Bernie Sanders is going to flame out. Donald Trump, however, is just lighting up.
Two insurgents have upended their respective political parties for the 2016 presidential nomination. One has all but officially secured the nomination, going from strength to strength, while the other is stuck as the perpetual upstart, unable to “close the deal” and definitively assume first place.
This is politics and an election year to boot, and that means anything can happen. But barring a miracle that will save his candidacy, Bernie Sanders’ supporters should seriously consider switching their allegiance and jump aboard the Trump MAGA Train.
It is perfectly reasonable for Berners to make the change, and the data indicate it’s probable. Exit poll results from the West Virginia primary, for example, show that more than 40 percent of Sanders voters would support Trump, not Hillary. Or take the more recent ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted May 16-19 that puts that number at 20 percent.
So apart from the Soros-funded thugs terrorizing Trump rallies, the SJWs bleating (when not crying) about insert-hoax-here, and the Gimme-Mores, Bernie’s base is comprised of a demographic with a political outlook that looks very much like Trump’s: typically those non-self-loathing, white, middle-class males. They’re also youngish to middle-aged, and registered Independent.
Most important, they are not ideologues with a myopic understanding of life based on party loyalty. Rather, they are living in the very real world of diminished economic prosperity and have an instinctive understanding of — and revulsion to — the corrupt, wealthy elites who taint the lives of those they seek to control.
Three main reasons stand out for why Sanders’ supporters should vote for Trump.
1. Sanders Will Not Win the Nomination
Even though Sanders continues to win primaries and accrue pledged delegates, he trails Hillary Clinton in superdelegates by a factor of more than 12. Indeed, the chances are slim that he will reach the magic number of 2,383 total delegates to ensure the nomination or least have enough mojo to secure it at the Democratic convention. But even more than the number game is his party’s tendency to kneecap candidates who stand in the way of the Clintons.
Anyone remember Robert Torricelli, Andrew Cuomo, or Kendrick Meek? Bill Clinton pressured these men to end their campaigns because it served a larger, Clinton-friendly purpose. Only a “Magic Negro” could subvert the will of such entrenched power and influence. (Or maybe a federal indictment. Time will tell.)
Since she lost to Barack Obama in 2008, Hillary Clinton has been the presumptive Democratic nominee but with double the intensity (bordering on hysteria). It was “her time” in 2008, but now even more so. Media and party apparatchiks have bided their time, waiting, if not pushing, for the moment to lower the nomination crown upon her head. But the Millennial Pied Piper from Burlington frustrated their plans as a turd-in-the-punchbowl kind of interloper.
But nature and machinations work against Sanders in a party soured by anti-white male identity politics and dominated by the Clinton agenda. He’s pushing ever-onward, however, campaigning under the kitschy slogan “A Future to Believe In,” but the odds are ever not in his favor. This is the painful reality of a movement candidate who — while drawing impressively large and raucous crowds and passionate supporters — does not have enough broad-based appeal among his party’s voters or its leaders.
Yet Hillary’s inevitability waxes and wanes. Despite being dogged by allegations about her conduct as secretary of state, Hillary told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on May 19:
Was this declaration a projection of confidence or — with smug impatience — letting us all in on the open secret that the system is indeed rigged?
For the better part of the last three decades, Democratic Party and Clinton interests were one and the same, but that may be changing. As Bill continues to embarrass himself on the campaign trail and speculation about federal charges against Hillary intensifies, rumors percolate yet again that Joe Biden could enter the race. Whatever may happen, the message seems clear: Sanders is not the backup plan should Hillary prove too great a liability. Even if they make Sanders Hillary’s vice president, will that be enough to mollify his base?
So what can Berners do? Certainly they can vote for Clinton (or whoever) if she toughs it out. But the thought of voting for her is anathema to Sanders’ people. They loathe her. Deeply. She is a fake Democrat, often called a “Republican,” beholden to corporate interests, untrustworthy. Rather than vote for Clinton, Sanders’ people could choose to not vote at all, depressed by intra-party shenanigans and the perception that the election is rigged against their candidate. They could always write in Sanders’ name as a third-party candidate or vote Green. It may feel momentarily gratifying but will be ultimately useless given both the unfortunate dominance of the two-party system and the record turnout and passion evident on the Republican side.
But if Berners want to effect real change — and that seems to be in their political DNA — to choose any of those is shortsighted and, it turns out, unnecessary. Trump is the only legitimate option for people who want to bust up the various dynastic elements exercising their political and economic power.
2. Sanders Cannot Accomplish the Change He Seeks
For all his years in politics, where is the proof that Sanders can actually do what he advocates should he miraculously somehow secure the nomination? No major takedowns, shakeups, or bust-ups shine brightly on his resume. The kindly grandpa with a funny accent is all fine and good (one now-deleted tweet described him as a Muppet), but where is the necessary combination of sass, business savvy, and unbridled stamina to battle Goliath-like opponents? Those attributes are found in Trump, not Sanders.
Furthermore, Sanders’ “democratic socialist” economic agenda would undermine any praiseworthy reforms that might benefit the American middle class.
3. Consumed By Identity Politics, Sanders Cannot Unify the Country
Trump has repeatedly shown that he is willing to say and do things that break with Republican Party talking points and conventional wisdom. Mind you, since GOP politics-as-usual has resulted in more abortions, more unassimilated immigrants, and more government encroachment on our freedoms, Trump’s insubordination is well…just frickin’ awesome.
Trump is not a GOP apologist: he does not defend Republican policy failures or consider sacrosanct Republican-led wars. He fiercely and mercilessly goes after his opponents regardless of political affiliation. That he talks about the need to fix crumbling infrastructure, unblinkingly criticizes both Bush presidencies, and refuses to lick the boots of the party’s favorites suggests this is a man willing to take on anyone or anything that harms Americans. What a novel concept!
This is extremely freeing in so many ways. When Trump focuses on the radical concept of national interest (trigger warning: “America first!”), he has given us the opportunity to discuss options more fully and to effect real policy change. Moreover, the pro-America principles governing Trump’s political outlook are, by definition, not based on race, class, or anything that plays into the ongoing fracturing of the nation into controllable segments of the population. A nation’s foreign policy correlates directly to the treatment of its own citizens, and vice versa. Trump’s April 27 foreign policy speech at the Center for National Interest is a prime example of not only how he views our allies, enemies, and rivals, but also — and more important — how he views Americans.
Compare this with Sanders’ exhausting list of identity-based policy positions. Or how he mishandled key moments such as when members of Black Lives Matters interrupted then took over the stage at one of his rallies, and when he chose to disregard concerns about Clinton’s email scandal at the Democratic debate. In both instances, he caved to perceived interests of the party and not the nation. He showed tremendous weakness.
If Sanders’ supporters are serious about change, they need look no further than Trump. There is a real, even visceral, hope in what Trump offers: the opportunity to resuscitate the American economy. With that as a foundational and primary goal of his presidency — coupled with his tremendous drive — the benefits will redound to individuals, families, and communities. It will even reach those millennials justifiably concerned about the high cost of tuition and employment post-graduation.