Patrick Caddell: For more than two years the American people, in a great majority, from left to right, have been in revolt against the political class and the financial elites in America. In less than a day we will know how far this revolt has come. But, make no mistake, whatever the outcome, this revolt is not ending, it is merely beginning.
It is a revolt with historic parallels, most closely resembling the Jacksonian revolution of the 1820s. It is an uprising. It is a peaceful uprising of a people who see a country in decline and see nothing but failure in the performance of their leadership institutions. And they have signaled their intent to take back their country and to reclaim their sovereignty.
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Unfortunately, the analysts, the pollsters and most importantly the commentariat of the political class have never understood, and in fact are psychologically incapable of understanding what is happening. And for the entire cycle of this presidential campaign they have failed to grasp what was happening before their eyes – for it runs counter to everything they believe about themselves.
In truth, they are suffering from cognitive dissonance believing in their righteous superiority and are not capable of realizing that it is they who have become the adversary of the American people. And therefore they have been wrong, in this entire election cycle, every step of the way.
For them, American politics only began yesterday. They know little history and have no appreciation of the collective consciousness of the American people. Whether it is the campaign of Bernie Sanders, who came within a hair’s breadth of knocking out the coronated nominee of the Democratic establishment or on the other side, the emergence of the total outsider Donald Trump, the most improbable candidate of all. In truth, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, sucked from the same trough even if it was from opposite ends. But the critical point that is missed, by almost everyone, was that neither Sanders nor Trump created this uprising. They were chosen vehicles – they did not create these movements, these movements created them.
Several years ago, I began, with my colleagues at Armada, an ongoing, in-depth research project on what has become known as the “Candidate Smith” project. A good friend of mine, Lee Hanley, who sadly just passed away, volunteered to begin this project with only one charge: that we explore my hypothesis that something profound was happening in the collective consciousness of the American people.
What we learned in our in-depth research was as astonishing as it was unexpected. It became clear from this really deep public opinion inquiry that American politics has entered an historic paradigm. What is emerging in what had been assumed to be the static political system was about to be reconfigured in ways and that we still do not know fully. But one thing is certain: the old rules of politics are collapsing and a new edifice is emerging.
The conventional wisdom that America is absolutely divided into warring tribes is a tired falsehood. Overall, in the attitude structure of the American people, the elements of this new paradigm are commonly shared by upwards of 80 percent of the population – from the Occupy Wall Street movement on the left to the Tea Parties on the right. The political battleground is no longer over ideology but instead is all about insurgency.
The larger atmosphere is dominated by three overriding beliefs:
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