Thursday, February 11, 2016

Washington Post Editorial On Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders

This Washington Post editorial is critical of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  It is particularly harsh on Donald Trump and the ugliness of his message.  It dismisses Bernie Sanders as a well meaning politician who has the right values but impractical solutions to the problems that concern him.

One can't take issue with the editorial's critique of Donald Trump. He has a nasty message, and he has no meaningful way of dealing with the problems that he raises.  Our real concern should be the appeal that Trump has to millions of Republicans.  They have been sensitized to the issues that he raises by the Republican propaganda machine.  The major difference between Trump and his primary opponents is one of style.  In fact, that is what makes him attractive to low income Republicans and even to some low income Democrats.  They have real concerns about most of the issues that Republicans have been using to generate fears which they hope to blame on Democrats.  Their solution to a host of problems is quite simple.  Throw the rascals out of office and your fears can be set aside. That is an easy solution to a number of very complex and difficult issues that are poorly understood and not easily fixed.  Consequently, little will be done to deal with them if a Republican is elected to office.  That is less true about the economic issues which have been part of the Republican orthodoxy for a long time.  Taxes will be reduced for the super rich,  government regulations will be weakened and budget deficits that result from tax cuts will be used as the rationale for reducing the cost of social welfare programs.

I won't comment on the practicality of the solutions to some of the economic issues raised by Bernie Sanders.  I will accept the editorial's conclusion that they a properly motivated, and that Sanders is well meaning.  We need someone in the Whitehouse who is willing to address those issues.  There is no chance that a Republican would do anything to meaningfully address those issues.  Fortunately, the Republican Party has not produced a presidential candidate that will have the broad appeal that is necessary to win a general election.  Without Trump, they are left with Ted Cruz whose positions on the issues that matter to most voters will be easy to attack.  Marco Rubio has been given the opportunity to strut his stuff and he has been exposed as empty suit who is only capable of repeating his campaign slogans.  Jeb Bush, who was the party favorite prior to the primary campaign, has shown that he cannot even sell himself to other Republicans.  Hopefully, the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will not divide the party.  If Clinton wins the nomination she will need all of the help that she can get from those who supported Sanders with enthusiasm that has not been visible in the Clinton campaign.

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