The presidential nomination battles, both Democratic and Republican, give voters a choice between establishment and outsider candidates. The idea of electing a politician to the presidency with too many ties to Washington and special interest groups is unthinkable to many 2016 voters but this is not a new development; a deep, bitter anger has been brewing beneath the surface of the country for many years and is finally finding an outlet. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are emotionally extreme yet inexplicably popular, and it’s this emotion that calls to so many Americans and propels them to vote outside the establishment box.
The anger that Trump and Sanders tap into is echoed by many middle class voters who see a rising inequality in America, who struggle to reach the American dream and believe that politicians are turning a deaf ear to their troubles and no longer represent them. Globalisation, immigration, trade and the inevitable progression from the industrial to the information age has indeed changed the shape of the country, and has both negative and positive effects on all citizens. But the outsider candidates know that resistant and resentful people want someone to blame for the fact that they don’t and can’t have everything, and both offer different groups as scapegoats, either job-stealing immigrants or greedy corporate billionaires, and vow to fix the root problem by building a wall or redistributing wealth. However both have oversimplified or misrepresented the truth of the situation; immigrants bring untold benefits to America and many billionaires contribute much to society. But their simple message that something is wrong and only they can see and solve the problem has many voters convinced.
Trump and Sanders are alike in many ways; they both have wild hair, grumpy rest faces and point their finger and say “yuge” a lot. They are also revolutionaries. They conjure up the idea of a revolution as a powerful mass movement that will bring about radical change, but the idea that substantive change can be brought about by sheer willpower, while providing no detailed plan for how to rebuild a new system, sounds too good to be true. Whether the proposed solutions can mend a country with increasing gaps between rich and poor, white and other races and men and women is debatable, but what 2016 shows is that the problem is not going away and that something major has to be done.
Like thinking outside the box? What if you realized you were just inside a bigger box? Movie for your mood: Inception