Rigged. No word more appropriately describes the 2016 presidential election. I don't mean that the election is being fixed by ballot-box stuffing, or that politicians are buying votes by handing out "walking-around money."
I'm talking about how the word "rigged" keeps popping up everywhere, as if speech writers had a lexicographic central casting. Politicians use it to make the case for their candidacies. Voters use it to explain why they're hopping mad. Liberal movements use it as their raison d'etre. Conservatives use it to mock the liberal "elites" and government in Washington. Everything, it seems, is rigged -- from banks to tax codes and criminal prosecutions.
Elizabeth Warren put the word into political play in 2012, in a passionate speech at the Democratic National Convention: "People feel like the system is rigged against them, and here is the painful part, they're right. The system is rigged." The worst offenders: oil subsidies, low tax rates paid by billionaires, and Wall Street CEOs who, after the 2008 financial crisis, "still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors."