We are told the polls are tightening as Americans prepare to vote for the next U.S. president. We are also told that this election cycle is different, even unique. Indeed, the country is polarized and the two major candidates have the dubious distinction of being intensely disliked by great swaths of the voting public. Whatever the outcome, the next occupant in Oval Office will face questions of legitimacy.
The election cycle in many ways started out as a form of insurrection. Bernie Sanders ran a campaign based on values – the demand for social justice. We know now Hillary Clinton and the DNC cheated him out of the nomination. Donald Trump in quick order defeated his establishment opponents in the Republican primary. Trump captured the party nomination because he is an outsider and treated as a joke candidate by the corporate media, while the party (establishment and donors) largely abandoned its own nominee.
Mainly due to the corporate media (working as Clinton’s PR arm), Trump’s legitimacy as a candidate has been put in the question. If elected president, there can be no doubt there will be very loud voices claiming Trump is unfit to govern. If you think the media is overly hostile to Trump now, just wait until he is called President Trump!
The establishment that has been co opted by the Clinton Machine will go into overdrive to wreck his presidency from day one. The establishment will never accept Trump, as he will certainly threaten the “pay-to-play” arrangement that has enriched so many in Washington – particularly the Clintons and their fellow travellers who have transformed high politics into a cesspool of corruption.
The legitimacy of Hillary Clinton – if elected – is of an entirely different magnitude. As president-elect she would be most likely remain the subject of multiple federal criminal investigations (including many in her inner circle). Upon taking office those problems will not disappear.
For many who refused to vote for her the election will be seen as rigged and stolen by the Clinton Machine with the help of corporate media presstitutes. I refer readers to Wikileaks for their names and affiliations. There will be those who say: What Hillary and the DNC did to Bernie was replicated against Donald. There will be those will say: It was a Bill Inc “pay-to-play” scheme writ-large. Both claims would not be exaggerations.
Indeed the polls are tightening and this presidential race is peculiar to say the least. But the insurrection element of the election cycle remains in play. Millions of voters feel cheated, alienated, and disenfranchised. The political system does not work for them – remember millions of them are out of work or have subsistence employment.
Trump is a complex and even tragic figure. But he does feel the pulse of the nation. He and his backers feel the legitimate rage experienced all across the country. The same rage that has made Bill, Hillary, and their selfish cronies fabulously rich and powerful. As such, many deem some form of insurrection now legitimate, even necessary.
There is a crisis of legitimacy in American politics. If Trump is elected the status quo elites will attempt to undermine his elected right to rule. If Clinton is elected, the entire issue of rule of law and equal treatment under the law will be disputed. In the end everyone loses – the American people and the world. Though I have no doubt the meme of insurrection will continue unabated.
Peter Lavelle is host of RT’s political debate program CrossTalk. His views may or may not reflect those of his employer.