Definitions of revolutions differ one from the other. And revolutions differ one from the other. Some revolutions, for example, are bloody and others are not.
But all political revolutions have at least four things in common. First, they are an overthrow of the previously existing order. Second they are directed from below against those up top. Third, they are driven by anger so intense and relentless it ends in upheaval. Finally, they require leadership, generally a single political figure who previously was an outsider, who promises a brave new world.
What has happened in America in recent months is a revolution – a revolution against the Establishment, a revolution against the political Establishment, and a Revolution against the Republican Establishment. Make no mistake about it: Donald Trump has led an American revolution.
No coincidence that Trump’s success yesterday among Indiana Republicans was mirrored by Bernie Sanders’s success yesterday among Indiana Democrats. Unlike Trump, Sanders is not likely to clinch his party’s nomination for president. But to have this previously anonymous Socialist give Hillary Clinton a run for her money is a reminder that whatever the ultimate outcome among Democrats, they crave change, just like Republicans.
Trump’s victory is not the end of leadership. But it is the end of American leaders as we have known them – and it is the end of American followers as we have known them. The former have been destabilized and the latter reenergized.