There is much heart ache out here in GOP Establishment-land about Trump, and I’m sure a lot among the Democrat Establishment about Sanders (though Team Hillary is still acting like her nomination is a coronation and no one need pay attention to Sanders…the GOP is being helpful by releasing videos of the massive Progressive crowds Sanders is drawing; which is encouraging, as it is actually a pretty clever move by the GOP. First time for everything, right?). But who in heck is Jeremy Corbyn, you ask?
I admit that until today I had never heard of him – he’s a candidate for the leadership of Britain’s Labour Party. Generally, when a party gets crushed at the polls in Britain, the losing side then finds a new person to lead to them victory (or, another crushing defeat…but, that isn’t the plan, at any rate). As Labour was blown out of the water a couple months back, they are casting about for someone to restore their party fortunes. Most of the people vying for the post are conventional Labour Party politicians…but Jeremy Corbyn, a backbencher of no great fame, tossed his hat into the ring…and recent polling shows him favored by 53% of Labour voters. So frightened is the Labour Establishment at this, that they even got former Labour PM Tony Blair to pen an op-ed pleading for Labour voters not to vote Corbyn. Blair warns that voting for Corbyn won’t just lead to another Labour defeat, but to the possible extinction of the party!
To be sure, I think that Blair is on to something. Corbyn isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Progressive, folks. His parents were involved on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war, so Corbyn is a Brit version of our “red diaper babies”. Corbyn, himself, is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Socialist Campaign Group and the Stop the War Coalition (which war? Don’t ask – just assume if you want to kill a bad guy, they’re against it). Corbyn wants to nationalize Britain’s railways, provide a “living wage” for everyone, backs animal rights, may favor turning the Falklands over to Argentina, wants to ban the importation of foie gras, and appears to join any group out there with a leftwing cause. This guys is a far left fanatic. But, he’s also a rebel – very often voting against his own party and his Parliamentary expense account is the lowest among all 650 members of Britain’s House of Commons. He’s a kook leftist – but he’s an honest one, my friends. And he looks poised to take leadership of the Labour Party (though we’ll see if the Establishment can squash his bid). Corbyn as leader of Labour would be the perfect opponent for the rather squishy, Establishment types of the Tory party. They’d love to run against him – all they’d have to do is quote him and roll up a 100 seat majority, so you can see why Blair is worried, as are all Establishment types on the left.
I bring this up because these phenomena – a huckster zillionaire, an out-of-touch Boomer socialist, a far left fanatic in Britain – are symptoms of a general rebellion growing against the Establishment. I read today that Sanders drew 29,000 people to a rally. Donald Trump does seem to have faded a bit in the polls, but he’s still riding high. True, in America it is still the silly season of politics. We’re a long way from the first primary ballots and we should all recall that in 2011 a lot of people rode high for a moment, only to flame out before the election even got rolling. But there is a palpable anger and frustration out there. People are sick to death of politics as usual – and especially for the American right, the politics as usual which means we just help the liberals get what they want. The first sign of rebellion in Britain was also on the right, by the way: in the form of the United Kingdom Independence Party – which has risen mostly out of British frustration with the Tories. And if you think our electoral system is hosed, you should see Britain’s – the UKIP got 2.4 million more votes than the Scottish National Party, yet the SNP wound up with 56 seats, UKIP with 1! But, still, the bottom line is that anger with politics as usual boosted UKIP votes by nearly 3 million over their 2010 number. The people are tired – the left want’s genuine leftism; the right wants genuine conservatism. No one wants a left which is actually a bunch of crony-capitalists, nor does anyone want a right which is also crony-capitalist, with a dash of just preserving leftwing policy failures. Left and right I think people want candidates who will fight for what the people believe in. To have it out in a genuine, head-to-head contest which will decide what course the nation will take.
I think we’ll just see more of this as time goes on – and unless the GOP Establishment wakes up, there will be an American version of the UKIP by no later than the 2024 election, with a strong possibility it’ll show up in 2020…and it’ll take out of the GOP, immediately, a couple score House members and a few Senators, likely enough to deny the GOP a Congressional majority. For the Democrats, I see a complete take over by the far left – they really can’t stop it, if the leftwing base really tries. After all, what Democrat can fight against someone shouting the slogans the Democrat Establishment cooked up to gin up their base for 2012? But it can happen that the far left splits from the Democrat party and sets up a Social Democrat Party in time for 2020 or 2024.
Hold on to your hats, folks – it is about to get very interesting.