Is Donald Trump the answer?

August 4, 2015 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

One potential driving force behind the popularity of Donald Trump for president could be dissatisfaction with The Establishment in Washington D.C.  Polls have shown extremely low satisfaction with Congress over the past few terms.  News is constantly filled with child-like bickering between Speaker John Boehner and President Obama.  While politicians continue to hold party loyalty as higher priority than their constituents and the country at large, they think the voters don’t notice.

This CNN poll shows that voters favor Trump because they are fed up with the way Washington works.

This WSJ article states Iowans favor Trump because he is anti-establishment.

My feeling is that voting strictly for a candidate because he is not part of the existing establishment can backfire.  I can think of two recent examples.

When the U.S. invaded Iran and setup a new government, Baath party members were prohibited from participating.  The Baath party represented Saddam Hussein.  It was believed that allowing former Baath members to participate would increase the likelihood of a return to the type of government being replaced.  This strategy failed because there was nobody to participate in the new government who had any experience – in government and military.

Similarly, in the early 2000s voters here in the U.S. became anti-establishment.  This led to large changes in Congress, with many incumbents losing their positions.  The new politicians consisted largely of Tea Party members.  These rookie politicians were lacking experience and have thus led us to where we are today.  Washington D.C. is completely gummed up due to a lack of key skills required by good politicians.  Partisan politics rules the day.  Constant child-like bickering fills the news.  Compromise is a lost art.  And rather than raise the level of debate and inspire, politicians try to gum up the system until they can achieve a majority and then push their platform through.  Of course, this rarely happens and thus nothing is accomplished.

Unfortunately, I don’t see sending inexperienced politicians to Washington D.C. as the silver bullet.  While it may be more of a reflection of voter frustration.

What could the fix be?  I’m not sure.  But I think it has to start with campaign reform.  The impact of special interests has to be minimized.  In addition, the influence of the DNC and RNC over candidates must be lessened.  As long as the DNC and RNC controls the purse string, candidates’ allegiance to party of constituents and country will prevail.

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