The past year has been wrought with controversy, drama, and utter absurdity, and it all stems from the results of the 2016 US Presidential Election. The passing of any major legislation, however, has been conspicuously absent.
Most observers seem to explain this away by pointing to the sheer incompetence in the White House, but I believe there’s another reason: the American People. The Republican Party runs all three houses of government, they should be able to pass any law they wish, but every major piece of legislation has been met with vehement opposition. So where is this coming from?
The source could be Bernie Sanders and his message of Grassroots political movement.
Anytime you saw Bernie speak, he never told crowds how things would be better under him. He rarely talked about how he was the only one who could fix the problems everyday Americans face. Instead, he spouted his regular rhetoric that often included the classic hits of “Richest Country in the History of the World,” “One Percent,” and of course, “Grassroots Political Movement.”
That last point is the one that stuck. Bernie was a vehement of proponent of people banding together to influence change. When the Democratic Establishment decided to stick with the script and choose Hillary Clinton as their leader, many Americans understood the obvious message: “We know what’s best, we’ll take it from here.”
This just in, Americans like being the masters of their own destinies. The establishment, media, and the rest of the world couldn’t fathom the possibility of Hillary losing that election, but she did, and a year later it’s clear that the American people reached a breaking point. They had a message of their own: “We would rather risk catastrophe than submit to the establishment.”
Of course Hillary was more qualified, in many ways that was the problem. She represented the Democratic Party Establishment. Many could never see themselves voting Democrat because of, well, Tribalism, but many voters felt like their choice was stripped away from them. They felt that there wasn’t a candidate for whom they could vote with confidence.
Okay, many people voted for the current president because they believed his promises and message. In fact, a good portion of people still do. Most polls put his approval rating at 30%, and while that in and of itself is worrisome, it’s a topic for another time.
The fact is, if ‘Did Not Vote’ was an actual candidate, they would have won a landslide victory. In addition to Washington D.C., the majority of eligible voters in 6 states didn’t vote. Had they been an actual candidate, ‘Did Not Vote’ would have won 490 Electoral Votes (270 to win).
Map by /u/Taillesskangaru
It doesn’t matter whether it was an intentional boycott of the candidates, or if the candidates just didn’t inspire confidence. Hillary Clinton spent $600 million on her campaign - twice that of her opponent, and she didn’t win. Russia certainly didn’t help, but Y’KNOW.
These voting number may seem to indicate intense political apathy, but what’s happened in the past year since the election shows the opposite. The Republican Party has control of every branch of the federal government, and they have failed to accomplish most of their objectives. They couldn’t push through the muslim ban*, a new healthcare bill, and now it appears as though the FCC may be unable to repeal Net Neutrality. There’s a very good reason for this: Grassroots political movement.
The American people have always distrusted their government, and now it seems as though they are prepared to go head-to-head with the elected officials, and in a time when the political theatre seemed to be dominated with Super PACs and millionaire candidates, it was Bernie who took donations from individual people.
The fight will be arduous, and there will be bruises along the way. The president still regularly endangers the country via Twitter, and the Republican Tax Bill recently passed in a late night senate vote, but the people of America are fighting back, and they’re doing it the same way they were able to catapult Bernie Sanders to the national stage - Grassroots movements.
The job is far from over, but the challenge from the American citizenry to get their country back has been issued.
*There was press about the ban being imposed, but more accurately, “The ruling does not mean that the supreme court has accepted the ban as constitutional, but that it finds persuasive the Trump administration’s argument that an emergency injunction against the ban was unnecessary.”