I was entertaining a conspiracy theory that is favored by some partisan Republicans. They see Donald Trump as an outsider taking over their party. They point out that he was a Democrat in the past.
It must be admitted that on a number of major issues Trump is far to the left of Hillary Clinton. He makes strong criticisms of free trade agreements and big money legalized bribery, all combined what many leftists call corporatism. Even more leftist, he strongly supports universal healthcare.
He has flip-flopped on some issues, such as raising the minimum wage. Then again, Clinton flip-flops almost every time she opens her mouth.
Even some of Trump’s right-wing positions aren’t that different from some statements Clinton has made in the past. She has used racist dog whistle politics. And she earlier stated support for building a fence, instead of a wall, along the border with Mexico.
What if some establishment Democrats want Trump to win? He would be more likely than Clinton to accomplish certain leftist policies, specifically universal healthcare. Sometimes it takes someone in the opposite party to push issues in the other direction—take Richard Nixon’s liberal policies (creating the EPA, and he even advocated for far left healthcare reform and a basic income) and Bill Clinton’s conservative policies (slashing welfare, deregulating, etc).
Maybe Trump is being set up to win. In that case, Clinton would be the patsy who will take the blame. Then how will Republicans organize to fight such things as universal healthcare when it is their own Republican president who is promoting it?
The thing is that the establishment doesn’t necessarily care one way or another about such things as healthcare reform. They will always be sure that certain powerful interests benefit. So, any further healthcare reform would be further shaped to favor the corporations with the most power and influence.
The establishment won’t lose if Trump wins, as he was born and raised as part of the plutocracy and has spent his adult life schmoozing with politicians like the Clintons. And they won’t lose if Clinton wins, one of the most corporatist politicians around. Either way, the establishment wins. But maybe, just maybe there are some in the establishment that are hoping for a Trump victory.
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From an establishment perspective, what is the range of allowable debate? Consider the two mainstream candidates that were the furthest to the right and left.
Ted Cruz was the right-wing candidate, giving voice to both the Tea Party and the religious right. The Republican establishment hated him and he was forced to end his campaign.
Bernie Sanders remains the most leftist candidate, excluding third parties. Calling himself a socialist is one thing, but his demands for reform are unacceptable. The Democratic establishment despises him most of all for the very reason he is so popular.
These two candidates represent the boundaries of the establishment. Only candidates within these boundaries can be allowed to win the nomination of both parties. Hillary was always the obvious establishment candidate. But one is left with the suspicion that Trump is the other establishment candidate.
After all, Clinton and Trump have been the darlings of the mainstream media. That is the same mainstream media that has corporatist ties to both parties—to such an extent that, for example, some lobbyists working within the DNC also help to raise money for Republicans. The mainstream media has given a lot of free campaign advertising to both Clinton and Trump, most especially Trump.
It does make one wonder. Maybe either candidate is acceptable to the establishment. Maybe they are just putting on a show for us voters, creating the ultimate spectacle.
The powers that be have already analyzed every possible scenario. They are surely thinking several steps ahead of the game and prepared with multiple contingency plans. Considering that, what are those several steps ahead? What are the plans already in place? Where are the insiders placing their bets?