2016 was clearly the year of the populists. At polls across the country American voters crossed party lines to support candidates they felt were more representative of their personal views than the standard fare establishment choices.
Partisan allegiance is quickly fading from the forefront as rural Democrats abandoned party by casting votes for Donald Trump during the general elections. Trump struck a chord with his rallying cries of “Drain the Swamp,” “Lock Her Up,” and “Build the Wall.” His call outs of a corrupted capital system made sense to rural voters who typically cast their ballots in the other direction after losing jobs and healthcare affordability.
On the other hand, Bernie Sanders won over Republicans who felt ripped off by their so called conservative representatives who consistently served their corporate lobbyists over the fiscal and social conservative issues for which they were elected. These red voters were being buried under mounting healthcare costs. Bernie’s call for “healthcare for everyone” and “free state college tuition” sure sounded like a lifeline of a lifetime.
Bernie and the Donald spoke the simple common theme of putting people first. Populism rises most fervently when the people feel a disconnect from the failures of their government to accurately represent them. The trust is gone. The people have been sold out to big businesses and to hell with us for not being able to afford otherwise.
This damnation comes not from any particular party. As the duopoly teetered closer to a seemingly centrist standing, a fire sale went down in Washington that realigned career politicians to the service of the corporate interest under the guise of being considered moderate. Both the Democrats and Republicans have dirty hands and stuffed pockets as a result of throwing the tax burdens on the middle class and leaving tax loopholes gaping wide open for the financial elitists.
But we have all come to accept government corruption, right? Everyone is guilty so we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, right?
No. Nothing is right about that attitude at all.
If we truly look around. If we glance across the aisle, down the street, and across the country we see a massive collection of individuals who are steaming mad, and justifiably so. The same people wearing the opposite colored ties are left holding the bag and dealing with a common foe - career politicians, corporate lobbyists, war mongering defense contractors, and elections that are too expensive to challenge.
It is time for that to change.
It is time to unite the masses to a common cause. The cause of us. We feel like we do not have a seat at the table; it’s time to take one.
If we can bridge the divide and unite as one nation we can take back what is rightfully ours - the power to govern justly for the people.