A tale of two rallies: Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump on opposite sides of the country

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While Donald Trump is officially on his holiday break squandering taxpayer dollars into his own pocket at his Mar-a-Lago resort, he still found time to engage in some electioneering with a group of misguided youth — the alt-right conservatives who attended the Turning Point USA Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida today.

Trump was preceded and introduced at the Summit by the professional conservative radio bloviator and provocateur Rush Limbaugh who set the tone for the conference by declaring that “Climate change is a hoax. Don’t believe it” in a state that is predicted to lose a significant portion of its landmass over the course of the next century if current climate change trends continue unabated.

While the president then proceeded to regale the crowd of about three thousand attendees with attacks on his enemies both Democratic and Republican alike — saying of his “Never-Trumper” GOP opposition that “these are the dumbest human beings on earth. They’re the dumbest human beings” — on the opposite side of the country, Democratic presidential aspirant Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was holding a rally of his own in Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, accompanied by popular progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

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The tweets sent by supporters describing each rally provide an interesting contrast both in the numbers of people attending the polar opposite events and in the tone of the rhetoric delivered.

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Another Bernie fan on Twitter provided a more concrete number for the attendance at his California rally.

While Trump expounded to his audience of budding fascists about his innocence of the charges for which he was impeached, he found plenty of time to brag about accomplishments that only a receptive audience of Republican children of the corn could believe and appreciate.

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While Trump attacked the Democrats as evil Socialists, the leader of the Democratic Socialist-leaning wing of the opposition party was addressing a far larger crowd for whom the “S” word was more of an attraction than a falsely described deterrent.

Before Bernie Sanders took the podium, the crowd heard from Dr. Cornell West who invoked the legacy of Martin Luther King in his rousing address to the large assembly of Sanders supporters.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez also warmed the crowd up for Senator Sanders with a rousing speech that fired back at moderate Democrats who criticized the progressive wing of the party for supposedly instituting “purity tests” for the politicians running under the Democratic rubric.

AOC also went after the exploding military budget recently passed by Congress, a budget she would like to see go to more peaceful purposes.

While Senator Sanders railed against the corrupt political system led by the Republicans, he also went after the type of corporatist moderate Democrats, some of whom are running against him for the party’s presidential nomination.

In echoing his fellow progressive candidate, Elizabeth Warren’s criticism of the fund-raising practices of mainstream opponents like Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice-president Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders again demonstrated why he is a true populist candidate, unlike Donald Trump who continues to talk of his support for ordinary working-class Americans while enacting policies dictated by a handful of Republican billionaires.

Judging from attendance alone, it’s clear whose message is resonating more with the public at this point. Whether Sanders or another progressive Democrat wins the nomination will be up to the primary voters and caucus-goers in the next few months, but Sanders strength in drawing a larger audience of young and motivated potential voters bodes well for Democratic turnout if he does wind up opposing Trump or whomever the GOP decides to replace him with on their ticket if he is successfully removed from office before the election.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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