What Trump is doing for the moment is nothing new. We have seen it throughout history. In business. In warfare. In social custom. And religion. And, of course, in politics.
He has caught the establishment of both parties resting on their laurels. The parties more or less join in the middle. And their ranks are filled with people in comfortable positions.
Oh they bark at each other. But together they control the apparatus of government. The seen and the unseen parts. The center shifts a bit left, a bit right. But it never veers too far off the course in which most of the establishment is comfy.
We often see this in business. Companies compete, yes. But for years their market share moves only a few points one to the other. They grow comfy in their competition. Established. Ossified.
Once in a while somebody drives a tank through the center of that establishment. A good example is Japanese car makers. American car companies grew comfy. Ossified. In their styling. In their quality. In their marketing and manufacturing. Japanese and other foreign car companies rolled through the middle of them.
We have seen almighty IBM get nibbled half to extinction by innovators. We see supermarket chains outflanked by new ideas. A&P could have done all and anything its competitors did. It had the money, the locations, the people. Yet competitors asphyxiated A&P. Sears is in a similar dilemma. Now McDonalds struggles. The fortress of Walmart has seen a few holes blasted in its walls. More will follow.
We saw the healthy centers of many of our cities gutted. From the sixties onward. Despite all the king’s horses of urban renewal billions from Washington and state coffers.
Television networks. Major newspapers. Now cable. They established their business lines in concrete and steel. Only to see the ground cut from under them by innovators.
Empires are no different. Nor are religions. They get set in their ways. They grow solid, impenetrable. Ossified. Before they begin to crumble.
Assaults on the establishment often fail. Or seem to. In reality the failed assaults often weaken the established structure. Weakened, they cannot withstand the next assault.
Trump is assaulting the political establishment. The Republican establishment for the most part now. But if he secures the nomination he will train his guns on the Democrat establishment.
Hillary and the established figures in the party will make huge targets. Because they have been around for so long. Because they participate in the same corruption Republican establishment guys do. Because they are geriatric. And because when regular folks ask them “Why haven’t you done something about these problems we face?” they don’t have good answers.
They are like the battlements of France’s old Maginot line. Static. Ready to prevent a direct attack. The fortifications garrisoned troops in air conditioned comfort. In state-of-the-art conditions. They protected the troops from aerial bombing. From tanks. Just like the political establishments protect their warriors. In bureaucratic positions. In party sinecures. Within barricades of money.
The Germans ignored the Maginot Line. Swept around the cosseted troops. Defeated the bamboozled French in a few weeks.
Thus far, Trump has done the equivalent. Establishment figures are crying “Foul!” They call him an interloper. Which he is. They say he’s not really Republican. Which he’s not. At least not a Republican as the party regulars are. He doesn’t debate the way politicians are supposed to debate. He has changed his positions on issues. He doesn’t deal with the media the way politicians do. But think about it. He is not a politician. He is a business guy.
For the moment the Republican political establishment doesn’t know how to handle an upstart business guy. He plays by his own rules.
The Democrat establishment will have just as many difficulties with him. If he ever gets a chance to topple their apple cart. They will need a lot more imagination than they have shown thus far in the campaign.
From Tom...as in Morgan.