From Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the US to Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, people are once again finding candidates they agree with.
To say this past summer was not good for the political establishment is an understatement. Donald Trump defied the laws of conventional politics, Sanders is a capable foe to Clinton in the polls, going against the predictions of every political analyst in town.
This isn’t unique to the United States, either. In the UK, there was an election for the leader of the Labour Party, and a token candidate from the left of the party, Parliament Member Jeremy Corbyn, won with over 59% support in a four candidate race, according to The Guardian.
The rise of the political outsider this past summer has frightened the political establishment to its core. The star candidate of the Republican Party, Jeb Bush, is polling at 7%, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Scott Walker, largely seen as the alternative to Jeb, withdrew from the race on Sept. 21. Hillary Clinton is losing in New Hampshire to democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders.
But, I don’t see this as a bad thing. For far too long, the ordinary voter has been voting for the “lesser evil.” The candidate who seems the least bad. These outsiders bring forth new ideas and views to the political process, and disenfranchised voters now have a voice in Sanders, in Trump, in Carson, in Fiorina, and in Corbyn.
Now, there are people, both across the nation and here at Malvern, who say that these outsiders do nothing more than make a mockery of the political process. While that may or may not be true with Donald Trump, it really isn’t for the others. Corbyn is dedicated to changing Prime Minister’s Questions, a weekly event in the UK, to a less “theatrical” process and more “substantial”.
The change of pace in the Prime Minister’s Questions was welcomed by both Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour voters, as Corbyn used crowdsourced questions during the session.
While many political analysts are lamenting the perceived fall of experienced establishment candidates here in the US, they ignore for the moment people who now finally see a candidate they can support. Maybe this time those candidates will get past more than the first caucus or primary.
Those who typically back establishment candidates dismiss these political outsiders, saying that voters are in a “dating” phase with the outsider candidates, and that the establishment candidates will win in the end.
Well, that certainly didn’t happen with Barack Obama, or with Jeremy Corbyn, who tapped into the political frustrations of voters.
That’s why I don’t see these outsider candidates, or the influence their supporters have, going away. No matter what, there will be a block of voters disinterested with the same-old, same-old politics for better or for worse. And there will always be people waiting to capitalize on that frustration.