The appeal of Trump and Sanders … what the hell are people thinking?

How to explain the appeal of Trump and Sanders? It can’t be the substance of their positions or statements they make. Both are off base and unrealistic. A critical, objective analysis (by many people more qualified than me) of their positions in many areas shows they won’t work and or result in serious negative consequences, especially for the economy as whole. From banning immigrants to wealth transfer to keeping the poor that way to isolationism or tons of “free” stuff it’s all short-sighted, naive and … appealing. 

So, how can these two men on opposite ends of the political spectrum and reality gain as much support as they have?

Paul Rubin writing in a WSJ OP-Ed said it best. Their message is “Superficially appealing.” 
They appeal to fear, bigotry, envy and to those looking for scapegoats to blame for anything they feel is unfair … except their own actions. 

What worries me more than anything else is that so many Americans easily buy into the Trump or Sanders rhetoric. I would have thought (hoped) that with today’s access to information virtually unlimited more people would be assessing the facts, the history and the pro and con critical analysis available. Instead, every form of communication is used to further mislead and promote superficial thinking. 

Even as Trump and Sanders fade away, we will still be left with a large portion of the population looking for superficially appealing solutions to our many serious problems. 

Where are we headed?


  1. America was duped with the Change Obama presented and we certainly do not want an establishment lier like Cruz or a failed Secretary of State who subjected our national security with her email debacle and lied to families and American people regarding the Libyan fiasco nor the “you earned and I will take it” Sanders but rather an in your face self made billionaire who answers to no politician. Some call him a boss while others see a leader – a play on words but none the less an outsider who apparently gets thins done.


    1. Sorry, what has Trump accomplished that benefits you and me? Like Hillary and Sanders and Cruz, you can’t identify even one accomplishment of Trump. He built buildings? He ran bankrupt casinos? Those are accomplishments? How did he get that done? He gave payola to Democrats and Republicans alike – Harry Reed, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, all of those people who YOU admire.

      His parents bankrolled his education at Wharton. Self-made, not at all! He inherited money to get his start. It is like Steve Martin’s comedy act – “You too can be a millionaire! Here’s how: First, get a million dollars. Now, … ”

      His record has no more accomplishments to list that President Obama had in the Senate. His economic proposals would dump us into a recession, nay depression. Like Hoover and Roosevelt – Smoot Hawley all over again.

      Wake up! A vote for Trump in the primaries is a vote for Clinton in the General Election.


    1. Sure. Trump says American should leave NATO – in a CNN interview Donald Trump said the U.S. should rethink its involvement in NATO because the defense alliance costs too much money. “Frankly, they have to put up more money,” he said. “We are paying disproportionately. It’s too much, and frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea.”

      Bernie says this is not America’s fight. He has suggested, multiple times, that Iran and Saudi Arabia should send ground troops into Syria as part of a coalition of Muslim nations to fight ISIS. Like a COEXIST bumper sticker, it ignores the fact that Iran and Saudi Arabia are enemies!

      Neither is a candidate who knows anything, ANYTHING about foreign policy. If you elect either of those idiots, America’s standing and position in the world will sink even lower than it is today after application of 8 years of President Obama’s “leading from behind” strategies. Come on, Assad has killed over 250,000 of his own citizens in the civil war, AND, there are well in excess of 6 million displaced from their homes within Syria and nearly 5 million displaced to other countries.


  2. Sorry. “We”, the American public, have already been there, since 2008 – when a majority of Americans voted for something called “hope and change”. So, what was kind of a lark, nearly eight years ago, is now a mindset. You wonder how people could vote for Trump or Sanders? Go out to wikipedia and take a look at President Obama’s efforts as a sponsor of legislation in his less than one full term as a US Senator”

    Nothing there. Nothing of significance. Absolutely no indication that he could ever get anything done where he had to attract a consensus of legislators, or Americans.

    When I pointed out the fact that then-Senator Obama had NO accomplishments, and more importantly, that what he sponsored in the Senate was all the wrong kinds of legislation (card check, paycheck fairness, Lilly Ledbetter, etc.), informed people ignored me. I actually challenged my boss, a lifelong Democrat, not to vote for Obama because his positions were clearly in conflict with out employer’s positions on various employee relations issues of the day. He let me know my opinion was not appreciated. Turns out, he was listening to his boss, and his boss (the VP of Human Resources) – all who voted for President Obama in 2008. One even has a photo standing with then-Senator Obama at a rally.

    Worse, young people laughed at me (including my two children who voted for then-Senator Obama, not once, but twice) indicating I was really out of step, bigoted, maybe racist, etc. People preferred to forget that then-Senator Obama believed that marriage was appropriate only between one man and one woman. He has had that and a number of other positions that have “evolved” since then as the political winds changed. Or worse, he deliberately lied about what he believed/valued, and only when the populace clearly changed its position, did he change his PUBLIC position to match his PRIVATELY held beliefs/values.

    So, the trend of voting for someone who has nothing but a narrative, statements designed to garner votes that are clearly not, and never were the result of deeply held values/beliefs/positions, is not something new. Maybe the difference this time is that Sanders and Trump are drinking their own Kool Aid. And yes, that IS a scary thought.


    1. I guess we are just getting to old to appreciate simplistic answers to everything. It seems any strategic long term focus on anything is out of vogue let alone concern for the consequences.


      1. The young want overly simplistic answers. Nobody else’s lives matter but mine, no matter what color there are unless they are the same color as me. Millennials want it now and make sure that everybody gets a trophy. The free market capitalists and hedge funds want it by the end of next quarter. Tax anybody but me.

        Is it no wonder we got here? People cannot plan five years into the future but they want somebody else to give them their expected response tomorrow.


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