Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders might be poles apart in their politics and temperament, but they are voicing visceral feelings of economic disenfranchisement and alienation among pessimistic voters who feel they've been ignored for years.Then this.
The billionaire and the democratic socialist are in different ways speaking for vast populations of Americans who feel threatened by globalization, who question the benefits of "free trade" that political leaders have peddled for decades and who believe distant elites control the economy in ways detrimental to their lives and prospects.
It doesn't matter that gas prices are at rock bottom, the unemployment rate is at its lowest point for eight years and Wall Street, despite a rocky several months, is up 40% over five years. College costs more, basic living standards are more expensive and good-paying jobs seem more precarious than ever. Many people are still asking: "When will the recovery reach me?"The house of cards that is globalization is teetering. The people are furious and outsiders are winning because the reality is stark.
When opponents point out that neither vision comes with a set of ready-made solutions or even coherent policies, they almost miss the point.
That's because Trump and Sanders are appealing to gut-level emotions that amplify political movements, not the wonky details of trade or economic policy.
"I think we are in a new era now and that new era is primarily about people's deep concern about the structure of our economy, their feeling that the playing field isn't level, that it is elite interests that are writing the rules," said Felicia Wong of the progressive Roosevelt Institute which has conducted polling showing that voters are more likely to express an interest in voting in 2016 after hearing a message on trade.
Both parties participated in destroying the American middle class and the elite of both must pay....at the ballot box for now. Let's not even consider the nightmare of a "later" if the will of the people is ignored.