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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

As each presidential campaign season gets closer and closer, I have found that the best people to watch are the voters and not the candidates. Political candidates all have the same agendas and all say pretty much the same things to try and get people to follow them. But when someone different comes along, the reaction can be extremely fascinating to watch.

This presidential election season brings us two people who will grab all kinds of headlines until around January when things get serious and people turn back to the more traditional candidates. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are two guys who are shaking things up and making this campaign fun to watch.

I am not a political expert, so I base my observations purely on what I see. If you want to discuss politics, we can give it a try on my Facebook page. But don’t be surprised if I block you for being more interested in arguing than in discussing things.

I have always said, and I always mean it, that I can be swayed on any point by good information and accurate data. That means everything, including the candidacy of Donald Trump. The problem is that most of the people following Trump are not using facts and good information. They are being swept up in the cult of personality that is Donald Trump and it does make for some fun watching.

“Donald Trump says exactly what I am thinking.”

EVERY politician says exactly what you are thinking! If you would bother to actually read what all the other politicians are saying, they are saying the same basic things Trump is saying. The difference is that career politicians tend to avoid controversy and alienating people. Trump seems to have no problem slagging war veterans and giving out the cell phone numbers for his opponents. Really? You guys are happy following around a guy who says that prisoners of war are not heroes? You are comfortable with a guy who pulls the third-grade stunt of giving out his opponent’s cell phone number? Is that really what you are thinking?

“Donald Trump is talking about the issues no one else will talk about.”

Immigration and foreign trade are topics all of the candidates are talking about. The difference is that Trump is giving out his message in a way that appeals to the people who like to go on Facebook and tell everyone that non-government flags should be flying over government buildings. It isn’t what Donald Trump is talking about that makes him different, it is how he is saying it that sets him apart.

“Donald Trump will get things done.”

He will, huh? Like he got things done when he made the life of a Scottish couple a living hell because they would not sell their property to him that had been in their family for generations so Trump could build a golf course and resort that no one wanted him to build? And then Trump put a fence around the property and sent the bill for the fence to the couple. Yeah, that is getting things done.

How about when Trump got things done by borrowing $640 million from a bank to finance the Chicago Trump Tower purchase and development deal by personally guaranteeing a portion of the funds. When the bank demanded their payments, Trump sued the bank. Yeah, getting things done.

Donald Trump has gone bankrupt four times and he had actors at his campaign kick-off meeting because he was afraid no one would show up. I can understand the mania for Donald Trump, but please do just a little research before you start backing a guy that called a war hero a “dummy” for disagreeing with him.

What about Bernie Sanders? The big knock against Bernie is that he is too old and people think he is crazy. But Bernie Sanders should be appealing to Trump supporters because Sanders also tells it like it is. The difference is that Sanders understands how politics works and would actually have a better chance at getting things done in Washington than Trump.

Sanders’ political opposition has succeeded in depicting him as a crazy old man and that is probably why many people are staying away from him. But Trump supporters may want to take a look at what Sanders has to say. He is running as a Democrat, but he abandoned the Democratic Party years ago. Sanders understands the political machine and he can at least give a speech without insulting an entire group of people.

In the end, we will probably have another Bush or Clinton in the White House as the Democratic political machine will have its way with Trump and the Republicans will completely destroy Sanders. But, for now, watching these two go out there and talk is a lot of fun. These two candidates give people hope because they represent a big change in the system.

Wait. Where have I heard that before?

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident who enjoys political discussions but will not get involved in political arguments. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him an email at

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