Surprisingly, Donald Trump beat GOP primary candidates whose resumes boasted of experience, accomplishments and exposure coveted by so many in the world of power and politics. Similarly, a scene-stealing Bernie Sanders emerged on the stage of Democratic politics to give Hillary Clinton, whose name identification is likely approaching saturation, a run for her money — big money.
But don't miss the historical nature of the emergence of the two "outsider" candidates — Trump and Sanders. The American voting public clearly believes it has been betrayed by its respective political parties and government.
In May, exit polls conducted by the National Election Pool — the exit poll consortium of the five networks and Associated Press — were published. Surveyed Democrats identified the economy, health care, inequality and terrorism as key issues (in that order). Republicans also were most focused on the economy, but government spending, terrorism and illegal immigration were issues that competed in states for second, third and fourth in importance.
A finding in almost every state's exit polling among GOP voters was this little gem: "In 15 of 16 states where exit pollsters asked the question, half or more of voters in GOP contests said they felt betrayed by GOP politicians, and many were angry," according to an American Enterprise Institute analysis.
Who's most associated with a sense of betrayal among right-of-center voters? Candidates who are either longtime incumbents in public office or those who've spent their entire lives being schooled to rule in government.
Just last week, the recently completed FBI investigation revealed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "carelessness" with no action planned by the Department of Justice. This lead law enforcement arm of the U.S. government is now functioning as a retained defense counsel for Mrs. Clinton, the IRS and other agencies that just can't seem to abide by the same laws we in the unwashed masses must. Never mind that these laws and standards about the misuse and mishandling of material exist for the purpose of national defense.
The trust that's been broken between our government and the American people is significant. Many of the issues playing out in this country emerged in the surprise Brexit vote in the United Kingdom that will lead to the exit of the UK from the European Union.
As noted by Margaret Thatcher's former aide, Nile Gardiner, "To those of the EU, there are no lines of national independence or patriotism. There are no borders or nationalities. There is no common language." That sounds strangely like the America under construction by the governing elites.
Economic favoritism is destroying the working class. The economies encircling financial centers such as New York and Washington, D.C., thrive. Like London in the Brexit vote, bailouts, monetary easing and artificial wage stagnation due to illegal immigrant workers create enormous wealth for the wealthy but also establish a permanent underclass.
"London is different from the rest of England. London is a very international city. And, to be fair, London has been thriving, and not all other bits of England have been," observed London policy chairman Mark Boleat.
No, polls did not predict Brexit nor have they accurately predicted the actions of the America public in recent weeks and months.
In essence, the disgust of the majority carrying the load of burdensome, ineffective policies and broken promises is fueling a revolution. On the ballot in November, the choices will be either the status quo or the voice of working Americans demanding representation.
Robin Smith a former chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, is owner of Rivers Edge Alliance.