The surprise successes of the insurgency campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have sent a powerful message to Washington insiders: This election year, Americans are hungry for something different. They want a different kind of leader—one who can cut through the red tape and actually get things done.
As the editor of Gawker, I may live and work in the heart of The Establishment, but I think I know a little more about what Normal Americans want than your average media elite. After all, my hometown is in Minnesota, and I have also been to Maine and, briefly, Nebraska—all places where Normal Americans outnumber the other kinds.
Here’s what I’ve learned in those places: Normal Americans know that the government is sclerotic, inefficient, beholden to special interests, and unable to get results. Washington is tied to the old ways of doing things, and bureaucracy stands in the way of utilizing the new technologies and strategies that help our boldest entrepreneurs get ahead in today’s hyper-connected digital world.
Normal Americans are fed up with politics as usual. And what is more “politics as usual” than allowing our two creaky old political parties to maintain a duopoly on electing America’s next head of state?
Normal Americans demand change, and they know that change will have to come from outside the traditional two-party system. Donald Trump may inspire crowds of Normal Americans with his bold talk of shaking up Washington, but his over-the-top tone won’t fly with other business leaders, and he hasn’t shown the dignity necessary to win over the military brass. Bernie Sanders may promise a “revolution,” but soaking America’s job creators is no way to encourage the sort of bottom-up innovation this country really needs.
I appreciated my friend Jim VandeHei’s compelling call for a third-party candidate from “outside the political system” who could “exploit the fear factor,” but he doesn’t go far enough. It’s time for some real change you can believe in: After Obama’s term in office is up (or even before), the United States Armed Forces, backed by America’s most innovative entrepreneurs, should stage a coup d’état.
President Barack Obama is an honorable man who has done his best, but there’s no denying that a bolder leader would have seized on recent ISIS activity as an opportunity to suspend the Constitution and spare America the drudgery of another presidential election.
America needs a strong leader with a military background who is willing to declare a state of emergency, dissolve our do-nothing Congress (let’s send those clowns home to their districts—permanently!), and refuse to relinquish control of the government until we’ve destroyed ISIS, introduced democracy to Iran, brought Putin to heel, and showed China who’s really in charge of the Asia-Pacific region.
The military is home to some of America’s brightest warrior-intellectuals, but they don’t have all the answers. That’s why I’d also call on the boldest innovators of Silicon Valley to immediately voice their strong support for the new regime. With titans like Marc Andreesen, Marissa Mayer, and Elizabeth Holmes on board, Americans would know that the country was in good hands.
As long as partisanship reigns, special interests control Congress, and our presidents are forced to answer to the most extreme voices in their bases, we’ll never balance the budget, overhaul our broken entitlement programs, or introduce true competition and choice to the education and healthcare markets. One man could accomplish all of that and more, with the help of America’s fighting men and women, and our bravest entrepreneurs.
If we’re going to disrupt government, let’s really disrupt it.