While this will be no surprise to those who have been reading my recent posts, I absolutely think that the success of the Trump candidacy has been a tremendously positive development in American politics in comparison to the status quo. He has exposed the hypocrisy and intellectual flabbiness of the Republican Establishment and shown to a large portion of its rank and file voters what a con game the New Right has played for the rest generation. He, with Sanders, has injected a badly needed populist direction and spirit in political discourse with the potential to drive to the polls millions of working-class/low-income voters who have been alienated from American public life. Over the past generation, the Washington-Wall Street-Silicon Valley axis has systematically gutted the livelihoods of millions of these Americans with their policies and attitudes of indifference resulting in permanent un- and underemployment, stagnant incomes and wages, devastated communities, rising death rates, and social alienation. Trump has shown them (in a way no Democratic politician has been successful at) the absurdity of them voting for neoliberal politicians who implement policies of austerity at home and endless foreign wars abroad all for the sake of a handful of cultural issues. As a result, Trump has made possible a discourse of protectionism, protecting the New Deal/Great Society legacy, and spending on domestic infrastructure instead of foreign adventure then would have been otherwise been simply dismissed as liberal rhetoric by many of these voters. True, the Trump campaign has also been bolstered by an extremely xenophobic platform of mass deportation of illegal immigrants and barring entry to foreign Muslims. But it isn’t as if, except for the use of more euphemistic language, Republican practice has been particularly divergent from the more realistic policies of Trump.
Regardless of whether Trump actually wins or loses the nomination, his success bodes well for Hillary Clinton (who let’s face will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 barring death or actual scandal). Trump’s victory probably ensures enough Establishment revolt and dissent as well as Hispanic backlash voting that Clinton can build on the Obama coalition to win by a decent margin in the Presidential race and for the Dems to retake the Senate. Trump doing well but losing the nomination-which would almost certainly require the nomination being stolen from him via corrupt bargaining amongst the Establishment-would similarly bring about a defection of a fairly large portion of the GOP’s working-class base (especially if-oh the joy!-if Trump mounts a Wallace-esque independent run) that would have similar benefits for Clinton and additionally in the long run function as a reverse Wallace where Trump acts as a halfway house for white working-class voters to return to the party of Roosevelt which in turn opens up fresh new possibilities in retaking the House and state governments.