Now that former vice president Joe Biden is the nominee (I don’t like the ‘presumptive’ nominee nonsense. It makes me think Andrew Cuomo is standing with a gun behind my back), it is probably a good time to go back and watch the Democratic debates. Republican strategists are probably doing the same, looking for weaknesses in Biden’s performances (not the most difficult job in the world).
As a progressive, there are some moments I love going back to. This post is, however, not dedicated to those moments. Like it or not, this primary cycle was a failure for progressives. While the discussion on progressive policies has come a long way, there is still a long way to go in getting a progressive leader to the ticket.
This is a post dedicated to one particular moment. Start watching at 5:53 and carry on for about a minute –
Noticed something? The condescending smile on Senator Klobuchar’s face, the smirk of Mayor Pete, and the chuckle of Senator Harris.
Joe Biden would have laughed too had he been listening.
Yang was proposing a plan to give away $1000 to ten families in America who needed the money. Any working family would be able to explain the value an additional $1000 coming in every month.
However, some Democrats who want to be president can’t understand this problem.
What Yang was proposing was a form of economic populism. Congress has always been indulgent when it comes to handing out bailout money to big banks. Yang’s proposal aimed to cut a big piece of the pie and spread it around.
Democrats, the people supposed to fight for the working class, somehow found this idea very funny.
Ever since Trump’s election, danger threatens the Democratic Party. The clip you saw earlier and the general track record of the Democratic establishment all suggest one simple possibility – the party could lead economic populism to Trump.
How Trump Could Permanently End the Democratic Party?
Go back to March.
In the Trump coronavirus circus, news began surfacing about direct aid being given to all American citizens. On March 28, Trump signed a $2 Trillion bill that would hand American citizens $1200 (and do other things).
Yang talked about this on a debate stage in September 2019 and Democrats laughed at him. In March 2020, Trump did what Democrats thought was too radical and left-wing.
There is one thing Democrats don’t understand about Trump – he is willing to do anything to keep his voters happy.
Trump is not a Ben Shapiro-type free-market free-enterprise bible beater. Trump doesn’t care about left-wing or right-wing. All Trump cares about is Trump.
To show his willingness to help the people who got him elected, Trump committed an act of vaunted socialism most Dems wouldn’t dream of.
What did the rest of the Republicans do? Some protested, mostly behind closed doors, but nearly all fell in line.
And yes, Trump bailed out big corporations in the process as well.
However, if you’re an average Joe who has always been given grief by the government, the $1200 Trump just gave you would seem like a rare gift.
To maintain his popularity, Trump could, in addition, be brought around other ideas like free college and Medicare for all.
How many millennials do you think would vote for Trump if he promised to cancel student debt and make healthcare free?
The Right Reason to Fear Trump
Generally, the Democrats fear Trump for the wrong reasons. They don’t like his abrasive nature, his vulgarity, and a whole host of other things. These are just personality quirks voters can get around.
However, if Trump manages to make economic populism his core message, he would end the Democrats forever. Remember the smile on Senator Klobuchar’s face when Yang promised to give some people money. Would she smile when Trump comes to her state and tells voters to vote Republican and get Medicare for All and Free College passed in Congress?
She wouldn’t be able to muster a smile then (more flying staplers are a possibility). This is something the Democrats don’t realize. Trump could take economic populism away from the Democrats forever. Old Joe Biden won’t be able to fight that fight. No Democrat would be able to beat Trump then.
Now is time Democrats start grasping this reality and adopt more popular economic policies.