The ideal presidential match-up in 2016, would be Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump.
I do not support Trump. His policies are disastrous for Latinos, and he hesitated to “disavow” David Duke and the KKK two days before Super Tuesday. Yet Trump versus Bernie Sanders would be the perfect contrast…the argument that America needs to hear. Here is why:
A LESSON FROM NEW YORK POLITICS
Nearly 50 years ago, in 1969, New York City politics was hot.
Nixon was president, we were still in Vietnam, the Stonewall Riots erupted, and the Young Lords occupied the First Spanish United Methodist Church in El Barrio.
On the local scene, the novelist Norman Mailer ran for mayor, and his running mate Jimmy Breslin ran for City Council president.
It was radical, exciting, a breath of fresh air – as Mailer/Breslin ran on a platform of New York City seceding from New York, and becoming the 51st state in the US.
The campaign was great performance art – with Norman Mailer challenging reporters to a boxing match, and Jimmy Breslin chain-smoking through all the press conferences.
On election day, they came in fourth out of a field of five, but the Mailer/Breslin campaign was widely applauded as one of the most invigorating, and intellectually significant, campaigns in an entire generation.
It was a campaign of ideas.
THE GREAT DEBATE
For this reason, the ideal presidential match-up in 2016, would be Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump.
Neither man comes from any established party machinery, so they will speak their minds more openly, with less political filtering.
Both of them will blast their issues at the press. They will wage a titanic battle all over the United States, with entire philosophies clashing: philosophies that are embodied in these men’s bones, not worn on their sleeves or crafted in a focus group.
Bernie the Socialist. Donald the Capitalist. Both of them kicking butt and taking names: without apology, equivocation or compromise. That is what a real democracy, and a robust politics should look like.
As of today — March 2, 2016 — Donald Trump is officially the leading candidate in the Republican field…by a wide and growing margin.
If there is any doubt about Bernie’s popularity, then simply view this:
That is a small portion of the crowd he recently drew in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Then consider this:
That is a Bernie Sanders event in Madison, Wisconsin.
Then look at this:
That is a Bernie Sanders event in Maine.
Then there is this:
Please study this photo for a moment. There is a tremendous engagement in there. People are passionate about this man.
Of great importance are the obvious demographics in the photo. They are impossible to miss: men and women, young and old, and lots of white people.
That is very significant. As the GOP challenger, Bernie is already drawing a strong base of passionate white voters, of all ages. If he wins the Democratic nomination, he will add Latino and black voters to this already committed group of whites.
It is a commitment based on ideology and deeply shared interests – a recognition that there is a deep division of wealth and power in this country, which must urgently be resisted.
If Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump become the major party nominees in 2016, we will have one of the most exciting and substantive political battles, that this country has seen in decades. It would top the Norman Mailer campaign of 1969, for discussion of where this country is headed.
And of source, Bernie Sanders would win in a landslide. He would then create a fundamental realignment in our national politics and conscience.
Bernie Sanders would reverse the curse of “trickle-down economics” that has haunted us, and weakened us, since Ronald Reagan took office in 1980.
It’s about time.
Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump. Let’s get it on.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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