Trump's Surge Boosts Bernie's Impeccable Honor
The only remaining suspense this primary season is whether Democrats will follow Republicans and nominate their least attractive candidate. And the only remaining cosmic conundrum: how to trash Trumpery. More than ever, Trump's dominance elevates the scandal-free, Bernie destiny, spotlighting the best moral, policy and Electoral College giant killer. Though early polling elevates Hillary over Trump in key states like FL, her campaign staggers, bogged down with a compromised candidate and mediocre campaigner. That's hardly the killer app to stop the Trump train wreck, let alone his adding the White House to his splashy, Vanity Fair residences.
Countering Trump's novelty entertainment hustle is daunting: his Star Wars tractor-beam and reality-show fixation with winning are so far immune to ordinary antidotes. You can't out-blather or out-insult, out-badger or shout Trump down. Certainly the understated, avuncular Sanders is not blessed with charismatic, TV-star "spontaneity." Novelty often comes across as genuine until the veneer wears off and looming Trumpian sordidness oozes out.
Significant polls of late that favor Sanders reflect not only DT's astronomical negatives (the price for deal-making pandering to disgruntled yahoos) but Bernie's unimpeachable virtues: courage against a political machine, trustworthiness, vision, and compassionate goals. Trump provides more theatrical fireworks, often dominating primaries more than general elections, but Sanders excels exactly where Trump is transparently fraudulent: honesty, coherence, and moral constancy.
This election comes down to whether key voters in ten states embrace the Loose Cannon at large (where anything goes and fabricated crises are king) vs. two known commodities, whether Clinton or Sanders. Few doubt what President Clinton means: an Obama re-run, with accelerated militarism plus ties to fossil fuel and Wall Street tycoons alongside her rich and famous Foundation's clients. Though Sanders' presidential impact is less predictable, his career and campaign already excel all others on principled public behavior, attacking inequality (with job training, infrastructure, plus reform of subsidies, banking, taxation), leveling the playing field at home while curbing belligerence overseas.
If you like Obama, go with Clinton; if you don't, or are offended by the prospect of a raucous, wheeler and dealer in charge, no other change option remains but Sanders. Despite his farcical gestures, no doubt about the Trump Way: "who cares what some agreement says as long it give us bragging rights until we lurch to the next crisis."
Trump's ascension to presumptive GOP nominee is exactly what Sanders needs, dramatizing the full package of Bernie's strengths, precisely why he'd outdo Clinton in blunting Trump's appeal as a faux populist. Let's no longer minimize Trump's singular virtues: to seize attention, focus on reductive sound bites with high (if limited) emotional appeal, and convince marks if he talks loudly enough about winning and change, that's akin to walking the walk. Trump has imploded rightwing campaigning, wiping out credentialed opponents. To underestimate the potency of Trump's media game is to invite further advances.