As if we didn’t know it already, Tuesday’s results in the New Hampshire primary was concrete evidence that we are in the midst of a political revolution.
Two so-called “outsider” candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, won the Democratic and Republican vote, respectively, effectively earning the majority of the state’s delegates moving forward.
And it wasn’t even close. Both men eviscerated their competition in nearly every demographic. Heck, Bernie even accumulated more votes from women than Hillary Clinton did. Who saw that coming?
Why these men are considered outsiders is simple: they’re not the candidate that their respective parties want to earn the presidential nomination.
And that is what has made this election cycle so significant.
But despite the media’s tendency to lump these two candidates together, it’s absolutely worth noting that they could not be more different. And furthermore, the reasons why they’re each gaining a wide support base is equally as different.
Donald Trump has horrified voters just as much as he’s united them. He’s upended the political process, using harsh, sometimes bigoted rhetoric that has appealed to a wide range of people by tapping into their inner angst.
Suddenly, Trump has made it OK to be xenophobic, to be brash, to be condescending to those who disagree with you. And people are buying in because he’s saying the things on a national platform that they’ve always wanted to say, but couldn’t without the fear of being judged.
But Trump is only polling so well because Republican voters who don’t support him have been unable to settle on an alternative. Those people are splitting their votes between Kasich, Rubio and Bush. If they ever do unite around one, then Trump is in trouble. Fortunately for him that may never happen.
As for those who are voting for Ted Cruz, god I hope I never meet any of those people in my lifetime.
Democrats who vote for Bernie, meanwhile, are not revolting against their political party, but rather, against the political process.
We weren’t supposed to have a choice. It was going to be Hillary Clinton, and that was that. She’s the establishment candidate who every other Democratic politician was too afraid to run against. Except Bernie.
Voters choose their president in a general election, sure, but until then, we have very little say. Nominees are essentially determined by who has the richest Super PAC. The more money you get from the wealthy, the better your chances. Except Bernie.
A grassroots candidate by every definition of the word, he and his supporters are proving that there can be an election in America that is truly decided by the people. And it’s that feeling of Democratic empowerment that Bernie is tapping into. Not anger, not hate — but inclusion.
Are Bernie’s ideas always realistic? No. But he’s an idealist with a vision, and that’s why he’s appealing to so many young people. The youth are not pragmatic. They’re naive and headstrong and believe that they can obtain the unobtainable.
And ladies and gentlemen, at least for now, the unobtainable is exactly what we are seeing.
Strap in, my friends. It’s a political revolution, indeed.