The 2020 election is just over a year away, but there is already a long list of candidates running on the Democratic ballot. In June next year, the DNC will hold their primary debates in Milwaukee with over 20 candidates participating. Those who lean anti-establishment have had their eyes on Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, but it’s easy to forget that they are both polling below 2%. At the top are still Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and at the very top with 27%, Joe Biden.
Joe Biden’s Startling Popularity
Joe Biden is polling above well-liked and scandal-free candidates. His favorable polling numbers are despite narrowly escaping the full force of media outrage due to allegations of sexual misconduct. This is for the simple reason that Biden is what is familiar. Not only did he serve as Barack Obama’s vice president, but his political career has spanned over five decades. Unsurprisingly, a career in establishment politics doesn’t seem to be a turn off for most Americans and certainly not most Democrats. Although his familiarity and institutional trustworthiness are comforts to many voters, to a political outsider it’s a sign of the political monopoly of a few electoral dynasties.
Joe Biden’s general coziness with the democratic half of America is a symptom of a larger problem. Life under the Obama administration was by no means apocalyptic or tragic, but it made no significant changes to America. This is with the possible exception of “Obamacare” which was not a significant enough alteration to appease any group looking for real change. Largely, it was a continuation of the Bush administration with slightly more left-wing social policies. The truth is, establishment Democrats and Republicans are essentially the same.
Republicans? Democrats? They’re all Centrists
Excluding people like Andrew Yang, AOC, and Ted Cruz, Republicans and Democrats have almost identical economic and social policies when considering the range of governmental styles across the globe. The difference between the likes of John McCain and Joe Biden resembles very closely the conflicts between communists and Marxists. That is to say, it’s a petty and externally indistinguishable differentiation.
The “American People”, as constructed by the MSM, are apparently aching for change. They are aching for an outsider to come and shake up the game. According to the MSM, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders represent this outsider shake-up. But in the grand scheme of American politics, they are both centrists. Their war policies are the same, they have the same drug policies, they are equally statist and governmentally oppressive. Despite this manufactured “public”, it doesn’t appear the American people even want the illusion of an outsider.
The explanation for this complacency is, in fact, a simple one. If politicians and the MSM are honest with themselves, life for the average American has been relatively good. Since the 1980s, quality of life has only been improving. It seems that it doesn’t particularly matter who is elected within the scope of centrist establishment politics. Unless a political outcast is elected, nothing will change as far as the rights and freedoms of the America people are concerned. Black markets will likely not be decriminalized, along with drugs, sex work, and extraordinary firearms. We will not suddenly transition out of a mixed economy into a free market or a socialized state to an anarcho-capitalist utopia.
Real Change Doesn’t Start at the Ballot Box
All of this is for the simple fact that, contrary to what they would like to believe about themselves, politicians do not actually influence the unmanufactured so-called public in any significant way other than law. As a matter of fact, very few Americans are personally swayed by the president’s views on any given subject. Certainly, they won’t change due to flimsy policy changes. Expecting people to change their backward views because their president, senator, congressman, or country clerk thinks differently is just unrealistic.
What ideologues, bigots, and demagogues need is not legislation, but conversation. Because as it turns out, the logic of homophobes, racists, and other various poor examples of the human intellect is easy to combat. A law could be enacted tomorrow professing the need for every citizen to scrub misogyny from their hearts. Changing hearts and minds is far more effective than legislation and doesn’t require subjugation or corrosion.
There is a real danger of more of the same, of political reruns, of having a two party system which is, in reality, a single party system. The “the public”, both actual and created, becomes complacent in the routine. It softens people to a rather specific sliver of political life, and hardens them to anything deemed more radical. This is why third parties like the Libertarian party and the Green Party do so poorly. Even though they are in themselves not unreasonable or radical, they are still too far outside the scope of Republican versus Democrat establishment politics to matter.
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