Bernie Sanders hasn’t ended his campaign, but the fiery populist has changed the target of his Brooklynese-barked attacks: whereas once it was Hillary Clinton in his sights, now it’s Donald Trump. Sanders wrote an op-ed in the New York Times warning that the UK’s Brexit decision is a signal not to ignore the anger and disenfranchisement that Trump is nakedly appealing to. Sanders should know — it’s the same anger and disenfranchisement that he appeals to.
Though they’re on the opposite ends of the political spectrum (Trump a crony capitalist, Sanders a Democratic Socialist), the two candidates both derive their political power from the anger and resentment of the working class, which has been marginalized in the new economy. Perhaps the biggest question in the election is where Sanders voters — many of who have expressed an adamant enmity toward Hillary Clinton — will go in November. As Sanders falls away and can no longer perform the role of urgent change agent, those who believe Clinton is the picture of the status quo are listening to Trump’s message. And Trump wants to convert them. In a recent speech in Pennsylvania, Trump’s appeal was lifted almost verbatim from Sanders on the stump. “Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very, very wealthy,” Trump said, “but it’s left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.”