February 28, 2020

THE lEFT IS THE rIGHT:

No, Bernie Sanders isn't authentic. Just like Trump. (Michael Gerson, Feb. 27, 2020, Washington Post)

Bernie Sanders's performance in the last debate before Super Tuesday was a bellowing, boorish mess. The Vermont senator's signature response when challenged was to pump up the volume, as though persuasiveness were measured in decibels. It was particularly excruciating to watch Pete Buttigieg attempt to inject some facts and reason into the proceedings, only to be interrupted again and again by Sanders's shouting.

When I expressed dismay to a Democratic friend, he assured me it was just "Bernie being Bernie." At least Sanders, the argument goes, speaks his mind. He is not scripted. He is true to himself. He may not play by the normal political rules, but he is the kind of outsider who will shake up the establishment.

This is further evidence of the disorienting, deja vu quality of our politics. In 2016, I was told by Republican friends that, at least, Donald Trump speaks his mind. He isn't scripted. He is true to himself. He doesn't play by the normal political rules, but he is the kind of outsider who will shake up the establishment.

I'm not contending that the moral character of the two men is comparable. Sanders's is clearly superior, though this is clearing only an ankle-high bar. But both men have benefited from a certain definition of political authenticity that allows them -- no, encourages them -- to be unpleasant, ill-mannered loudmouths.

 Their supporters being filled with self-loathing, all they're really looking for is an avatar to bellow at their enemies.  

Posted by at February 28, 2020 8:45 AM

  

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