Never before in the American political history, a few months ahead of the November Presidential election, one of the two systemic parties had systematically undermined its own candidate’s prospects to win the White House race. The US Republican Party is currently doing that. Three weeks ago, 50 Republican Party security officials unanimously produced a document, accusing Donald Trump, the party’s Presidential candidate for being “reckless” and “unqualified” for the top American job.
Apart from that, a number of important Republicans have gone as far as to endorse the Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton, for President. On this account, the former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, a co-runner of Donald Trump for the Republican Presidential candidacy nomination, went wild. According to Reuters, he said that the Republicans who have openly stated they won’t support Trump, “are not afraid he will lose, they are afraid he will win and upset their precious little world.”
They are afraid he will win
Not to forget, that the highest ranking elected Republican, the House speaker Paul Ryan, hasn’t fully and timely endorsed Trump for President and in return the latter didn’t endorse Ryan’s reelection as a Wisconsin representative. Many other Republican leaders turned it into a painstaking procedure and took their time in endorsing Trump’s ticket. Not to say anything about the party’s inner circle buddies, who are still undermining their Presidential candidate’s prospects or even worse are openly or covertly supporting Hillary Clinton.
Undoubtedly, it’s the first time in the US political system that a Presidential candidate nominee is decisively undermined by his own party leadership, in the race to the White House. But how did it happen that Trump won the nomination? Let’s dig into that.
He forced his way in
In the entire process of the Presidential elections, the US two party political system is democratic only in its final phase; that is in the vote for one out of the two candidates presented by the parties to the people, a Republican and a Democrat. The inner party procedures to nominate their candidate, both the Republican and the Democratic parties have been in the past quite undemocratic and, largely, still are.
Until the middle of the mid 20th century, in both parties the inner leadership nominated the Presidential candidates behind closed doors, understandably in line with the interests of the rich and the powerful members and the donors of the party. Progressive and reformer politician US President Theodore Roosevelt, had been denied three times the Republican nomination despite having in the last case won 9 out of 10 primaries.
Is it democratic?
To some extent the same can again be done today in the traditional July party conventions, for the official nomination of the Presidential candidate. A second or third runner in the primaries may be supported by the many super-delegates, who can vote for whatever candidate they like. Understandably, the super-delegates represent the party’s establishment and are usually under the influence of the rich and powerful members and the big donors.
This time the Republican Party came close to something like that, namely to block the nomination of Donald Trump, by using the votes of the super-delegates against him. Last May, the threat of Trump declaring war against the party, if its leadership organized something like that, is an infallible witness that actually there was such a plan. However, the other possible nominee and more so Ted Cruz, the last to quit the nomination race, didn’t agree to be the instrument of this Party coup. The massive popular support in the primaries for Trump’s populist rhetoric had made such a political putsch too dangerous for everybody.
How did Trump manage that?
In short, Trump actually forced the Party which is not really his, to nominate him for President. In many respects, Trump is an invader in the US political establishment, having surpassed or sidestepped all the Party’s screens and inner mechanisms and having won the official Republican nomination. Now we all know how he managed to do that. Obviously, it was the overwhelming popular support for his anti-systemic largely populist rhetoric that did the job.
He promised the average conservative Americans, what most of them have all the time being wanting, but were always let down; that is, less export of jobs through bilateral trade agreements, less immigrants coming in mainly from Mexico, more security tests on home Muslims and ban of new entrants, less government spending and a stop to costly and deadly foreign mega-military operations, increased lowest wage, increased home security, plus a lot more of highly popular proposals and ideas like more checks and controls on New York Banks. This is a short version of Trump’s political platform which catapulted him to the top.
Backing off from globalization
All those policy ideas are cherished by the ordinary conservative Americans, but have never reached the Capitol Hill, at least not during the last decades. Of course Trump also used his popularity a as TV reality show star and keeps spending lots of his own money, in paving his way to the White House. Trump’s policy proposals, even if partially applied, all lead to less globalization. This is a direct and decisive blow to what the American politico-economic establishment has vied for during the last few decades. To be reminded, that Bill Clinton in the 1990s introduced across-the-board policies making globalization the main target of American foreign and defense policies. After many years of no American major military operations abroad, Bill Clinton intervened in the Balkans and liquidated Yugoslavia. Then came George W. Bush and made the foreign military operations an everyday affair in US politics, to the delight of the military-industrial complex.
The banks and the military-industrial complex
Bill Clinton also freed the New York banks from any restriction and control and let them create a brand new global financial system, completely grey and out of reach of any government watchdog. We all felt the results of that in the 2007-2010 crisis and, of course, we still do. Along with all that, globalization was completed with wholesale trade agreements between the US and the developing countries, facilitating the exodus of American investments, capital and jobs.
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is well known for her close ties and massive financing of her campaign from the banking moguls of New York and the military-industrial complex. It goes without saying then that if she wins the November election she will continue supporting globalization and the mega-military interventions abroad and go on overtly favoring the New York banks and the military-industrial complex. No wonder then why both those mammoth economic sectors detest Trump’s proposals for less globalization, less defense spending and new controls on the New York banks.
On the other side of the fence, Trump’s populist rhetoric has largely penetrated the American population and at the same time has alarmed the establishment. Of course, all his promises are for the time being a well planned electioneering scheme. It’s questionable what he will do as President. However, as many political analysts say, it’s not clear what Trump will do as President of the US, but everybody knows what Hillary will do.
In many ways, Trump’s candidacy for the top White House job is a real breakaway from the established US politico-economic system. He has managed to slink through the screens and controls of the Republican Party’s nomination procedure. Now, the GOP’s establishment is bewildered, having to support a Presidential candidate who sails to uncharted waters far away from the Party lines. In view of that, many important Republicans have decided to strongly oppose him, while the Party’s main donors, like the Koch Brothers have backed off. Nevertheless, it’s not Trump’s racism, misogyny and pro-violence statements that have estranged his party form him. It’s his promise to hold back globalization by re-negotiating the trade agreements, restrict defense spending and curb the freewheeling of the military-industrial complex and of New York banks.
Unquestionably, it’s Trump’s inward looking, less interventionist and anti-globalization ideology that has perturbed first the GOP and secondly the entire US politico-economic establishment.