I believe both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are 'populists' rather than politicians.
Both men appeal to something below the surface of ordinary people, but in different ways.
So, I googled 'populism' and found something interesting. The Random House Dictionary had three definitions of 'populism': they were;
1. any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional or partisan ideologies.
(Both Trump and Sanders would fit into that, I think.)
2. grass-roots democracy; working class activism; egalitarianism
3. representation or extolling of the common person, the working class, the underdog, etc.
(I think those two fit Sanders more than Trump. Trump's 'populist' appeal is spelled out in the Collins Dictionary's only definition of the word.)
1. A political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people.
The Collins Dictionary obviously isn't very 'populist'. But it nailed what kind of 'populism' Trump is appealing to--the interests and prejudices or ordinary people.
Bernie is calling folks to something 'beyond themselves' while Donald is appealing to our baser natures, our fears and prejudices. Both are 'populists' in their own way.
And that's why they're doing so well in this very early stage of what will be a drawn-out and painful and full of clowns political cycle.
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