http://news.nationalpost.com/full-c...oks-in-a-mirror-it-sees-a-disgruntled-country When the U.S. looks in a mirror, it sees a disgruntled country Andrew Harrer/BloombergBernie Sanders and Donald Trump share one thing: you don't see many dark faces in their crowd of supporters. It must be awful being a white person in the U.S. these days. Judging by the presidential nomination campaigns of the two parties, white people are fed to the teeth. The difficulty is in getting a grip on what bothers them, since they seem to be upset no matter which party they belong to. Donald Trump’s support base has been identified as angry white men. If you watch his rallies, you will see some women among the crowd, but not many non-white faces. We’re told the majority of his supporters are white working-class, mostly middle-aged, with no more than a high-school education. They’re angry at being left behind. They say free trade has cost them their prosperity, immigrants and foreign factories are costing them jobs and keeping wages low, and Washington has done little to help them. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin During a primary season that has proved surprisingly competitive, bombarded with persistent critiques about her likeability and trustworthiness, Hillary Clinton has maintained a strong bond with one significant block of Democratic Party voters: black women. White Democrats are also angry. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won three more contests over Hillary Clinton on the weekend, in Hawaii, Washington and Alaska. As in Sanders’ other victories, his success derived mainly from white voters, in his case largely young, female and liberal. He does very well on college campuses. As with Trump’s people, Sanders’ supporters feel they’ve been poorly treated by successive administrations in Washington, and want drastic changes. Not just in policies, but in people. They may not agree on much else, but supporters of the Trump and Sanders insurgencies concur that the political establishment is broken and needs to be swept away by something new and entirely different. Something that suits their needs. If whites, females, blue collar workers and middle-aged men all feel the system works against them, who does it work for? Rich people, presumably. Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers, corporate leaders who move jobs off shore and other privileged plutocrats. Even rich celebrities are suspect: On Sunday Sanders denounced two big-ticket Clinton fundraisers featuring George Clooney as “obscene”, calling them yet another example of “big money people” running her campaign. Clinton is asking US$353,000 for two seats at the head table with her, Clooney and his wife Amal at an April 15 dinner in San Francisco. The next night Clooney will host another dinner at his Los Angeles home, at US$33,400 a ticket. Somebody had to elect George W. Bush and Barack Obama to a combined 16 years in the White House, however, and it wasn’t just rich people. Because even rich people aren’t happy with the system. The billionaire Koch brothers have devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to successive campaigns, and still haven’t elected anyone they like. Trump claims to be worth billions, but wants to burn down Washington. His supporters evidently hope to overturn a system that favours the wealthy by electing the wealthiest candidate in history. How can the radical left and the radical right both feel they’re being discriminated against in favour of the other side? If both extremes are in fact disadvantaged, that would leave the centre as the presumed favourite, yet it’s the middle class that is said to be the angriest demographic of all. No matter who wins the election in November, it appears much of the country will continue to feel it’s been cheated. Sanders inability to appeal to blacks seems odd considering his populist program and the sketchy record of the Obama administration in advancing black aspirations. If anything will be remembered of the Obama years, it may be the number of blacks shot down by white police in the streets of the country, the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, the unrest in Baltimore, or the apparent notion among white police that blacks can be abused with impunity. In the most recent example, a New York postal worker was handcuffed and arrested after complaining when four plainclothes police almost ran him down. Clinton’s support base — blacks, minorities, southerners, the middle-aged and older whites — are mostly groups Democrats would normally be pleased to identify with. In flocking to Sanders, young liberal whites would appear to be rejecting the party’s historic focus on the disadvantaged. Or, perhaps they simply feel they’ve become more disadvantaged than the party’s core clientele. It’s another level of irony on top of the fact Sanders young, female backers prefer an aging white male over the first woman with a serious shot of becoming president. Read & Debate Other than their disaffection, both radical camps also detest free trade. Trump claims it has sent jobs to China and Mexico. Sanders says it’s a betrayal of the American working class. Both would sharply curtail it, almost certainly making things worse for everyone. As former candidate Marco Rubio pointed out, the U.S. has just 5% of the world’s population; building walls against trade just limits its access to 95% of markets. No matter who wins the election in November, it appears much of the country will continue to feel it’s been cheated. The first challenge for the winner will be to try and bridge the many divides this most contentious of races has opened. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a surplus of bridge-builders among the main contenders.