‘The Establishment’ is long gone

Establishment-1024x535There’s a common perception that the Establishment is disappearing. In fact, it died decades ago at all levels of government.

By Alan Ehrenhalt | Governing

The 2016 presidential campaign has defied expectations at almost every turn, but it has produced one seemingly immutable fact: The Establishment is a spent force.

Lurking behind this simple truth, however, is a whole collection of puzzles. Is the death of the Establishment mostly an event in presidential politics, or does it apply to the entire American political system? Or is it a broader event with deep roots in society at large?

And perhaps even more important, what exactly is the Establishment in the first place? The politicians and journalists who have become addicted to the term don’t stop to explain what they think it actually means. The more we trouble to think seriously about the Establishment’s demise, the more problematic the whole subject becomes.

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