unwritten pact or alliance between the establishment elements of both parties to protect and maintain the status-quo.
Today in both the Republican party and Democratic party we see radicals on both side taking up the cause of freedom and prosperity, equally and concurrently. To date they have not coalesced into a single political movement, but it is just a matter of time until they do.
I am no friend to the radicals, but neither can I defend the establishment. For they have failed to defend the rights of the governed, and the ability for the common man to prosper wanes with every passing year. In my mind, presidential candidate Donald Trump represents neither the radicals nor the establishment. But rather freedom incarnate, for he speaks his mind for good or ill, a freedom only dreamed of by the common man or woman. Further, he has the business sense, born out of years of trudging through the sewers which is deal making, to change our nation’s policies towards a path which will be more prosperous for all.
Our nation does not need nor do I desire to have a Saint for President, but I and we do require one which adheres to the core values of the Enlightenment. One which will preserve the status-quo by changing it back towards its founding principles and answer the objections of the radicals.
This sentiment is in stark contrast to the goals of the radicals who have begun to embrace the failed ideas of socialism and fascism. The problem with radicalism is that while it can overturn the establishment it cannot in itself implement a better form of government. For there to be a better form of government then those ideas must precede a revolution, they must, as the Age of Enlightenment did, proffer a better alternative to the existing forms of government. I see no such compelling ideas in circulation at this time.
Our future, at least our immediate future, lies in responding to the calls of the radicals by reestablishing the legitimacy of our current government to govern. Establishment political players such as Hillary Clinton are an impediment to that end.