Matt Taibbi deconstructed a study by Thomas Piketty that compared several countries’ voting patterns. What it shows is an electorate that is extremely polarized. Fortunate for the plutocracy, the polarization has not yet materialized on fact-based economic realities. But the day of reckoning cannot be too far away.
Is the Two-Party System Doomed?
The numbers are getting harder to ignore.American politicians for decades have done an outstanding job of keeping low-income voters from seeing their shared economic dilemmas. The Republicans dating back to Goldwater and Nixon have kept voters transfixed with race hatred and fears about things like gun control, while Democrats have emphasized the Republican threat on social issues like reproductive rights and Social Security.
But having two parties sponsored by the same donors simply can’t work in the long-term. The situation ends up being what a Colombian politician once deemed “two horses with the same owner.”
From Mitt Romney’s idiotic tirade against “the 47%” to Hillary Clinton’s recent remarks about how she won all the “dynamic” parts of America, our political leaders have consistently showed that they don’t see or understand the levels of resentment out there.
Papers like Piketty’s are a warning that if the intellectuals in both parties don’t come up with a real plan for dealing with the income disparity problem before someone smarter than Donald Trump takes it on, they’re screwed. Forget nativists vs. globalists. Think poor vs. rich. Think 99 to 1. While Washington waits with bated breath for the results of the Mueller probe, it’s the other mystery – how do we fix this seemingly unfixable economic system – that is keeping the rest of the country awake at night.