In a move that doesn’t surprise me at all, Donald Trump has already been actively trying to pander to and manipulate Bernie Sanders supporters into backing him. While I know to some that sounds ridiculous, if you really look at Trump’s campaign, it kind of makes sense.
Trump and Sanders are almost nothing alike, but I’ve been saying for a while now that their campaigns aren’t all that different on some levels.
Let me prove it to you. I am going to list a few things below and I would love for everyone who’s reading this to tell me which candidate it is I’m talking about:
- Says business as usual politics in Washington needs to stop.
- Has attacked trade agreements.
- Suggested that the party was working against his campaign.
- Brags about the size of his rallies.
- Often refers to poll numbers.
- Claims to be the voice of a movement.
- Paints himself as an outsider.
- Says he wants to get money out of politics and those taking big money donations are beholden to those trying to buy them off.
- Repeats the same talking points relentlessly nearly every time he speaks.
- Has criticized the primary process.
- Made criticizing the Iraq War a key part of his campaign.
- Frequently refers to how he’s financing his campaign as a key selling point to his trustworthiness.
I could keep going, but I think that’s enough.
So, who am I talking about? Well, the truth is, I’m actually talking about both – because those statements (and more) pertain to each candidate.
However, let me emphasize this again, I am not saying Sanders and Trump are the same. Bernie Sanders is, by far, a much better man and someone I would fully support as our next president if he were to win the Democratic nomination. My point is to lay the groundwork for how Trump is trying to manipulate and pander to Sanders supporters.
If you listen to a few of his speeches, he’s actually started using lines that are extremely similar to what Sanders has been saying throughout his campaign. Especially about trade agreements, the Iraq War, campaign finance, corruption in Washington and a few of the other go-to lines Sanders has frequently used. Going a step further, it seems Trump is actually slowly morphing his lines to almost mirror, nearly word-for-word, Sanders’ own. He’s even taken up defending Sanders against the nomination process he claims has been “unfair” to Bernie – which is a commonly used talking point by many Sanders people.
It’s a clever tactic.
While I think most Sanders supporters are far too intelligent to fall for something like this, I do believe some will be duped. That’s somewhat ironic considering Sanders has been, by far, the most liberal legitimate presidential candidate in modern political history. It’s rather strange to think that some of his supporters would actually back the closest thing to an outright fascist we’ve seen run for president in most of our lifetimes.
It’s like I posted on Twitter yesterday, if you don’t support Hillary Clinton that’s one thing. But you lose all right to call yourself a liberal or a progressive if you vote for Donald Trump.
But there’s always those “issue voters” who cling to one or two issues, while often ignoring everything else. So, if all someone really cares about are trade agreements and the Iraq War, they could very well support Trump based on those two issues alone. Plus I’m certain that once the general election really gets going, Trump is going to hone in on some of Sanders’ most successful attacks such as the speech transcripts stuff and Clinton’s ties to Wall Street. Unfortunately, because of the more negative tone the Democratic primary took over the last few months, the Sanders campaign handed Trump quite a few attack lines he’ll be able to use against her considering that, as I pointed out earlier, parts of the campaigns for each candidate are similar on some levels. So we’ll have to see how it all plays out.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what you think.