By Sal Bommarito
There’s revolution in the air. Interestingly, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are strongly suggesting that Americans rise up against a “tyrannical U.S. government.”
Young, idealistic people are usually the ones that instigate revolution. In America, college students and young blacks initiated change during the 1960s against the Vietnam War and for civil rights. The problem with “the young” is that frequently they are very impetuous, don’t have the experience to truly understand the ramifications of their actions and are quick to walk away when the going gets tough (consider Occupy Wall Street). I stipulate that in the 60s young people refused to give up until their demands were met even in the face of aggressive governmental violence.
Revolution occurs when common people are unhappy. Yet, Trump supporters, who are much older than Sanders’, have totally different motivations than Sanders’ posse. Both are critical of a “nonresponsive” government, but there is no overlap among the issues that drive them to protest.
Trump says the federal government is incompetent, ineffective and in need of more centralization. He implies that America is no longer “great.” He thinks that he can singlehandedly build the wall separating the U.S. from Mexico and stop illegal immigration. He thinks he can put millions to work. He thinks that he can persuade (bully) other nations to be fairer economically when dealing with the U.S. He wants to use the overwhelming power of the U.S. military to threaten disruptive groups around the world to cease hostilities (referring to ISIS and other terrorists). Donald Trump wants to wield the power of a dictator because he thinks he is smarter, more experienced and more determined than the stupid, lazy, lying individuals currently managing our government.
I have two problems with Trump’s perspectives. One, he has not proven by a long shot that his understanding and insight into our problems makes him qualified to lead the country. This is either because he is incapable of getting his arms around gigantic issues, or he hasn’t taken the time to study them. Two, the last thing America needs (subsequent to the Obama reign of terror) is more power in the hands of the executive branch.
Donald Trump has a Wharton degree and is a real estate developer. How can anyone possibly believe that he can negotiate a nuclear proliferation deal (Obama and Kerry are self proclaimed geniuses and they made a bad treaty with Iran)? And, does Trump really understand how the economy operates? The American economy is much larger than a portfolio of buildings and golf clubs. He has not given Americans any comfort in this regard.
Bernie Sanders has a great shtick; young people that are struggling with college loans and unemployment love him because he intends to steal from the successful and give it to his supporters, no strings attached. But, Sanders is not a modern day Robin Hood; he’s a Pied Piper who would lead his supplicants and all the rest of us to the ocean where we will drown.
Few of Sanders’ proposals make sense because he doesn’t consider the long-term effect of them (mostly affordability). Yet, the crowds love him- he’s the candy man. Every person that has accumulated wealth and has a great life in America is being vilified and targeted by this socialist. Socialism basically blames the most successful people in a society for all the ills of the society. There is no room for exceptionalism in a socialist country. When a 1%er earns a dollar or a million dollars, according to Sanders, it comes out of the pockets of the have-nots.
Inequality is Sander’s mantra, both educational and income. Wall Street should be taxed to rectify these conditions according to Bernie. Sanders has ignored the facts regarding these two serious issues that impact many Americans.
Education is substandard in this country because many among us don’t appreciate that it is the path out of poverty. Parents and children must believe this is true. 1% families, I can assure you, drill their children endlessly about the benefits of going to good schools and achieving high grades. Throwing more money at failing schools with failing students who don’t want to be in the classroom is not going to change educational inequality in this country. There must be a societal solution.
Income inequality is similarly misunderstood. Plenty of money flows from federal and state governments to the needy. The problem is that it is an ineffective entitlement. The money is being used to subsidize families that are not doing anything to improve their living or working conditions, so there is no end to the entitlement. Funding should be directed towards increasing the employability of the needy and creating new jobs to accommodate it. Gifting changes nothing.
Trump and Sanders supporters are being bamboozled by the political alchemy of these two candidates. Revolution is a serious proposal. I hope the unhappy among us recognize that these men are proposing the wrong paths for our country.