Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Ultimate Reality TV: Sanders and Trump – The Sorcerer and the Apprentice

First appeared on Blogcritics.

real 3 I don’t know about you, but I am pretty much a guy who doesn’t get involved in a presidential campaign this early. I mean, since I’m not walking into a booth and pulling a lever for my choice for president until 16 months from now, I’m not really too keen on getting involved listening to a bunch of possible (and many implausible) candidates; however, two candidates are getting my attention by making headlines and pretty much leaving the others in the dust – Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

real 4On the Democrat side of things, I only hear about Hilary Clinton and it's in regard to two issues – Benghazi and her lost emails. These are at least the soundbites that I can recall, and I am being honest here because as I said before I am really not into the campaign right now, but on the periphery this is what I hear.

Other than Hilary, I have no idea who is running for the Democratic nomination except good old Bernie. Bernie has been getting lots of press, and much of it is very good. I hear about Bernie getting huge crowds in Louisiana, whereas the poor governor of that state Bobby Jindal gets a turnout worse than a Knicks game last season. That Bernie must be doing something right.

On the Republican side of town, all I know is that there are guys like Jindal, Ted Cruz, and a lot of other assorted Cratchits who are chomping at the bit for the nomination, but I really know nothing much about them except that they keep attacking Trump. You see, these guys can’t even get themselves arrested unless they scream and yell about The Donald, which in essence gives Trump more publicity.

real 2Now Donald seems to be everywhere. Unlike Bernie, his omnipresence on news channels is both compelling and troublesome. After watching a few seasons of his show The Apprentice, I stopped because it just took him too long to get to the words I wanted to hear him say – “You’re fired!” They just dragged it out too much. Now, I watch and listen to him on news channels, but he never gets around to saying those words. How disappointing!

In the end I must confess that I am interested in both Bernie and Donald. Bernie is the ultimate sorcerer, conjuring notions of a better society and better world. Every time I hear him speak he just makes sense. I like how he handles himself, how he responds to questions, and his answers do not seem scripted. Bernie has a grasp on what he wants to say and he understands that the general public hasn’t heard a candidate not speak like a politician in at least 150 years (I’m estimating when old Honest Abe last spoke publicly).

f you check out his website, the campaign slogan is “Stand with Bernie.” This is the sorcerer at his best, stirring up a potion to make us think that if we are with him then we are against the rest of the lying, thieving, we-don’t-need-no-stinking-badges politicians who only want our vote and will do anything from kissing a baby to waxing our cars to get it.

Then there is dear old Donald Trump, “the apprentice” turned jack of all trades who now fancies himself a politician and champion of truth, justice, and the American way. Check his website and you will see his slogan – “Make America Great Again.” Ah, this is where he, the self –professed “very rich” tycoon, wants to take all Americans on his ride to get the country back to some glorious past.

real 1Bernie and Donald have salient things in common – they have wacky hair, point with their index fingers often, and seem to send a message people want to hear. As you watch both men articulate their positions, their common denominator is being unscripted and unaffiliated with the puppet masters of their respective parties. Love them or hate them, you have to realize that they are telling us not what some party honcho wants us to hear but rather what each man wants to convey to the public without having to first get it approved.

This is the earliest in a presidential campaign that I have ever been interested in hearing what a candidate had to say. At this rate, if the others don’t pick up the pace, they are going to be left in the wake of these two political speedboats with about as much chance of getting their party’s nominations as former reality TV star Paris Hilton or rapper Waka Flocka Flame.

I am not ready to vote for any candidate yet, but as of now I know more about Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump than any other candidate from any party. I venture to guess that this could be the case for a majority of the American public. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – is this the ultimate reality TV or what?

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