Trump: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
The political establishment in the United States is, once again as it was in the 60s, under attack, both from the right and from the left. And as illustrated by Bernie Sanders’ powerfully popular attack on Hillary Clinton during the battle for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, as well as by Donald Trump’s successful bid of the presidency, that attack in powerful and the status of the political establishment tenuous at best. Which is why Trump’s success may be seen as just what that establishment needed to re-legitimize itself.
Trump is so bad, so crass, so dishonest, to untethered to reality, so unprincipled, so unprofessional that he has managed to make the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney look good. Almost by himself, Trump has re-legitimized the political establishment that has controlled American politics for decades. For example, according to John Dean of Watergate fame, Trump makes even Richard Nixon look redeemable, look legitimate, look like a desirable politician. Thanks to Trump, all the flaws of that political establishment – an establishment that gave us two impeachable presidents, Nixon and Clinton, gave us two disastrous wars, Vietnam and Shrub’s Iraq, and allowed the nation’s economy to tank in 2008 and then bailed out the perpetrators of that fiasco – have almost been forgotten. Almost by himself, Trump has redeemed a political establishment that going into 2016 seemed to be on its last legs. Trump is, in this regard, “the gift that keeps on giving.” A person could almost be excused for thinking that the result of the 2016 presidential election was seen as a godsend by the ruling political classes seeking to maintain their power and status. Trump did for them what they could not do for themselves.