To the Democratic candidates, the 2016 presidential campaign is about shrinking the gap between rich and poor; combating climate change; and expanding voting rights, gay rights and workplace equality for women.
To listen to the Republican candidates is to hear an entirely different campaign — one that centers on defeating Islamic State terrorists, deterring a nuclear Iran, restricting abortion, and debating whether to deport illegal immigrants and construct a wall to keep them out.
At a political moment of pitched voter anxiety, candidates in both parties talk in dark, sometimes apocalyptic tones — but about different issues, as if they’re addressing two different countries.
“Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus,” Republican strategist Ari Fleischer said. “The gulf between the two parties has grown wider in the last decade, not smaller.”