Dear Establishment: Mussolini or FDR, Please Pick One

Dear Establishment:

I know you’ve had it pretty good for the last few decades. Money is flowing up to the richest few people, while the masses have been distracted by the politics of the day. But unfortunately, you are at a crossroads. When economic inequality gets this high, people start electing “populists” whether you like it or not. You now have a choice. One of two candidates will become the next president, and you are in control of which one: Donald Trump (modern-day Mussolini) or Bernie Sanders (modern-day FDR). Please choose wisely which of these you’d rather have in power. 


The American People

To really understand what’s going on in this election cycle you have to look at it in a historical context. The United States currently has higher wealth inequality than at any point since 1928. This is unsustainable. We have already had multiple economic crashes that some argue happened because our current economy is not bouyed by consumer consumption (as most American’s have little disposable income) but by speculation in stocks, housing, finance...essentially gambling by the very rich.

When this same thing happened in the US and Europe in the 1930s, many countries saw unusual candidates popping up, candidates not chosen by their party establishment. We can’t prevent that. People are too angry, and in too much financial pain. They will not elect an Establishment politician.

Here in the US, we were lucky to have Franklin Delano Roosevelt run for President. He spoke out against wealth inequality and set up virtually all of our safety nets including Medicare, social security, and union protections. This assuaged the public anger not only in the 30s, but for many decades. Germany and Italy did not fare so well. While Germany ended up with a sociopath, Italy ended up with someone very similar to Donald Trump: a power-hungry con-man. 

Right now, Donald Trump is pandering to the base instincts of Republican voters. Republican politicians, paid slightly more than the Democrats by the billionaire class, have been distracting their voters for decades by accusing immigrants, gays, muslims, and others of stealing jobs, perverting marriage, terror attacks, etc. So to appeal to these people Trump only has to blame immigrants, gays, muslims…you get the picture.

But people like him, con-men, Mussolini-types -- they are chameleons. Once he is the nominee, if battling Clinton, he will morph into whatever will best beat Clinton. People complain that Hillary parrots Bernie’s talking points on trade, the minimum wage, and even an economy that “works for everyone.” You ain't seen nothin' yet -- Trump will steal Bernie’s populist message to use against Clinton. He won’t act on it, of course, but he’ll position himself as the anti-establishment candidate.

The difference between Clinton and Trump on this point is that Clinton does not sound authentic, but Trump is a con-man: he can convince people of his “authenticity” even if he’s saying the exact opposite of what he said yesterday. Many Independents and some Democrats who would have voted for Bernie will be fooled.

Hillary Clinton cannot win against a character like Donald Trump. He feeds off scandal and insults, and Clinton gives him too much fodder. Hillary also has no ammunition to use against him — she can’t point to his scandalous past because of her well-known scandals. She can’t point to his weak stand on policy issues or his outrageous opulence and wealth because all of these faults are her faults too. Hillary Clinton will be eaten alive.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has none of those faults. He has fervent supporters; he has the highest favorability of any of the candidates (much, much higher than either Clinton or Trump); he is enormously popular among Independents, who are by far the largest voting block in the country. The only way to beat a fake populist is with a real populist.

Our concern right now, though, should not be how many voters Trump can fool; it should be how many billionaires he can fool. The “billionaire class” controls which laws pass and which don’t, as proven by a 20-year study from Princeton University. They have so much influence over our elected officials that the needs of the bottom 90% rarely effect policy. These powerful few probably think they can’t be fooled by a con-man. But Trump has proven he can fool millions of people, and now it seems he is the Republican nominee for President. We have very little time to convince the Democratic superdelegates to nominate Bernie Sanders. 

Be assured that Trump is already working on conning the billionaires — he is part of the billionaire class and knows many of these campaign donors personally. These are the people who own the media and control the party elites on both sides. We can be sure he is convincing them right now that he’ll be on their side, just like he’s convincing Republican voters, just like he will convince Independents. (Between my writing this article and publishing it, he met with Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, who is now confident they can unify the party. Let the conning of the billionaire class begin.)

Will the billionaires who hold the puppet strings to the mainstream media and the Democratic party be convinced that Trump is “one of them” and that he will continue with Establishment policies? Or will they realize that he is a petulant narcissistic bully who will throw anyone and everyone under the bus to get what he happens to want right now?

All that has to happen to prevent another Mussolini is for the mainstream media and superdelegates to admit to the obvious fact that a Presidential candidate who is under investigation by the FBI is too dangerous to nominate. Bernie Sanders can be the nominee.

And for those of us who are not billionaires, there is still a chance for Bernie Sanders to win an equal number of pledged delegates. We should all work to get out the vote for Bernie in the upcoming primaries even harder than we have worked so far.  This is the fight of our times; this is the general election; this is the battle for our democracy.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.