International

Trump, Sanders and their curious common ground

A Quinnipiac University poll last week that matched up Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders suggests that Mr. Sanders would beat Mr. Trump in the presidential election more decisively than Hillary Clinton, suggesting a possible voter shift from Republicans if Mr. Sanders were the Democratic candidate.

A Quinnipiac University poll last week that matched up Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders suggests that Mr. Sanders would beat Mr. Trump in the presidential election more decisively than Hillary Clinton, suggesting a possible voter shift from Republicans if Mr. Sanders were the Democratic candidate.  

Both are playing to the middle-class angst in the U.S society that is driven by wage squeezes and raising globalisation, trade deals.

Billionaire frontrunner in the Republican race for presidency Donald Trump has mostly trained his guns on main Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, but her challenger and self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has also been in Mr. Trump’s crosshairs through the yearend holidays.

In his last rally of 2015 on December 30, Mr. Trump said though Mr. Sanders was behind Ms. Clinton in the race for Democratic nomination, “anything can happen.”

Sanders closely trailing Hillary

 Though Ms. Clinton retains a convincing lead, Mr. Sanders has reduced his gap with her. Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump have declared that they would be fighting for overlapping support bases, an ironic fact that was illustrated by a Quinnipiac University poll last week that matched up both – the only poll that has done so until now.

The polls suggested that Mr. Sanders would beat Mr. Trump in the presidential election more decisively than Ms/ Clinton, suggesting a possible voter shift from Republicans if Mr. Sanders were the Democratic candidate. 

Both raise globalisation, trade deals

 Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders have over the last few days questioned globalisation and trade deals that undermine working Americans but both question each other’s capability to deal with it.  “Look, many of Trump’s supporters are working-class people, and they’re angry,” Mr. Sanders told a TV interview last week.

“They’re angry because they’re working longer hours for lower wages….They’re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries,” echoing campaign points of Mr. Trump. Mr Trump had earlier said that China and India were ripping the U.S.

‘Middle-class yet to get their jobs’

“The middle-class has worked so hard [and] are not getting the kind of jobs that they have long dreamed of — and no effective raise in years — bad,” said Mr. Trump recently.  

 “We have to be progressive in our thinking,” Mr. Trump told his December 30 rally in South Carolina. “When I say progressive, I mean like smart. I’m not talking progressive like a Bernie Sanders would say,” Mr. Trump told his supporters, adding that Mr. Sanders had plans to raise their taxes to 90 percent.

Extreme ends? not quite 

Though Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders appear at the extreme ends of the spectrum of U.S politics, there are remarkable similarities in their campaign pitches. Both are up against the establishment of their respective parties, projecting themselves as outsiders who are set to disrupt what they both call a coalition of vested interests that drives Washington politics. Both have complained that their parties are not fair to them.

Both are playing to the middle-class angst in the U.S society that is driven by wage squeezes and the perception that the leaderships of both the Republican and Democratic parties are in cahoots with the big money interest groups in the country. 

Trump’s claim on Jeb’s spending

Mr. Trump said in his last rally that the huge money that Jeb Bush has been spending came from “lobbyists and special interests,” that would dictate him. “I am funding my own campaign and nobody can dictate me,” he said. Both support continued and expanded public support for middle-class health care and education.

 The difference between the two — and a defining one — is that while Mr. Trump constantly seeks to divert this anger against groups such as immigrants and Muslims, Mr. Sanders has steadfastly stood against such arguments.

Sanders tweets against divisions

“To those who want to divide us up: No, we’re not going to hate Latinos. We’re not going to hate Muslims. We are going to stand TOGETHER,” Mr. Sanders tweeted on Tuesday.

 Mr. Trump has promised more fireworks as soon as the New Year begins, when he would be spending two million dollars “at least” a week on advertising. Former President Bill Clinton will start campaigning for his wife from next week. Mr. Trump’s has said it will be “fair game” to bring up Mr. Clinton’s history of sexual misdemeanors.

Trump says he will splurge

“….I have spent very little to remain in the first place. But now I don’t want to take chances and I am going to spend a lot of money,” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday. 

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 2:03:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-sanders-and-their-curious-common-ground/article8050508.ece

Next Story