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3/28/16

United States: The End of Establishment Orthodoxy - by Richard Phillips

When Trump took his escalator ride, the Republican Party had become little more than a Ronald Reagan fetish, a parody of Reagan’s construct of “smaller government, lower taxes and stronger defense.”

Reagan’s acolytes, seeking to outdo each other and then to outdo Reagan himself, decided that if “smaller” government was good, “no” government was ideal.

Republicanism became a race to the right, fueled by the anger, acrimony and sulphur-laden rhetoric of the right- wing media. Going into the election, GOP policy had been reduced to a series of impractical ideological slogans. It subsisted on a steady diet of “Barack Obama.”

This approach did not serve the Republican electorate well. The Republican base, which had grown increasingly disenfranchised economically, was ripe for a politician who spoke in absolutes, challenged convenient assumptions and demolished all concept of orthodoxy.

Right-wing media dutifully teed up the balls for Trump. Meanwhile, mainstream media acted as if they were deer caught in headlights.

All Trump needed to do in order to win a big part of the Republican electorate was to make “policy” pronouncements that were even more extreme than any of his competitors.

But as outrageous as many of the positions Trump took were, they came down right in the middle of the fairway for a plurality of GOP primary voters.

And so it was that Trump went further right than any of his opponents on issues like “the Mexicans,” “the Muslims” and “the Chinese.”

The important point to realize is this: Donald Trump did not take the Republican Party to this place; the Republican Party took Donald Trump there! All he did was throw away the dog whistle.

When Trump discredits the (mainstream) media – which Sarah Palin and her cohorts call the “lamestream” media — for treating him unfairly and enforcing “political correctness,” he is merely trumpeting Republican dogma.

And what is the Republican alternative? Until Trump came down that escalator to announce his candidacy, no one seemed capable of getting further right than Cruz.

But now he is considered the moderate one, even though his policy proposals mirror Trump’s. Cruz is merely Trump without the flexibility Trump promises when he touts his deal-making prowess.

Insanely, Cruz is the last best hope for the GOP to get back to a sane course!

On the other side of America’s political divide, we find an unabashed exercise in political correctness. But in spite of the relative civility with which the Democratic primary campaign has been conducted, deep fissures have been revealed within the Democratic Party.

Americans seem to rankle at the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Many are unable to identify any of her accomplishments — other than those accomplishments that benefited Hillary herself.

She stands for the status quo. But because Hillary Clinton is unwilling to say outright that she stands for the status quo, she seems to stand for nothing – nothing tangible, at least.

Read more: United States: The End of Establishment Orthodoxy - The Globalist

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