by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
At a massive Bernie Sanders rally like the one held … Sunday evening, you get the sense that a huge swath of the Democratic voter base is deeply unhappy with everything in America, and has been for a while.
The immediate object of their ire might be Donald Trump, but their discontent goes further back than the last election, and it encompasses more than politics as usual. They want everything Sanders promises. …
… But they also want something more, something harder to define. Justice, maybe, or a reckoning with the powers that be. They’d like to wield that power, and they seem ready to sweep away the social and economic order to get it. …
… What’s behind this? Why such seething discontent? The media wasn’t much interested in answering that question about Trump voters in 2016, but maybe now that Sanders is poised to run away with the Democratic nomination, they’ll get curious.
If they do, it might begin to dawn on them who helped set the stage for this kind of populism. It wasn’t Donald Trump, it was Barack Obama. The failure of Obamacare, the failure to hold Wall Street accountable for the housing crash and the recession, the sluggish recovery, the Bush wars extended for another eight years, the unfulfilled promise of hope and change. Then, after all those disappointments, they were asked to vote for Hillary Clinton.
In other words, the same forces that propelled Trump to the White House in 2016 are propelling Sanders to the top of the Democratic ticket now.