Why the Sanders/Trump Phenomenon Matters

Donald Trump takes the headlines, while Bernie Sanders draws the crowds: 28,000 in Portland, Ore. Each represents a different (very different) side of the same coin — a disillusionment with politics dominated by big donors, Wall Street (ironically, in Trump’s case) and the Beltway media. Neither will win (though stranger things have happened: both Goldwater and McGovern won their respective nominations, Truman did defeat Dewey and some African-American guy with big ears and a funny name won his. And the White House. Twice.), but their current ascendancy speaks to an undercurrent perhaps best expressed in two ways by one of my favorite films, 1976’s Network:


As well as by George Carlin, in any number of ways.

The point is that we’re in an age of uncertainty, when America’s global role is unclear, its credibility unclear; the global economic future is unclear, individuals’ economic situation is unclear, racial tension is at a level unseen since Rodney King and political would-be leaders are unclear on how to address these issues. That degree of uncertainty — across all fronts — has countlessly led to the rise of populists like Sen. Sanders and Mr. Trump and a turn away from “establishment” leaders across the political, business and media spectra.

Full disclosure: I support Sen. Sanders’ campaign, proudly have a “Bernie 2016” bumper sticker on my car and have also donated (albeit modestly) to his campaign.

~ by Benji on August 12, 2015.

One Response to “Why the Sanders/Trump Phenomenon Matters”

  1. […] to the developing 2016 presidential race. I’ve tweeted extensively on the latter and have written on it on this site (with, I’m sure, much more to come). Granted, the two shows don’t have much aside from […]


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