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Early on, facile, pro-Donald pundits linked the Trump and Sanders candidacies. Many leftists followed, mesmerized by any visible insurgencies against entrenchment. As the notion is less true now than then, how amazing this fable doesn't invite weekly corrective eruptions. It's not as if core agendas overlap. Quite the opposite, as tone, values and policy disparities swamp superficial linkages. Amidst staggering, mind-bending campaign lying, defamation, and chicanery, time to expose this needless distortion that in the end insults and reduces Sanders' historic importance.
One decisive, incontestable difference: Trump's nomination per current polling demolishes the nation's most dominant party, jeopardizing its WH and Senate chances, perhaps vaunted House majority, with ripples across countless state races. If Trump fulfills this doom and gloom scenario, that welcome implosion brings down the GOP's House of Reagan. Sanders as nominee not only doesn't fracture the Democratic Party but revitalizes a broken, cowardly party with new and young, sustainable, grassroots support. What else truly matters over time?
Mystified by Trump's opening surge, talking heads searched out patterns: one on the left, one on the right got cobbled together because they appear to indict the status quo (as if one clear thing). Don't both confront "establishment" hegemony and voice small-fry "populism" plus reject bad trade agreements, hard times, and Washington insiders? Both appear to question military fiascos (though in such different terms). Sanders certainly threatens national and party power centers; Trump, aggressive rhetoric aside, mainly looks to wreck how the GOP works, not how the world or Main St. work. How many billionaires and insiders fear Trump's wealth addiction or privileged stardom in the rich and famous elite?
Appearances vs. Reality
True, in one season two improbable upstarts confront party favorites, engage less active voters, and foment noisy protests, even a "political revolution." Typical after a two-term presidency without clear, popular heirs. But Trump is stylistically a deviant (quasi-liberal) Republican, while Sanders resurrects the strongest, reform Democratic legacy, the culmination of the Progressive Era spanning Wilson-FDR-LBJ. Trumpery wants to chainsaw his adopted party, Bernie to regrow the best, most humane of Democratic triumphs.
That's why hordes of rock-ribbed Republicans can't stand Trump (beyond the doomsday electoral dread) because he's no true conservative, amplified by his arrogant, rich-kid style and shotgun belligerence. How many Democratic stalwarts denounce Sanders' idealistic politics (however hard to pull off) or declare him unqualified? Few to none. Yet savvy leftists still echo Trump-Sanders parallels, per this dicey Salon headline , "Hey, Democrats, stop gloating -- your party is imploding right before your eyes, too."
The clear record exposes profound opposition, especially what matters most: the mindsets that would orchestrate WH administrations. No surprise, considering how their backgrounds, experience and philosophies radically differ, let alone that one offers workable solutions and Trump, condescension and sound bit verbiage. Can anyone imagine Sanders echoing Trump this weekend, "If I acted presidential, I guarantee you I wouldn't be here" [making speeches]?
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