There is a simple reason why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have done so well in this election. People are sick to death of the political class. We all know that the game is loaded and those who get elected haven’t the will, the guts, or the resolve to change things to benefit working class people. With Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos on their way to jail and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara breathing down the neck of the political crew closely identified with Governor Andrew Cuomo, the situation has gotten more and more scandalous.
“Pay to play” has become the way that people think business is done in both state and federal government. Poll after poll shows that people have little or no respect for the political class.
They are not stupid; they get the way things work. Just take the end of the legislative session. A simple word — “disgraceful” — will do. The game is so rigged that people are beyond angry. They are disgusted.
Voters love their own legislators and hate the rest of them but they don’t understand that the legislator they love so much is the reason why the corruption exists in the first place. These incumbents have the power to pass ethics reform but they don’t do it. They may say that they want change but we all know it’s a sham. The leaders protect the rank and file. Do you really think the incumbents want reform if it means they can’t milk the system with their outside jobs? Forget it! Many of these folks would have to retire if they were forced to live on a paltry $100,000 a year. Forget about changing the rules, like the “LLC Loophole” that allows corporations to spend immense amounts of money to virtually buy and sell legislators. If they do away with that, someone else who plays by a different set of rules might get elected. Many legislators say the right things about reform but they have dodges that allow them to avoid all future responsibility. One classic dodge is to pass two bills on the same subject but written differently for the Assembly and the Senate. They can then point at one another and say the failure to act is the other guy’s fault. They’ve been doing that for years.
Here’s another one. If the House and Senate were controlled by the same party, they would have to take responsibility for doing the people’s business. So these characters made sure that the Senate stayed in the hands of the Republicans. Five splinter Democrats made a deal with the Republicans. They received committee chairmanships and some extra money for doing so. The governor did his part by making sure that the Republicans in the Senate could keep drawing their own district lines so that it’s practically impossible for them to lose. He could insist that the aforementioned Democratic “traitors” get back with their party but he doesn’t do it. Then they let the clock run out and had the chutzpah to say that they didn’t have enough time to finish the work. They accomplished a few no brainers, like removing the taxes from Tampax.
So the revolution is on in both parties. The Democrats who are voting for Bernie are saying “enough of the same old, same old.” Hey, I’m going to vote for Hillary but they have a point. She never should have taken the speaking money from the bankers.
The voter revolt which garnered Donald Trump the Republican nomination bears a real similarity to the populist support for Bernie Sanders, generated by many Democrats’ disgust with contemporary insider politics. The faces may be different but the thought process is the same. Hey, if the system fails you had better believe the people who are sitting in government will have brought it upon themselves.