Americans have been indoctrinated into liking or disliking a policy based on some arbitrarily defined fringe. This behavior is directly responsible for an economy that serves a few.
When Democrats lose too often they are told it is because they are too Progressive or support too many policies that are on the fringe. When they win, they are told that unless they tack to the center, they will lose in the next cycle.
After the Democratic big wins recently, former Ohio Governor John Kasich appeared on Don Lemon’s program on CNN. He admitted that Republicans are moving away from Trump and the Republican Party in large numbers. But it is his following statement that should give everyone pause.
“There is also a very big lesson for Democrats,” Jon Kasich said. “If you think you are going to win nationally with Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and all that other stuff, you’re not going to win. Because when you look at what happened in 18, and when you look at Beshear and even look at the races in Virginia, where the Democrats have taken the State Senate, you will find those candidates running closer to the middle than on the extremes.”
Lemon then asked Kasich if he thought the country was Center Right/Center Left.
“I do. I do,” responded Kasich.”
“Even with all the rhetoric and all the division we have going on John?” Lemon asked.
“I think Don, you and I, lot of people, we live in a bubble,” Kasich replied. “We hear these voices out here whether they are on Twitter, whether they are on television. We hear those voices. But most people are not focused on those kinds of extremes.”
Kasich does not live in a bubble at all. All pundits and former politicians trying to temper the win as some need to tack to the mythical center are doing what many understand well. They are selling out as explained followingly.
Had Democrats lost big in the elections a few days ago, the narrative would have been different. It would have been that the Democratic “fringe” represented by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, the Squad (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib) caused Americans to turn away from the Democratic Party.
The thing is, all who are using their social media, reading their print media, and watching and listening to their broadcast media are already well-exposed to the caricature the Right and many in our own Party have made of Progressives, defining them as some Left-Wing fringe. The Democratic Party saves its ire for the Progressives while the Right projects Progressives onto the entire Democratic Party as the Socialist lunatic fringe.
Of course, most are coming to the realization that it is just a game they are playing. Actually, it is a fraud. It is about convincing Americans that the policies that will reverse all the bad things that have happened to them over the last 40+ years are on the fringe, on the Left. As such, they say Americans won’t support it. But Americans have been slowly waking up and the polls show it.
Kasich called out two programs as being on the fringe, Medicare for All and The Green New Deal. Others have called out Student loan forgiveness, generous family leave, and childcare subsidies. I fail to see how any one of these policies could be considered on the fringe. Each would improve the personal economies of millions and with that the overall economy.
If Democrats stay focused on their values with a unified message on these policies, they would be unbeatable because, as we have pointed out ad-nauseam, most Americans support these policies. And those who don’t are generally in an ideological labyrinth.
Americans know that the soul of the Democratic Party is with Progressive values. And they voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the last two elections.
Democrats should be working on a unified message with the policies we know people want. We must be ready to re-educate away from the tenets of the Powell Memo as well as away from the onslaught coming from the Right and from some who purport to be Democrats.
Let’s be clear, a unified Democratic message on Medicare for All sells itself because most have already interfaced with the corrosive nature of private health insurance. If one makes the case Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren continue to make, ‘Your healthcare cost will go down and you will have more money in your pocket with better healthcare which means your doctor defines your care and not some private insurance hatchet job hired to deny you coverage in order to enrich a few shareholders and executives.” Once the disbelief is overcome it will become a landslide winner.
If Democrats adopted a unified message of the existential nature of the Green New Deal, using the increased fires, floods, destructive storms, and high tide street flooding in coastal areas, it would become a landslide winner.
If Democrats adopted a unified message of student loan forgiveness, by pointing out to Americans that the influx of dollars into the economy from those formerly saddled with an unbearable debt would start buying homes, appliances, cars, and much more.
If Democrats adopted a unified message on childcare and family-leave subsidies showing not only the job creation nature of the policy but the human dignity one gets for being able to have kids while they work or create one’s own venture, the policies would pass in landslides.
The lie that there is not enough money to pay for all the above and more is just that, a lie. A few Americans decided to create an economic system that values capital over humanity — allows a few to hoard the capital created on the backs of others. Adjusting our economic model that values humanity’s worth would be transformational for most.
The problem is that unlike the moral wealthy like the Patriotic Millionaires and the likes of Nick Hanauer, too many of our wealthy enjoy being pathologically selfish, evil, and inhumane Plutocrats. And unfortunately, there are a few politicians in both Parties who are nothing but their wards and by nature of their association, are the conduits for turning the Plutocrats’ dollars (read bribes) into narratives and policies that confuse and ultimately drains the wealth of most Americans.