Listen now (9 mins) | Must Republican's promote Trump's Big Lie to be elected? Must Democrats "move to the center?
Robert Reich, in my household we would vote for you in a heartbeat and wish we had the opportunity! I wish you had a much more prominent role somewhere so that your voice and words would be heard by many more people. It is a voice of reason, intelligence, humanity, common sense and principle. We appreciate your writing very much. Carry on!
I think it would be a serious mistake strategically for Democrats to “move to the center” in this election cycle. Bernie Sanders has rightly pointed out that the country is far more liberal than we think and will support Medicare for all, a much more aggressive approach to the climate crisis, higher taxes for the rich and corporations, and closing the gap between rich and the rest of us, and even the economic and social gap between whites and non-whites. Upwards of 75% also support choice for women, as well as the ERA. I also think Dick Morris and your campaign manager were cowards. Voters respond to candidates who have vision, who speak the truth and take the higher moral ground — candidates whose words are congruent with what they truly believe.
Excellent analysis and commentary. So many times these pundits and operatives are dead wrong. I remember Harris Wofford campaign for the Senate in Pennsylvania. Wofford took a strong position in favor of Universal health care, and the operatives said drop it. But Wofford persisted. I was at his election eve rally and watch party, and as the returns came in, Wofford was winning the Philadelphia suburbs by huge margins. He was invading previously Republican territory, and he was winning. I think he won all five of the suburbs. This started the Democratic wave in the formerly Republican suburbs as middle class people with liberal views became the major demographic. There is no alternative to hard campaigning, and we desperately need firm, well thought out campaign positions and not the wishy washy variety which will never get anyone elected. Democratic candidates need to both describe their political goals and issues, but they also need to light a hot ad searing attack on all these Republicans who follow Trump’s lies and seek to undermine our precious democracy and convert it into an autocracy and in Trump’s case a kleptocracy.
Wonder how Republicans would feel if the Democrats began circulating some big lies about them to damage their credibility e.g. have you heard that tRump golf clubs are being turned into prison camps to detain people who refuse to sign a loyalty oath to America's Hitler? Wonder how Republicans who use the Big Lie to hold onto power would like to get onto an airplane where the pilot "lied" about his ability to fly, undergo surgery from a doctor who lied about being properly licensed, eat at a restaurant where the operators lie about serving contaminated food? Sooner or later, lies can prove fatal and no amount of power can save the "liars" from the karma they ultimately deserve. I think Democrats should put up big billboards on every interstate in America, each showing a picture of tRump, McConnell, McCarthy and other Big Lie Republican promoters with one simple word in bold lettering - LIAR! After all, seeing the same message repeated over and over again seems to be effective in brainwashing people
We must continue to educate the public about each and every example where the fascists are lying
Professor, When you asked, “Where is the ‘Center’? Halfway between democracy and fascism? Midpoint between social justice and oligarchy”?, I understood you rightly were indicating that “Center” is a meaningless term. In its stead, I believe voters typically perceive that their interests are best served by candidates who set a political and policy agenda that offers solutions to pressing issues in a way that builds confidence.
As for the importance of distinguishing oneself from one’s opponent, as stated previously, Dems need merely ask, “Who do you want here—somebody who doesn’t want to cut the price of insulin for non-Medicare people or those who do?” “Somebody who doesn’t want to expand the child tax credit or those who do?” “Doesn’t want to provide affordable, quality childcare and universal Pre-K or those who do?” “Doesn’t want to make investments in housing, in eldercare, in expanded ACA subsidies, in climate or those who do?”
Ultimately, I believe voters largely will support Party candidates who represent a broad range of interests and are viewed as engaged in serious discussions in an honest effort to arrive at compromises aimed at improving life for increasing numbers of people.
As a final point, I would add, aside from running on their accomplishments this fall, indeed critical, that Democrats, up and down the ballot, need to amplify the opposing Party’s lack of regard for the rule of law, for the balance of powers, and, last but not least, for truth itself.
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. You and Mary Trump keep me feeling as if we still have some hope as Americans. ♥️
But you can give people what they want and still get to a congenial society.
Arguably, the most important thing to do is raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations. Put Reagan in full reverse. Everything else flow from this.
75% of Democrats want this, and 68% of ALL Americans (including presumably a lot of swing voters and independents) want it.
Similar results for universal healthcare.
Just say it.
There was a general election in the UK after WWII, and everyone knew Churchill would win, including senior members of the Labour Party. When Labour leaders were writing their manifesto, one of them suggested that, since they were going to lose anyway, why not write what they truly wanted, rather then tacking to the center as they always did.
The Manifesto was based on raising taxes on the wealthy and universal healthcare. Churchill famously lost in a landslide.
One way to resolve, at least partially,
the Dick Morris paradox, is to educate
By explaining your agenda and your principles in very clear and understandable terms, you at least have a chance of being elected and you will definitely remain true to yourself.
You should actually be rather good at doing this by now.
Thank you Robert and I agree with everything you mentioned about Liz Cheney. I have actually started to respect her over this last year and in a small way am sad to see her go.
What center? The Democrats should stop pandering to corporate interests and tend to the mess to which they contributed with the terrible policies put forth by Bill Clinton and continued by Obama which have resulted in extreme wealth disparity and opportunity disparity in this country. Biden promoted some good policies; we need to elect a lot more members of the House and Senate who will put those policies into effect.
I'm reading a book you mentioned: "Left Behind" by Lily Geismer, and finding it very instructive, filling in a lot of details. The misnomered "center" is not a winner. Many of us were misled by Clinton's smoke and mirrors and our misplaced Hope with Obama, but that isn't working anymore—the voters want their problems addressed effectively.
If I may preach to a great economics and other disciplines professor…. You are expressing what is called ethics or integrity. To me integrity means all the pieces fit together to form a clear and sensible picture. Thank You. I must forward your words today to someone who just said the other day “Democrats cannot get elected unless they move to the center.”
As far as I can recall, Bernie has never waffled or tried to hide his views, and he remains hugely popular in Vermont.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our Freedoms, it will be because we Destroyed Ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln
Excellent points. Is it more important to win than it is to stick to your principles? If it is, then maybe you have the wrong principles.
We cannot move forward to where we need to go without the clear light of the truth.