At rallies and in Tweets, Trump keeps suggesting “Crazy Bernie” is pretty much entitled to be the Democrats’ nominee. But why?
At very least he’s egging on Sanders supporters not to support any other Democrat should Bernie not come away with the nomination. An outcome which would only accrue to Trump’s benefit.
Another obvious reason Trump is advocating so hard for Bernie is likely because he thinks Bernie will be easiest to beat. The nickname “Crazy Bernie” is at least partly intended to send a message that Sanders would be even more disruptive than Trump, and in a way Trump can easily portray as un-American. Sanders’ vulnerability in a general election seems to be the “conventional wisdom” right now among reporters and pundits also. (Although we think it’s a bit quaint that the same folks who vowed Trump couldn’t possibly beat Hillary, are now insisting Bernie can’t beat Trump.) So we’re not saying he can’t. And he’s certainly the only Democrat that can muster rally crowds similar in size to Trump’s.
Still, Socialism does seem an easy, visible, and big target to run against. Especially in the states Trump needs to win.
But these aren’t conventional times, so we’re not so sure that’s it. Or all of it.
We’ve never been one of those people who thinks Trump will refuse to leave office if he loses. And we still don’t think he will. But if he’s got that notion rattling around somewhere in his brain, the easiest opponent to potentially pull that off against is Bernie.
Why? If Biden were to beat Trump, for instance (or even Elizabeth Warren, really) it’d be hard for Trump to muster the support he’d need to remain. After all, Biden already was Vice President. The country did not fall apart. Elizabeth Warren spearheaded a lot of bank regulation and consumer protection after the Great Recession, and while bank lobbyists, and Trump, have been working overtime to roll all that back, she didn’t collapse the banking industry either.
Bernie’s different. His appeal is in the aspirational, not necessarily the practical. (Which is fine: Americans often seek that in a successful presidential candidate. It was true for Obama. It was true for Trump).
But Bernie’s ideas, Trump could argue, should never be allowed to take root in this country. We won’t go any further right now, and we don’t think it’s a reason not to vote for Sanders. But you can decide on your own whether Trump’d be able to convince the military? Congress? The courts?
And Trump would no doubt have some of the most powerful people, corporations and organizations in this country on his side (at least tacitly) in that event.
Trump’s already laying the groundwork for it at his rallies: vowing repeatedly that “America will never be a socialist country”.
So if it comes down to that, will he pull a stunt to try and stop it?