Views » February 10, 2016
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders’ New Hampshire Wins Show that People Are Sick of the Establishment
It’s not about growing extremism. It’s about a frustration with the status quo.
You will hear pundits analyze the New Hampshire primaries and conclude that the political “extremes” are now gaining in American politics—that the Democrats have moved to the left and the Republicans have moved to the right, and the “center” will not hold.
The truth is that the putative “center”—where the Democratic Leadership Council and Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” of the 1990s found refuge, where George W. Bush and his corporate buddies and neoconservative advisers held sway and where Barack Obama’s Treasury Department granted Wall Street banks huge bailouts but didn’t rescue desperate homeowners—did a job on the rest of America, and is now facing a reckoning.
The “extremes” are not gaining ground. The anti-establishment ground forces of the American people are gaining. Some are so fed up they’re following an authoritarian bigot. Others, more wisely, are signing up for a “political revolution” to take back America from the moneyed interests.
That’s the real choice ahead.
Robert B. Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written thirteen books, including the bestsellers Aftershock and The Work of Nations. His latest, Beyond Outrage, is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, Inequality for All, is now available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD and On Demand.
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