Fortune magazine writes that “Win or lose, Trump has changed American politics.”
[E]ven if the party elites do get what they want and the general election features a pair of establishment-friendly candidates (say Clinton and Rubio), they stand to inherit an electorate increasingly riven along class lines as much as partisan ones. Put another way, Trump (and Sanders) may fade this spring, but Trumpism is likely to stick around for a while.
Some recent polling explains why. A solid majority of Americans, 54%, now think the country’s economic and political systems are “stacked against them,” and that number has been climbing over the past five years, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey. In the same study, nearly seven in 10 Americans describe themselves as angry that government “seems only to be working for those with money and power, like those in Washington or on Wall Street,” rather than everyday people. The public is so cynical about elected officials, 55% believe “ordinary Americans” would do a better job solving big problems, a Pew Research Center poll found.
“There’s so much anger out there on both sides, successful candidates will need to channel it,” says Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt.
And that suggests the next White House occupant will have a tough time, if he or she is even so inclined, advancing corporate priorities like freer trade and comprehensive immigration reform. Trump and Sanders, the two candidates consistently drawing the biggest crowds, are working off a common roster of C-suite bogeymen: price-gouging drug companies, executives moving factories abroad, and billionaire speculators on Wall Street gambling with other people’s money. That both candidates stir such deep working-class animus, across party lines, should brace Chamber of Commerce types. For business to get what it wants, it may have to make big, public concessions to the voting masses in return—if not, there are plenty of candidates waiting to do it for them.
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