A new breed of politician has to come to Washington, one who believes that compromise is weak, that any attempt to reach across the aisle is tantamount to betrayal, and that grinding government to a halt is some kind of victory.
In 2016, we are seeing what this mass surrender has wrought. The dysfunction of government has satisfied no one, whether on the right or the left. But this year things have reached such a point that a breakaway group of voters, sick of business as usual, have created something of a monster. That Donald Trump is a man of no political experience seems not to matter. Trump is filling the gap that has presented itself inside a dissatisfied electorate. While some perceive him as cutting through politics as usual, Trump is a consequence of our dysfunction, not its solution. It doesn’t seem that the real-estate mogul is interested in governing. He certainly doesn’t exhibit even basic knowledge about it. But it’s clear what he is passionate about: winning.
The current primary system was conceived in the 1960’s as a way to wrest control from the old smoke-filled backrooms and place it in the hands of the people. In a grand irony, we have come full circle: A smaller and smaller subset of the population is again in control. But this time, it’s not the power elite but the extreme fringes wielding all the power. We are reminded of Yeats’s line: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”