=By= Michael Roberts
That the mainstream media helped to create the political monster (and disaster) that today is Donald J. Trump is not in dispute. And, aided and abetted by its willing lackeys in the neo-conservative television and radio movements, they helped to over-inflate his insatiable mega-sized ego that told him he could win the ultimate prize — the presidency of the United States.
Indeed, Republican hatred of President Barack Obama and his policies, and their spineless prevaricating cowardice to privately embrace what Trump is saying and vocalizing in public, allowed a loud mouth and blowhard mediocre businessman to hijack the Republican Party from its conservative moorings.
They both conspired and fornicated with each other to produce this bastard political horn-child now genuflecting to his every whim and outrageous pouting all in the interest of the continued cancerous metastasizing hating Barack Obama. Embraced by the most rabid sections of the Republican Party, the Tea Party zealots, traditional GOP establishment leaders were powerless to stop the rise of this ultra-Right Wing faction within the party that see Trump as “speaking their language” and identified with his particular odious brand of extremism and xenophobia.
They are ALL complicit in the rise of the GOP’s Political Pretender. Establishment Republicans should have seen the writing on the wall when Eric Cantor, then the party’s majority leader in the House, was defeated in his bid for re-election in June 2014 by Dave Brat, an unknown Tea Party member. They should have known that the extreme wing of the party was now calling the shots when a freshman senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, one year before Cantor’s defeat, was able to orchestrate a temporary shut down of the Federal Government in October 2013. And they should have been put on the alert when the 40 or so Tea Party members in the House successfully hounded Speaker John Boehner out of office on October 31, 2015.
But even with all that these signs and developments Republican leaders still so hung up on hatred from Barack Obama did absolutely nothing. They continued to be an obstructionist force and rejected any and all compromise. Talk about unintended consequences! Now they have laughingly launched a “Stop Trump” movement to deny the party’s present front runner the presidential nomination. The party’s conservative wing, joined by a whorish mainstream media, and sundry political pundits and talk show hosts, are desperately seeking ways and means to stop Trump up to and including a controversial “brokered convention” — not that they are calling it that.
If no GOP candidate — Trump, Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich — reaches the magical number of 1,237 delegates the party’s national convention in July would be the last place where Trump can be stopped. But it will be very, very messy and unpopular with the Republican Party’s base, especially its Tea Party section. It that happens, the political civil war will be waged between the white collar sections of the party and its ruling class elements pushing proxy candidates like Florida’s former governor Jeb Bush, and, perhaps Senator Marco Rubio. What this will boil down to is a party willing to deny and reject the will of the vast majority of Republican voters, no matter how misplaced, in favor of a hand-picked, anointed, party establishment candidate.
The split, already evident, will be between white collar Republicans and their angry blue-collar brethren from where the Trump and the Tea Party draw its members and support. The ultra-Right Ted Cruz is now attempting to position himself as the Trump alternative and the “stop Trump” candidate. However, it appears increasingly that the GOP leadership and its establishment wing is in favor of a so-called “contested convention.”
So what exactly is a contested convention?
Well, for starters, during the early days of American politics there was no need for the present system of primaries across the states. There was no 24-hour news cycle that hung on the every word of posturing, bombastic candidates and their surrogates. So for decades both parties — the Democratic and Republican Parties — chose candidates in large convention halls and negotiated, horse-traded, in smoke-filled hotel rooms near and around the main convention center.
Ultimately, these systems became corrupt and were simply mechanisms for protecting party favorites. They were ultimately replaced by primaries where delegates were selected and apportioned based on who won (or lost). This process was accelerated in the 1970s that literally did away with brokered party conventions. The last Democratic political convention to go more than one ballot round was in 1952. On the Republican side their last brokered convention was in 1976 when Ronald Reagan forced Gerald Ford into a primary contest. Reagan was unsuccessful and had to wait until 1980 before becoming the GOP’s candidate and win the presidency for two terms.
Contested or brokered conventions are very messy things. There are still many arcane and obscure rules and procedures that govern delegate behavior depending on the state they come from. For example, there are rules instituted by party organizations in, say, Ohio, that may compel its delegates to behave in a particular way in the first round of balloting in a contested convention and if there are no clear results may or may not apply to them in future rounds.
Delegates may be “bound” to a frontrunner candidate in the first round of balloting and “freed” in the second round if no winner emerges. If they are “freed or unencumbered” then they can pretty much vote for who they choose. Here is where “politricks” and corruption sets in: candidates can woo delegates with promises that will materialize after they win the nomination. That’s called bribery but its quite legal in BOTH parties since its called “negotiating and advocacy.” It’s “horse-trading” at its best.
When you add the anger that now permeates BOTH the Republican and Democratic parties and the growing distrust of the American electorate then the recipe for political chaos looms very large are is a very real possibility. For the Republican Party this convention is about the battle for the heart and soul of the par
On the Democratic side of things are different, but there is an important fight. The party is fighting to redefine its very identity having been caught in a socio-political crisis for more than a decade. In 2016 the party that once identified with poor and working class Americans is no more. That is why Democratic party establishment figures and leaders cannot understand or come to grips with the anger and dissatisfaction that has been the meteoric rise of Senator Bernie Sanders on the Left pitted against the establishment candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Right.
Today, the Democratic Party is the party of the hyper-educated elite and the so-called “professional class,” a veritable meritocracy that is status driven and not welcoming of dissenting voices, especially from its blue-collar wing. It is a party that has and is now identified more with Wall Street than with Main Street. In many ways the political dialectics that drove the rise of Donald Trump are partly due to the unbelievable shortsightedness of policy decisions made by Democrats in government and on Wall Street.
For example, many Southern conservative Democrats in Congress did nothing when their Republican colleagues were excoriating and attacking President Barack Obama left, right and center. They stood by and twiddled their thumbs or abandoned the party’s position and sided with Republicans. Their dislike of their own president (I’m loath to use the word “hatred”) helped to legitimize people like Trump. They never condemned a member of Congress, Joe Wilson for South Carolina, who called the president a liar during a September 2009 speech. And they have done very little to help push the president’s domestic and foreign policy agendas.
Such party abandonment has drawn the ire of blue collar Democrats and young voters who saw this as a betrayal of their contract with President Obama starting in 2008. This anger and disenchantment would morph into the “Occupy and Black Lives Matter Movements” that Hillary Clinton cannot impress or attract to her campaign. In fact, were it not for the African American community and voters in the Democratic Party Ms. Clinton could not win the party’s nomination or the presidency.
Here I have a word of caution for her: Just because young Democrats and white blue collar workers are flocking to Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign does not translate to her winning these voters over if he loses the nomination as expected. She’ll have to do a hell of a lot more to win over these angry and frustrated voters then she’s presently doing. Her political dilemma is that she has to be the standard bearer of a new Democratic Party — a class party. And it’s not a blue-collar working class party or even a middle class party but a party of the professional elite classes.
So what’s the difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties in the context of this new socio-economic and political dispensation?
Well, there are now just only two hierarchal structures in the United States t that at the core definition and character of bot the Republican and Democratic parties. The first is that of the dominance of corporate big business interests and the obscene amounts of money of the one percent as evidenced by the concentration of wealth in the hands of 540 American billionaires with a combined net worth f $2.4 trillion.
The second is the rise and now control of the professional class that are also at the very zenith of this moneyed and wealth hierarchy. They are in a now symbiotic relationship and share the same assumptions and attitudes to the world. However, they differ in significant ways even as they share some similarities.
On the Republican side these professionals are ultra and neo-conservative when it comes to finance, business policies, cultural issues, and class challenges. By contrast, professionals on the Democratic side tend to be very liberal on most issues except the economy where they are just as conservative as their Republican counterparts. They also share on essential and fundamental similarity: both are hostile to labor and contemptuous of the American working class.
Do I have contempt for higher education and college degrees?
Certainly not. But I do have a problem with a kind of arrogant orthodoxy that comes with that class. When meritocracy becomes the dominant ideology of the professional class it creates a certain world outlook that says that you’re at the top of your profession because you deserve to be there and you’re the smartest and the best in whatever you do. You see this in the Democratic Party when Hillary Clinton seeks to dismiss income inequality as a “one issue” and universal healthcare as impractical and unattainable. You see this in the orthodoxy of President Barack Obama whose cabinet picks all come from Harvard. What happens here is that you get a group of people who do not listen to other voices and ideas from those outside of their narrow social groupings and treats those differences with total contempt.
MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City’s Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local community relations. He has covered the United Nations, the Caribbean and Africa in a career that spans over 32 years in journalism. As Editor of New York CARIB NEWS, a position that he’s held since 1990, he is in a unique position to have his hands on the pulse of the over 800,000 Caribbean-American community in Brooklyn, and the over 2.5 million members resident in the wider New York State community.
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