American Elections—What Went Wrong?: Trump was only partly right about the system being rigged

No matter who wins, we Americans have lost.

I write as possibly the most divisive presidential elections in U.S. history—as divisive and bitter as the election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1800—has taken place. And, even though as I write this I don’t know whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be a winner, there is one obvious result: It is apparent that all Americans, even if they acknowledge it or not, have lost and will continue to lose. This will go on as long as a political duopoly rules these formerly free states, a nation in which the central government takes on more and more power, making a mockery of the 9th and 10th amendments—amendments that protect individual and states’ rights–to the constitution.

Let’s Go Eat

Let’s compare our lousy political system to a town in which there is no restaurant competition.

Think of going out to eat and there is only one restaurant in town. The eatery has only two very bad entries and that is it. Now choose one of these bad dishes or go hungry. Many people with empty stomachs, probably most, would reluctantly choose. Yet there are several other dishes that could be offered; many of which would be to the liking of various patrons. Yet the restaurant’s co-owners—who ostensibly are rivals, arguing like an old married couple in a dysfunctional relationship—agree that two entries are all that should be allowed. Even as they hurl insults at each other, they agree that other entries are verboten.

Most people grumble and reluctantly order one of the two entries.The more perceptive of them know that later they’ll have an upset stomach or worse. They talk about changing this monopoly restaurant system yet the next time they eat it will be the same noxious fare. That’s even though things should and could be changed.

“You Really Like Her? Or Him?”

Many people in the United States, especially the ones who “enthusiastically voted” for Trump or Clinton, don’t care as long their candidate wins. However, for many others they know there is, and has been for many years, something rotten in the state of America.

Some of those who are very enthusiastic about this flawed system are the members of the presidential debate commission, whose Trump and Clinton political cronies ensure that only Trump and Clinton can get on the tube and debate—unfortunately the way most people in advanced welfare state democracies learn about elections. They are the enforcers who ensure that debates are off limits to third parties or anyone with a maverick point of view. That’s despite the fact that millions of Americans would be interested in third parties if they had a chance to win or if they even heard their points of view in the mass media. This longing for something different has been going on for decades.

This irrational prejudice against new points of views, against new parties, has gone to ludicrous lengths. I remember in 1992 when, early in the campaign, Ross Perot’s third party candidacy was tracking higher in the polls than incumbent President George Herbert Walker Bush and just behind challenger Governor William Clinton. I had mixed feelings about Perot and didn’t vote for him, yet I enjoyed hearing him. He offered a unique point of view that was good for the American body politic. Still, the debate commission actually tried to deny Perot a place at the debate. (The political hacks of these debate commissions never heard the words of Justice Learned Hand: “The spirit of liberty is a spirit that is not too sure it’s right.”)

Perot, with huge resources, was ready to sue and the political hacks backed down, allowing him into the debates. Unfortunately, neither the Libertarian nor the Green party candidates nor any other independents this year have that kind of legal firepower. And the idea that either Trump or Clinton would want to be fair to third parties is risible. So, the third parties weren’t allowed a place at any of the debates. What would these same debate people have said in 1856 when the Republican Party, an abolitionist party, was the new kid on the block? “Who cares that you want to end slavery? Go away. We don’t need you in the debates.”

All the World’s a Play

The lesser enforcers in the mainstream media of “we must have two parties and they must perpetually be the democrats and republicans” also play their parts as entertainingly as Falstaff in Henry IV. (By the way, WikiLeaks has uncovered numerous instances of mainstream media members who have become butt-buddies of major candidates and parties).

Few if any of the representatives of the mainstream media recognize that there is a party outside of Clinton’s or Trump’s. Yet aren’t news organizations supposed to be covering things that are new and different? The Libertarians and the Greens certainly have interesting new ideas, even if one disagrees with some or most them. (Disclaimer: GregoryBresiger.com endorsed Gary Johnson and William Weld for president and vice president).

So yes, the Donald is partly right, even though he has also said so many ridiculous and inaccurate things (He really has a talent for the latter) in the campaign along with his main opponent. She and her husband are ethical nightmares. She is promising everything to everyone but says only bad rich people will pay more in taxes.
The system is rigged, but not against Trump. The system is rigged against new ideas, new parties and anyone who isn’t part of the political or economic establishment. It is a rigged game that becomes more and more self-perpetuating with each election.

Yes, you can choose anything from the limited menu you want, says those who are running this system and want to continue to do so forever. But it must be from the measly, and often rancid, selections we provide.

About The Author

Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent business journalist from Queens, New York. His Personal Finance articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Post & Financial Advisor Magazine. He is the author of the eBooks “Personal Finance For People Who Hate Personal Finance” and “MoneySense”.