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 Sanders and Trump Offer Two Roads Out of Establishment Politics—Which Will We Follow?


 Sanders and Trump Offer Two Roads Out of Establishment Politics—Which Will We Follow?

William Greider

Donald Trump has taken the low road and turned “populist” anger upside down. He’s the super-rich guy ridiculing “stupid” people who run the government, while he tattles on fellow billionaires and how they buy politicians to get free stuff from Washington.


It's Love vs. Hate/Cooperation vs. Greed/The 99% vs. the 1%/Sanity vs. Insanity

And it isn't Sanders vs. Trump, it's Sanders vs. Every Other Major Candidate.


This article illustrates the difference between a liberal and a progressive. This is status quo apologetics in essence. The old guard will remain - says this author because he can't imagine it ever being kicked out. Neither Bernie nor Trump is really as popular as their numbers show, at least according to him. Say what?

Liberals may rightfully mark Trump as a conservative insurgent but Trump isn't really going against the republican line except in a couple of over the top bombastic spewings. He is still the oligarchy's oligarch after all and by implication not a radical reformer by any stretch of the imagination. Autocratic or whatever, he won't really try to upset the apple cart.

Bernie is something else again and here even the old guard liberals feel threatened by Bernie's independence. This author doesn't seem to have researched Bernie's positions very well either. Likely an expectation that he already knows all that he needs to know typical of mainstream liberal complacency.

He is another who starts off saying neither Trump nor Bernie can win because they aren't part of the status quo. What is unsurprising to me is that this old guard liberal Clintonista is so out of touch with how working class people and middle class people feel in this country. He also ignores the significance of Bernie's rapid rise in popularity. They all do that... but we don't!

People all over this country are noticing that lots of regular working class and middle class folks are coming to believe that Bernie might just win... even if old guard liberals and conservatives don't think so.

Americans still like the word Independent! Most of us wish we could have some of that in Washington.


The extractive model of predatory capitalism, fomented by US backed coups over many decades created an aspect of current globalization serving as the latest greatest "externalized cost" unmentioned as we slog through atavistic framing of elections and domestic/foreign issues. The middle and working classes and historically impoverished, and those whose lands have been grabbed the world over, face an already globalized financial hegemonic model that seems in more ways than not to supersede the 20th century context of Nation State. In the pithy vernacular: "That dog don't hunt". The nation state seems now to be a more easily recognized sub-set despite the constant old-school polarizations.

I would expect the rhetoric of the Donald to ever more intensely push the lipstick envelope of testosterone poisoned hyper aggression helping the already twisted 'stratcom' pattern of narratives to look less devastating if not more easily shoved down throats. He gambles on spectacle. The basic pivot apparently being the necessity to keep the "domestic" economy afloat despite the massive frauds, tax haven flights, the mining of states rights, and on and on.... perpetrated without consequences for the perpetrators. As he himself scorned a belligerent reporter - its much harder to build a skyscraper - but wait, who is it that actually does the construction?
Seems the new domestic/foreign polarity is now emergent as closer to its historical deep reality of something like scapegoat/victim for value ascribed and/or usurped. We've all been subjects of colonization all along - but shhhh.... don't say that, its not 'stratcom' correct.


White middle class voters of both sexes, with a socially conservative bent and declining personal prospects, dislike Trump personally. But, they like what he's saying a whole lot. He's calling for a national health system and other populist demands, btw. Call it pandering, or worse, but this may be the first election since Nixon when personal " likeability " doesn't mean diddly squat to about 40%-45% of the eligible voters. This bunch of Americans are not happy with anyone and they want to exact payback on a large scale. Blood in the water, perhaps? The U.S. needs a Sen. Sanders to save it from itself and possibly its' baser instincts. He really could be the very first uniter; not divider, type we can trust. Is Hillary the female Nixon and wins on toughness in spite of the baggage? And, I see the fight going on in both parties like it did in 1968. Is Trump the nastier more flamboyant, Nixon? Will Sanders build a new left/populist leaning ruling progressive coalition, with different hues of color and languages, of course? May you live in interesting times is a Chinese curse, and not a blessing, too. Yikes!


I have enjoyed and respected Greider's work for many years; in this piece, however, it seems he has a blind spot. Saying that Sanders needs to appeal to working class but doesn't? He hasn't heard the MANY speeches of The Bern, wherein he ALWAYS mentions that he grew up in a 3 1/2 room apartment, never had any money, and that he is part of the :working class. Sorry, Greider, please attend one of the Senator's events and listen to what he says, not what you've made up.

And why does Greider insist that Bernie can't win? As I see it, he needs more NAME RECOGNITION--we all MUST call the DNC in Washington and DEMAND "MORE DEBATES"--to give TheBern more exposure!!! When people of good will and common sense hear Bernie, they become wildly enthusiastic! That d---- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, limiting the # of debates so as to protect "her candidate,HRC" Grrr!


When I want to read about how Bernie can't win I'll turn to Counterpunch or the Black Agenda Report, they are experts on sour. As I type this CNN is doing another major piece on Trump, and so it goes.


I wouldn't call DNC neoliberals "liberal centrists". These are your "realists" that depend on Wall Street bribes. What is most attractive about Bernie and Trump is that they do not.


No way can Trump and Sanders be considered two different roads. Greider this is tripe and its sad and frightening to see you in the tank for the oligarch duopoly.
Trump(GOP voodoo economics) represents trickle down tax cuts that magically will expand the economy and generate more tax revenue. Result more wealth and power for the oligarchs. Sanders represents higher tax rates and closing loopholes for the oligarchs.

Trump or any GOP win results in omnipotent fascism by the oligarch. The rest of us lose.


Hillary is a neolib. As bad or worse than a neocon. Sanders is the only way.


Greider knows every trick of the establishment punditry class, in this piece he uses the damning with faint praise sticht. The form of the piece itself reveals what he is about. Bernie and Trump should never be compared, by doing so, Greider ever so subtly disses Bernie even before a word is said, cute trick, I guess.


" Neither seems likely to become President."

That is because POTUS are selected; not elected. And neither Trump or Bernie have been selected for 2016. The polls and debates are nothing but a dog and pony show for the voters, a Kabuki theater and a sideshow to make Americans believe hey have a choice.


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Trump is a life long Democrat, but also an egomaniac and an opportunist. I find it interesting that he only announced , for Republican contender, after a two hour conversation with his friend Bill Clinton. Bill had many nice things to say about him in his interview last week. With the Clinton's involved, I smell a rat.

The author is right when he says that many middle class and working class americans are totally fed up with both parties. I've spoken to many people, of all races, that think that Washington has turned against them. They are willing to listen to anyone that is not for business as usual. I hope Bernie shellacks Hillary in the debates and primary.


Oh great, not, a damning with faint praise Sanders article from the Nation.

And I used to respect Greider, when he wrote for Rolling Stone.

Now, that Joan Walsh has left Salon for the Nation, there’ll be another Hillary Bot at the Nation.

Has the Nation ever apologized for the October 2011 essay by Melissa Harris-Perry that called liberal critics of Obama racists?


Ha...You are right, however, they called ALL Obama critics racist...something I never understood.


I already voted for Stein in 2012.

How do you see her getting electoral votes in 2016?


I haven't read the Harris-Perry essay in a while.


So much for Princeton University, Tulane, or MSNBC promoting real thinkers.


As Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) founders in 1985 the Clintons turned the Party into a billion dollar organization that gets 95% of its revenue from Wall Street and its corporate cronies, pushing the Party further right than the GOP was forty years ago. To distinguish itself from the Democrats, the GOP has moved further to the right which has resulted in it becoming a theocrats dream, more closely resembling the Taliban than the the "Rockefeller Republicans".