Trump Signals Fear After Bernie Sanders Pierces Fox News Bubble [Opinion]

Bernie Sanders participates in a Fox News Town Hall at SteelStacks.
Mark Makela / Getty Images

In a series of Twitter messages posted over the last couple of days, President Donald Trump signaled fear and panic.

The Democratic presidential candidate — and front-runner, make no mistake about that — Bernie Sanders pierced the Fox News propaganda bubble during an hour-long town hall hosted by the conservative network, delivering his populist message with ease and remarkable efficiency.

Not only did Sanders manage stay on his main talking points throughout the ordeal, constantly and skillfully wrestling the conversation back to policy, he announced a gloves-off approach to the campaign. Sanders vowed to take on the Republican Party, the military-industrial complex, mega-corporations, the pharmaceutical industry, and — perhaps most significantly — the Democratic Party establishment.

Bernie Sanders now has a claim on the outsider status which Trump himself so aptly used to his advantage in 2016. Trump is no longer the perceived wild card, the out-of-the-box candidate, looking to burn the system down and remake it in his own image — Bernie is. Trump has been reduced to what his base and much of America despises — an establishment incumbent, another politician, one of them.

No further proof of this is needed than the painfully unaware president’s accidentally astute tweets. Panicked, unhinged, and scared, Trump alleged a Fox News conspiracy against him, while also lashing out at Bernie Sanders.

Even to a casual observer of American politics, Trump’s “we” in the above tweet is indicative of where the president stands, and of how he now views his favorite network — one which slipped from his stranglehold (for an entire hour!) during “Crazy” Bernie’s appearance.

The president’s second tweet contains the same defensive, panicked, and conspiratorial tone as the first one — but is even more aggressive toward Fox News. Many of the hilarious replies by ardent Trump supporters and QAnon cultists allege that the Murdoch network is shifting leftward, suggesting a switch to One America News.

Trump’s third tweet about the matter is an anemic, ineffective, ad hominem attack on Sanders.

Boasting about his tax cuts — which, as the Fox News viewership must be aware of by now, truly benefited only a few — Trump made an obvious attempt to alienate Sanders, seeking to damage his populist massage by portraying him as an out-of-touch one-percenter.

Trump’s fourth tweet is a weak and sloppy jab, seemingly recomposing himself for a brief second. The president would then repeat the useless, unpersuasive nickname he had coined for Sanders, punctuating the message with a pointless “May God Rest Their Soul!” aimed at the two men who he predicts will be the Democratic finalists.

Even Sanders himself took to Twitter to observe what is so painfully obvious: Trump is scared.

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Bernie Sanders’ Fox News town hall was the highest rated of 2020, according to The Daily Beast, which also reports that other Democrats are now signaling interest in participating in a Fox News town hall. This news comes despite the fact that the party had officially blacklisted MAGA country’s favorite news network in the past.

It is now abundantly clear, even to those who have insisted otherwise, that Bernie Sanders’ biggest obstacle to victory is not Donald Trump — although he will be, like any sitting president with an economy not in recession, a formidable opponent — but the Democratic Party.

An unofficial-official “Stop Sanders” movement has formed, according to The New York Times. The newspaper reported on secret meetings between party insiders, financiers, neoliberal think tank heads, and politicians — writing, essentially, that there is a contrived and coordinated effort to stop Sanders from winning the nomination.

To rescue the crumbling organization from reform, the Democratic Party is willing to take a chance with a Hillary Clinton 2.0, or an Obama 2.0. This worked in 2016, when Sanders was a little-known senator from Vermont. Now, he is the front-runner.

This time, stopping him will require a much broader coalition, because this is now not just a conspiracy against Bernie Sanders, but against the party’s widest base — the base Sanders reinvigorated and energized.

Brace yourselves for the bloodiest and most vitriolic primary of the modern era — because this time, as he has made clear, Sanders is fighting back.