Robert Reich. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
23 November 15
t’s instructive to compare Bernie’s rally in Savannah, Georgia last night with Donald Trump’s rally in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday. Two southern states, two populist aspirants for the presidency, two immense crowds. But the two events and the two candidates couldn’t have been further apart.
Trump channels the anxieties of Americans into fear and hate.
Bernie channels them into hope and tolerance.
Trump told the white, middle-aged crowd he’d seal America’s borders against Mexicans and Muslims.
Bernie told a diverse, young crowd he’d make public universities tuition-free and reduce incarceration.
At Trump rallies, black protesters are kicked and beaten by Trump’s white supporters. At Bernie’s rallies, protesters are respected and heard. (Yesterday, Trump said of the treatment one black protester got in Birmingham, “maybe he should have been roughed up…. This is not the way Bernie Sanders handled his problem, I will tell you, but I have a lot of fans and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy, a troublemaker, looking to make trouble.”)
Trump's right-wing populism poses a clear and present danger to this nation.
Bernie's left-wing populism offers the only practical way forward.
Rarely in American history has the choice been this stark.
What do you think?