Mark Collins – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad US Presidential Election

Charles brings the Krauthammer down–a taste:

Obama has nearly killed the American Dream. No wonder voters are turning to fantasy politics
Donald Trump and and Bernie Sanders are offering magic potions to cure Obama’s sick America 

New Hampshire winners: Bernie Sanders and Donald TrumpNew Hampshire winners: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Photo: Getty Images

Beyond railing against the wreckage, the other commonality between the two big New Hampshire winners is in the nature of the cure they offer. Let the others propose carefully budgeted five-point plans. Sanders and Trump offer magic. 

Take Sanders’ New Hampshire victory speech. It promised the moon: college education, free; universal health care, free; world peace, also free because we won’t be “the policeman of the world” (mythical Sunni armies will presumably be doing that for us). Plus a guaranteed $15 minimum wage. All to be achieved by taxing the rich. Who can be against a “speculation” tax (whatever that means)? 

So with Trump. Leave it to him. Jobs will flow back in a rush from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from everywhere. Universal health care, with Obamacare replaced by “something terrific.” Veterans finally taken care of. Drugs stopped cold at the border. Indeed, an end to drug addiction itself. Victory upon victory of every kind. 

How? That question never comes up anymore. No one expects an answer. His will be done, on earth if not yet in heaven. Yes, people love Trump’s contempt for the “establishment” — which as far as I can tell means anything not Trump — but what is truly thrilling is the promise of a near-biblical restoration. As painless as Sanders’. 

In truth, Trump and Sanders are soaring not just by defying the establishment, but by defying logic and history. Sanders’ magic potion is socialism; Trump’s is Trump. 

The young Democrats swooning for Sanders appear unfamiliar with socialism’s century-long career, a dismal tale of ruination from Russia to Cuba to Venezuela [see “Venezuela Crashes and Burns…and the Dragon’s Stranglehold“]. Indeed, are they even aware that China’s greatest reduction in poverty in human history correlates precisely with the degree to which it has given up socialism? 

Trump’s magic is toughness — toughness in a world of losers. The power and will of the caudillo will make everything right. 


Apart from the fact that strongman rule contradicts the American constitutional tradition of limited and constrained government, caudillo populism simply doesn’t work… 

 Help.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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