The comparisons between the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump likely have both candidates flustered. The two are not exactly fans of each other.

“That showed such weakness,” exclaimed Trump on Sanders’s relinquishing of a microphone to two Black Lives Matter activists.

“I think Donald Trump’s views on immigration and his slurring of the Latino community is not something that should be going on in the year 2015. And to me, it’s an embarrassment for our country,” said Sanders of Trump earlier this month.

It is true that the two men have very different worldviews and backgrounds. Trump is a billionaire who made his fortune as a sort of mega-slum lord. Sanders is one of the Senate’s poorest members, who has spent his life in public service defending the working class.

But because both men are eluding the chase for Big Money donors – Trump by self-funding and Sanders by amassing an army of small donors – they are able to campaign in ways that are virtually unique among national campaigns. Despite their differences, their campaigns represent actual insurgencies in a field typically dominated by elite donors.

Trump’s Iconoclasm

In a truly rare moment in Republican Party history, over twenty million television viewers were able to see a frank description of money in politics, thanks entirely to Donald Trump.

He was asked about a comment he made in a previous interview, about why he has donated to Democrats. “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” he replied. He followed up on the comment at the debate, saying, “You’d better believe it. If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.”

Not a single candidate challenged Trump’s remarks (a few protested that he had not given money to them). Trump’s remarks represented the singular moment in the party’s national politics that the power of money itself has been frankly discussed – and it was something he was able to do because he isn’t seeking anyone else’s money, he has plenty of his own.

That’s probably also why Trump has been outspoken about tax policy. “I know the hedge fund guys. … These guys don’t really build anything. They shuffle papers back and forth,” he told MSNBC. “They’re paying nothing and it’s ridiculous,” he noted on CBS, pointing out how hedge funds dodge tax responsibilities. “They’re energetic, they’re very smart. But a lot of them, it’s like they’re paper pushers. They make a fortune, they pay no tax…The hedge funds guys are getting away with murder.” He vowed to put out a plan to close the loopholes they are taking advantage of.

Trump is also challenging the GOP’s biggest funders directly. “I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?” he tweeted, mocking the Koch Brothers donor confab that leading candidates attended.