Removing Trump Won’t Solve America’s Crisis: The elites are the problem

Removing Trump Won’t Solve America’s Crisis: The elites are the problem. By Robert Merry. This is unusually insightful.

America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making — and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it’s difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis. …

When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation’s elites, it’s a strong signal that the elites are the problem.

Hillary Clinton epitomized the elite:

Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee — a woman who sought to avoid accountability as secretary of state by employing a private email server, contrary to propriety and good sense; who attached herself to a vast nonprofit “good works” institution that actually was a corrupt political machine designed to get the Clintons back into the White House while making them rich; who ran for president, and almost won, without addressing the fundamental problems of the nation and while denigrating large numbers of frustrated and beleaguered Americans as “deplorables.” The unseemliness in all this was out in plain sight for everyone to see, and yet Democratic elites blithely went about the task of awarding her the nomination, even to the point of employing underhanded techniques to thwart an upstart challenger who was connecting more effectively with Democratic voters. …

Immigration policy is an elite-imposed disaster:

The crisis of the elites could be seen everywhere. Take immigration policy. … So now we have some 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded, with no reasonable solution—and generating an abundance of political tension. …

And yet the elites never considered the importance to the country’s civic health of questions related to assimilation — what’s an appropriate inflow for smooth absorption. Some even equated those who raised such questions to racists and xenophobes. Meanwhile, we have “sanctuary cities” throughout Blue State America that are refusing to cooperate with federal officials seeking to enforce the immigration laws—the closest we have come as a nation to “nullification” since the actual nullification crisis of the 1830s, when South Carolina declared its right to ignore federal legislation it didn’t like. (Andrew Jackson scotched the movement by threatening to hang from the nearest tree anyone involved in violence stemming from the crisis.) …

The financial crisis of 2008 spawned the tea party, but the problems have not been fixed or even addressed, just kicked further down the road:

Then there is the spectacle of the country’s financial elites goosing liquidity massively after the Great Recession to benefit themselves while slamming ordinary Americans with a resulting decline in Main Street capitalism. The unprecedented low interest rates over many years, accompanied by massive bond buying called “quantitative easing,” proved a boon for Wall Street banks and corporate America while working families lost income from their money market funds and savings accounts. … Thus did this economic turn of events reflect the financialization of the U.S. economy—more and more rewards for moving money around and taking a cut and fewer and fewer rewards for building a business and creating jobs. …

All this contributed significantly to the hollowing out of the American working class — once the central foundation of the country’s economic muscle and political stability. Now these are the forgotten Americans, deplorable to Hillary Clinton and her elite followers, left without jobs and increasingly bereft of purpose and hope.

Political correctness is the enforcement mechanism of the elites:

And if they complain they find themselves confronting the forces of political correctness, bent on shutting them up and marginalizing them in the political arena. For all the conservative and mainstream complaints against political correctness over the years, it was never clear just how much civic frustration and anger it was generating across the country until Donald Trump unfurled his attack on the phenomenon in his campaign. Again, it was ordinary Americans against the elites. …

But Trump won the election in 2016. So what are the elites to do?

Now comes the counterrevolution. The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy—the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America. That’s why there is so much talk about impeachment … That’s why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat. …

Thus is the Trump crisis now superimposed upon the much broader and deeper crisis of the elites, which spawned the Trump crisis in the first place. Yes, Trump is a disaster as president. He lacks nearly all the qualities and attributes a president should have, and three and a half more years of him raises the specter of more and more unnecessary tumult and deepening civic rancor. It could even prove to be untenable governmentally. But trying to get rid of him before his term expires, absent a clear constitutional justification and a clear assent from the collective electorate, will simply deepen the crisis, driving the wedge further into the raw American heartland and generating growing feelings that the American system has lost its legitimacy.

hat-tip Stephen Neil