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Letter: Many voters are fed up with the establishment

Many voters are fed up with the establishment

Froma Harrop’s recent column “Democrats, don’t blow it” reinforces several popular but erroneous assumptions: that Bernie Sanders would lose to the Republican candidate; that it was Ralph Nader’s fault that Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in 2000; and that any philosophy of governance not embodied by the establishment candidate is “demanding of ideological purity.”

Republicans have hated Hillary Clinton passionately for decades. Right now they sit back and enjoy her struggles against Sanders. If she is nominated, they will release the hounds. If she’s elected, we will need to come up with a stronger word than mere Republican “obstructionism.”

In 2000, establishment Democrats somehow figured out how to lose to a man who was clueless and unqualified for the job. Even now it is hard to understand how such a disastrous game plan could have been developed, and how the vice president of a wildly successful two-term president couldn’t even carry his home state of Tennessee. In Florida, there were eight candidates other than Bush and Gore who received more than the “mere 537-vote edge” to which Harrop refers. But it was Nader’s fault that Gore couldn’t get another 538 votes? Establishment Democrats still refuse to admit that they and their candidate were the architects of this world-changing defeat.

The Republican establishment can’t control Trump, so it’s doing everything it can to see that he doesn’t get the nomination; the Democratic hierarchy feels the same about Sanders. Regardless of how this works out, more and more people are fed up not only with the same old Republicans, but with the same old Republican-lite Democrats. If the choice is between a Republican and Clinton, young people, women and I will stay home in droves.

John W. Nelson