Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Spot The Difference


Bernie Sanders supports single-payer healthcare and higher taxes on the rich, and opposes free trade and open borders. Donald Trump supports single-payer healthcare and higher taxes on the rich, and opposes free trade and open borders.

How is this possible? How can two politicians on opposite ends of the political spectrum have so much in common? It's a little something called "horseshoe theory."

Horseshoe Theory speculates, according to Wikipedia, “that rather than the far left and the far right being at opposite and opposing ends of a linear political continuum, they in fact closely resemble one another, much like the ends of a horseshoe.” In other words, the further to the political left or right one goes, the more inevitable it becomes that you’ll find yourself wrapping around to the other end.

This can clearly be seen in both Trump and Sanders. Both politicians are on opposite ends of the far right and left respectively, and both hold differing political views from one another; but at the same time, they also hold very eerily similar views—especially when it comes to their protectionist policies.

Both politicians, despite their differences, subscribe to “protectionism”, a political belief that ascribes the government responsibility in “protecting” national jobs. From what, exactly? For Trump, it’s from immigration. For Sanders, it’s from outsourcing.

Despite neither immigration nor outsourcing having a negative effect on overall employment, both politicians have garnered support by promising their followers that they will protect “der jerbs” from being taken away from foreigners. In other words, both politicians manage to drum up support by prying on the racist, xenophobic belief that only white affluent Americans deserve to have jobs over brown people in third world countries.

This should not be the least bit surprising, as authoritarian politicians, on both the far left and right, have always relied on scapegoating foreigners, or “the other”, in order to gain political support. This is why Hitler and Stalin were both totalitarian dictators, despite being polar opposites, as is currently the case with Trump and Sanders.