Trump/fans
© Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/KJN
US President Donald Trump during campaign event in Lansing Michigan
October 27, 2020
Washington despises Trump because he's an outsider - a third-party gatecrasher - who has upset the duopoly that has had a stranglehold on American politics, and they're doing everything they can to stop him doing it again.

The meteoric rise of Donald Trump defies the law of US political gravity in that he has elevated himself inside of a rigidly controlled two-party system while going against the interests of the establishment. That is a remarkable accomplishment, and no other modern politician - aside from perhaps John F. Kennedy - has made it this far in Washington by promising to drain the very swamp it sits upon. The Manhattan real estate magnate has essentially become a third-party tour de force, the ultimate bugbear of the powers that be.

Trump is no fool and understood early in the game that there is a veritable army of burly gatekeepers in Washington, standing guard against the threat of third-party provocateurs. In fact, one of the largest gatekeepers is none other than the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-profit third-party terminator that is actually sponsored by the Democratic and Republican parties. So when people complain that the Democrats and Republicans are two heads of the same poisonous snake, they are right. This organization is so powerful that it barred the highly popular Ross Perot from appearing on the debate stage in the 1996 presidential campaign alongside Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton and Republican Bob Dole.

A buried footnote with regards to Trump's political career is that he made his first serious foray into the swamp as the presidential nominee in Ross Perot's Reform Party in the 2000 elections. When those efforts fizzled out, Trump, aware that the road to the White House via a third-party platform was largely inaccessible, began to weigh his chances at running for the presidency on the Republican ticket. Not a bad idea considering that the last time a president was elected in the US who did not identify as either a Democrat or Republican was in 1848, with the election of Whig candidate Zachary Taylor. At the time, however, much of Washington wrote off the tycoon's dream as a bad joke; the egoistic yearnings of a billionaire who thinks the White House is just another real estate venture.

But Capitol Hill seriously underestimated both the dark mood that had descended upon the nation, as well as Trump's ability to capitalize on it. With an uncanny gift for electrifying audiences wherever he went, people no longer laughed at his political ambitions. Eventually, Trump went on to do what the polls said was virtually impossible - he defeated the veteran Washington insider, Hillary Clinton, becoming the 45th president of the US. At this point, Trump the ultimate interloper began to use the Republican Party as his own personal Trojan horse to enact radical changes that could not have been achieved otherwise.

For example, despite Washington's bipartisan love affair with overseas entanglements, Trump held back the dogs of war. He has given the US military arguably its longest break from the battlefield in living memory. That's not to say that Uncle Sam has suddenly morphed into a marijuana-smoking peacenik under Trump, not at all. In fact, future historians may ultimately blame Trump, the consummate businessman, for selling massive amounts of military hardware to foreign states - like Saudi Arabia, and former Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe - that lead to some catastrophic conflict down the road. And who could forget Trump's crass "we're keeping the oil" comment with regards to America's so-called withdrawal from Syria, or the harmful sanctions that have been slapped against Iran?

Meanwhile, Trump has carried out other controversial initiatives, like plugging the gaping hole in the US-Mexico border. Republicans were always content to ignore the massive influx of illegal migrants from South America, so long as it meant cheap labor, while the Democrats found it a great way to capture future voters. Not until a 'third-party' solution came along, courtesy of Donald Trump, did the gates begin to close on the "invasion."

Perhaps Trump's most ambitious 'third-party' project to date has been to take America's long-ailing industrial sector off of life support. Unfortunately, this program, built around Trump's pledge to 'Make America Great Again', has taken relations with China to the brink. Accusing the People's Republic of engaging in "unfair trade practices," the Republican leader took a protectionist position by imposing a number of tariffs and trade barriers, which has naturally triggered a tough response from Beijing. While opinion is split on the matter, a number of analysts agree that the US had been at a severe disadvantage in trade with China and the change Trump fought for was necessary.

Whether or not people agree with Trump's actions isn't really the point. The point is that issues that were being ignored by the Democrats and the Republicans, and rarely discussed by the mainstream media, only got attention after a Washington outsider bulldozed his way onto the political scene on behalf of millions of voters. And for all of his efforts, Donald Trump has been one of the most harassed US presidents, suffering a three-year 'Russiagate' investigation, as well as impeachment, while still holding onto office with new elections just days away.

In some ways Trump's political rise was a fluke, unlikely to be duplicated anytime soon. The mainstream media and Big Tech are doing absolutely everything in their power to prevent a second term for the populist. They have even taken the unprecedented step of blocking explosive news on his competitor, Joe Biden, from being seen or shared by the public.'Once bitten twice shy', as the expression goes, and the Washington gatekeepers will do everything to block any Donald Trump's and their third-party ideas from storming the scene in the future.

That is very bad news for the US political system, which will continue to be held hostage by the same two parties, with little chance for any winds of change reaching the inner sanctum of power. Trump may very well be the last blast of fresh air in Washington for a long time, and Americans should enjoy the change while they can.
About the Author:
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge