Clinton, Sanders and Trump

Ok, I’ll talk about The Donald first. No, I really don’t have a good feel for whether he will flame out prior to the first primaries or not. At hone time I thought that he was a fad that would pass quickly and he is still a force. As to why people are taking him seriously: this makes as much sense as anything:

From a psychological perspective, though, the people backing Trump are perfectly normal. Interviews with psychologists and other experts suggest one explanation for the candidate’s success — and for the collective failure to anticipate it: The political elite hasn’t confronted a few fundamental, universal and uncomfortable facts about the human mind.

We like people who talk big.

We like people who tell us that our problems are simple and easy to solve, even when they aren’t.

And we don’t like people who don’t look like us.

Most people share these characteristics to some degree, but they seem to be especially prevalent among Trump’s base. Trump’s appeal certainly has other sources, too, such as the nostalgia he so skillfully evokes, his financial independence from special interests, and the crucial fact that he had his own reality TV show. Some Republicans like Trump’s anti-establishment approach. And many support Trump because of his substantive positions — his views on immigration, his antipathy toward China, his defense of Social Security, or his opposition to tax deductions for wealthy bankers.

Surf to the article to read the rest. Bill Clinton has some ideas too, as well as some ideas as to why Bernie Sanders has the support that he has. And yes, there is a rebellion of sorts against the “political establishment”.

And here are some campaign ads; one from a group supporting Trump and one from his own campaign.

And he really let lose on Sanders and Clinton:

So, what about the Democrats?
Well, it is really a two person race. Ok, seriously, a one person race with Bernie Sanders being a foil of sorts.

The first thing to note is that the candidates are embracing President Obama instead of running away from him (the way the Republicans did from President Bush). Note Hillary Clinton’s comeback line:

But many of my friends like Bernie Sanders and some of them are under the impression that many of the liberals who are supporting Hillary Clinton are doing so because we believe that Sanders can’t win.

Now it is true that I think that she is a better politician than he is, it is also true that if I KNEW that the next president would be one of those two, I would still pick her.

Why? Well for one, she is a liberal, and more so than President Obama. Many of the scandals (e-mails, Benghazi) were simply made up. She is also realistic about the challenges ahead and about the Republicans being unwilling to work with her. (And to be fair, so is Sanders).

She understood this at a time when Barack Obama did not (from 2008):

But there are other key differences.

1. Sanders appears to be focused on a few pet issues and almost indifferent to many other important issues:

The debate showed why his fans are so passionate about him: Sanders is at his best when he’s going on the offensive—against the big banks, Wall Street, and the “millionaires and billionaires” who are funding elections. But the debate also forced him to go on the defensive, pushing him out of his comfort zone, and on those occasions, Sanders simply muddled through. Those responses spoke to his limitations as a candidate whose greatest strength and greatest weakness is his singular focus on anti-corporate economic populism.

A President has to deal with many things, and he can’t meet Sec. Clinton’s foreign policy knowledge.

2. Though I like many of Sen. Sanders’ stances, there is still a difference between him and Sec. Clinton:

But what Clinton suggested in place of a more expansive welfare state illuminates another difference between her politics and Sanders’. Where Sanders tended to focus on inequality and inequality-reducing policies, Clinton focused heavily on increasing opportunity, repeatedly expressing a desire that all Americans be able to realize their “God-given talents,” as she and her husband have. “I have spent a very long time—my entire adult life—looking for ways to even the odds to help people have a chance to get ahead, and, in particular, to find the ways for each child to live up to his or her God-given potential,” Clinton said in her opening remarks, revisiting the idea throughout the debate.

The difference between the two approaches has expansive implications for the American left. A pro-equality platform aims to universalize benefits, so that all people really do have the option to enjoy the same social goods, including education, gainful employment, and family life. An opportunity-focused approach neither intends to reduce inequality per se nor has a clear political apparatus with which to do so. Instead, opportunity-increasing politics aim to increase social mobility without necessarily altering how many people will end up on the top and bottom respectively. The individuals might change, in other words, but the absolute number of destitute versus fabulously wealthy can remain virtually the same.

And in this instance, Sec. Clinton appeals to me a great deal more. What I want is for those at the economic bottom to have an opportunity to raise themselves up; right now many don’t have a good shot at that. Like it or not, there will always be people who keep themselves on the bottom by repeatedly doing stupid things.

October 16, 2015 - Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: