The Donald / Bernie Echo Chamber

I told you they are the same:

In recent days, the real-estate tycoon has even struck a populist note by criticizing “hedge fund guys” who “shift paper around and get lucky,” saying they should pay higher taxes. . . And Bernie Sanders has railed against the banker class and wondered why executives who made irresponsible bets in the run-up to the last financial crisis weren’t punished.

Cheap, meaningless populism that attracts people with a very childish worldview. Find and punish the evildoer who “prevents us from having nice things”, and everything will be perfect.

In the meanwhile, the real election that is going on is being drowned out by this loud pandering to the overwhelmed and anxious simpletons.

10 thoughts on “The Donald / Bernie Echo Chamber”

  1. wondered why executives who made irresponsible bets in the run-up to the last financial crisis weren’t punished.

    Well…they were not punished in the aftermath of the Great Depression–why have only a few pointed this out? Plus what those execs did was not illegal–immoral, yes, and irresponsible. But people are not arrested for immoral or irresponsible acts. They are punished when they break the law.

    And you are right–the mindset that just perp-walking all the bankers on Wall Street and taking out the whole system will lead to economic harmony and utopia is a foolish way of thinking, one that is woefully bereft of the understanding that things are far more complex.


    1. Exactly. As attractive as it is to imagine a simpler world where wrongs can be righted by taxing “the banksters”, reality is more complex than that.


  2. I agree, both speak the language of populism, Donald to the right, and Bernie to the left. Anarchists might even be attracted to both of them, although neither offers any comfort to anarchists.

    Donald wants a strong government, a can-do, make-the trains-run-on-time government based on what he thinks is his own “common sense.” Bernie wants a strong socialist-democratic government, more involved in regulating and planning the economy and providing for the health, education and welfare of all the people. Both Trump and Sanders would probably be willing to raise taxes to achieve their goals.

    The difference between the two is that Bernie Sanders speaks from a long-held and consistent ideology; Trump speaks like a salesman, willing to say almost anything to close the deal.

    I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the appeal of either man to the masses. I think it would be elitist to label either of these movements as “cheap, meaningless populism” or a “childish worldview.”

    Populism is not meaningless. Populism with enough wind to become a prairie fire is capable of consume entrenched governments and economic systems.

    In any event, what’s going on right now is not irrelevant to the “real election.” I don’t think it’s likely, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that either man might capture their party’s nomination. If either one did, he would likely be trounced by the candidate of the other party, if that party nominates anyone resembling a centrist.

    What’s going on right now might be very relevant. What’s happening is that both men are engaging people who probably don’t bother to vote in typical elections. And, as counterintuitive as it may be, both candidates are making people think.

    In the unlikely even that both Trump and Sanders are nominated by their respective parties, we will enter uncharted territory.


      1. I am inclined to think that Sanders would win a Sanders vs. Trump general election. Trump is indeed worse than Bush in many ways, but I am glad to hear him say that Social Security needs to be preserved and strengthened.


        1. Trump has a lot of TV experience. He’s a super star. There’s no beating this sort of training for somebody like Bernie.

          In any case, I hope that it doesn’t come to this kind of a face off. That would mean we have descended to the politics of appealing to the lowest common denominator. And that’s very dangerous.



    Rather than a populist, Trump is the voice of aggrieved privilege—of those who already are doing well but feel threatened by social change from below, whether in the form of Hispanic immigrants or uppity women (hence the loud applause he got at the first GOP debate when he derided “political correctness”). Far from being a defender of the little people against the elites, Trump plays to the anxiety of those who fear that their status is being challenged by people they regard as their social inferiors. That’s why the word “loser” is such a big part of his vocabulary.


  4. As Hillary Clinton loses ground to Bernie Sanders in Iowa, where her lead shrinks by the day, it s worth noticing that she has never made particular sense as the Democratic Party s nominee. Why have they let the former secretary of state keep them out of the race?


    1. Hillary was and still is the only serious Dem candidate with great support. Nobody but her makes any sense as a candidate because she’s managing not to say the arrantly stupid things Bernie has regaled us with and she hasn’t shown herself to be weak, like he has.


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