America has had a baby boomer in the White House since January 1993, when Bill Clinton was sworn in. And now America is about to get another baby boomer – whether Hillary or Trump – when the swearing in takes place next inauguration day, Friday, January 20, 2017. Unless an Electoral College tie forces a House vote with a surprise choice, one that makes it past any legal challenges. Before a 4-4 Supreme Court.

As aging boomers are wont to do, their focus has been mostly about preserving the status quo in Hillary’s case, or returning to an America the very same boomers grew up in in Trump’s case. One that afforded them unimagined opportunities, or at the very least, a reasonably stable work environment. Even for high school graduates.

In a recent article, Michael Brendan Dougherty claims very convincingly that America has given up on the future. It seems a strange thing to say in a world of technological disruption and global trade deals, but there is something very real and unsettling in what he postulates. For example:

Our politics have ceded the future to the markets and Silicon Valley. The question of social organization, presumably, has been mostly solved by the wonks … The global elite is converging on economic integration, low trade barriers, universal benefits, light regulation, and the cultivation of a global class of politicians and plutocrats who socialize and groom each other and their children for continued benevolent rule.

In other words, the shenanigans at the Clinton group of charities is business as usual for them and they only regret that hacked emails and stubborn FBI investigators – and idiotic separated-husband-failed-mayoral-candidate-schlemiels as well – are to blame for these minor ethical matters coming to the public’s attention.

And while Dougherty’s attacks on Trump are understandable – he’s appealing to a time we can’t get back – there is something Dougherty does not say about Trump which nonetheless flows directly from the quote above.

Although Trump does come from the economic elites, he does not fit easily or well with the typical model of a Davos Man or Woman. And he is the one candidate willing to take the elites on, precisely because he understands them. And they him of course. Bloomberg’s attack on Trump at the Democratic convention last summer was exactly the response you’d expect from someone angry that a candidate is not in line with the established global order. And they have piled on to Trump, helped mightily by Trump’s joyful disregard of politically correct discourse. So Trump can claim outsider status and postulate himself as the agent of change.

At least, that is Trump’s great promise to his supporters. It’s what Gingrich praised in him in his final and defiantly ringing endorsement of Trump in the media late this week. Never mind that Trump’s children fit perfectly in Dougherty’s quote about the wealthy grooming their children for power – it’s no surprise that is the one thing Hillary, when forced to do so in the debates, praised in Trump: his children. Trump himself is seen by his supporters as the last possible agent of change.

That is likely wrong. But if Trump actually wins, we are about to find out how much change he is willing to enact. And how much he is able to enact with America’s separation of powers inevitably presenting his ambitions with the limits placed there precisely to deal with ambition and power seeking. Whether by Obama, or Trump, or Hillary. But the great difference is that Hillary has most of D.C. lined up ready to do business with her. Trump does not. At least not yet.

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