aside Why are Both Bernie and “the Donald” Drawing “Huuuuge’ Crowds?

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders
 For the record: I have not made a decision as to who I will vote for in the 2016 presidential elections. However, I am certain of one thing.  I would never vote for Donald Trump. Not only do I strongly disagree with his rhetoric about how he would tackle the 11 million U.S. undocumented immigrants as well as his intent to bar any Muslims from entering our country, I have reservations about how he would represent our country when interfacing with foreign leaders.
So, this is strictly a sociological question: “Why are both presidential candidates, the Vermont democrat Senator Bernie Sanders and the republican NY real estate tycoon, Donald Trump drawing such huge crowds during their campaign stumps in comparison to their competitors? As of a few months ago, both contenders were considered to be long shots by their respective party establishment members. When they started to do better in the polls while attracting even larger crowds, the political pundits continued to deny what they were witnessing with their own eyes. Then the party elites succumbed to a state of panic as these two commenced to prevail in some state elections.
Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders
Despite their having many diametrically opposite viewpoints along with their different backgrounds, they have both managed to come from behind to where they can no longer be ignored.
One major difference between the two has to do with the issue of immigration. These are Bernie Sanders own words regarding his thoughts on immigration: “As president, I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a road-map to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans living in this country. But I will not wait for Congress to act. I will take executive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do and build upon President Obama’s executive orders to unite families.” Regarding the issue of welcoming Syrian refugees to the U.S., he states: “In terms of the Syrian refugee situation we are now facing, now is not the time for us to succumb to racism and bigotry. In this moment, it is particularly important that we not allow ourselves to be divided by the anti-immigrant hysteria that Republican presidential candidates are ginning up.”
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
The following are Donald Trumps thoughts on immigration:“As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.” We all know that he has stated that he would build a great wall on our southern border. Frequently, he says that he welcomes legal immigrants but that he would deport those who are in the U.S. illegally, but they can then apply for re-entry. For a finite period of time he wants to bar all Muslims from being able to enter our shores.
Another contrast has to do with their style of campaigning. Senator Sanders has pledged to to fight for his party’s presidential nomination in a positive way without resorting to personal attacks. Mr. Trump is famous for his ability to identify and to then launch deadly effective verbal missiles with laser precision against any of his opponents’ weaknesses. No group of peoples and / or individuals appear to be safe from his personal slurs and barbs.
Cartoonist Gary Varvel: A Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump debateThere are a myriad of other major divergences in their politics, characters and their priorities. One at 74 years old, calls himself an independent socialist who has served his country in the U.S. congress for 24 years. Over the years Senator Bernie Sanders has been consistent in his policies. And the other at 69 years old, brags about his capitalistic business acumen by detailing how he has run successful companies and amassed a fortune. Over the years, Donald Trump has developed a reputation for altering his stances on a number of political issues.
Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
Both were born and grew up in New York City, one in Brooklyn and the other in Queens. Both like to yell the word “Huuuuge.” What else could these two men possibly have in common, that they would be encouraged by huge audiences who are so enthusiastic? Well other political junkies are asking this same question. In the 1/6/16 Atlantic blog, Molly Ball tackles this conundrum in her article, “What Trump and Sanders Have in Common.” Here are excerpts:
“Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the two most surprising candidates to emerge as major factors in the 2016 presidential race. They draw the biggest crowds. They’re shouty.”

” I’ve heard it from others on the left, who shudder at any likeness being drawn between their populist hero and the other side’s. The thing is, they’re wrong, and (this time) the pundits are right.”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

“Trump and Sanders share an angry tone and a raw, un-politician-like affect that their supporters find refreshingly authentic. But the similarities don’t end there by any means. Trump and Sanders have a remarkable number of policy stances in common. Here’s a quick list:”

  • “Both oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
  • Both support maintaining or expanding current levels of Social Security benefits.
  • Both support some upper income tax hikes.
  • Both lament the pernicious role of money in politics.
  • Both opposed the Iraq war and believe the money spent on it could have been put to better use domestically
DONALD TRUMP CARTOONS BS AND DT greenberg-Sanders-Trump-cmyk
I disagree with the checks on scant chance to win.
  • Both have been known to worry that increased immigration could depress working-class wages. (Both want to reform or outright eliminate the abuses of companies replacing U.S. employees with contracted foreign visa holders at much lower wages. Both would like to end the offshoring of U.S. jobs to Mexico and China.)
  • Both have supported single-payer health care.
  • Both have flip-flopped on gun control.”

“The remarkable amount of policy convergence between Trump and Sanders helps explain why both (but especially Trump, who holds more positions at odds with his party’s platform) appear so extreme and threatening to their respective party establishments. Their shared anti-elitism isn’t a pose—it’s substantive opposition to the policy positions held by party elites they view as corporatism sellouts.”

Bruce Plante Cartoon
Bruce Plante Cartoon

“I understand the impulse of lefties to insist that Sanders is far more serious and constructive than the man they see as “an authoritarian blowhard.” But I also know some liberals who welcome the comparison. Trump’s success, they say, is proof that (a version of) Sanders’ populism has broad appeal, beyond the confines of the Democratic base, with Republicans and independent voters.”

Most importantly, both Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are NOT accepting donations to their campaigns by superpacs, lobbyists, and corporations. Both are focusing on helping the middle class to get a fair shake. Oh yes, both have hopeful, widely shared messages  like “making America great again;” and encouraging a groundswell of peoples to form a revolution to demand reforms. Could this be why both are defying the odds as they build a huge coalition of supporters? Even if they are outgunned and hindered from winning the prize by their party establishment heavy weights, they have made a difference by challenging the current political conventional rules.