Early last summer, when Mr. Trump was still an entertaining oddity and Senator Sanders was the crazy guy who didn’t own a comb; the conversation in the dining room centered around “Who would you pick?” followed by snickers and giggles.
With humor, I responded, “I’m for Bernie Trump and Donald Sanders.” I even designed a t-shirt (in my mind) for my fusion candidate of choice.
As both candidates have matured – and yes, they have matured, albeit one more subtlety than the other – I stand even more firmly in my belief that these two men have done this country an invaluable service.
For over thirty years, our political parties have kept pretty much to their magic playbooks; pulling out the well-worn phrases; the promises; the vilification of ‘other’; with no real intention of fulfilling their rhetoric. I don’t believe there was or is any malicious intent; only that the way one campaigns is not how one governs. Campaigning goes for the heart and gut, governing requires the head – boundless passion versus controlled pragmatism.
With the Bern and the Donald, party interlopers both; the playbooks have had their covers torn off and exposed for what they are…empty rhetoric.
For all of their supposed sins and for the feckless labels we have hung around their necks – Socialist, Fascist, Republican, Democrat, curmudgeon and bigot; in my eyes the real sin of both men is the failure to frame their message simply.
So what might a simplified Sanders narrative frame look like to me?
“I’m asking you to be a little less rich so someone can have the opportunity to be a little less poor.”
“Let’s get our house in order before someone forecloses on it.”
Different words, same message. Maybe the ‘far right’ and the ‘far left’ aren’t so far apart after all.