Bernie Sanders an Donald Trump

At first glance, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would appear to be swinging on opposite poles. In a sense, yes, but look closely, and you can see their arcs merge:
• Neither is a party regular
• Both were regarded dismissively when they began their run
• Both placed their respective party hosts in a pot of water, on a low flame
• Each one now is watching his respective party squirm, as the water begins to boil
• Both claim to represent a new movement.
This situation is ripe for metaphor; the reality even more fruitful.

Donald Trump is a lifelong blowhard and amasser of fortune. In a different political system, he could have been:
• A playboy king who found the crown too heavy
• A “fuehrer,” a failed artist who blamed his plight on the Jews and almost destroyed the world
• A “tovarich” who built power upon the slaughter of a royal family, and could have enslaved the world
• “Il Duce,” who foisted his insatiable ego upon a peaceful nation, and ended as an upside-down, desecrated corpse

The comparisons are endless. Just mix a vulnerable people, a vulnerable system and a megalomaniac.

Bernie Sanders is a lifelong Socialist who only tolerates the Democrats. He knew he would be only a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton, but it was an opportunity to get out his word. He had no idea how far that word would go.

In the beginning, he even kowtowed to Clinton, dramatically discarding the importance of her email debacle. As the crowds grew, that deference changed to challenge, with the seeming endless attendance at his noisy rallies. That deference has turned into contempt. It appears that Sanders has convinced himself that he could win this thing. Of course, he could; but it would take the unlikely defection of many of the party faithful.

In contrast to Trump’s mainly White, male, working-to-middle-class supporters, Sanders has zoomed in on young, mainly White, liberal, “digit-agers”. The sociologists will have a field day working this out. It probably confounds Bernie, as well; but he is not looking, “a gift-horse in the mouth.”

In this unexpectedly unusual campaign season, it would appear that the presumed candidates for both parties are set – but, the way things are going, don’t bet on it. As improbable as it may seem, neither of those candidates is set in unbreakable stone. Both could fail to be seated in an unruly (or subtlety controlled) convention. Most of the GOP bigwigs are playing it nicey-nicey with Trump – so far! This may be just a tactic, to keep him quiet until they come up with a stunner at the convention. Hillary Clinton’s lackluster performance, in comparison to the firebrand Bernie, may give those highly placed super delegates something to think about. At any rate, it’s a bet that neither convention will be a cure for insomniacs.

This is turning into a Third American Revolution – albeit, non-shooting. The Democratic and Republican Parties have been the two dominants since 1860, although their poles have shifted with regard to conservatism and liberalism. They were both masters of the scene throughout the 20th century and into the new millennium. Third-party incursions into this duopoly all have crashed. The current attacks upon these two giants were unexpected and defensively unprepared-for. The digital generation has unmasked the jealous party-fealty of the former, “smoke-filled rooms.” Both parties are in a quandary. Their controlling rules for voting are being challenged and trashed. Party leaders on both sides are stunned, and know not how to respond. They can only stand on the sidelines and watch these two outsiders have their way with their respective parties. The party leaders are being disrespected, discarded and dismissed. The party is not over – or is it?! Stay tuned.

***** ***** *****

Two outside kids came on the block.
They upset the neighborhood flock.
Came their turn at bat,
That half-ball went flat.
Moral: “Do not newcomers mock!”

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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