The worst possible outcome of the presidential nominating process, from my point of view, would be for the Democrats to nominate Hillary Clinton and the Republicans to nominate Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton represents a corrupt financial establishment and out-of-control warfare establishment, which is responsible for the nation’s current plight. Donald Trump represents an authoritarian populist rebellion against that establishment.
A voter who could not accept the status quo would have no alternative by Donald Trump. A voter who could not accept Trump’s demagoguery would have no alternative but the status quo.
Many Republican Party regulars and Wall Street bankers would support Clinton over Trump because they think of her as more predictable and un-threatening. Then when the next financial crash came, as is very likely in the next couple of years, Clinton would be held responsible and Trump or some other Trump-like politician would be the recognized voice of protest.
If I were more Machiavellian than I am, and more confident of my ability to predict the future than I am, I would be content to let Trump win the general election and take responsibility for the next economic crash, which is bound to be worse than the last.
Voters might then turn to progressive populists like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, who stand for ideas and policies that could actually work.
Of course, this is like the failed strategy of the German Communists in 1933. They thought that after Germans got a taste of Hitler, they would turn to Communism.
Although Trump, for all his demagoguery, is not the second coming of Hitler, and the mild reforms proposed by Sanders and Warren do not in any way resemble Communism, the established leaderships of the Democratic and Republican parties resemble the Social Democratic and Catholic Center parties in the Wiemar Republic.
None of them could control the military or secret intelligence agencies, nor offer an answer to their nation’s economic distress. A critical mass of the public concluded that any alternative would be better, with results that we know.
[Added 3/2/2016] Even if Hitler had been fended off in 1933, or never been born, the German people in those circumstances would have turned to a Communist or an authoritarian right-wing nationalist. Fortunately we in the United States had different choices, and we have the possibility of different choices today.
The Post-Hope Democrats by Doug Henwood for Jacobin.
The case against Hillary Clinton: This is the disaster the Democrats must avoid by P.J. Podesta for Salon.
Democrats always prove the commies right by Fredrik deBoer.
What Trumpism Means for American Democracy by Andrew Bacevich for TomDispatch (via The American Conservative)
Get a Grip: Donald Trump Isn’t Ushering in a Fascist Movement by Joshua Holland for The Nation. Hat tip to Bill Harvey.