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January 24, 2017 7:53 am

Are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Really So Different?

avatar by George Jochnowitz

Bernie Sanders. Photo: Twitter.

Bernie Sanders. Photo: Twitter.

Early in his inauguration speech, President Trump said, “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC and giving it back to you, the people.”

Those words sounded like a revolution had taken place — not merely a change of administrations. And to me, the revolution in question sounded liked it had come from the Left:

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

As it happens, there was also a contender for the Democratic Party nomination who called for a revolution. Bernie Sanders wrote a book entitled Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.

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In fact, Trump’s words about “mothers and children trapped in poverty” sound remarkably leftist. Sanders could have said the same thing — word for word.

Sanders and Trump both consistently opposed NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and the proposed TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), which Trump has already taken action to pull out of. Both men also blamed international trade for the loss of American jobs.

When he was a candidate, Sanders opposed Obamacare. He advocated for a single-payer system instead. There was never a detailed description of this plan.

Trump has already signed an Executive Order trying to dismantle Obamacare. Although he has promised he would not pursue a single-payer model (something Republicans vociferously opposed), he signed his Executive Order using leftist language: “greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices. Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country.”

Now that Trump has been elected, Sanders is defending Obamacare — and saying we should not remove it until there is a clear replacement. But Sanders’ earlier statements have made it easier for Trump to act unilaterally. No doubt they disagree on what should come next. Unfortunately, the only point that they made clear was that they opposed Obamacare. Sanders may have wanted to increase medical coverage for the poor, but opposing an existing system is not the way to go about this.

Many Sanders supporters openly expressed hatred for Hillary Clinton. Some of the even chanted, “Lock her up.” Many of Trump’s supporters have done the same.

If the far-left wing of the Democratic voters hadn’t considered Clinton an enemy, I believe she would have carried Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — and won the election.

There is one issue on which Trump and Sanders disagree: Israel. Other than that, they share some of the same goals. Let’s see what happens to their revolution.

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