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Bernie vs. Donald

Jeff Hall

Posted on January 18, 2016 18:57

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The establishment has run out of gas, it's time for a change.

I think this has been one of the most fascinating political seasons ever, and we're still just getting started.

Trump is forcing fellow Republicans to talk about issues they'd rather avoid. Bernie, at age 74, is the darling of the younger generation.

It is only these two candidates who generate any real heat out there. They both draw big, passionate crowds.

It's too early to count Hillary out, but it feels like Trump is in. Who could surpass him at this point?

And is Hillary's lead all that solid? It feels like she's a candidate that not too many truly love. Yes, she's a woman and yes she's smart, but she's such a creature of the establishment, and establishment candidates seem to be sinking all around.

Poor Jeb Bush seems like a very shrunken version of his former self. John Kasich seems sane and practical, but nobody seems to care. People are mad as hell and they want change. They don't see the potential for that coming from the moderate middle.

I'm hoping it's Bernie against Donald. Now THAT would make for a really interesting debate and voters would have to make real choices. Whoever won such a contest would surely shake things up, and it feels like voters think any change would be preferable to no change at all, which is how they perceive what they've been getting for many years now.

I read an article the other day -- I can't recall the author -- but he argued all this splintering that's taking place in both parties will be a good thing, it could actually bring about a viable third party. Third party efforts historically don't get very far in this country, but if the Tea Party and establishment Republicans can't reconcile, and if an increasingly vocal left wing becomes increasingly disgusted with "politics as usual," maybe the result will be a truly conservative party, a truly liberal party and a truly moderate party.

I for one think this would be a healthy development, for even those in the middle feel disenfranchised these days; most of the attention now goes toward those who speak up more out on the edges (Trump, Sanders). By definition, moderates are moderate and not as good at making waves. But we live in a historically very centrist country and centrists have lost their voice in recent years.

A three-party system might make everyone happy; everyone could root for candidates they actually believe in. Bernie and Trump have done a terrific job of exposing how hollow our politics have become. For a new center to rise out of all this, it will have to be a well-thought-out center. A real competition of ideas (instead of the deathly stale gridlock we've suffered for years) could only be healthy.

I've got nothing against Hillary Clinton, but she just doesn't seem to stand for anything the way Trump and Sanders do. Sanders might be in the exact same place Barack Obama was in 2007; I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls off an upset (just as Trump will). I also think Sanders would be the more effective candidate against Trump: he believes in his message as much as Trump believes in himself.

One doesn't sense the same strong inner core with Hillary. At least I don't.

So now let's have some real fun. If it's Trump vs. Sanders, who would make good picks as running mates? I could see Trump picking Carly Fiorina or Sarah Palin and Sanders picking Elizabeth Warren. A race that exciting would drive a record turnout, I do believe.

I think it would be a very close race, actually. It would be a real choice, that's for sure. But in order to win, each candidate would have to make some moves toward the middle. 

If Hillary doesn't make it to the presidency, having Fiorina or Palin and Warren teed up and ready to go in a future race would likely make it just a matter of time before we have our first female president. I think the current contests are exhilarating and I have my fingers crossed that we're on the verge of something big, bold and really good happening. 

Sanders and Trump are to the political establishment what Uber and Lyft are to the taxi cab industry. New forms of competition are painful to the old guard in the near-term -- in this case, members of the political class -- but progress can't be blocked forever.  Something's gotta give.  People are fed up.  That explains the appeal of Trump and Sanders.  They aren't beholden to anyone, they do it their way.  And that seems new and different. 

To be fair to Obama, I think he tried to do it differently.  But in trying to win people over (mostly unsuccessfully), he gave up some of his power.  Nobody feared him.  I think Trump scares the hell out of liberals, and Sanders scares the bejeezus out of conservatives.  Maybe that's what's needed right now. 

Jeff Hall

Posted on January 18, 2016 18:57

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Source: Mediaite
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One of the theories frequently posited by people discussing why the Democrats have limited debates and placed them on weekend...

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