By Jerry Mooney
There have been a lot of narratives surrounding this election cycle, including Bernie and Trump are unelectable . These are old tactics, designed to maintain politics as usual, anointing the victors instead of vetting them through a rigorous selection process. By proliferating these narratives, people assume that their choice is confined to the ‘electable candidate’. These narratives are being exposed by this year’s election cycle. Unconventional candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are stealing the headlines as well as the primary results.
But the idea that someone is a competent, experienced leader is not resonating with the electorate, in fact, it’s becoming a blemish. That’s why Trump and Sanders are having such an electrifying effect on the voting population. People are tired of the politics as usual.
So this race, which is pitting the pragmatism of Hillary Clinton against the idealism of Bernie Sanders and the conservatives are trying to delegitimize Trump as viable, people are flocking to the polls to vote for disruption.
Pragmatists often cite the need to work with others, reach across the aisle find common ground.
This approach is exactly what has been infuriating liberals and conservatives alike. When the Democrat compromises, the Republican celebrates and if a Republican compromises, lynch mobs are formed. But that is how things get done in our system. But maybe the system is too slow and antiquated for today’s challenges.
This election is a clear referendum on disruption. The more hopeful want Bernie to disrupt the establishment, Wall Street, big pharma and social injustice. The more cynical want Trump to disrupt the good ol’ boys, the liberal elites and the egg-heads. This is creating a new dynamic that old pundits have no idea how to comprehend. The central theme is disruption, not specific policy.
This disruption narrative makes more sense, in some ways, that conventional political stances. For example, if people were rational and only voted their interests, Republicans would never win an election. But if Democrats are so smart and represent the people, why do they lose? It’s because people aren’t always rational and internally, we are conflicted.
Part of us wants to kick ass and compensate for how our lives have become too tasid. Another part of us feels like we need to reprioritize our society and create an infrastructure that benefits everyone. Sometimes these internal dynamics conflate, like when Bernie wants to stick it to the big banks or the military industrial complex. Sometimes our inner reptile wants to just be a dick and that’s what Trump emboldens. Whether he makes sense, he appeals to the part of us humanly and societally that doesn't make sense, the part of us that enjoys cursing and being petty. Even if we know that these desires come from a wounded part of ourselves, we still want to t express that part part and express it forcefully sometimes.
Ultimately, Trump and Sanders are closer than we would want to believe in spirit. Trump is the irresponsible, blustery, born with a silver spoon in his mouth bully and Sanders is the symbol of the marginalized, champion of the downtrodden, outcast. But both have tapped into the sense that we are tired of a game that is rigged against us. They represent the yin and yang of disruption.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company that made him a millionaire before the age of 40. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter@JerryMooney