Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have hijacked Bernie’s talking points. The Republican field is feeling the Bern. Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi recently spoke to Sam Seder on the Majority Report. He reported that Ted Cruz and Frontrunner Donald Trump had been seen taking hard lefts in stump speeches. This rhetorical shift is sudden and shocking to many in the establishment. The mythical Reagan of recent years is frowning from inside Frank Luntz’ head.
Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz walked right through the wall of Right Wing echo chamber in front of supporters in New Hampshire before primary voting began. He stated that the United States has been “redistributing wealth to big corporations” to thunderous applause according to Taibbi. A stunning departure from Conservative orthodoxy. Even for the notoriously mendacious Raphael Eduardo (Ted) Cruz.
During a whistle-stop in the Granite State, branding & real estate magnate Donald Trump took his turn. In his authoritarian style, he championed economic protectionism. He stated that he would personally block manufacturers from moving jobs overseas from the Oval Office if elected. Not laissez-faire capitalism or in line with current trade agreements. Free markets “be damned.” Even former HP CEO Carly Fiorina said her now-suspended campaign was about taking the country back from “the powerful, the wealthy and the connected.”
NEWSFLASH: Populism is popular, and politics is a popularity contest. This seems a simple, logical rule of thumb in politics. However, populism is a hard sell to the donor class. One candidate has captured popular opinion in a bottle. The entire field has taken notice. Senator Bernie Sanders’ markedly populist campaign has had a profound impact on the 2016 Race for the White House. Trump & Cruz are not alone. The Dems are also shifting away from the (center) right. Hillary Clinton still has the inside track. Though she is most assuredly leaning left into each turn.
One can never tell if this change will stick. But, for those that lean Progressive, this is a moment of hope at a very dark time in political history.