Happy new year. If you thought 2015 was an unpredictable political year, wait until you see what 2016 has in store. The political dynamic that has brought us to this point has been unprecedented, which means the coming months will continue to deliver wildly unforeseen outcomes.
There is one thing we do know for sure. American voters are doing something they haven’t done in a very long time: showing the political elites the door.
On the right and the left, they are angry at the state of the nation. But more importantly, they are angry with leaders who appear more interested in protecting themselves, their interests and each other than in advancing the country’s interests and serving the American people.
They are disgusted with an irresponsible, unresponsive and unaccountable government that empowers only itself.
The split between the elites and the rest of us is gaping — and it’s growing wider every day. The outrage, frustration and uncertainty have elevated nontraditional candidates such as billionaire businessman Donald Trump, firebrand conservative Sen. Ted Cruz and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. They have been the ones who have “got it.” They “got” that voters are done with business-as-usual, establishment folks who promise change and deliver little to none, who abuse our trust with lies and chicanery, and who ravage the Constitution, the Treasury and our extraordinary place in the world while enriching themselves.
We have now reached the point at which all of our leaders had better check themselves.
On the Republican side, in particular, voters have turned to candidates such as Messrs. Trump and Cruz because they are furious at the countless abuses suffered at the hands of President Obama, his congressional toadies — and noodle-kneed Republicans who have acquiesced to the leftist agenda with nary a peep of protest.
- They are “mad as hell” about a nearly trillion-dollar economic “stimulus” that stimulated government but did nothing to excite the private economy.
- They are mad about long-term high unemployment.
- They are mad about taxpayer bailouts of failing businesses and industries.
- They are mad about a president who has regularly ruled by fiat, bypassing Congress and the public by appointing unaccountable policy “czars” and issuing executive orders — with very limited pushback from Republicans.
- They are mad about telephone book-sized bills pushed through, unread, by the Democratic leadership — and now, with the latest $1.2 trillion omnibus budget bill, by the Republican leadership as well.
- They are mad about the government takeover of what was once the best health care system in the world.
- They are mad about the multitrillion dollar price tag to pay for it.
- They are mad about the shady, slimy, greasy backroom dirty dealing the Democrats did to cobble it together.
- They are mad about the legislative tricks and straight party-line vote they used to pass it.
- They are mad about multiple annual deficits more than $1 trillion.
- They are mad about a national debt speeding toward $20 trillion.
- They are mad about the national humiliation of having our credit downgraded for the first time in U.S. history.
- They are mad about the steadfast refusal by most Democrats — and many Republicans — to cut spending in real and deep ways.
- They are mad about Republicans agreeing to a budget bill that continues to fund things they promised they’d fight to defund: Obamacare, Mr. Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants, Planned Parenthood.
- They are mad about both sides’ weaselly cowardice in their refusal to take on the biggest sources of explosive spending: entitlement programs.
- They are mad that tens of thousands of illegal aliens — and now unknowable Middle Eastern “refugees” — are streaming into America.
- They are mad about a foreign policy that embraces our enemies and disses our friends.
- They are mad about the commander in chief apologizing for American power and action.
- They are mad that the president and his team continue to allow the world’s most fearsome terrorists to grow in power while diminishing our fears about the threat.
- Above all, they are “mad as hell” that American exceptionalism is deliberately being turned into unexceptionalism. Hence, the power of Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again.”
Americans will take a lot, but they will not tolerate the continuing destruction of their nation by elites in both parties who believe they are untouchable.
The lesson of 2016 will be that those who got that and intend to blow up the whole corrupt system in order to restore it to its proper place as an honest servant of the people will be rewarded. And those who don’t will face the political guillotine, as so many of them before them already have.