If you’re reading this you’ve no doubt already read at least one of the many recent articles on the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders and populism in the United States. If you haven’t read any yet and are looking for intelligent writing, Jonah Goldberg provides some well thought out analysis. But if intelligent analysis is not what you’re looking for and you just want a quick, simple explanation then keep reading here, my friends!
The rise in populism from both sides can be summed up pretty simply. America was promised to become some Hopey-Changey Nirvana when this god-like metrosexual, black Abraham Lincoln came into office eight years ago. What’s actually happened has been a spectacular failure, with an economy being propped up by the Fed-fueled stock market bubble. In this regard, both leftists and conservatives share in their anger about how our leadership in Washington has failed us.
Here is where things get interesting and both sides go in opposite directions. Conservatives are suggesting that we need to do an about face on these failed policies and turn to economic policies that actually work (there’s a reason people are leaving states dominated by leftists for red states). On the other side, the Sanders crowd think that the problem is that we just haven’t taken President Obama’s failed policies nearly far enough, and our current problems are the fault of Republicans for not acquiescing to the president’s policies enough. Really! Because somehow economic basket cases like Greece, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, California, and Illinois are examples to be followed, not painful lessons to be learned.
Even more interesting is how the two candidates view illegal immigration. Trump is talking a good game, but his past history and the feasibility of what he suggests don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Bernie Sanders is even more interesting, as we get to see the rare display of economic literacy from a proud Socialist!
Sanders also addressed the already high unemployment rate of Hispanic and African-American youth and how illegal immigration would affect their job opportunities. “When you have 36-percent of Hispanic kids in this country who can’t find jobs and you bring a lot of unskilled workers in the country what do you think happens to that 36-percent of kids of today who are unemployed? 51% of African-American kids [are unemployed],” Sanders said.
“I frankly do not believe we should be bringing in significant numbers of unskilled workers to compete with those kids,” Sanders made clear.
It always warms my heart when leftists choose to not ignore the most basic laws of supply and demand and how they affect prices! But back on topic, I’ve never made any effort to hide my dislike for Trump. Maybe having grown up in New Jersey during Trump’s heyday and having no desire to see him do for America what he helped do for Atlantic City prejudices me against him. So I’ll close with what National Review’s (A publication that is no friend to Trump) Jim Geraghty posted in a recent newsletter, an excerpt from The Atlantic that gives what Geraghty called the most compelling argument for The Donald:
Many would probably question why, of all people, a decadent, rude, and pompous billionaire should be trusted to meddle with American culture? I think it comes down to a perception that America has already drowned in a post-modernist nightmare of moral relativism, from which extreme political correctness and protest culture stem. Trump, on the other hand, is all absolutes. Everything he says, accurate or not, is stated in absolute, definitive terms. His personal morality is clear: He respects people who work hard, are loyal, innovate, and “win,” and he shuns those who don’t meet the criteria. Cruel as it may sound, I think America needs to reenergize these fundamental cultural values before we can ever hope to create a better society.
There is zero doubt in my mind that both Trump and Sanders are the wrong people for the job, but it will be interesting to see if the presidential candidates stop listening to their consultants and studies based on focus groups and start listening to what the American people are actually saying. Because we are shouting our message loud an clear.
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog