Partisans on both sides of the aisle spout talking-points that are the mainstays of their party’s platform. For Democrats, this includes social justice and wealth distribution. Republicans promote the benefits of capitalism and strong national defense. History indicates disconnect between these propositions and reality.
Democratic policies have not led to social gains by many within their party, nor to “fair” wealth distribution. The ongoing unrest in many American cities indicates the high-level of discontent. The fact that during the past five decades most of these cities have been run by Democrats is telling. As for wealth distribution, during the Obama administration this has significantly skewed towards wealthy Americans. For example, a University of California, Berkeley study found that 95% of the income gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the top 1% earners in the United States. Whether this result is from bad policies or bad intent is irrelevant to those impacted by the disparity.
Republicans preach the benefits of capitalism and a strong national defense. However, Republican politicians often support crony-capitalism to the benefit of large corporations. In the early 1960s President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the dangers presented by the “military industrial complex”, however, this warning was ignored. Also, American interventions in the name of freedom have not fared well with no better example than Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The consequences of the interventions have not made America safer.
There is often a blurring of what the parties preach and their actions. For example, Democrat President Lyndon Johnson took America into the Vietnam cauldron. Barack Obama intervened in Libya. Crony-capitalism has morphed from the military industry to the green energy, social services, and education industries. The corrupting results are the same whether policies are promoted by Republicans or Democrats.
Harry Truman once said: “You can’t get rich in politics and less you’re a crook.” History has proven that the blunt-speaking Truman has often been correct. It brings into question the wealth made by the Clinton’s since leaving the White House. It also questions why Congressmen and Congresswoman have fared so much better than the American people in the past decade.
Frustration with political elites by the American people is growing. This has been manifested by the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. It is being duplicated worldwide with examples including England’s vote to leave the EU and the recent impeachment in Brazil of its president. Similar discontent by the people has been the historical norm. Politicians, whether democratically elected or not, typically enter politics with good intent. The power of the office then corrupts and personal gain becomes a primary goal.
The indications are that people worldwide have had enough, once again. Historically this has led to radical change in political structures and significant change to the ruling class. They are always “interesting” periods of time.