Two despised frontrunners, two dying parties and a deeply broken system: How did we get here? –


Aaron David

A fourth generation Californian, befuddled.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar j r says:

    People have a strange relationship with democracy. When it gives us the outcome that we want, we say it works. And when it gives us an undesirable outcome, we say that its broken. If you get in your car to drive you from point A to point B and the car stops working somewhere between, then the car is broken. If you get in your car to drive from point A to point B and you end up point C, the car works just fine. You just got lost.

    I submit that the reason the two frontrunners are so hated is because we have evolved a political system in which people increasingly define themselves by what they hate as opposed to what they want. A vote for Trump is a vote against the system and a vote for Hillary is a vote against Trump.

    Just maybe the system works fine and its us that’s broken.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      This was largely my reaction. It seems that we are more willing, eager even, to hate the other side.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        @jr @kazzy

        The hate comes about because the differences between the sides are minuscule. So, to provide difference, you have to go all over kill on the small differences remaining and hate the other side. Gotta keep the rubes from realizing they are voting for one side of the coin or the other and keep the group together, hating the other. A few international wars and a “crises” or two also help to keep folks misdirected.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    People have been theorizing about the idea of a 50/50 Presidency approval rating for a while now.

    Anyway, unliked is relative. There are plenty of Bernie Bros that dislike HRC and post all sort of hyperbolic but Kevin Drum published contra research that shows HRC is pretty well liked in the Democratic Party.

    What does it mean if you are liked by half the nation and hated by the other half? In an increasingly polarized electorate, being liked by half the nation might be good enough.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      Of all the major party candidates, Clinton may be the only grown up in the room, but fundamentally honest and trustworthy she ain’t. In fact just as you can rely on the scorpion to sting you, you can rely on Hillary continue making free trade agreements even if she is now supposedly against them. She is a politician. She is a politician known for having whatever views will get her elected. In a way that’s par for the course. But that requires a peculiar view about what it means to be fundamentally trustworthy and honest.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        What evidence is there that Hillary is really any less honest than any other politician? Is there a long line of people she absolutely burned with lies and deception? If she is so dishonest — and glaringly so! — why does she keep finding herself atop the heap?Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    If people say the system is broken now do they have a time when it worked? Eisenhower? FDR? Nixon? When was the good time and if there isn’t one then we aren’t broken now, we are just what we are. Prez elections are such a small N kind of thing it is hard to draw conclusions from such a small number. There are always a variety of cultural trends, its hard to compare eras and other confounds i think its harder to figure out long term trends.

    Clinton is popular in the party that she winning the nomination of. That sounds like a workable primary. Trump, well…… that story is a bit different.Report

    • Avatar James K says:


      Good point, this election may simply be an anomaly. We’ll need to wait until 2020, or perhaps 2024 before we can see if this is an emerging trend.Report

  4. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    Let’s check on both Trump and Clinton’s ratings in October, when most of the Sanders fans have gotten over their temper tantrum, but Donald Trump is still Donald Trump and doing Donald Trump things. I bet you Hillary will be a lot closer to 50 and Trump might make it to 35.

    Hillary’s never going to be Reagan or Clinton when it comes to favorable ratings, but no President is ever going to be that again.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    If Clinton and Trump are the frontrunners than somebody has to like them.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Actually, it doesnt. (You don’t have to outrun the bear…) But there are more people that like H Clinton than conventional wisdom gives her credit for. (And Trump is liked by all his kids and the majority of his wives)Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Nah, they just hate everyone else more.

      A website I used to visit ran a multi-round poll for “best ice cream flavor” one time. Plain Chocolate won; but, reading the comments, it turns out that chocolate won not because everyone thought it was their favorite, but because every other choice had more people who Absolutely Utterly Hated it than people who liked it. Rocky Road? PYUUUUGH! Butter Pecan? GURRRRH! Mint Fudge Ripple? More like Mint Fudge BARF!Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        Fascinating, chocolate is far and away the worst flavor… it is ruins the flavor of both the chocolate and the cream. Putting pure chocolate in an properly flavored cream is a grand idea, but chocolate ice-cream is an abomination. Oh, and something something Trump and Clinton, but don’t forget Cruz.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Chocolate is a fine flavor… done right.
          Just don’t pretend you can make a dark chocolate ice cream. You can’t, there’s too much milk. (Chocolate gelato is divine… or at least so says six year old me, living in Sicily and eating it pretty much every day).Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        This is why I exempt myself from self-identification along such partisan axes.

        It makes you start hating ice cream.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Scott Walker? Well, um, he had, uh, OH GOD DID YOU SEE WHAT DONALD TRUMP SAID LIKE OOOOOOOOOMG HOW CAN ANYONE EVEN THAT IS SO STUPID! And now, analysts talking about what other analysts said about what Donald Trump said.

    Bernie Sanders? He’ll never get elected and I want to vote for the winner.Report