Having just finished a story about the odds of winning the $1.3 billion Powerball, Daily Show host Trevor Noah transitioned to Hillary’s underdog opponent in the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. “It seems 2016 is when long-shots just might pay off,” he said, referring both to the lottery jackpot and the Bernie Sanders campaign. As clips were shown reporting Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the growing support for Senator Sanders, Noah made an Urban Dictionary joke, saying that a “surging Sanders” is “when you come out of nowhere.”
By now, everyone has heard of the democratic-socialist candidate out of Vermont, Bernie Sanders. But as The Daily Show pointed out, not everyone knows exactly what the Sanders campaign is all about.
“The big question is: what does Sanders believe in? What is his vision for America?”
Noting that Sanders has not only caught up with, but actually surpassed Clinton in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, a lot of people still have questions about “this rising new-yet-old force in the Democratic party.”
Labeled The Legend of Bernie Sanders, the host told a colorfully fabricated origin story for the liberal Senator — “raised by his parents, a Che Guevara poster and an itchy sweater” — who got to where he is today after several political victories. As an independent candidate, Sanders ran for and won the office of mayor of Burlington, Vermont after being raised in New York City. Later, Sanders ran for Congress (and won) and then ran for Senate (and won).
Trevor also brought attention to the fact that while remaining busy as a politician, Sanders also released a folk album in 1987 titled We Shall Overcome, complete with a Sanders cover of “This Land Is Your Land.”
Satisfied with his report on Bernie’s upbringing, Noah moved on to further explore Sanders’ politics. Typical for his comedic slant on American politics, Noah illustrated some of Bernie’s positions with humor.
“Bernie Sanders described himself as a ‘democratic-socialist,’ a phrase that, to some, suggests slave-labor camps. But… that is wrong. Because he’s a democractic-socialist, so he will let us vote for who runs the labor camps.”
More directly hitting on one of Bernie’s major political emphases, Trevor explained that “Sanders’ brand of socialism means policies like breaking up the largest banks, to protect Americans from massive potential bailouts.” For example, unlike any of the other candidates, Sanders wants to move some banking services to the United States Postal Service. The idea behind this is that it will “help lower income people get basic banking services from the government instead of expensive check-cashing stores.”
The following summation of Bernie’s general philosophy could be a battle cry for some and a warning signal for others.
“Probably the main reason for Sanders’ growth is the fact that he’s outspoken about wanting to help the middle class at the expense of the rich… That’s what he wants: More taxes for corporate America and the billionaires.”
Of course, one issue that many of Bernie’s opponents like to bring up is that his plan to tax the top 1 percent to pay for his social programs simply doesn’t add up. Trevor Noah did not let this slip by, referencing a Wall Street Journal article claiming that Sanders’ plan would cost $18 trillion over ten years. Considering that the top 1 percent of Americans only made $1.7 trillion in 2013, increasing their taxes won’t cover the $1.8 trillion per year.
However, according to Trevor Noah, it may not matter whether or not Bernie’s plan is financially feasible. The host of The Daily Show posited that Sanders isn’t receiving all of this support because of his policies.
“I think it’s because he’s opposite Trump. You see, the world craves balance. Bernie is the Yin to Trump’s racist Yang. Even their origin stories are the same. Both grew up in New York City and both inherited something from their fathers.”
Those inheritances weren’t exactly the same, as Noah pointed out. While Sanders’ father left him “a few thousand dollars” when he died, Trump told the media earlier this year that when he started out, his father gave him a “small loan of $1 million.”
Noah’s guest for the night was Greg Gutfeld of Fox News’ The Five and The Greg Gutfeld Show, there to promote his new book, How To Be Right. A little out of place coming from the conservative Fox News camp to the set of the liberal news program The Daily Show, he is a self-described right-wing liberal who had his own thoughts on Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Talking about the appeal of the liberal Senator from Vermont, Gutfeld said the following.
“He’s likable. And he’s persuasive. He looks like a walking science project.”
In response to that remark about Sanders’ appearance and his representation of the left, Noah told Gutfeld, “Now, I counter that with Trump.”
To which the Fox News personality could only say, “That is a fair counter.”
Gutfeld, who said he does not support Donald Trump, went on to explain why he thinks the real estate mogul is doing so well. He compared Trump to a classic rock band out on tour with just four big hits. He says that Trump’s political “Freebird” is when he says “build a wall.” His political “Stairway to Heaven” is when he says “ban all Muslims!”
In fact, Greg says that Donald Trump isn’t even a conservative.
“He’s not a conservative. He’s a populist. I don’t believe that what he’s saying now is ever going to happen. He’s saying this to get elected — or perhaps a TV show, whichever one comes first — but I do not believe that he is an actual conservative.”
While Bernie Sanders continues to trail Hillary Clinton in the polls nationally, The New York Times notes that Hillary’s lead over Sanders is slipping, dropping from 20 points a month ago to just 7 points today. Donald Trump, however, continues to hold a commanding lead over the rest of the Republican Party candidates.
[Image credit Getty Images/Pool]