Bernie Sanders offers policy proposals and solutions, while Trump offers xenophobia, bigotry, and arrogance. Nothing, absolutely nothing he says stands up to analytical scrutiny. One may or may not agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposals, but at least they are serious policy recipes with a strong progressive (and sometimes populist, granted) flavor.
Here’s a little secret.
Most American voters wouldn’t know an actual policy from the Mexican policia. It’s too much trouble. Most Americans vote on impressions and, very important, the tribal identification conjured up by the candidate.
If the candidate appears to be in our tribe, or one who makes a strong effort, American’s are in. 93 percent of the people who call themselves Republicans voted last time around for the ultimate plastic candidate, Mitt Romney. Nothing was going to sway them. He could have said that 62% of the country consists of welfare cheats who send their daughters out to walk the streets as prostitutes and to buy fresh supplies of cocaine. It would not have mattered.
So, Trump is, shorn of policy intentions or starting points, not all that different from the voters. Plus, there’s this: they’ve been voting based on promises all their lives and have been disappointed, repeatedly. Why not throw darts at the board to pick a candidate? Why not a reality show host with an affinity for bankruptcy and rough business tactics evicting people from their apartments?
The underlying idea is to give a sharp slap across the face of the smart policy wonks who’ve allowed more than half of America be left behind by prosperity and to take a swipe at immigrants who can work cheaper and harder, deflating the actual value of many voters’ only product, labor. Yet, if Trump, the nominee, comes to pass, he will surely shatter the tribal alliances that crowd under the Republican banner.
Bernie Sanders doesn’t stand a chance against that.