Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has Donald Trump’s number, and during an interview on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Sanders explained exactly how to defeat Trump.
Transcript via MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show:
MADDOW: You are not a pundit. And I know that talking about —
SANDERS: Call me many things but not a pundit.
MADDOW: Nobody’s ever called you that.
And I know you don’t necessarily like weighing in on the Republicans and their process. I just have to get your response to this.
SANDERS: Let me give you my perspective on what’s going on. It’s a different perspective I think than other people have. I think you have an enormous amount of fear and uncertainty in this country. And it’s not just from San Bernardino or from Paris.
I think what you’ve got are millions of people who are in trouble today. They really are. They’re confused. They’re working longer hours for lower wages. They’re seeing productivity going up but their kids are worse off economically than they are. They’re looking at a campaign finance system in politics and they see corruption, big money buying elections. Nobody in Congress is listening to them.
They’re out there alone. Who’s listening to them? They’re in trouble. They need help.
What’s the cause of their problems? Is it Wall Street? Is it big money? Is it massive inequality in terms of wealth and income? Well, no one talks about that really.
And then have you demagogues like Trump come along. He says I know what the cause is. Remember, a few months ago, the cause was that Mexicans who are coming to this country, well, they were criminals or rapists. Today, it is Muslims.
You all remember how many years ago, we were younger, it was uppity women who are trying to take our jobs as men. It was those gay people who wanted to make everybody homosexual in our school system. It was Blacks wanted to take white jobs.
That’s what demagoguery is about. It is to obfuscate the real problems facing our society and find somebody you can blame and rally the American people. That’s what it is. It’s the immigrants or the Muslims. We’ve got to take them on.
And I think my main concern is because I worry about this. It’s real. You see the people standing up there and applauding. How do we get to those people? How do we say, why do you keep voting for people who are giving more tax breaks to billionaires, who are going to send your jobs abroad, not going to let you form a union, not going to allow your kids to go to college? Why do you keep voting for these guys?
Because they pick out a victim whether it’s Blacks, whether it’s gays, whether it’s women, whether it’s immigrants, whether it’s Muslims who we can pick on.
And what our job is and I think hard about these things, how do we get those people to begin standing up for their own interests.
And I will tell you is the antidote to Trump is a very strong progressive agenda that says, yes, I know you’re angry. And you know what? You should be angry because you’re working longer hours for low wages. You have a right to be bitter, and you have a right to be that.
Don’t take it out on the Muslims. Don’t take it out on Latinos. Try to help us work together to create a country where your kids and you can have a decent standard of living. It has to be a bold and radical agenda. No more same old same old.
I don’t mean to be political here. People are hurting and angry, and they want something to be able to stand up and fight for. That’s what I believe the antidote is to Trumpism.
The key to beating Trump is to negate his potential appeal to those who are angry by proposing a strong leftward agenda that addresses their economic concerns.
Trump may be able to survive a divided Republican primary because he has cornered the market on right-wing extremist positions, but in a general election, the get rid of all immigrants and Muslims rhetoric won’t work.
Bernie Sanders has Trump figured out, and if he wins the Democratic nomination, and Donald Trump is the Republican choice, the billionaire will be dismantled in short order.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association