During Sunday morning’s episode of Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd and his panel of political commentators discussed the current state of the Republican and Democratic Parties. The conclusion? Grassroots movements are dominating the discussion and the two most energizing forces on both sides of the aisle, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, are not actually members of their respective parties.
Gerald Seib, Washington bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, explained:
“Two things. All of the energy in both parties is outside of Washington right now. It’s at the grassroots as Trump followers and Sanders followers. Second, Donald Trump has spent as much time in the last two decade as an independent and Democrat as he did as a Republican, and Bernie Sanders is essentially an independent. Those are the two most energizing forces in the two parties.”
Chuck Todd added: “It’s a great point. Almost hard stop. Let’s let people digest that. Both Sanders and Trump are not really members of their own party.”
IVN recently reported that Donald Trump’s “America First” policies are actually more in line — nearly perfectly, in fact — with the Reform Party’s anti-globalist and anti-corruption platform than they are with the Republican Party’s platform. Donald Trump had a brief go in presidential politics in 2000 when he ran as a Reform Party candidate, but lost the nomination to Pat Buchanan.
And Bernie Sanders spent most of his political career as an independent and challenged the Democratic establishment during his 2016 presidential campaign.
The election of Tom Perez as DNC chair, as observed by Seib, was mostly a victory for the old guard of the Democratic Party. Yet, he also noted that “everyone who was watching that DNC meeting knows where the energy was in that party, and it was with the Sanders people.” The final DNC chair debate on CNN was also largely dominated by candidates outside the “establishment,” people who want change inside the party.
Months outside the 2016 election, the grassroots “revolution” hasn’t died. People, driven by their own motivations and causes, are united in a common desire: they want to see a change in Washington.
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