We have listened and learned enough. Policies Please!
Amy Chozick New York Times article “Hillary Clinton Tells Voters She’s Listening, and Learning” should upset every single liberal and progressive. All politicians pander. However for the Democrat, who the media and the Democratic Party have all but coronated as the nominee, to claim she is listening and learning is pathetic. Most people in America can qualify and quantify most of our problems.
This snippet from the article is probative.
Mrs. Clinton lacks some of the extraordinary gifts for connection and empathy that her husband possesses, and the round-table events that have characterized her early campaign can feel stage-managed. But even these settings are producing revealing moments, as Mrs. Clinton finds herself far from the world of international diplomacy and scrambling to re-educate herself about the nation she hopes to lead.
Why should the presidential front-runner need to re-educate herself on the nation she hopes to lead? It leaves many doors open for the corporatist indoctrinating traditional mainstream media the space to concentrate on silly, sometimes sexist issues as the gravitas of policy articulation is absent.
Senators Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders have been articulating what ails the middle-class and the poor for years and decades respectively. Bernie Sanders asked Americans to learn a bit from Denmark a few years ago.
Elizabeth Warren is not running, yet at Code Conference in less than two minutes she articulated what ails America and what Americans must do to reclaim their government.
“The only way we get change,” Elizabeth Warren said. “is when enough people in this country say I’m mad as hell and I’m fed up and I am not going to do this anymore.” She then laid out the narrative as demands. “You are not going to go back and represent me in Washington DC if you are not willing to pass a meaningful infrastructure bill. If you are not willing to refinance student loan interest rates and stop dragging in billions of dollars of profits off the backs of kids who otherwise can’t afford to go to college. If you don’t say you are going to fund the NIH and the NISF because that is our future. We have to make these issues salient and not just wonky.”
Warren then lays out the method via the personalization of the message.
“These have to be the things that you wake up people all over America and say — what matters? Whether or not you are going to have a job. Whether or not you are going to have a retirement. Whether or not your kids are going to have any chance to build a future for them. It’s gotta be about these core issues. And we’ve gotta to talk about them enough until there is some real change in this country.”
Even ultra-Right Wing Conservatives like Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz have adopted, however insincere, a populist mantra.
Hillary Clinton and her handlers are undermining the intelligence of many. America knows that the Clintons are wealthy. That is not a problem. America knows that unlike the public policies that wealthy folk like the Kennedys stood for, her husband believed in triangulation, not populism. Triangulation worked then. Bill Clinton won with less than 50% of the vote twice (Clinton 43% & 49% vs Obama 53%, 52%).
Hillary Clinton seems to be triangulating. She seems to be using her listening and learning tour to buy time. During this period she does not need to articulate policies that would naturally upset the donor class. What happens when she crafts her message? Will it be a message attempting to get 50% +1 or a populist message that will likely resonate in 2016 given the real state of the poor and the middle-class.
Why is she doing this? One can speculate, however the opposition won’t if she is the nominee. As this is being written, a video snippet is running that caught the eye about the Romney-fication of Hillary Clinton.
If Hillary Clinton is not filling the space with poor and middle-class centric fighting words and policies, the space will be filled with nonsense. The Kennedy’s were much wealthier than the Clintons, yet their wealth was never a major issue because of a consistent fight for the poor, the middle-class, and the underserved.
America does not need a presidential candidate who needs to re-educate themselves on what ails America. America needs a president who is not willfully asleep with their eyes open. If Hillary Clinton wants to be a champion of the poor, middle-class, and all of America, perfecting her husband’s triangulating methods won’t do. Rand Paul is doing that and while it is not paying dividends yet, he is laying a groundwork that could.
Hillary Clinton needs to call out what is really wrong with America. Neither Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, nor other Democrats seem to need that re-education. In fact many Republican candidates are starting to give the semblance of that populist notion as well. Hillary Clinton is not currently on a winning path irrespective of what the polls say today. When folks begin to listen, it will be a different presidential candidate landscape.