Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the only interesting politicians we have (aside from occasional Al Franken flareups), so it's a pleasure to see them turning their attention to each other like some kind of Alien vs Predator matchup.
Bernie insists that Trump supporters can be redeemed and won over to his side. Trump insists that Bernie supporters are already defecting to HIS side. Trump called Bernie a "wacko" and a liar, and Bernie seems to be shrugging him off — which may be the best way to deal with Trump's attention.
But could either of them possibly be onto something? Despite being complete opposites, could they really convert each other's supporters?
Bernie and Donald at least have a few things in common. They're both balding, for example; although, their personal ways of dealing with hair loss tells you everything you need to know about their personalities. Bernie embraces his follicle failure with a no-frills old-guy cut, whereas Trump attempts a cover-up with a ludicrous swirl that looks like it was extruded from a piping bag.
They're also both essentially third-party candidates running within a major party, as The Week pointed out in a fascinating article. It's a pretty brilliant strategy: Since the vast majority of Americans don't take third-party candidates seriously, they can just claim membership in an existing party and use all of the GOP and Democrat resources.
Can you imagine how far Bernie would get if he was running for president as a member of the Socialist party? If he's lucky, he might win a seat on Seattle City Council. (As far as national infrastructure goes: Currently the highest-ranking elected member of Socialist Party USA is Pat Noble, who won an election for the Board of Education in a town in New Jersey.)
And imagine how far Trump would get if he ran under some exotic party banner. (You don't have to imagine that one, either—remember Ross Perot?)
That's pretty much where the similarities end. And yet, Bernie told Face the Nation that he can sway Trump's supporters to his side. How? Errrrrrr, like so many details about how Sanders can actually win this thing, the specifics are vague.
The best he seems to be able to offer is "a platform of bringing citizens together" to address income inequality, which sounds nice. Good luck with your platform, mister.
Maybe, just MAYBE, Bernie can find some common ground by talking about how the middle-class is being cheated by powerful forces. Of course, in the Sanders narrative, that's rich people; and in the Trump narrative, that's foreigners.
I'm awfully skeptical that Bernie will be able to convince right-wingers that the wealthy are the enemy, since so many of them are laboring under the American misconception that they stand a chance of someday becoming wealthy themselves. I'm just not sure how you get a person like that to stop fretting about Muslim phantoms and focus on bankers.
It's possible that Bernie could get through to Trump supporters. Sure, why not. Anything's possible. Is it likely? Eh, well, you tell me: What's the scenario wherein Bernie gets a Trump supporter to say, "Ohhh, my mistake?"