The so-called “establishment,” a favorite target of the right wing and a much maligned entity, does not operate as an overt collusion or a nefarious organization; in fact, one wonders if it is a strict alliance at all in any sense of the term. Rather, the establishment exerts its influence through experience and an inherited knowledge of the way things operate. The proverb, “you can’t fight City Hall,” can be interpreted in too strict a manner. But in terms of efficiency, proper governance and preventing any one individual or political party to operate untrammeled, the establishment ensures things get done in an effective way, achieving results widely accepted throughout society.
The establishment has come under sustained attack since the formation of the Tea Party and the rise of right-wing extremists who are unable to compromise and “play nice” with others. These “anti-establishment” politicians are willing to shut down the government and create as much ruckus as possible to get what they want done, despite the opposition of others. They have endangered the credit rating of the U.S. government and were even willing to shut down the Homeland Security department in an effort to oppose President Obama’s executive order on immigration, similar orders previously given by Republican Presidents as well.
The establishment plays many useful roles in United States government. It protects us from demagogues such as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and, in a previous election, Newt Gingrich. It enables compromise and smooths out the process of governance. It provides for minimum standards for elected officials, and, in the media, it tells us what’s really going on in a neutral and effective way. So, we must beware of those who rail against the establishment or “mainstream media” for they are the ones with ulterior motives.