Let’s do that on basic level that should make the elements obvious to anyone capable of objective reasoning. First, how is the media presentation of the two campaigns? No doubt, Donald Trump has had far more practice at attracting media attention than Bernie Sanders.
There is a swirl of media attention around Donald. Most of it comes in terms of how he is upsetting the other GOP candidates’ chances for the nomination. It is difficult not to watch when he comes onto the newscast behind a microphone-lined podium. One cannot help but wonder what he can say that is more offensive or obnoxious than anything he has said already.
Bernie is getting a reasonable amount of attention from the Sunday morning talking heads shows. The discussion, however, is generally focused on his opponents rather than Bernie. An interview is also not likely to happen without attempts to get him to speak negatively of his opponents.
A look at the social media campaign will show a distinct contrast between the two candidates. Donald’s pattern is rambling of sentences beginning with the first person pronoun. This is followed by a barrage of negative comments against all who do, or might, oppose him. Social media is simply an extension of what Donald boasts or attacks from the podium.
Bernie’s social media broadcasts are as consistent as what he has been saying for the last forty years. If any group or individual feels an attack from Bernie, it is because they are the side that cares nothing of majority of the American people or the disappearing middle class. Bernie shouts out for campaign finance reform, income and wealth equality, racial equality, women’s rights, education for all, reforming Wall Street, and saving the environment.
When it comes to their following it is hard to discount the loyalty to both Bernie and Donald. Both candidates’ supporters seem be of the political fringes of the country. Both are fed up with the status quo. The difference, like the candidates, lies in the behavior and core values of the two groups of followers.
One need not look far to find Donald supporters making comments that are baseless and, more often than not, crass. Any attempt to engage them with logic, however neutral the attempt might be, will be met with unimaginable vehemence. The question, however, is how will Donald win the nomination without the support of nearly everyone in the country who is of a minority or traditionally oppressed group of people?
Bernie’s lack of the celebrity status that Donald holds gives Donald an obvious recognition advantage around the country. Bernie, however, has been consistently growing larger crowds. No other candidate seems able to repeatedly replicate the large crowds. Phoenix, on July 11 for example, netted a crowd of 11,000 for Bernie.
On that same day in Phoenix, Donald claims to have drawn a crowd of 15,000. The number seems unlikely, however, in a venue with fire code capacity for only 4000. Even a huge overflow could not have more than the tripled the venue capacity.
Bernie went on, with a west coast tour in August, to set even higher crowd records that capped with 27,500 in Los Angeles. Donald recently boasted huge numbers in Mobile, Alabama. With a venue capacity for 43,000, estimates have ranged from 20,000 to, as high as 50,000. Donald has quoted 30,000. Even at 20,000, to his credit, he has outdone the other Republican candidates.
The following of both of these candidates represents the frustration of the status quo that continues to take the country into an overall downward spiral. That is, however, where the similarity ends. The differences are simple and profound.
One candidate will do and say whatever will draw attention to his campaign. His campaign rhetoric and his supporters are mean-spirited. He is a demagogue, at best.
The other candidate wants a better life or Americans, in order that they might rebuild a better America. In doing so he expects to expand the middle class, rather than reduce it. He has been carrying the same message for forty years.