The Wizard of Oz Cure for the Wicked Trump

Okay, here’s what I want you to do. Stand up straight, close your eyes, click your heels together three times, and say to yourself:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

There! Feel better? I hope so. For me, this incantation works like magic (even without ruby slippers). I chant it whenever I encounter even the slightest evidence that Donald Trump might actually win the election. And then — presto! — I return home — and by home I mean the good old days not so long ago when Trump’s candidacy for the Presidency of the United States was a joke and his nomination unthinkable. (And, oh, Uncle Sam, there’s no place like home.)

Reciting this old French proverb — plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — reminds me that turbulent changes often do not change reality on a deep level; in fact, they cement the status quo. When the smoke clears and the tumult has died down, basically things stay the same. Now, you might be wondering just what is it I’m hoping “stays the same.”

In what I now see as ‘the good old days,” big money was the single most potent force in American politics, and the single biggest source of this money was the financial sector. That was the status quo politically, a rotten state of affairs I deplored with all the high-minded, self-righteousness at my command.

This year’s topsy-turvy Presidential campaign, however, has dislodged the big money boys from their top dog status and replaced them — at least temporarily — with one big money boy, the Donald himself. Candidate Trump triumphed in the primaries by disdaining paid ads, riding a tidal wave of free media, claiming to be self-financing, and giving the big money boys the finger — all to the delight of his populist, anti-establishment supporters.

This stratagem worked for Trump in the primaries, but a general election campaign is different. It requires big money, probably at least a billion dollars. But now the big money boys are giving Trump the finger. They don’t need him, and they don’t want him.

Remember that what the financial sector craves above all is stability. So a shoot-from-the-hip Trump Administration freaks out the big money boys. Trump represents instability. Many financial sector leaders predict a nightmare for investors. They fear he might trigger trade wars. Some predict that the stock market and economy will tank.

As the big money boys see things, Clinton represents stability. Compared to Trump, she’s the Rock of Gibraltar. That’s why Clinton raised more contributions in the primaries from executives in the financial services industry than all other candidates combined. (Silicon Valley is going for her too in a big way.)

The Donald is in a bind. He needs to launch vigorous get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns to make sure his base of white working class voters actually turns up at the polls. (Working-class whites have gone from being 65 percent of the US electorate in 1980 to 36 percent today.) If Trump is to have a prayer of winning in November, he’s got to get practically every one of these voters to the polls. But GOTV campaigns require a massive infrastructure and are costly.

Where’s the money to come from? From Trump himself? True, he’s boasted that he’s rich enough to pay for the entire campaign. If Trump did so, it would certainly prove to his fan base that he’s a man who can’t be bought.

Meanwhile, current campaign finance reports show Clinton millions ahead of Trump. She’s raking in the dough. And here I am, high-minded me, chanting incantations, hoping to restore the dear old rotten status quo. Maybe Donald Trump, the self-financing billionaire, can’t be bought but, thanks to big money, the election can still be.

 

As published today in the US edition of the Huffington Post

I couldn’t be more serious about this funny stuff!

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