The Trump v Sanders debate is apparently not going to happen. This could have been TV gold. It not completely clear why Trump rowed back on agreeing to a debate. Nevertheless, it’s still interesting to explore the difference between the two candidates.
First of all, you have Trump with his (on the whole) very right wing politics, and Sanders with his left wing politics. I say left-wing rather than very left wing, because while Sanders is very left wing in America, in Ireland he is just left wing. In fact, to us, a lot of his proposed policies aren’t crazy Marxist (or to many Americans, Communist) ideas. Rather, they are seen as common sense. Examples being his policy to make college “tuition free and debt free”, “Reforming Wall Street”, and “Getting big money out of politics”. Such policies could encourage social mobility, economic growth and stability, and move the country towards democracy.
Trump’s own policies include his prominent pledge to get Mexico to “Pay for the Wall” that will presumably prevent Hispanic immigrants from entering America, “Tax Reform” and “Veterans Administration Reforms”. These policies could reduce economic growth, damage social services, but also give better care to veterans (it’s a little bit nuanced). When you look at both lists in their entirety it’s apparent that Trump has fewer policy positions (which may be a help for electability) to “Make America Great Again!”. And what American citizen can disagree with wanting America to be great?
Now, obviously Trump has been racist. But he has also been very populist. And being a massive celebrity and a billionaire helps in the popularity stakes, and helps him get away with racism.
The idea of Sanders getting the Democrat nomination – never mind the presidency – is unrealistic (and even if he became president he may be blocked by Congress from making any radical change). But his legacy may live on, spurring the US towards societal progress.