Apres Moi Le Deluge; Apres
Nous Le Deluge

By

Leonard Zwelling

         The first, “after me, the flood” is attributed to the next
to the last King of France, Louis XV. The second “after us, the flood,” to his
concubine Marquise de Pompadour, and might have come first chronologically. The
two statements refer to the attitude of the wealthy aristocracy toward the
peasants that proved prescient for Louis’ son was toppled by that deluge, The
French Revolution. Could it be that we are there again?

         The so-called establishment of both American political parties
is having a rough go. On the Democratic side, Hillary just can’t seem to put
away that pesky 74–year old Bernie Sanders who seems to represent the
sentiments of those 50 years younger than he is who grew up in a world of the
failure of establishment capitalism. Student debt is out of control. Many young
people are underemployed when compared to the promises made to them in those
fancy colleges they went into debt to attend. The market crash of 2008 with all
the guilty escaping makes accountability for out of control capitalism and
white collar crime seem archaic, if it ever was real. Why should the young
believe in capitalism? All it’s gotten them is debt and war.

         The Republican side is even worse. Bush promised lower taxes
and less debt. Forget about it. His legacy is perpetual sand wars and bigger deficits. When the GOP
took over Congress in 2010, they proved unable to govern, but able to
pontificate and enrich themselves and grind the government to a halt. Should it
be a surprise that great swaths of the American electorate are saying: “a
plague on both your houses” and opting for Trump, perhaps the first billionaire
to lead a national revolt?

         This is what happens when the landed gentry and the power
elite do not allow the fruits of capitalism to grace the tables of all
Americans. The “hoi polloi” will rebel and they will storm the Bastille, even if
led by a wealthy man with a golden mane and an ornery disposition.

         Hillary might as well be saying après moi le deluge, because
she had no young challengers and there are none in line. The Democrats are
hopelessly thin in the ranks for the next generation of leaders.

         The GOP has the young guns like Paul Ryan, but they are so
inextricably linked to the establishment elite, that they are no better than
the Old Guard of the GOP like McCain and Romney or the Bushes. Besides, Donald
beat those guys fair and square. The establishment GOP may not be happy with
the outcome, but if they don’t they have no one to blame but their own inept governance
in the Congress and a series of establishment white guy Presidential candidates,
most of whom lost.

         The Deluge is upon us. It will either occur now if Trump is
elected or four years from now when Hillary is defeated for a second term by
Ted Cruz. The people are speaking even if only The Donald and The Bern can hear
them.

         We have had enough of the establishment leaders on both
sides. Le Deluge est maintenant.

Leonard Zwelling