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Robert Kuttner — 'Hard To Believe, But Trump Could Win' and post-Occupy America

Observing 2016's presidential campaign to date, co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute Kuttner writes —

"Identity politics are at odds with class politics."

^ This is the post-Occupy America in a nutshell.

(Even the Democratic National Committee was proven this year to have sabotaged the primaries against its strongest popular-support candidate, Sanders.)

as long as the actual class issues — those of blue collar workers across the country currently being championed by the Trump campaign — continue to be divorced / segregated from identity (gender, race etc.) issues, there is zero effective challenge to the 1%.

For example, this is why so many Trump campaign supporters absolutely distrust the Democrats and Clinton:
none of them believe the "party of working people" rhetoric / 'legacy' anymore.... and large quantities of blue collar unions and usually-Democrat voters are going Trump in 2016.


Hard To Believe, But Trump Could Win

09/18/2016 08:03 pm ET
Robert Kuttner Co-founder and co-editor, 'The American Prospect'

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MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

How can it possibly be that Donald Trump is on the verge of overtaking Hillary Clinton? Despite all of the ways Trump has demonstrated his total unsuitability to lead the United States, nearly half of America's voters seem willing to cut him enough slack to quite possibly elect him.

One factor is that political elites have underestimated the deep disaffection of middle- and working-class, downwardly mobile white people. Working class whites may be well off compared to most blacks, Latinos, and immigrants, but they don't see this that way, and not without reason.

For decades, two trends have been converging: Increasing economic insecurity and falling earnings among white men, and the belated, entirely legitimate claims of out-groups.

The Democratic Party has embraced those demands — of women, blacks, gays, lesbians and transgender people, immigrants and refugees. That is to the Democrats' great credit.

This election would be a very different story if they also championed working class people against economic elites, but they have done that more hesitantly. On the contrary, to much of the white working class Democrats seem to be in the pockets of bankers as much as Republicans are.

There is one group at whose expense these multiple claims should be advanced — corporate moguls and other members of the One Percent. But the coalition of everyone else against the one percent has not come together. Identity politics are at odds with class politics. Trump, meanwhile, does a great job of feigning indignation on behalf of the common American, despite his own record of screwing whoever he can.

The young of all races face bleak futures, and they are unexcited about either nominee. Normally, that vote would go to the Democrat. It broke heavily in favor of both Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. But they represented change.

Which brings us to the second factor in the rise of Trump, namely Hillary Clinton. She's pretty liberal on most social issues. But it's a hard sell to portray her as the candidate of change.

The voters are in a populist mood and in a mood to turn to an outsider. That helps explain both the appeal of Trump and of Bernie Sanders' near miss challenge to Clinton.

Face it — among Democrats, it would be hard to think of a candidate who is less of a populist and more of an insider than Clinton. Even the fact that that she is a woman has largely failed to generate the excitement that you might expect to accompany that sort of breakthrough. The Goldman Sachs speaking fees and the still secret transcripts of those speeches, are pretty tame stuff compared to Trump's outrageous thefts and lies, but on a symbolic level in a campaign they take on a kind of equivalence.

In an ordinary year, against an ordinary opponent, Clinton's record of exceptional experience would be a plus. This year, it is a sign of her insider-ness.

Barack Obama was able to win a startling victory, as a young nearly unknown senator and as an African-American, precisely because he was not an insider. He generated great excitement among the young that Hillary Clinton has been unable to rouse.

So the election will likely come down to three factors: Whether the Democrats can motivate their base to get out and vote — if not out of excitement then out of duty, given the immense stakes; how the two candidates do in the debates; and the role of sheer luck.

Barack and Michelle Obama will increasingly work to get out the Democratic vote. That's a plus, but it's also tricky. With their charisma, they could upstage the candidate.

The debates will come down to a few things. Will Trump's habit of dominating the stage come over as mastery or as bullying? Will Hillary's long experience in debating come across as evidence of her superior expertise, or will it make her seem canned?

Will Trump, off-script, make one of his trademark blunders — inventing facts and getting caught, making some over-the-top ad lib, overreaching to denigrate some group — and will the electorate at last pay attention?

If I had to bet, I'd wager that the debates will be a net plus for the seasoned Clinton against the impetuous Trump. But Trump's skills as a showman have been consistently underrated.

It's hard to improve on James Fallows' superb preview of the debates, which you should read.

The final weeks, Heaven help us, will literally boil down to random luck. Will there be another major terrorist episode, another Hillary Clinton health setback, new, overhyped revelations from email or the Clinton Foundation? Conversely, will the impulsive Trump fail to stay carefully scripted? And will the voters at last grasp what an unprecedented menace a Trump presidency would be?

A friend suggested an election night watch party, in Montreal. Many Canadians have already joked that if Trump wins, they will put up a wall—and get the Americans to pay for it.

Not funny.


See Also —

Democrat Party: Alliance of Wealthy Whites + Low Income Ethnic Minorities

Millions Of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump. Here's Why
by Thomas Frank

Bill Clinton's crime bill destroyed lives, and there's no point denying it
by Thomas Frank
 link to www.theguardian.com

homepage: homepage: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/hard-to-believe-but-trump_b_12077946.html

election is 100% rigged 19.Sep.2016 14:18


Trump is right= it's all rigged- FOR TRUMP!!

You Don't Need All That College knowledge! Nor PAY For It! 19.Sep.2016 17:01


Distracting, Unworkable Feints

Outrage Can No Longer Be Ignored. The elections methods enterprise consists of an imposing compilation of distracting, unworkable feints, erroneously purported to constitute viable election methods. Get strategic hedge simple score voting. No More Two-Party!!! No more!!!

I have described the strategic hedge simple score election method all over the Internet. It is simple in the sense that does not require easily hackable voting machines, and can easily work with hand counted paper ballots at non-centralized voting places. It is not hampered by any requirement to cater to so-called "sincere," "honest" (actually artless and foolish) voters. It easily thwarts both the spoiler effect and the blind hurdle dilemma (the "Burr Dilemma"). It just works.

Strategic hedge simple score voting can be described in one simple sentence: Strategically bid no vote at all for undesired candidates (ignore them as though they did not exist), or strategically cast from five to ten votes for any number of candidates you prefer (up to some reasonable limit of, say, six candidates), and then simply add all the votes up.

There is no point in casting "zero" to four votes since that would be useless for thwarting the blind hurdle dilemma, and would only make hand counting more tedious. The maximum is ten since that enables voters to easily assess the percentage of votes they are casting. Limiting votes to no more than six candidates prevents people from "hogging" voting booths by casting votes for large numbers of candidates.

Both IRV-style and approval voting methods suffer from the blind hurdle dilemma, which can be overcome with the hedge voting strategy. An example of usage of the hedge strategy, presuming the case of a "leftist" voter, would be casting ten votes for Ralph Nader, and only eight or nine for Al Gore. This way, the voter would only sacrifice 20 or 10 percent of their electoral influence if Nader did not win.

No more Repugs! No more Demoncrats!

Political science is the Giant Fraud!

Trump won't "win", cause the fix is IN 19.Sep.2016 17:27


Donald Trump will NEVER be president. And he knows it because he is in on it. Shillary has already been anointed the Empire's next CEO. And Bernie is in on it too, since he refused to run as an Independent despite Green party runner Jill Stein saying he should, and millions of his supporters begging him to (even after the conventions and DNC email scandal), choosing to endorse Shillary instead. In other words - she's already gotten support (at one time or another) from the other two MAJOR candidates, who are/were supposedly running against her. It's already a done deal. Our "elections" are a fucking joke!

OD: yeah, but — 19.Sep.2016 18:18


rAT insists the NYC / NJ bombings are to help Trump win! dewd!

( you want my opinion, and I know U don't but.... Trump is going to win against the predicated plans of the establishment. No one, including the establishment, expected him to win the GOP nomination. If he does not win both the popular and electoral vote counts Nov 8th, there will be widespread violence aka 'civil unrest' across America .... you heard it here first )