It doesn’t matter if you think it is true, untrue, fair, or unfair… what matters is that practically everyone agrees that indeed, these are the vulnerabilities. There is no similar agreement about Sanders, I think. He has vulnerabilities, but his vulnerability for some is a strength for others.
Trump’s feral insight has been to play on these grievances with a message that defines the cause—and the villains—in unmistakable terms.
…We’ve been played for suckers by foreign countries, by our incompetent leaders, by politicians who serve the elite, and who do the bidding of the insiders. We’re letting our worst enemies gain footholds across the Middle East. I don’t need their money; I can’t be bought. And the very crudeness of my language, the threats, even the bullying, tells you I have the stones to take these people on. And if the “experts” think I don’t know what I’m talking about—how have the “experts” done in Iraq, in Libya, in protecting the jobs and incomes of regular Americans?…
It’s not hard to think of potential Democratic candidates who would be well-equipped to respond to that argument: senators like Elizabeth Warren or Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, a younger Governor Jerry Brown, a Vice President Biden not weighed down by the death of his son. Indeed, Bernie Sanders could claim substantial exemption from Trump’s argument. And it’s certainly possible, maybe more than possible, to see Hillary Clinton winning a comfortable victory by simply gathering votes from those who see Trump as utterly unfit for the office. But … if the discontent with the economy persists in the fall, or even deepens should the woes of China and Europe reach our shores, there is no Democrat more in the cross-hairs of an angry electorate than Clinton. Everything from her Wall Street financial links to her work as secretary of state become targets of opportunity.