The people are struggling.  They are increasingly depressed.  Many are hooked on opioids.  The establishment has kicked them to the curb, has looted their bank accounts, and is preparing to come after their social security.

The establishment is done.  It’s running on fumes.  The people are trying to choose a new path.  What that path will be remains to be seen.

Last election they voted for a trust-fund baby, reality TV star, speed freak, Saudi bootlicker manchild with a severe case of narcissistic personality disorder, just because he wasn’t part of the establishment and wasn’t afraid to criticize the media.  It also didn’t hurt matters that he pretended to be populist on trade and to be anti-interventionist and that his opponent was so repulsive half the country stayed home.  Another factor he had on his side was the weak economy, which he took advantage of by scapegoating brown people.  The most recently born two generations are the second and third generations in US history to have a lower standard of living than their parents. (Only matched by the Great Depression generation)  Much like 1930s Germany, people are looking for someone to blame, because surely it can’t be their dear leaders.  Trump speaks to a dying impulse in American culture, one where whites must reign at the top of the pyramid.  Many people don’t have anything in their personal lives to take pride in, so they attach their egos to their race.  Trump has these insecure voters in his back pocket.

Trump is a faux populist.  He’s a slick used-car salesman on Adderall.  He said he would improve the lives of working people.  He didn’t.  He said he would stop outsourcing, yet outsourcing only increased under his administration.  He’s even subsidizing outsourcers and allowing government contractors to outsource.  He said he would decrease the deficit.  Then he doubled it in three years.  He said he would negotiate lower drug prices.  He did nothing of the sort.  He said: “Say it with me folks, radical Islamic terrorism.” Then he sent three thousand American sons and daughters to be the personal security force of the family that laterally funded the 9-11 attacks and currently funds ISIS, and he tried to kill all of ISIS’s enemies.  He said he would “drain the swamp.” Then he appointed Goldman Sachs executives to his cabinet.  He said he would bring back coal jobs.  By now, you should be able to guess how that turned out.

Now the establishment thinks they have the man to beat him: Joe Biden.  He’s a status-quo-defending, platitude-spewing right-winger in the early stages of dementia and with questionable sexual proclivities.  But he IS the establishment.  He will do whatever his corporate overlords demand of him.  Biden said to a roomful of wealthy donors last year that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he’s elected.  Here’s a video of him saying, “I was ready to prostitute myself” to corporate donors.  It’s actually impressive that they managed to find someone who may be as beatable as Hillary.  It’s like they’re trying to lose.

The way it stands right now, people will vote for whoever is the less establishment-friendly candidate.  But this year it’s tricky, because Trump has proven himself to be a loyal steward of the establishment.  He mostly serves the same corporations and gulf monarchs that the worst of the Democrats do.  They just think he’s too impulsive and is not an amiable enough figurehead for the empire.  He also has a tendency to be too honest, like when he recently admitted in a Fox News interview with Laura Ingram to stealing Syria’s oil and to giving three thousand US troops to his sugar daddy, MBS, in exchange for a billion dollars.  The establishment is, of course, fine with these things, they just don’t want anyone to talk about it out loud.  Their tepid opposition to Trump is mistaken by his fans for him being anti-establishment, even though he does the establishment’s bidding 95% of the time.

Now it’s election year again, and we have a faux populist vs. an embodiment of the establishment.  But wait, as much as the media wants to delegitimize  him, there is another player on the scene: Bernard Sanders.  And he’s beating Trump in the polls, and not by a hair like Hillary was, but by as much as 8% in the case of the Quinnipiac poll.  But what is really important is that he’s crushing Trump in all the key swing states in the rust belt.  Trump can’t pretend like he’s going to bring their jobs back anymore, because he’s done nothing for four years.  When you put a faux populist up against a real populist, the real populist wins.

The right-wing media can pretend that giving Americans what the rest of the developed world takes for granted is “Communism,” but I think most Americans aren’t that stupid.  Most people aren’t too worried about America becoming the communist hellhole that is Australia, so the right-wing media has to lie and claim Bernie wants to turn America into Venezuela.  The polls indicate that people aren’t falling for it.

Bernie has an anti-establishment vision that would actually improve people’s lives.  He may be a fraud like Obama or Trump turned out to be, but that Trump has already revealed his true colors works to Bernie’s advantage.  If he goes up against Trump, he will win in a landslide.  If Biden goes up against him, it will be a toss-up.

Unfortunately Bernie’s main hurtle is the DNC.  They will do everything they can to rig the primary, because they’ve clearly demonstrated that they would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie, shattering the whole two-party illusion.

At times like these, when the people are ready to overthrow the current establishment, they can descend into fascism or go populist left.  It may not happen this election cycle, but I think one of the two is inevitable.  This is especially true in the likely event that there is another economic recession. We’ve all seen the growing prevalence of neo-Nazis.  If Biden wins in November, that will just delay and strengthen both movements, and the next Trump could be even more fascistic than Trump.  Trump is a symptom, not the problem.  The problem is seven decades of neo-liberalism hollowing out the middle class.