Wednesday, January 27, 2016

For a Luddite Politics

What about a Luddite politics? Even the biggest Donald Trump hater must secretly enjoy the way he stands up to the Republican establishment and Bernie Sanders replete with his Brooklyn accent is almost the quintessential everyman bucking the Clinton dynasty. If Trump is Manifest Destiny, Sanders is the embodiment of the American dream, a Horatio Alger of politics, a pied piper with a constituency of voters who are generally too alienated to go to the polls. Besides their difference on almost every issue that’s being discussed from immigration to taxes and health care, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in their iconoclasm have more in common than any of the candidates. Is it far flung to think that the real issue is the defiance of the juggernaut we call Washington? Isn’t that what this election is all about and wouldn’t that make a Trump/Sanders ticket the next logical possibility—certainly, if you are one of those people who is more interest in process than product, in style over content? What you have in Trump and Sanders are two no nonsense pragmatists who shoot from the hip. The fact that they’re both New Yorkers and both from the outer boroughs (one initially from Queens and the other Brooklyn) only strengthens the potential bond. What the election would really boil down to then would be a war between New York and Washington, for which city would be the de facto capital of the United States. From there Trump and Sanders would work things out and the negotiations would be very much like the way say the Teachers Union negotiates its contract with the city. Remember Woody Allen’s line about the famed Teachers Union president Albert Shanker from Sleeper, “Yes. According to history, over a 100 years ago, a man named Albert Shanker got a nuclear warhead.” In New York, the Al Sharptons and Albert Shankers hold as much power as the titans of industry and that’s the way it would be if a Trump/Sanders ticket prevailed and subleased Gracie Mansion from Bill de Blasio.

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