Populism Defeated Hillary Clinton and Democrats Must Pay Attention

The most qualified candidate in my lifetime lost the 2016
presidential to the least qualified and populism was the cause, amplified by
social media. Newspaper and TV media played their part by essentially going to
sleep at the switch, laughing at the Trump campaign while giving him tremendous
coverage—six or eight times that of Hillary, proving once again that any
exposure is good exposure. The Democratic National Committee further enabled
the disaster by sidelining Bernie Sanders, a man who might have beaten Trump
but, what the hell, it was Clinton’s turn. 


The voters, however, were very much awake at the switch and
although Hillary won by a substantial two and a half million popular vote, her
opponent swept the Electoral College. Now the dumbfounded majority of that electorate
is questioning the wisdom of even having
an Electoral College, but that does little to solve the problem.
Since the Reagan presidency,
both parties have egregiously ignored
a sinking middle and lower class in America, both of whom are mad as hell and
not taking it anymore.
Trump successfully played to that both-party audience and
here the Democrats are, hung up and dangling between a rock and a hard place.
Slack-jawed and without a plan, they need some advice. Fortunately, I am here
to give it.
Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said “all politics
is local” and truer words were never spoken. 
For three decades now the
Republicans have financed State and local Republican candidates, while
Democrats focused on national elections. The result of that campaign elected
Republican governors and tipped the balance in State legislatures. Ever since,
the national map has consistently painted blue states red.
They’ve accomplished that primarily through The American
Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which defines
itself as ‘a partnership of America’s state legislators and members of the
private sector.’ And partner they do,
through massive donations by the Koch brothers and such industry big-shots as
Coca Cola, Exxon, HP, McDonalds, Pfizer, Wells Fargo and Wal-Mart. Thus corporations and state politicians vote
behind closed doors
to rewrite state laws to suit their needs and they are blindingly successful at doing so.
While ‘the other guys’ worry over national elections,
ALEC understands that all politics are indeed local. Democrats are quite
properly scorned and abused by their closeness to Wall Street and the banks, but
ALEC is out there swimming with bigger fish. These big fish in the small ponds
of State government are very
successful bottom-feeders.
Do I approve of all this?
Absolutely not, but our Supreme Court in one of its worst decisions in decades
found corporations to be individuals
and approved their unimpeded access to flooding elections with unlimited
corporate money. We do indeed have ‘the best legislatures money can buy.’
Meanwhile, this is a knife-fight. Democrats need to learn
(and quickly) that you don’t take bare fists to a knife-fight. Time to slip a
gun in their pocket in this gun-crazed society. There’s plenty of money
available to the Dems and they better get their asses in gear to build an ALEC
in their own likeness.

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