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2020 Election: Will It Be Disruptor Trump vs. Disruptor Bernie?

Democratic Socialism
Back in 2015, CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie surveyed the field of candidates running for President and observed that there were only three who were “message” or change agent candidates; Senator Bernie Sanders, businessman Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz.

Mr. Viguerie noted that the three message carriers; Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have different messages, but they had one thing in common – voting for them was a clear rejection of the status quo in their parties, and in the conduct of the federal government.

In a sense, other than the fact that Ted Cruz is not running, nothing has changed since 2015. The Republican establishment and politicians like Mitt Romney still haven’t figured out the people want change, and Democrats like Joe Biden, who has spent nearly 50-years in public office, are no better.

That leaves only two message candidates, or change agents, or disruptor candidates running for President: President Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders.

And this is particularly important in the Democratic Primary.

While all the Democrats may occasionally attempt to image themselves as the candidates of change, none at this point in the campaign claims to stand for a radical change in how Washington’s ruling elite conduct the affairs of government, except Bernie Sanders.

Sure, Sen. Elizabeth Warren runs against billionaires and sounds off about big business, but like Hillary Clinton it always seems to come with a little wink, like maybe she doesn’t really mean it or means it only about certain disfavored businesses – like tobacco and credit card companies – while people who get rich doing stuff she likes are probably safe.

Senator Sanders, on the other hand, is an unabashed class warrior.

In a tweet announcing his plan to tax the ultra-wealthy, the Vermont senator wrote this: "There should be no billionaires. We are going to tax their extreme wealth and invest in working people."

Back in September CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza claimed Sanders’ class warfare rhetoric was a real problem that limited the Vermont Senator’s appeal:

Make no mistake: There is a segment within the Democratic primary who will love the idea of taxing billionaires into oblivion. But almost all of those people are already for Sanders. For everyone else in the party, they will likely see this for what it will be in the context of a general election in which Sanders is the nominee: The reddest of red meat for Donald Trump.

Apparently, the little people Cillizza dismissed in his September article are a bigger segment of the Democratic electorate than he realized.

According to POLITICO, Bernie Sanders raised more than $34.5 million in the final three months of 2019, a substantial sum that exceeds the two other Democratic presidential candidates who have announced their hauls so far in that period.

The Vermont senator, who disclosed the amount Thursday morning, brought in a total of about $96 million last year from more than 5 million contributions. The campaign’s average donation was $18.

Holly Otterbein reported the Sanders campaign said it received contributions from 40,000 new donors on the last day of the year. Its best month was December, when it reaped more than $18 million from 900,000-plus contributions.

According to Ms. Otterbein’s reporting the Sanders team said “more than 99.9 percent” of its contributors have not given the maximum donation — and can therefore donate again. Sanders has criticized Biden and Buttigieg for raising money from billionaires. He made the issue the subject of a recent TV ad in Iowa, though he doesn’t name names in the spot.

As Mr. Viguerie has often said, one of the most powerful – if not THE most powerful – political themes in American politics is “send them a message.”

Yet, in an election year when the “them” in Washington are the target of voter wrath from both Left and Right, only two of candidates running for President, Senator Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump, are “message carriers” ready to send “them” a message.

It remains to be seen if Senator Sanders’ fundraising success translates into success at the ballot box, but one thing is clear – running to be “the adult in the room” or old reliable is no more popular on the Left in 2020 than it was on the Right in 2016.

Politicians like Joe Biden and Mitt Romney haven’t figured out the American people are hungry for change, and if Republicans won’t join President Trump in delivering it from the Right, then there are plenty of radical Democrats prepared to join Bernie Sanders who will deliver it from the Left.

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