Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Anti-establishment party

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.

A problem that some people have with republics is that two of the main functions (protecting the minority from the majority and implement the will of the peoples) deliberately disenfranchise hardliners. That gives rise to the hardliners, after being told by the establishment that their views cannot be enacted, becoming increasingly anti-establishment in an attempt to overthrow the current orthodoxy and get their will enforced.
One thing to consider is that The Donald would basically say to hell with Congress and simply try to rule by fiat, and what he considers a Muslim is all that's important.

And, as Gen. Allen has pointed out, that would cause a civil military crisis within the military, as they will likely be ordered to do things that are illegal. How the military would respond to that situation is an unknown, and likely cause an even bigger rift within the Republican Party (at the very least).
I agree that President Trump won't be able to enact his nightmares (for the best of all). However he will be able to NOT continue to enact orthodox wrongs like democracy export, TPP/TIPP and bank bailouts. These things aren't automatic (despite the establishment acts like they were) so President Trump can stop them from happening just by vetoing.

protecting the minority from the majority and implement the will of the peoples

Cultural relevance is the main culprit in what we are seeing in BOTH parties. It's folly to think that this rests solely on the shoulders of the republicans. What we are seeing here in the U.S. is the backlash from certain groups being able get judges appointed who will rule in favor of the ones who appoint them. They are called "activist" Judges for a reason. Add in political correctness and you get what we have now: Thought police and a system that is more than willing to throw the constitution out the window in favor of the "flavor of the month" opinions.

Our country is all about allowing immigrants to come here and prosper. The systems/processes to legally immigrate here have been in place for ~60 years now, so why won't people who want to come here use them instead of sneaking across our borders? There are two main reasons: 1. They want to work here and not have to pay taxes or, 2: They want to come here and enjoy free healthcare and welfare benefits. Both of which are a drain on an already overburdened system.

There are currently ~7 billion people on this planet, and if it comes down to cultural relevance, how can multiple cultures, their religions, beliefs, practices and economic systems ever hope to survive each other with what is going on now? The short answer? History has showed us very well what happens when legalism runs rampant. People just choose to ignore it.
From my professional experience the problem with an anti-establishment attitude is the same as the fact free attitude Mr. Trump pursues in his campaign. Facts are nowadays shunned by a big part of the population (not only in the US but I am afraid, in my home country Germany, too) because they are complicated. Much more complicated than say 50 years ago. You know, the time where you could repair a car by yourself. Where every German was white. Where there was no other religion than Christianity. Where wives were at home and men were at work. Where only two sexes existed and homosexuals were "abnorm".

Not only the cars became more complicated but the economy, culture and society, too, leading to a more diverse country. That was necessary from my perspective, but in consequence there are no easy answers anymore. When you draft legislation you are already happy if you find *any* answer.

That ultimately leads to a situation where the people has to choose between two evils: trust the establishment that they muddle through somehow in a mediocre way or vote them out of office and risk real problems (like an economic downfall, wars and famine, not like ignoring the necessity for gender-neutral parking spots). That is not what I envisioned in my youth, but that are the cards that are dealt to us now.

It would be nice when the media would help us battle the fact free attitude. Facts may be complicated and boring but they are important. Ignoring them as Mr. Trump does, blatantly stating obviously false statistics, for example about crime or unemployment, is not only shameful but dangerous for all of us. Because then ultimately even the establishment is coerced to do the completely unreasonable because otherwise they would risk to be voted out of office.
The systems/processes to legally immigrate here have been in place for ~60 years now, so why won't people who want to come here use them instead of sneaking across our borders? There are two main reasons: 1. They want to work here and not have to pay taxes or, 2: They want to come here and enjoy free healthcare and welfare benefits. Both of which are a drain on an already overburdened system.

Neither of those is the main reason. They do it because the immigration system is broken. There are not enough visas being given for low-skilled workers (Currently they are capped at 5,000 per year) as well as the green card lottery only being for countries with low immigration rates with the US, completely excluding Mexico among others.
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You probably won't read this because I'm late replying after being on holiday for a couple of weeks. I said republics and was not meaning to blame any single party.
The tyranny of the majority problem is an issue for many democracies in current times. As Thomas Jefferson said
"Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
There seem to be vocal anti-establishment communities that are unhappy because policy, supported by a majority vote of the people, is not automatically considered to be rightful.
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