Home > Uncategorized > Patrick Caddell: The Pollster Who “Got it Right”

Patrick Caddell: The Pollster Who “Got it Right”

by Mike Whitney

CounterPunch (November 11 2016)

 

 

Despite everything we are told day and night – that the political battle in America is between Democrats and Republicans – two thirds of the American people believe that the battle lines are drawn between mainstream America and its ruling Political Class … This is something the political class and mainstream media refuse to recognize much less acknowledge.

– Patrick Caddell {1}

What’s it going to take to get the political class to realize that people are fed up with the status quo?

Remember the Tea Party? Remember Occupy Wall Street? Remember how the American people voted for “change” in 2008 and then again in 2012?

Weren’t those all signs that the American people were “mad as hell” with the self-serving policies of the Washington elites?

Change means change. It doesn’t mean eight years of splashy oratory accompanied by the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. That’s not what change means. That’s just more of the same.

Did Hillary promise to change the economy, change the direction of the country, or change Washington?

No, of course not, because everyone knows she’s a charter member of the corrupt political establishment, a well-paid lackey of Wall Street whose Foundation is a vast repository of illicit funds from foreign dignitaries, corporate chiefs and gangsters. That’s why Hillary’s braying about change never really convinced anyone, because they knew from experience that she’s a diehard insider who made her personal fortune cutting deals for access with other members of the ruling elite.

What Hillary promised voters was continuity, another four years of Barack Obama. That was her whole shtick. But people don’t want another four more years of Obama. In fact, in a recent survey, people were asked explicitly if we “should we continue with the same policies supported by Barack Obama”? People answered “No” by a resounding 25% margin.

And this is what’s so paradoxical about Obama. On the one hand, he’s still very popular (Gallup puts his public approval ratings at 57% which is quite high), but on the other hand, people know he’s done a crappy job, in fact, according to a recent survey, seventy percent of the American people think the country is “headed in the wrong direction”. Think about that for a minute. What it means, is that people still like the guy, they just don’t think he’s delivered the goods, which is why most people think he’s been “a disappointment”.

One can only assume that Obama’s failed presidency must have had a big impact on the election and – judging by the results of the congressional, senatorial and executive races – that impact was overwhelmingly negative. Obama’s lousy presidency hurt Hillary in ways that no analyst has yet explored.

But that’s not the main reason why voters rejected Hillary. The main reason has to do with a little matter we never talk about in America, class. Donald Trump was swept into office on a wave of class consciousness that annihilated Hillary’s hope for victory. The only pollster who seems to have figured out what was going on (and who predicted a Trump victory) was Patrick Caddell who explained it all in a brilliant article titled, “The real election surprise? The uprising of the American people”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

 

 

For more than two years the American people, in a great majority, from left to right, have been in revolt against the political class and the financial elites in America … It is a peaceful uprising of a people who see a country in decline and see nothing but failure in the performance of their leadership institutions. And they have signaled their intent to take back their country and to reclaim their sovereignty. {2}

 

 

So while all the other pollsters were crunching the numbers and examining trends, Caddell was looking for proof that we had entered a new “historic paradigm”, one that was marked less by party identification than it was by collective hatred for the corrupt political establishment and their deep-state puppetmasters. In this brave new world, a vote for Hillary was basically a vote for the status quo. Is it any wonder why Trump won?

Here are a few questions that were asked in Caddell’s survey that help to shed light the pre-election mood of the country:

 

Powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions and political interest groups have used campaign and lobbying money to rig the system for them. They are looting the national treasury of billions of dollars at the expense of every man, woman and child. AGREE = 81%; DISAGREE = 13% …

The country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists and other powerful money interests for their own gain at the expense of the American people. AGREE = 87%; DISAGREE = 10%

The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but between mainstream America and the ruling political elites. AGREE = 67%; DISAGREE = 24%.

Which is closer to your opinion if (Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump) wins: the political elites and special interests win; the political elite and special interests lose.

By 65 percent to 35 percent voters said that if Hillary Clinton wins the political elites WIN. And by an opposite margin, the majority of voters said that by 57 percent to 43 percent the elites LOSE if Trump wins.

… when asked whether or not everyone in America plays by the same rules to get ahead or are there different rules for well-connected and people with money, a staggering 84 percent of voters picked the latter. Only ten percent believed that everyone has an equal opportunity.

These over-arching attitudes provide the framework for today’s political revolt. {3}

 

 

 

This is excellent analysis given the fact that the vast majority of pundits and pollsters were completely befuddled by the election results. Drawing from his own long experience, Caddell could see that “something profound was happening in the collective consciousness of the American people” and that “what had been assumed to be the static political system was about to be reconfigured in ways and that we still do not know fully”.

While I admire Caddell’s insights about the emerging class war across America, I’m not sure that he’s right when he says “the old rules of politics are collapsing”. The rules aren’t collapsing. What’s happening is that more people are simply aware of what’s going on and who their real enemies are, the bigshots in the deep-state establishment who have no political affiliation and who control just about everything. This new awareness or class consciousness is an essential part of understanding how the world works and who is screwing whom, but it’s importance shouldn’t be exaggerated. No corporate honcho is going to end austerity or raise wages just because his employees figure out that they’re getting ripped off. It doesn’t work that way. The only way to end exploitation is by aligning with other people who have similar interests and who are willing to put themselves on the firing-line in order to get a square deal.

Trump’s not going to do that. He’s not going to fight the “power elite system” that he wants to be a part of. And neither are the Democrats or Republicans. Both parties are thoroughly marinated in corruption and joined at the hip with the big money. That should be obvious by now.

That means working people are going to have to find another way, a Plan B, otherwise, the American middle class is going to go the way of the Dodo.

Links:

{1} http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/11/07/patrick-caddell-real-election-surprise-uprising-american-people.html

{2} Ibid

{3} Ibid

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/11/patrick-caddell-the-pollster-who-got-it-right/

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