What Might Have Been: A Trump – Sanders Ticket

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that a Donald Trump – Bernie Sanders isn’t going to happen and probably never was on Bernie’s radar. Even in this wild political year, a Trump-Sanders ticket is just too implausible to think it could happen.

Source: Gage Skidmore

Sanders finally endorses Hillary

At a joint appearance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday, Sanders formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face. And there is no doubt in my mind that as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.
— Bernie Sanders

Bernie has said, “Yes – I think the issue right here is, I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump.”

Trump and Sanders share similar views

Nevertheless, just for fun let’s look at where these two outsider candidates share some common ground:

Healthcare: Bernie has championed a single-payer healthcare system. Trump has said that such a system works “incredibly well,” in countries like Canada and Scotland.

Taxes: Both Bernie and Donald have proposed raising taxes on the wealthy to raise revenue to fund programs.

Campaign finance: They have both voiced opposition to the current campaign finance laws citing that wealthy donors end up owing the candidates.

The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money. That's why we're asking Bernie Sanders' voters to join our movement — so together we can fix the system for all Americans. Importantly, this includes fixing all of our many disastrous trade deals. Because it's not just the political system that's rigged. It's the whole economy.
— Donald Trump

Trade: Both Sanders and Trump have denounced the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump has called for a renegotiation of all U.S. trade treaties.

We both (referring to Sanders) agree that we’re getting ripped off by China, by Japan, by Mexico, by everybody we do business with.
— Donald Trump on Bernie Sanders and trade

Foreign Policy: The two men are isolationists. Bernie has denounced the concept that America should be the “policeman of the world,” while Trump wants to build a wall to isolate the U.S. from Mexico.

Source: Shutterstock


Both are dissatisfied with the status quo

The strongest bond that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump share is their dissatisfaction with the status quo. They are outsiders to the political process and both have struck a deep chord with Americans who feel that the system is broken. Combining leftist populism with right populism would make for a rich mix of ideology.

But, as intriguing as a Trump-Sanders ticket might have been, it was never going to happen. Trump has appeared at least open to the idea, but Bernie has made clear in his statements about Trump that the gulf between them is too wide to make it work:

We do not need a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry, is insulting Mexicans and Latinos, and Muslims and women, who does not believe the reality of climate change when virtually every scientist who has studied this issue understands we are at a global crisis. This is not somebody who should become president.
— Bernie Sanders

Statements such as the above would be too difficult to walk back and the ‘dream ticket’ would have ended up sounding shallow and false if they tried. Still, a Trump-Sanders ticket would have been an intriguing and historic partnership that would have been entertaining to watch. 

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