TRUMP VS SANDERS
There have been several articles recently about the rise in popularity of Bernie Sanders on the left and Donald Trump on the right. Both phenomena seem to have arisen from dissatisfaction among the public over the current dysfunctional state of affairs of our political system in general and Congress in particular. Read one this morning by Matt Bai that attributes Trump’s and Sanders success in articulating this dissatisfaction to anger on the right and anger on the left in equivalent parallel streams. (Trump's Angry Legions) No question that on the right side of the scales Tea Baggers and Radical Right Wingers are angry and on the left/progressive side anger too is evident.
But in an otherwise decent article, Bai foregoes an opportunity to examine the source of anger on both sides and hypothesizes that both groups are “outliers” that will have no impact of the choice of the eventual Republican and Democratic candidates for the 2016 Presidential election. Nothing could be further from the truth or from the reality of what’s really going on in our political run-up to the election. In fact, there was no better example of the vacuous mouthings of right wing politicians than their Fox controlled “debate” last week that was bereft of anything resembling even the remotest of policy pronouncements.
As for Trump, we’ve been here before: Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz et al having mined the depths of right wing base anger to a farethewell. Typical of this deep-seated anger are the latest explosion of right winger anger and public outrage against Planned Parenthood and the Iran Agreement, which have been preceded by righteous anger against gays, climate change, Common Core, stem call research, gun control laws and a veritable cornucopia of pet policy projects including shutting down the Federal Government in paroxysms of childish four-year-old-style temper tantrums.
Now let’s shift to Bernie Sanders and the so called left wing/progressive anger manifestations. We liberals are, perhaps, equally frustrated as right wingers are over the direction of public policy in 2015 (and the past thirty years) but to call our vocal dissent “anger” in an equivalency to the righteous anger of the right is to miss the point altogether. We aren’t threatening to shut the government down if we don’t get our way, we don’t believe that Planned Parenthood is some Satanic Organization out to destroy America, us liberals are okay with Social Security and we don’t believe that Obama is marshaling Blue Helmeted United Nations troops in Texas or Puerto Rico waiting to turn America into a dictatorship.
Here’s a few things that we do believe need to be addressed: raising minimum wages so that workers don’t need to go on welfare in addition to working to survive; fixing the sorry state of our infrastructure – roads, bridges, the electrical grid, our third world internet; comprehensive immigration reform; equitable tax polices; reversing the corporatization of American society; reforming the whole college loan disaster; Wall Street and banking regulations to prevent another 2008-style world wide crash; preventing more U.S. troops from losing their lives in the Middle East, to name a few.
Now if you watched last weeks’ Republican debate you heard not a word about any of the issues I just listed. What you did hear was a whole lot of bloviated rhetoric about Planned Parenthood, Sanctuary Cities and The American Dream that every candidate wants to reinstitute through “personal responsibility” and “individual initiative.” It was, in fact, a Saharan Desert of ideas and an Artic freezer of failed policies.
Contrast this with the policy proposal laden Bernie Sanders. And, as we all hoped when he declared his candidacy, he’s pushed Hillary Clinton to the left. Income inequality (not a word from the Republicans), raising taxes on the rich (not a word from Republicans), reversing Citizen’s United (not a word about this from Republicans), stemming the decline of America’s working and middle classes (not a word……), comprehensive immigration reform (not a word….).
Frankly I don’t see the emergence of Bernie Sanders as a viable candidate as a result of liberal/progressive anger but from a much more traditional analysis of the facts of our current state of affairs and realizing that some pretty wholesale changes in public policy are required to set America back on the correct path. Contrast this arrival at support for avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders with the right wing’s embrace of Donald Trump as the savior of the American Dream by building a wall to prevent murderous, raping Mexican immigrants from flowing to Southwest America in endless tsunami waves. Except for the fact that it’s New York, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Jersey according to a Pew Study who have seen increases in illegal immigration of late.
Now I know that Bernie’s popularity as a genuine, died-in-the-wool, card carrying Socialist candidate (perhaps our first legitimate contender since the 1930’s) must be blowing Rush Limbaugh’s mind to smithereens. And I will posit that he and the folks at Fox News have very much influenced us to turn to Bernie Sanders with our analytical propensities. After all, Rush has been calling anyone to the left of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz Socialist-Commie-Traitors for years now.
So, hey, if this is what us sensible, law-abiding, fact-loving, liberal and progressive members of the American scene are going to be labeled, then why not play the part?
Thanks Rush. You have finally made us mad enough with your endless propaganda shit to throw caution to the wind and join Senator Bernie Sanders in his efforts to stem the tide of mean-spirited, inhumane and immoral conservatism which have pretty much destroyed the America we once knew and loved.
So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it is left wing anger that’s propelling the huge crowds at Bernie’s campaign stops. But we came to him not because of religious fundamentalist exhortations or including God in our formulation of public policy or Koch billions, but by reasoned, thoughtful, and common sense analysis of our current state of affairs and because this is how we came to support Mr. Socialist, none of us will be turned back by the sloganeering, propagandizing lies of the Tea Baggers and right wingers. We are onto you. We have joined the fight and we ain’t about to let America down.
FACTS FOREVER!!! (Okay, maybe not the catchiest of political slogans but long overdue.)
TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY!