The 2016 campaign is not about the Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders phenomena. No, it’s about their supporters—people angry enough with their own party to torch it.
It’s also about the millions of Americans who don’t vote—people so disconnected from the U.S. political system that they can’t even be bothered to fix it.
This campaign is about any American living in an era of options, buffeted by the crosscurrents of change—a new economy, new technologies, and new demography—and yet are forced to choose between two parties that don’t represent their interests.
People like Freddie Paull, a 26-year-old filmmaker from Glendale, California, who told the New York Times at a Sanders rally Tuesday night that he might vote for Trump. “I would love to see a woman in office,” he said. “But I do not want to see Hillary Clinton in office, because she has no honor.”
People like Linda Baker, who tweeted me during Trump’s rally, “Every time I hear him speak I get more depressed. I will never vote for [Hillary Clinton] but can’t vote for this sham.”
Roughly three-quarters of all Americans are dissatisfied with the way the political system is working. Trust in government is at a record low. Both parties are hemorrhaging supporters to the independent column, as even straight-ticket voters are registering protests against their red or blue leadership.