The Emergence of America’s New Three Party System or How Trump Showed the World How to Use the Word Antidisestablishmentarianism in a Sentence.

What has really happened politically this year is that Donald Trump has started a new political party. It is the AntiEstablishment party, and it is doing very well currently. But make no mistake, it is NOT the Republican Party nor is it the Democratic Party.

To be sure, a majority of the new Antiestablishment party members come from the Republican ranks. And because of the way in which the system is set up, Trump had to run as a Republican  . . . much to the current consternation of the more traditional Republicans. I think it is fair to say that there is legitimate panic about Trump potentially being the GOP standard bearer. The other day, Mitt Romney launched a remarkably powerful and well-documented diatribe on the scary prospects of Trump as the Republican nominee. In fact, in my view, Trump IS a is a very concerning figure.The only time I met him he was speaking at some form of a second rate Multi Level marketing convention on how to profit in the real estate market. But in some ways the enmity against Trump/Cruz, et al of those on the more traditional side of isles, is misplaced. What they need to have this year is a Message to those who feel like their voice has not been heard.

What has really happened this year is that the Donald, along with Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson, have tapped into a portion of the electorate that has felt completely disenfranchised for years. In other words, IT COULD BE A MAN IN A CLOWN SUIT AND THEY WOULD VOTE FOR HIM OVER ANYONE PERCEIVED TO BE PART OF THE “Establishment party.”  

What we should have had this year is a 3-way contest. It would have been more fair and more logical for all candidates. And we may yet see a three party system in this country. I am just coming to grips with the emergence of what may yet turn into three separate and distinct parties. I guess that it’s fine. It has unquestionably brought out a new set of voters. And that is a positive thing. For example,  in the first four primaries this year, Republican turnout was 27% higher than in 2012, and the numbers continue to soar. Last week in Virginia, over a million people showed up to cast their ballots on the Republican side surpassing the GOP Primary in 2012 by nearly 750,000 voters.

As the Washington Times put it: “Republicans continued to shatter turnout records in their presidential primaries and caucuses Tuesday, while Democrats lagged behind in what analysts said was a clear indication of an enthusiasm gap heading into the general election.

My take – the last time people were this slow to pick up on a massive socio/political shift was when the Internet emerged in the 90’s and people dismissed it as something for just a bunch of Tech geeks.

As I reflect on this phenomenon, perhaps the answer to what is happening in today’s political environment can be explained with a tried and true business theory. The theory of disruptive innovation was developed by Harvard Business School’s inimitable Clayton Christensen in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma.  Christensen used the term “to describe innovations that create new markets by discovering new categories of customers.”

Voila – that is precisely what the new Antiestablishment party has done. They have engaged in disrupting the political process and thereby brought to the political scene a whole new set of customers, aka voters. As Christensen, twice named the greatest business mind on planet earth, elucidated: Personal computers, for example, were disruptive innovations because they created a new mass market for computers thereby opening up a whole new set of customers; previously, expensive mainframe computers had been sold only to big companies and research universities.  (aka the Establishment)

It is interesting to note that disruptive innovations usually find their first customers at the bottom of the market: in this case, it is the people most desperate for change. The Innovator’s Dilemma also talks about “incumbents” that are complacent and slow to recognise the threat from a seemingly inferior product, in this case, Trump. The disruptors end up massively changing their markets as Apple did with iTunes, Uber did in the transportation field, Google did in Research, and Twitter did with Print Media.

So this year, running for the Presidential nomination for the Antiestablishment party would have been Trump, Carson, Sanders and Cruz.  Their message is simple: “Throw the Bums Out”– and it has resonated with many voters. This is the party of the disenfranchised, those people who have felt for years that they had no voice in how this nation is governed. Donald Trump, like him or not, has given voice to these people. This is the party of those who are saying what the actor Peter Finch famously said in the 1970’s filmNetwork: “I’m as mad as H…” , and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

And here is another thing about this party. It is not limited by geography or ideology. Wherever there are angry voters, they are attracted to this new independent party whether or not they recognize it as a political party.

For the more established parties, you would have seen the following candidates:

REPUBLICAN PARTY: Rubio, Kasich, Bush, Walker, Paul, Jindal, Perry, Christie, and Huckabee.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY:  Hillary Clinton would have been anointed its candidate.

I ran my political theory by my 5,000 Facebook friends and received the following comments:

  1.    From a woman who is very politically involved:

“I don’t know if I could stomach voting for her (Hillary) -I don’t want that on my conscience – but I think I would silently root for her. I have deep distaste for this man (Trump). I’d rather have a liberal than a fascist dictator.”

  1.    To which another female replied:  

“There is no perfect candidate running… So if you don’t like Trump because he stands up to all the haters (and he’s not a fascist dictator) but if you can’t stomach a tough President then go ahead and vote for Hillary who supports late-term abortion”

  1.    From a California political junkie:  

“Trump says stuff to get press, but I’m excited to see what a businessman could do in office that doesn’t pander to the polls.”

  1.    A female multi-level marketing executive said:

“I like people who don’t do things because others tell them to. It is refreshing to see someone who at least speaks their mind even if we don’t always agree with how he does it.”

  1.    From a very conservative middle aged man:

“It is a lot like the Tea Party really. I used to like him (Trump) ok, but now he scares me. Not your normal presidential candidate. He is more like a king.”

  1.    From a young computer engineer:

“So in terms of logos, we have the Democratic Donkey, and the Republican Elephant. What animal do we assign to the Trump party?”

  1.    One inventive homemaker then drew a picture of Shrek to represent the new party.
  2.   To which another replied:

“No. Shrek is a kind and human guy. Trump is more like a badger. He just doesn’t care. And the more inflammatory he gets, the better he does.”

  1.    From a Young female voter:

“Anything is better than what we have at the moment. God save America!”

  1. Mid-aged computer sales Exec:  

“David — as an Independent, I think the Republican party is in trouble if they allow Trump to be their candidate. Not sure exactly how that all works, short of a brokered convention. The real question is will his demeanor change? Will he lead differently than he campaigns? My guess is yes….you saw a little of that tonight in his speech. Still not sure he can beat Hillary.”

In college, I majored in Political Science. The subject has always fascinated me.

Here is an interesting side note involving what many believe is the longest word in the English dictionary (which it is not). When I was a youth, I remember my brother and sister telling me that the longest English word is   antidisestablishmentarianism. What this word meant originally was to describe those people in Great Britain who were opposed to the disestablishment of The Church of England as the official state sponsored religion. I think this word applies today to our political process.

Many people believe that in America there should be two State political parties.  If you are opposed to that belief, then you are an“Antidisestablishmentarianismist”  (added an “ist” and thereby invented a new word).

If you are opposed to the disestablishment of the two-party system in America, you are prototypical antidisestablishmentarianism. Thus you see, if you are in the antidisestablishmentarianism camp, you are Anti-Trump.

What Trump and Cruz have done amazingly well this year is removing the “dis” from this lengthy word and turned it into antiestablishmentarianism.

Not sure how all of this plays out, but unless I miss my current guess, I am going to have to get used to saying President Trump or President Cruz.

By the way, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the longest word has 45 letters:


And it  refers to an occupational lung disease that is caused by someone inhaling too much crystalline silica dust that is otherwise known as silicosis.

Those who have been supporting our two party system for many years may be breathing a silicone like substance unearthed by the establishment…and they may need to consider changing.

The reasons for the emergence of the AntiEstablishment party will be the stuff political books will be examining for the remainder of the 21st Century. I will leave it to folks much smarter than I to figure it why this happened and why no one saw it coming! But unless the more moderate and traditional Republicans are able to hijack their convention from those of the Antiestablishment party that have already hijacked it, Trump or Cruz will likely be the GOP nominee. I am not a fan but I am just trying to get use to a potential new reality show in politics. And heck, in the end I have faith in America. We will have more bumps and bruises along the way but I am always hopeful that in the end we will stand tall as a nation.

Posted in Posted in Uncategorized  |  16 Comments

16 thoughts on “The Emergence of America’s New Three Party System or How Trump Showed the World How to Use the Word Antidisestablishmentarianism in a Sentence.”

  1. Well thought out comments, David. Trump has tapped into an anger and frustration in millions of Americans not only because they/we feel disenfranchised, but also because the political ruling class (elites, establishment) of Republicans, in particular, continue to run as conservatives and then govern as big government liberals, always cowtowing to the Democrats and their sycophants in the mainstream media. People are fed up with it and are willing to support Trump, in particular, and any outsider willing to run against the ruling class. Trump is just doing a better job of appealing to that anger and frustration (and it helps that he is non-pc and has enough personal wealth to thumb his nose at lobbyists).

  2. Ron Bellus is 100% correct. The only thing I would add is that Trump has not only tapped into our anger and frustration, he has articulated it. He also can’t be bought by the lobbyists so is not owned by anyone. And why not take a chance on him considering the mess that career politicians have made? It’s not as though he can do much more damage, America is hemorrhaging badly and is on life support. It’s time to try something radically different and that is spelled TRUMP.

  3. And my concern is that we can fall as a nation. Citizens United paved the way for money to hold sway and THAT is what many are fighting against. Here is what concerns me:he majority of my friends are professional speakers, master facilitators, teachers, coaches, and authors. We are wordsmiths. We talk and write about leadership excellence, creating teams, diversity & inclusion, clear communication, and how to create a world that works for all. Many of you make your living trying to teach workplaces and schools about the danger of bullying.

    And yet, we—(ok –make that me) —have been silent about calling out the very behavior that would have our clients and audiences tearing up contracts and sending us packing.

    If we stood before audiences and made up “facts” only to shrug when we’re called out on false information…

    if we painted every race, creed and color as people who should be excluded, denigrated, and locked out …

    if we said that compromise is a dirty word and refused to create meaningful conversation and instead relied on name calling, finger wagging, and mocking…

    That big IF would have us out of work. And yet we tolerate such behavior to find someone who we will put on the national payroll!!
    We have become a nation of voyeurs who stand by and let political candidates play us for the fool.

    Why are we not demanding civil debates? Real platforms? How can we stand before our audiences and preach leadership development, diversity, communication, success strategies, and more but remain silent while candidates for the highest office in our country make a mockery of democratic ideals and values.

    Is this a political statement? No. It is a human request that we stop pandering to all this bombastic use of words and instead, put a fist up for true conversation, dialogue, and plans with possibilities.

  4. Thank you for your article, David. Donald Trump is a very concerning figure in my view, as well.

    And thank you for your response, Eileen. What I appreciated most about your response was that you approached the subject from a humane manner; you gave good examples that impact us all. I’m truly frustrated by the lack of cooperation shown by our bipartisan system over the last few decades. Instead of divisiveness, how about some good helpings of unity, inclusiveness, harmony, etc. And your phrase “a nation of voyeurs.” I like that. We may not want to see ourselves in that manner, but as they say, if the shoe fits…..

    So if we were to count the Independents as a third political party and the Trumpeters (anti… is to long to write) as their own party, does that leave us with a quadrapartisan system?

    I think that we need more of those guardian angels that David wrote about last year.

  5. What is there to understand. Our elected politicians have abandoned Christianity. Christianity has been the salve that has made capitalism work. No society can survived without a moral foundation. The ten commandments give us structure: Families, Work ethic, putting other before self, being morality clean… Trump isn’t completely there but he is close.

  6. Eileen McDargh. I’ll happily debate you. Trump is simply stating the truth and doing it in terms, which can’t be misunderstood. If Trump is not elected, we as a nation will in a few short years fail. Even if we elect Trump, it may be too late. Let’s examine: Same sex marriage is a cancer. It will quickly destroy our society. This may not be able to be turned back. Abortion has destroyed millions of individuals who have been sent to earth. How long will our God tolerate such disobedience. Our society has been distorted by dishonest politicians and businessmen. The playing field is simply not fair. The tax code is totally corrupt. Everything is taxed. It kills incentives. Medical and dental care is only for those well entrenched and well cared for in our society. Impossible debt, $22 trillion, Trillions of monetized taxes, more and more the individual has no way to prosper, to become financially independent, to take care of their families. Our nation is divided and if this does not soon change we will fall. And if we fall, there will be a ton of misery. Our only hope is Trump.

  7. Thanks David for a very thoughtful article. Here is my take on what is happening. From a person that is deeply religious I fear that we have reached a point in our history that the candidates are a reflection of the morals of the people today. We elect people we are comfortable with. I believe we are losing our moral compass.

  8. David, Its about time someone has finally talked about this third party phenomenon. Born in Canada to an American father, having an MBA/1967 from your alma mater, after decades with major US corporations, entrepreneurs and a foreign government, I was privileged to represent the top US military-industrial behemoth in UK/France/Portugal from 1981 to 1998. What a revealing experience! Neither my company nor our national intelligence agencies could thrive without war of some kind. I am a Trump “commonsense conservative” and have an adult, married daughter who “feels the Bern”. The logical Antiestablishment end-game will be, after Bernie is crushed by the corrupt opposition machine, a “rapprochement” of the disheartened/disenfranchised American youth mobs with the Trump middle-class diehards. Win or lose, Bernie can never deliver his popular promises through draconian taxation. However, through a fundamental capitalist revolution, Trump can deliver universal single payer healthcare in spite of negative propaganda (yes, our family has been covered by “socialized medicine” in 4 countries). He can deliver free post-secondary education (focused on job success) for all by exploiting the brilliance of the likes of Clayton Christensen mentioned above. We Americans cling to the illusion that we are still the richest, the smartest, most healthy, most righteous inhabitants of the earth when really we have lost ground on all these fronts. Like Britain after WWII, we wallow in our loss of past glory. To regain momentum, we do not need a few political tweeks, but need to wake up and mount a full (bloodless) revolution. On the bright side, Obama’s 7 inept years have revealed the nature, goals and magnitude of the American Left while Renegade Trump’s campaign has revealed the true face of the Republican establishment (i.e. Mitt/McConnell/Graham and the unhinged Uber-Right (i.e. Glenn, the wannabe Trump stabber, now being interviewed by The Secret Service).

  9. Interesting perspective. And having attended a caucus with you, I know you lean moderate (as evidenced by your support at the time of Huntsman). What you don’t remember about me (if you remember me at all), is that I am a constitutional conservative. My number one issue is “protect and defend the Constitution.” As a devout Christian, I know if my candidate does that, his/her battle will include protecting my religious liberty.

    So, I agree with you that Trump represents a “third party.” But we part ways when you put Ted Cruz into the same party as Trump. Ideologically they could not be more different.

    Yes, Trump represents antidisestablishmentarianism. But Cruz represents me—a constitutional conservative. Evidence? The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this past weekend just so happened to coincide with the latest GOP debate. At this conference they showed the debate in the main hall on multiple screens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both received boisterous, rousing applause over and over and over again. Trump? Jeers. Booing. Hostility. Over and over and over again.

    And Trump was scheduled to speak at CPAC about 1.5 days later!

    One author said, “Trump would be nuts to come here on Saturday morning. It would be a huge mistake.” He went on to say, “Imagine the damaging media headlines: “Donald Trump Booed at CPAC.” “Trump Shouted Down at Annual Gathering of Conservatives.” “Conservatives Protest Trump in Washington.” “Trump Calls CPAC Conservatives ‘Clowns,’ ‘Morons,’ ‘Idiots,’ ‘Liars,’ ‘Losers,’ ‘Lightweights’” (Paul Kengor, Why Trump Bailed out of CPAC).

    And guess what? Trump bailed out.

    But Cruz and Rubio made appearances and both were well liked. But who did true-blue conservatives like better? Cruz – 40%; Rubio-30%. This is wholly due to the fact that Cruz has, hands down, the best record at defending and protecting the Constitution—and those of us who want to conserve it.

    What you are not seeing, David, is what most of the “establishment” is not seeing—moderate Republicans have disenfranchised multiple constituencies. Trump represents one faction, made up of Republicans and cross-over Democrats (his win in South Carolina was due to in part to Democratic voters—it was an open primary), who are just plain angry and want someone to do something, anything.

    But Ted Cruz represents a completely different faction made up of true-hearted constitutional conservatives who see how moderate deal-making and progressivism (in both parties) has almost destroyed the Constitution AND this country.

    To me, Cruz is a warrior—a Constitutional Warrior-which is why I believe a lot of men in particular do not like him at first. But he is fighting for what a lot of us want someone to fight for—the first amendment, the second amendment, Article 1, etc. etc. etc. When is the last time in our lifetimes we have witnessed that? Reagan came close.

    If Trump ends up hijacking the Republican party, I believe you are, again, correct. I believe a third party will emerge, but it will not be the Antidisestablishmentarianism Party. It will be the Constitutional Conservative party (a la Lincoln and the death of a Whig party that was not tough enough on slavery). And if this happens, I will gladly join.

    1. Great comments Deena. I just wish Cruz were more likable. I am more comfortable with Marco; I never like extremes at either end. But if I have to choose between Trump and Cruz, Cruz is a no brainer. I just know a lot of people who have spent direct time with him and none of them care for his arrogance and lack of true warmth.

  10. I hear you David. But as I learned from our friend (well, your friend, not mine) Stephen Covey, we must be careful not to let the “personality ethic” cloud our judgment. This is NOT a personality contest. Yes, it would be nice of Cruz was more likable, but I am trying to make my decision on skills and abilities, not congeniality. Cruz has a strong record of actually defending the Constitution. After all is said and done, that is how he earned my vote (and the votes of almost 3 million primary voters so far, to Rubio’s 2.2m). I spent hours this election season watching interviews and listening to speeches of many candidates. Once you get used to his edginess and pay attention to his accomplishments and values, Cruz actually grows on you after a while :-)

  11. What comes next? Our current system is perfectly designed to get the results we receive. If we don’t like our results, we need to redesign the system.

    What does our replacement governing system look like? What changes can we make to have a government of the people, by the people, for the people?

    Is it a three party or four party system (let’s not forget the Tea Party and their inability to work with anyone opposed to their very specific views)? Would more labeling and division amongst ourselves improve our results?

    How can we implement a system whereby the participants – our elected representatives – are rewarded by putting the greater good ahead of their own self-interest?

    The decline of our America tracks very closely with the abandonment of our ideal that we each have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our countrymen. It has been eroded by the concept that the government is responsible for us and therefore we need not take on our personal responsibilities. Watch how those vying for our votes point to others and tell us that we are not to blame for our consequences because they – billionaires per Bernie, Muslims per Trump, Democrats per Republicans, Republicans per Democrats, and on and on – are the true cause of our consequences. We have allowed this to happen to ourselves and until we are actively involved in making choices to achieve better results, we deserve what we get.

    A moderate desperate for a presidential candidate to represent me.

    1. Well said! Unfortunately, it is discouraging. Somehow we will come out of it as a nation. I love your spirit and well laid out concerns.

  12. I am amazed by the Pro-Trumpism which seems to come from rather educated people on this blog. It is one thing to be grumpy and disenchanted with the political establishment but what is Trump’s program to “make America great again”? I have searched and it boils down to 1. Repeal Obamacare 2.Start a trade war with China (good luck with that) 3. Reform the tax code (trickle down economy again?) 4. Anti-immigration law and building a wall 5.Make sure that everybody continues to carry guns. Really people? Has anyone passed Eco 101? I am a US citizen, living in France and we get the same populist diatribe from the Front National around here. It makes for good TV but lousy economic program

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