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Kamloops News

POULSEN: Donald and Bernie: Two wild and crazy guys

Image Credit: Chuck Poulsen
February 11, 2016 - 8:45 AM

Have you ever thought the explanations for the Ballistic Missile Donald and the soaring 74-year-old Bi-Plane Bernie don't quite hit the mark?

Are all the explanations using old ideas for something that has never happened before?

Thousands of academics and political "insiders" have analyzed what led up to the "shocking" New Hampshire primary wins by Trump and Sanders, mostly peddling theories that Trump is fear mongering and promising simplistic solutions to grave matters.

Politicians have always exploited voters' fears and promised simplistic solutions. It's the bedrock of all past political campaigns, including those run last year by Harper and Justin.

Nothing there explains Ballistic Donald or Bi-Plane Bernie the socialist, who is flying loop-de-loops around Her Majesty Hillary.

A different take has surfaced to explain this.

And it may have its roots in the sea-change produced by the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates; people who didn't change the system but abandoned the existing system holus bolus before designing a new one.

The bombastic Trump says and does what he wants in a style that is light years beyond the limits of taste and political correctness historically heeded by politicians in the U.S., or Canada, of course.

One historian suggests that the closest parallel to Trump in U.S. political history in terms of screwball celebrity may have been John "Goat Glands" Brinkley, a radio doctor famous in the 1920s for implanting goat testicles into 31 men who suffered from impotence.

After Kansas authorities took away his radio station and medical licence, he ran for governor as a write-in candidate and almost won in 1930.

Mel Robbins, writing for CNN, came up with an explanation for Trump which may finally hit the mark. It may also help explain Bernie for the same reason.

Robbins describes Trump as a "disrupter," someone with a break-the-mold mindset seen as too risky for politicians but not for successful business leaders, especially in our computer age.

Writes Robbins: "The disrupter is someone whose entire "brand" is . . . to turn the way we do things on its head. Amazon did this with retail, Uber did it with taxi services, Airbnb did it with travel, Tinder did it with dating, Slack is doing it with email, Spotify is doing it with music, peer-to-peer lending is changing banking.
"Disrupters don't fix what's broken because they don't innovate from inside the system. They break the mold, change our thinking about the mold and then hand us the new rules for how things work."

Consider that the Big Five companies that drive the Internet economy - Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook - were all disrupters.

There have been many mavericks in political history but they have been different only by degrees, not by the essence of Trump's disruption model or Sanders' pledge to burn the traditional economic and political systems to the ground before building new ones.

Is it possible that those who outwardly despair of these two wild and crazy guys are thinking - not so far in the back of their minds - that Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg et al have innovated the new world in which they live and, therefore, bravo to the two political disrupters for taking the same approach?

Of all the things the computer age has done to and for our lives, maybe it has also lessened our fear of radical ideas.

— Chuck Poulsen can be reached at

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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