For sixteen years a segment of the American public has repeatedly been betrayed and lied to by both parties in Washington, D.C. These voters, mostly white and mostly suburban and rural, were promised a Washington that would treat them respectfully and allow them to live their daily lives unencumbered.
Republicans were told that their party was for limiting the power of Washington. They then saw the Republicans under George W. Bush launch an expansion of the federal government with a prescription drug benefit and the terrible No Child Left behind legislation. Then they saw Republicans drive up domestic spending claiming it was for the war effort.
Democrats then worked with Republicans to ban the incandescent light bulb forcing consumers to buy more expensive lights, mostly made in China. Dropping one of the new compact fluorescent light bulbs nearly requires a hazmat team to clean up. Then Democrats systematically went about passing laws and regulations to shut down coal mines and put people out of work. But they cared.
Next, the Democrats passed major health care reform with the President promising people they could keep their doctors if they liked them. That was a lie. So too was it a lie that Obamacare would lower the cost of healthcare in America. Insurance premiums are set to go up 22% next year. In many cases, studies have shown that the poor and needy have been helped, but the people who have been burdened with the greatest costs under Obamacare are the working poor and lower middle class.
Republicans promised to stop Obamacare. If only they had back the House and Senate, they would use the power of the purse to force change on the President. Once handed both, they moved the goal posts, conveniently forgot their promises, and said they needed the White House too. Republicans in the Senate, having campaigned against amnesty, then tried to work with Democrats to pass it. When that stalled, instead of fighting the President on executive amnesty, the GOP punted to a judge in Texas hoping he would stop the plan for them.
Again, Republicans pledged to fight the President. But all they did was pass the fight off to federal judges and hope for the best. Time and time again, Republicans who promised to fight Barack Obama caved, collaborated, and complained when anyone tried to hold them accountable.
Along the way, Democrats waged war on cultural institutions, insisting on one-size-fits all amorality. The institution of marriage was twisted and men were invited into women’s bathrooms if they felt like a woman on a particular day. If you object, you are just a bigot.
Is it any wonder that so many turned to Donald Trump? For all his faults, he accurately diagnosed the issue of 2016. Voters are fed up with Washington. They know both sides have lied to them. They know both sides ignore them and only listen to deep pockets. They know both sides collude with Wall Street against Main Street.
They turned to the strong man who promised to fix things. Trump is the American Gracchus. Like Tiberius Gracchus of ancient Rome, he has seized on popular discontent against the elite and wealthy. He has whipped the citizenry into a frenzy. But the result will be the same — failure and entrenchment of the elite.
Sadly, the people who have been betrayed, lied to, and failed repeatedly by Washington institutions are now being lied to by Donald Trump. He promised to self fund and he has not. He promised only he could beat Hillary Clinton and he has always been the one who could not. Trump propagandists assure voters victory is in hand and if not it is all rigged. But they are lying and they know it.
Now his supporters believe all the polls are wrong. They tune out anything telling them the truth and believe the lie. They will wake up November 9th thinking the system failed them, when really Trump failed them. They will have the same real concerns and needs and desires. But they will have even fewer friends in Washington as a result of Donald Trump’s disastrous, poorly run campaign.