Soon after Hillary Clinton stole the 2016 Democratic nomination for president from Bernie Sanders, many disillusioned progressives were heard to say that they would soon be “developing” a serious third-party challenge in 2020. Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich was among those promising an independent, third-party alternative in 2020. But first progressives had to defeat Donald Trump. Then the left would get serious about creating a third party to counter the Wall Street-funded Democratic Party.
During a 2016 broadcast of Democracy Now, Reich reiterated this promise: “[We must] elect Hillary Clinton and for four years develop an alternative, another Bernie Sanders-type candidate with an independent party to take on Hillary Clinton…and develop the infrastructure of a third party that is a true progresssive party.”
Fast forward six years and there is still no serious third-party challenge to the current duopoly.
You can’t entirely blame progressives like Reich. They know in their heart of hearts that the corporatocracy that rules American politics, if not the federal government, will never allow a real challenge to their power and authority, so why waste their time and money?
The corporatocracy especially doesn’t want anything to disrupt what looks to be a perfect 2024 contest—from its point of view, anyway. President Joe Biden versus Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be the corporatocracy’s dream campaign. After all, it wouldn’t really matter who wins between two right-of-center politicians; the real winner will be Wall Street and the Military-Industrial-Media Complex.
That’s the main reason Donald Trump—who currently leads Biden in some recent polls—will not be at the top of the GOP ticket in 2024. The corporatocracy, which, like many of us, believed Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in to win the White House in 2016, is not about to make that mistake again.
The problem with Trump—at least as far as the corporatocracy was concerned—was that, like Sen. Bernie Sanders, he was a loose cannon who threatened to blow up the system (by overturning elections, reforming NAFTA, denying science, fomenting racial divisions, ending wars, dismissing NATO). The corporatocracy wants a safe candidate who won’t rock the ship of state too much. It thrives on the status quo, not chaos.
By focusing on protectionism, bringing jobs back home, NAFTA and the fake wokeness and real greed of giant corporations, Trump was able to do something that was unthinkable twenty years ago—turn the GOP (at least superficially) into an anti-corporate party.
Little wonder this scared the hell out of the corporatocracy.
The ruling class will work overtime in 2023 and 2024 to make sure Trump gets nowhere near the White House. Then it will have to decide whether it wants Biden, who has been a remarkably agreeable corporate stooge, or some one like DeSantis, who won’t be all that much different than Biden. (Their only difference: Biden will continue to say he will do something about climate change or raise the federal minimum wage and then not do it, while De Santos won’t even say it.)
Of course, Biden has been so ineffectual and such a disappointment to many Democrats that it is possible that no amount of election buying and rigging by the corporatocracy can secure his re-election.
Expect the corporatocracy to go all in, then, for DeSantis. Though in the end it won’t matter all that much who wins, since either of them will simply do the bidding of their corporate overlords.
There will be the usual futile campaigns by the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Rent is Too Damn High Party, and this will allow the corporatocracy to say, “See, we don’t object to third parties, they’re just pathetic and no one really wants them.” When in fact the system is so rigged against additional parties that they don’t stand a chance of electoral success, or even of getting enough support to put pressure on the duopoly.
In other words, the system will work exactly as it was designed to work.