While on the road recently, I got the news that a non-politician businessman won the Republican nomination in Tennessee’s gubernatorial primary elections.
I don’t keep up with the politics of other states enough to know if the same thing is happening to any degree around the country or not, but I have heard about enough cases of people running who have never held political office of any kind before. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 seems to have opened the door to ordinary citizens who have decided to throw their hats in the ring, prior political experience be damned.
In the case of the candidate in Tennessee, he ran against some established politicians, national and local, plus another extremely well-financed first-timer, and a U.S. congresswoman who had the endorsement of the whole Trump organization.
In the general election, he will again be running against an extremely well-funded and experienced politician, and it will be interesting to see just how much the people of the Volunteer State want some fresh faces, unbeholden to the status quo.
I am purposely not using names here because the crux of this column is not about personalities but a seemingly growing trend in America, admittedly in its infancy, but undeniably gaining momentum, with heretofore unknowns who have never held office of any kind going up against the party favorites and winning.
And by no means is this movement confined to the Republicans or conservatives, as the recent upset in New York, pitting an established veteran Democratic House member against a victorious upstart 28-year-old Democratic Socialist even further bears the point from the other side of the spectrum.
It seems that a lot of voters are getting tired of the same old faces, the same old tired, unkept promises and have decided to upset the apple cart and heed the words of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign statement, “What have you got to lose?”
Both major political parties have long had segments of the voting population they took for granted: the Democrats with the minorities and the Republicans with the elderly and those pockets of America perceived to be solidly conservative.
It seems that is no longer a viable political strategy for either party, as, in just a matter of months, a totally unknown candidate can seemingly come out of the woodwork and present a formidable challenge to even the most embedded member of establishment politicians.
In my humble opinion, this is a good thing and presents a hope that perhaps one day the swamp will actually be drained. It will never happen by any other means because Capitol Hill politicians would rather walk barefoot across hot coals than propose term limits.
Am I expecting a political renaissance with the houses of government being peopled with new faces and fresh approaches?
No, but as the old proverb says, the longest journey begins with the first step. And if and when those fortunate enough to survive establishment political money and the vitriol and venom of their vicious method of trying to destroy everyone and everybody who stands in their way and threatens their hold on power, when and if they let their voices be heard and actually stick to the purposes that got them elected, there could well be a crack in the dam.
It seems that many people are no longer bound by loyalty to political parties, and the electorate has become quite unpredictable, as was witnessed by bewildered, befuddled pollsters and disillusioned media partisans in the 2016 presidential election.
The midterms will be a good barometer for just how far and how deeply the “non-professional” politician movement has advanced in our nation. But win, lose, or draw, we have not heard the last of it.
There’s something happening here.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.