Whatever else is said, this may be the most unique presidential election cycle in our lifetime. We have seen that the Republicans really are the party of the Big Tent. In fact, the tent got so big, in fact, those that thought they were in charge of the tent found themselves being pushed out the front flap.
The Republicans began with 17 contenders: one establishment type backed by big donors; one successful businesswoman; one brilliant, African-American surgeon; two sons of immigrants who are Latino; and then the senators and governors and a billionaire capitalist. Not the usual suspects. Republicans didn’t get any credit for diversity.
We have seen the silent majority give up on the powers that be – the “establishment” – and look for an outsider. As soon as a candidate gained establishment support, his numbers dropped like a stone.
Then there are the Democrats: an anointed nominee-to-be and an old Socialist, who was allowed to compete under the Democrats’ banner to create the illusion of a race.
But, suddenly, it became a real race as the harmless, old Socialist became a raging tiger with his own supporters that have also given up on their “establishment,” the lack of opportunity, low-paying jobs, crushing college debt and the siren-song of “free everything.”
The angst of the silent majority and the alienation of the young created the rise of outsider candidates. Now America is seeing for the first time the arcane and convoluted convention rules put in place by the establishment just in case this whole democracy thing got out of hand.
To paraphrase a famous actress, fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Luci Snyder is a Carmel resident and a former member of the Carmel City Council. You may write her at