Wednesday, August 03, 2016
To many people it appears as if politics is what is reported in the media. But that is just the simplified tip of the iceberg. Every country has some complicated system in place where laws are made and put into practice. The systems and the laws are complicated by their very nature, because once you transform some easy to understand political slogan into law, you suddenly need to deal with and detail all those pesky details. You can say on a campaign speech that you want to restrict Muslims from visiting the USA, but once you want to make a law out of that you need to deal with questions how for example to determine if somebody *is* a Muslim. Ask him? A terrorist might simply lie, and the information about religion isn't part of passports. As a consequence most laws are huge piles of paper with thousands of words of text, and minor formulations can have important real world consequences. It takes a lot of experience and knowledge to draft a law, or to discuss a law in parliament without forgetting something important.
As a consequence most countries have a lot of people with a background in law as members of parliament. And there are a lot of career politicians who have been working in legislation for many years, so whatever law degree they don't have they can compensate with experience. The problem is that these lawyers and career politicians in legislation are collectively known as "the establishment", and there are strong political movements which are anti-establishment. But the minute somebody on an anti-establishment platform is voted into office, he has to deal with legislation, which is pretty much impossible without the support of that establishment.
I see that as a fundamental problem of the US Republican party at the moment. Their presidential nominee and large parts of their voter base are very much anti-establishment. But the people actually in office today and running things are very much part of the establishment. And the rifts are clearly showing, for example in the recent widespread condemnation of Donald Trump by Republican party officials.
It is definitely a possibility that Donald Trump becomes the next president of the USA. But whether he wins or loses, I don't see a possible scenario which doesn't end up increasing the rift in the Republican party even further. If he loses the establishment part of the party will blame the anti-establishment part of the party for the loss, and try to change the flawed primary process to come up with more convenient candidates in the future. If he wins, Trump will end up in constant battle with the other elected and un-elected Republican party politicians on how to get his ideas implemented. Many of his most talked about ideas are difficult if not impossible to implement, and it is unlikely that Trump is ever going to admit that when he can blame House Republicans for the lack of implementation instead.