It is interesting how this election is essentially unfolding according to the ATS playbook. Ten years ago, I predicted that U.S. society would continue moving leftward until the Clinton Democrats began to be considered conservative, and liberalism would come to be dominated by trends more closely resembling the academic Left or the Green Party. This is essentially happening now that Hillary is courting the neocons on foreign policy and has become the candidate of the neoliberals on economics, while Sanders (who is actually to the left of the Democrats but is only running as a Democrat for the sake of convenience, and who some polls indicate would defeat Trump by a wider margin than Clinton in a general election) has come to represent liberalism.
Meanwhile, Trump began his campaign by appealing to the dissident Right and the right-wing populist subculture as a means of knocking the neocons and “movement conservatives” out of the way. This had the effect of subverting the Republican Party from the bottom up and from the right flank. However, now that Trump has largely established his position as the GOP standard bearer, he is moving towards the Center, and adopting radical center Ross Perot-like positions on trade and foreign policy. Trump is also attempting, apparently successfully, to cross over to the Left with an appeal to class issues based on bread and butter concerns. Read this core ATS document from 10 years ago, and you will see how much of the events surrounding this current election resemble the trends analysis that were outlined back then.
However, the major difference between the ATS position and current events is that anti-statists have been a complete failure, left and right. Current political trends are very state-centric, whether in the form of Clinton’s neoconservative/neoliberal/leftist identity politics hybrid, Trump’s radical center nationalism, or Sanders recycled New Deal/Green hybrid. Ron Paul created an opening that anti-statists of all kinds could have continued to cultivate, but ultimately blew it. Rand Paul pursued precisely the opposite strategy (pandering to “movement conservatives” and neocons) than he should have (the Trump strategy, more or less, but from an explicitly anti-statist perspective). And the anti-state milieus generally have become a microcosm of the mainstream society, i.e. degenerated into endless bickering about left/right, red/blue, social justice warrior/neo-reactionary identity politics.
By Nick Allen
Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming president suffered a double blow as a new national poll put her in a dead heat with Donald Trump, and large numbers of Bernie Sanders supporters indicated they would switch to the Republican billionaire.
A Reuters/Ipsos survey put Mrs Clinton on 41 per cent to Mr Trump’s 40 per cent, a statistical tie, and showed a huge surge in support for the property mogul who was 13 points behind in the same regular poll a week earlier.
Following Tuesday’s Democratic primary in West Virginia exit polls showed 39 per cent of those who voted for Mr Sanders, a self-declared socialist, would back Mr Trump in a general election contest between him and Mrs Clinton.