October 10, 2016
If one thing is clear about the future of the American society is that the rich will keep getting richer and the poor will remain poor. Economic inequality is a fact and nothing will change unless the country’s political system is shaken to its core. This, according to Salvatore Babones, a professor at the University of Sydney and expert in American economy and society, could be achieved thanks to a series of anti-establishment leaders – starting with Donald Trump.
In a recent interview for a Central European newspaper, Babones offers a rather unusual interpretation on the prospect of Trump’s presidency and its significance for the political system in the United States.
“I’m not saying that I like [Trump’s] program, but I think that politics and democracy are about more than this,” he says. “A greater danger for the US – and for the entire developed world – is that political systems are becoming less and less democratic. […] Citizens are unhappy that a small elite controls access to power and that their choices are limited,” he continues.
Babones recognizes political inequality in the US as a consequence of the immense support granted to economic elites by political parties: “I do not support Trump himself, but the chance he offers for reforming the fossilized structure which closed itself to perspectives that didn’t originate on Wall Street. Of course, I would prefer this to be achieved by Bernie Sanders, but that just isn’t very likely”.
Why are Americans giving their votes to Trump?
Whether we agree with Babones that Trump’s presidency would provide the American society with a kind of catharsis and eventually render the country’s political system far more democratic than it is today, one thing is certain – despite his frequent racist and misogynist pronouncements, Trump has somehow managed to acquire an impressive amount of social approval.
Babones believes that it’s Trump’s economic arguments that cemented his victory. Americans vote for Trump not because they like his program or because they’re attracted to his persona – in fact, it’s quite likely that they barely know him. But they’re fed up with the ruling establishment and choose Trump essentially because he doesn’t look or speak like a politician. He does belong to the elite, there is no doubt about it. But he is not a politician – and he promises to break the system.
Using the language of the working class, Trump represents the interests of the American middle classes, heavily hit by the growing unemployment and static salaries. Promising to reinvigorate the job market, Babones argues, Trump actually stands a chance to win against Hillary Clinton, whom he calls “un-electable”.
Does Trump’s presidency equal revolution?
Voters who choose Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders have one thing in common – they’re fed up with the establishment and want deep political reform that would render the country more democratic and less contingent upon the elites.
That’s why Trump’s presidency offers a chance to shake up the political system, Babones claims. In 2020, Democrats will not resort to a party insider as a response to Trump, he predicts. The deep pressure for reform will cause both parties to limit the power of party insiders and allow new people in – people who would actually represent the interests of their voters, not the party establishment.
Comparing Trump to president Andrew Jackson who reigned the White House in early 19th century in a truly unique fashion, Babones argues that the political system in the US will remain democratic, with conservatism and stability at its very core.
Babones is convinced that a number of elections favoring anti-establishment candidates will change the American political scene for the better.
He concludes: “Only conflict allows for change. In places characterized by political consensus, where everyone agrees to support the interests of banks and the financial sector, completely disregarding other parts of the society, where making a real choice is impossible – this is where you find absolutely no hope”.
This blog post was contributed by Jessica Gust who works as a Marketing Assistant at Localpeek.co.uk– a new postcode finder. She is passionate about new marketing strategies, she is always eager to share her ideas through blogging.jackfrenson