The Establishment is a term you hear a great deal in the GOP. It’s meant to be pejorative and a way to rally your supporters as being underdogs.
What puts you in the Establishment?
One major thing is whether you have a financial and professional stake in how an election turns out. I don’t mean “oh my taxes might go up if the Democrat wins,” I mean is your ability to make a living connected to who wins an election. The following groups of people are in the Establishment because of that clarification:
- Elected officials
- National party officials and staff (including people who work at RNC, NRCC, NRSC, RGA)
- State party chairs
- National political consultants
- State political consultants
If you look at those people who see a great deal of variation. For example under this definition Ken Mehlman and Ron Paul are both part of the establishment. Both have a financial stake in the outcomes of elections, even if they may want an election to have a different outcome. This is not a hobby, an interest, or a cause for them – it’s a career.
What does this say about the Establishment? More than anything it shows that the Establishment is not a monolith. In fact, the Establishment is in a state of civil war until the party nominee is chosen. Now some people in the Establishment don’t operate well in it but doesn’t mean they are not part of it. No it just means they are on the losing side for now.
So if you’re not someone with a financial stake in the election what are then? Well, that’s another post for another day.