It is true that the strength of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race has caused as much surprise as Donald Trump seizing the leadership of the Republican race. The lazy pundit class has tried to draw more parallels, suggesting that Sanders and Trump are mirror images of each other, each appealing to the extreme elements of their respective parties.
But Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says that they are quite different and this can be clearly seen in the way that they each responded to challenges, Trump when questioned about his demeaning attitudes towards women and Sanders challenged by Black Lives Matter about his failure to directly address the problem of police violence against minorities and the poor.
Ernest Hemingway once said that courage was “grace under pressure.” Two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, have recently tested this proposition. And how each man responded revealed the type of person he is and the type of president he would make: Trump authored his own doom, and Sanders opened immense new possibilities as a compassionate person and serious candidate for president.
The two approaches reveal the difference between a mature, thoughtful and intelligent man, and a man whose money has made him arrogant to criticism and impervious to feeling the need to have any actual policies. Trump threatens to run an independent campaign (he won’t; that’s a negotiating ploy). Trump is a last-call candidate who looks good in the boozy dark of political inebriation.
Two roads diverged in a political wood, and one man took the road of assaulting the Constitution and soon will be lost forever. The other will be a viable candidate who, regardless of whether he wins the nomination, will elevate the political process into something our Founding Fathers would be proud of.
Of course, there are many more differences between the two. Sanders has been consistently advocating for his policies all his life and his ideas are by no means radical. Trump is a dilettante who has been all over the map when it comes to proposals, the one constant being his desire to make money and promote himself.