Donald Trump is going to be the Republican candidate for the 2016 American Presidential election. Bernie Sanders, in all likelihood is not going to get the nomination as Democratic candidate. Whether Trump is going to win the final battle or not or Sanders is knocked out of the race, their biggest contribution to American polity, perhaps inadvertently is that both shook status quo prevailing in both parties..
Bernie Sanders has nothing to do with Trump when it comes to political ideology. The later’s ideas are reminiscent of centuries old theory of Laissez -faire capitalism coupled with Islamophobia and xenophobic nationalism.
The former is speaking the language of radical socialism,which is quite an odd idea among the mainstream US politics. The support these two got during the preliminaries reflect one thing. The electorates prefer those who challenges status quo. May be some of them even might have started to think beyond the Republican-Democrat binary of US politics.
Many Republican supporters do not approve of what they call Trumps’s abrasive behaviour and ideas. And there are many who think that his candidature will prompt some of the Republican supporters to shift sides.
Some says his ideas of ‘nationalist’ economics with ‘ethnic’ politics is more complex than the traditionally rightist Republican ideology.
This has already created a fissure among the traditionally conservative elites who used to support Republicans. But the more discerning observers feel that Trump has taken off the veil of ‘modernity’ that Republicans wore as an authentic rightist party. Trump in that sense lays bare the what right wing means when it comes to economic policy, foreign policy and approach towards Muslims.
In all these cases he had demonstrated how much the Republican party can stretch when it comes to issues of national and international import. Surely he has shaken the pretentious attitude the Republican party took on many issues.
On the other hand Bernie Sanders demonstrates how much radical can a centrist party seem like through rhetorics. More than it reflects a kind of disenchantment brewing among the different sections of the society against the main stream political parties. The fact that Sanders were able to put up spirited fight against the status quoist Hillary Clinton, drives home the point that even a centrist party with its conservative and status quoist pragmatism reflect a sort of crisis in the celebrated model of democracy. What Jeremy Corbyn is doing to the Labour party in the UK, Sanders could do to Democrats, may be with relatively little impact.
One thing is becoming abundantly clear, if Trump wins the race for White house, then that will be a kind of tectonic shift in US politics the kind of changes it witnessed during Roosevelt and Reagan era.