Don't Let Republicans Tell Us How To Vote

Stephen Rockwell • 16 July 2019
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A friend of mine posted an article in USA Today that I suppose was read by every hotel guest in America and those of us on the discussion thread.  The Republican commentary was another admonishment telling Democrats to vote for a moderate because it is the only way to defeat Donald Trump.  My friend and others bought into this argument hook, line, and sinker.  They will curb their own preferences for the change they want to see in the world in order to take the presumably safer option in defeating the corrupt, racist heap who currently resides in the White House.   My friends, don't cower to these scare tactics.

This a bit of "Here we go again" from moderates. Republicans that tell us to nominate a moderate, middle of the road candidate who will not being about real change, just so we can be assured of winning the election. They want to preserve the status quo because it is largely working for them.  This isn't the winning strategy and while it is backed by the corporate interests that support such candidates, there is zero data to support such a course of action. 

The Politics

3 data points: Hillary was a moderate as was Kerry as was Gore. How did that work out? 

Another data point: The perception across the spectrum was that Obama was not a moderate but rather would bring about progressive policy change and he won handily.   He largely governed as a moderate after the stimulus and Obamacare passed, but it is important to recognize that the electorate was excited about the potential of progressive change. 

Another data point: Bernie polled way better than Hillary against Trump in 16. 

Another data point. Progressive policies poll with broad support, whether folks identify themselves as progressive/liberal or not. We just need a candidate who willing to embrace those policies and speak to the real economic concerns of most Americans, especially GenX and millennials who will make up the majority of voters this time around. 

The Issues

We have broad and I mean wide agreement on progressive policy.  Swing voters in swing states aren’t looking for moderate prescriptions to huge problems. Some issues to test on here

Single Payer Healthcare.  56% of Americans support single payer 38% oppose and support is trending upward over time. https://www.slideshare.net/KaiserFamilyFoundation/public-opinion-on-singlepayer-national-health-plans-and-expanding-access-to-medicare-coverage-150455379 Is that enough support to run on that issue?

Green New Deal. The policy prescriptions have support of 80% of registered voters. Can we run on that? https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/421765-poll-majorities-of…

Taxing the Rich. 76% of registered voters want to increase taxes on the rich. Can we run on that? https://fortune.com/2019/02/04/support-for-tax-increase-on-wealthy-americans-poll/amp/

Don’t let the Republicans tell us again that they will vote for Republican-lite so that’s who Democrats should nominate. People actually want we are selling, we just have to be willing to say no to big corporate money and address these things head on with voters.

As for the some of the marginal issues that supposedly present some danger according to the referenced article, they are not core to anyone's campaign.  The legalization of marijuana is already well on its way and long overdue. Running on that is not going to turn off swing voters in swing states. Busing is brought up in reference to Biden to historically being on the wrong side of a civil rights issue. I haven’t heard a peep about prostitution from the candidates and reparations is a legit conversation finally starting in the house. As for eliminating private insurance that’s one flavor of universal health care. It’s not the only one. For example, Sen. Harris supports Medicare for all but not eliminating private insurance. 
 

Vote For A Change Agent

We really are at a different place with gross inequality and literally a decade to solve climate. We can’t elect a president who doesn’t have a plan to reshape our economy based on the threat of climate. We can’t elect a President who won’t guarantee health care as a fundamental right. We can’t elect a President who won’t rebalance the economy by eliminating student debt and taxing the rich much more heavily. 

Someone like a Biden who has almost nothing going on climate and tells rich folks their lives won’t change under him is not going to get it done. The progressive candidates are running on single payer, taxing the rich, and urgent action on climate in addition to unwinding Trump’s racist immigration policies. Those are all winning issues.

This article suggest that running on safer issues like universal pre-k is the way to go, like we are back in the 90s with Dick Morris-poll tested Bill Clinton policies. That won’t get the job done and it’s tinged with a refusal to acknowledge gross inequality or an existential threat to existence that climate change poses. Full-throated support for these issues are winners because the have the overwhelming support of the electorate. Corporate interests and Republicans that try to say otherwise have their reasons for wanting to maintain the status quo just without Trump. But that status quo of oligarchy gave us Trump and inequality and continued reliance on fossil fuels.

Don’t settle and let them scare us into voting for the status quo. Trump is a huge problem but luke-warm policies that don’t address the real concerns of voters won’t cut it. We’ve already seen what happens when we elect agents of the status quo-We lose.  We all know that the world needs much more than change at the margins. Vote like it!

 

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One more hot-take on this...any article about what issues are important in the 2020 election that doesn't even mention climate change is shite. 

 

Politics #president #election2020