The litmus test of the Democratic nominee for President is wrath from Wall Street
The Democratic Presidential Primary season has begun. I see that Kamala Harris has kicked off her campaign by “laying into Trump”. Others are sure to follow. Clearly, the memory of 2016 is fading fast in the Democratic Party. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, so they say.
Common Dreams has taken notice that Wall Street loves Harris along with Biden, Booker, Gillibrand and Beto, but the Robber Barons of New York sincerely hate Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I suppose if I’m going to use a litmus test to see who I want to nominate for president in 2020, that would be it. If Wall Street hates them, bring them on.
This is the difference between Bernie, and the other candidates that Wall Street loves. Bernie Sanders doesn’t run a negative campaign. It seems that he alone knows and speaks the truth about negative campaigns. What is that truth? Negative campaigns are hard to win. Guess who is the master of the negative campaign? Donald J. Trump.
Notice that I left out Elizabeth Warren a bit in the last paragraph. She has been duking it out with Trump over genetics and that didn’t go to well. She seems prone to the negative campaign given her correspondence with Trump from the floor of the Senate. And, I have misgivings about her endorsing Hillary Clinton, a well known neoliberal sycophant and fan of Wall Street money. Yes, I know that Hillary has decades of experience in public service, but she is also one of the most influential politicians on earth, and has been exerting that influence for decades. So if you’re not a fan of giant monopolies, wage monopsony and extreme inequality, you might understand my apprehension about Clinton and Warren’s endorsement of her in 2016.
And I see here in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi, one of my heroes in journalism, that Taibbi has spotted a trend in the latest press reports on the campaign. The mainstream media are sharpening their knives for both Bernie and Lizzie. It would seem then, that mainstream media may fear the political agenda cast by either of them. Words like “Antitrust”, “Medicare for All” and God forbid, “A tax on Wall Street”, come to mind. Oh yes, there is one more phrase, “Getting big money out of politics”. Yeah, I suppose that would strike terror in the hearts of establishment politics and mainstream media.
But there is more to the ‘terror” story. Douglas Rushkoff has written a great article about how the GOP has ditched democracy, titled, “Democracy Is Not A Failed Experiment”. Therein he describes a most interesting dynamic between Democrats and Republicans. On the one hand he notes how Republicans have been using fear to manipulate their base. Fear of immigrants, fear of other countries, fear of the loss of America The Once Great. On the other, he demonstrates how Democrats have also been using fear to manipulate their base. For Democrats, it is strictly fear of Trump. After losing the election in 2016, Democrats gained an interest in talking with Mr. Rushkoff. But instead of seeking to learn how they could improve their own image they only wanted to know how to take down Trump.
Doesn’t anyone think for themselves anymore?
Trump riles Democrats to excite his base. There are no substantive policies for working class people in his platform. There is only fear, misogyny and hate. The Democrats reciprocate with fear and hate of Trump, as if to say, “Look, any Democrat will do. Just vote for one of us and you’ll see.”
Democrats think they’re going to investigate the shit out of Trump and win. Let’s walk this back a bit. Democrats want to demonstrate collusion between Trump and Russian agents for stealing and releasing emails from the DNC and Hillary Clinton and influencing Facebook and other social media. Those emails were evidence of how Hillary and the DNC were plotting against Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy so that Hillary could be the first woman president. How many ways could this plan backfire? It doesn’t seem to me that Democrats have thought this through. And this investigation does almost nothing for ordinary, working class people.
Most working class people need a raise. Most people need health care that won’t drive them to destitution. Most people need childcare so that they can go to work to pay all of their other bills. Most people need training to prepare for a more automated future. Most people want public policy that levels the playing field, and investigating Trump doesn’t do much for them even if Democrats own the Senate.
And Democrats won’t own the Senate or the White House in 2020 unless they can let go of their SuperPAC and PAC funding addiction. They won’t know how people really feel unless they learn how to earn that money from millions of people in small bills. They won’t know how people feel about them unless they get honest about their polling. And they really won’t know how people feel about them until they can stop trolling us about Trump.
Has anyone noticed that Bernie Sanders doesn’t run negative campaigns? He has been winning elections by talking about the positive changes he can help to make for this country. He has won elections by proposing bold policy initiatives. He has won elections as The Amendment King. He has won elections by taking no PAC or SuperPAC money. He has won elections on millions of small contributions averaging $27 each. This is why Wall Street hates Bernie. They can’t buy him.
I want someone like that in the White House, the Senate and the House.