In response to an FT article by Philip Stephens on 25th March 2016, entitled 'Donald Trump has torn up the boundaries of politics'
How nice it would be if Donald Trump just went away eh Mr. Stephens? If he just disappeared quietly, or noisily, back into the reality TV world from whence he came; re-emerging every once in a while to lay a cornerstone, or to break a jeroboam of champagne in front of a flashy new edifice: ‘The Trump Mahal’ - home of the gauche - somewhere in Nevada or Florida.
Except it’s not going to happen. Several months, and several establishment stooges later, he’s still there; seemingly unperturbed by the favourite sons sent out to bring him down – Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and now…would you believe it…Ted Cruz…a guy they hate almost as much as Trump…but at least his wife works for Goldman Sachs…I suppose that’s something…
He’s survived the loathing of a press who hate him almost as much as they do, albeit the attacks are much more ‘‘moral’, holding onto the last dregs of ‘civility’ that Mr. Trump has otherwise ‘drained from politics’…and still he won’t go away.
And here we are. None of that has worked; so like the archetypal Englishman abroad who, when he can’t get satisfaction in English, repeats himself in a louder voice, in the vain hope that the increased volume will suddenly make sense to the uncooperative native. In this case – another article that totally misses the point about the rise of Donald Trump.
Yes, Donald Trump is an opportunist and a blowhard. And you are very slow on the uptake Mr. Stephens. It doesn't matter how much you attack Donald Trump; he isn't going away. It isn't about personalities; it’s about the system. It isn’t about 'him' - it's about 'you'.
The political class, loosely consisting of career politicians, lobbyists, bankers, political journalists and super-rich 'philanthropists' is possibly the least introspective 'group' of people anywhere. The problem is not Donald Trump. His rise is a symptom of a corrupt system of cronyism that has reached its sell-by date.
If you really want to understand the rise of 'Donald Trump', trade in your moral soapbox and buy yourself a mirror. The more you attack Donald Trump, the more you validate what he represents – a backlash against a self-seeking, corrupt system of ‘insiders’ that will do anything to keep their cosy hold on power. Anything that is, except clean up their act.
At no time have you attacked the corruption in Washington Mr. Stephens: The pork-barrel politics, the kickback arrangements, the utterly corrupt campaign finance rules, the jobs for the boys, etc. etc.
The system is corrupt, and insiders will not reform it. It will not be reformed by Jeb Bush, or Mitt Romney; it will not be reformed by the money of the Koch brothers or the ‘philanthropy’ of George Soros; and it will certainly not be reformed by the last hope of the Republican elite – Hillary Clinton.
Hence, much to your chagrin, we have the rise of the outsiders – Messrs. Trump and Sanders in the US. Farther afield we have independence movements, referenda, fringe parties, populist leaders from left and right…all with a common message – this system is not working for the people. It is only working for the people who run it