The American election has to be the most frightening one during my lifetime. The rise of Donald Trump on the right and Bernie Sanders on the left both demonstrate a populist revolt against a ruling elite that’s lost the support of large sections of the population. In the case of Trump it’s the closest a serious presidential candidate has come to full-blown Fascism. He certainly makes similar accusations against George W Bush look like risible hyperbole.
The Republican party has always been the party of the rich. In the past they’ve managed to win elections by playing bait-and-switch with a proportion of the electorate, encouraging them to vote against their economic interests by stoking the fires of xenophobia.
The coming of The Trump has bought that to an end. If your political strategy is essentially a confidence trick, sooner or later a bigger and better conman is going to beat you at your own game. Nobody really knows what Trump would do if elected President, but very few have so little to lose they’re prepared to risk finding out.
The 1% have reached a crossroads. Either they accept the party’s over and recognise that their gross inequalities are unsustainable. Or they just conclude their interests are no longer compatible with democracy, and it’s democracy that has to go. One wonders how they might react should Bernie Sanders become President.