The U.S. presidential elections will take place in just over 15 months, but as of today, those who stand out in both parties are candidates that most Americans say they would never vote for in the determining elections. This situation indicates the U.S. public’s ever-growing discontent when it comes to politics and “regular” politicians, with a large portion of the public choosing, as a form of protest vote, to voice its support in the primaries for an unusual or even bizarre candidate.
Even though by way of elimination, one candidate will eventually be voted in as president, it is doubtful he/she will be carried upon waves of widespread public support. As of today, there are 16 candidates competing for the Republican Party, with the exception of one, all current or past senators or governors, but the current leader is actually the exceptional “one” – Donald Trump, support for whom is at 24 percent in the polls, twice the support for the next candidate, Jeb Bush. In two weeks, the first television debate will take place among the Republican candidates, and maybe then it will become apparent whether this is just a bubble or a real public wave.
What is the secret to the success of the man seen until recently as more of a clown than a serious politician? The answer is likely the fact that he really is “different”: He has no written rules, he isn’t afraid to slander Mexican immigrants, he even allows himself to attack a popular personality such as Sen. McCain and more. One way or another, Trump has managed to make himself a name as a “man of the people” and enemy of the elite, despite being a mega-capitalist. The other candidates don’t know how to tackle the Trump phenomenon, and even if his glow fades in the coming months, the impression he has made on American politics will not disappear quickly. Not only is he threatening to set up a third party if he is not elected, but it appears that he is severely damaging the solid image that the party leaders managed to regain before the last congressional elections.
Those who are clearly rubbing their hands in enjoyment at the events unfolding in the Republican Party are members of the Democratic Party, led by Hillary Clinton, but their joy at the demise of the Republicans cannot make up for their internal troubles. Clinton may be considered the favorite for the primaries, but she and her advisers are watching in amazement how thousands flock to events for “Socialist” competitor Bernie Sanders — who is Jewish and volunteered on a kibbutz in Israel in his youth — while her audience numbers are less impressive. To many Democratic voters, Ms. Clinton appears as the archetype of “old politics,” apparently representing Wall Street, and inattentive to social issues, who also could not explain the array of incidents surrounding her and her husband in the past.
Just as the Republican Party is being swept by the storm of Trump’s populist radicalization, the Democratic Party is being swept by the storm of the populism of the left, which may damage Clinton’s chances of gaining the support of some of her potential voters. Even in foreign affairs, she has to walk on eggshells so as not to push away her natural supporters in the center of the political map, nor the separatist left, but especially in order to avoid risking the loss of President Obama’s support. It is difficult not to wonder what American politics will look like in the future and how the current “Purim-style” nature of the government will manifest, which will soon be ruling the biggest superpower in the world.