What the January 6 committee won't reveal
I largely agree with everything Dr Reich says here; except for the omission of the influence of Dark Money (led, mostly from what I can infer) by Charles Koch. Though the Koch brothers did not support Trump when he appeared, they still created the Tea Party, and so many other of the anarchistic, even white supremacist groups out there across the radical right landscape. Trump is hardly intelligent enough to manage anything like that, and is a simply a loose cannon, rolling around on the deck of the unwieldy battleship of a political party that Republicans have become…IMHO. Due to its very shadowy nature, the mainstream media never touches Dark Money, but I think it is the real elephant in the room that NEEDS to be discussed, if we are to be realistic about what has happened to US politics — and how to counteract it.
I will never forgive the DNC for the way they buried Bernie alive. Hillary was so wrong. And now we are paying for it.
i'm always astounded that any rational thinking literate human anywhere in USA would vote for trump for anything at all. as a former NYCer, i was utterly horrified by his criminal shenanigans, his intimidation, hatefulness, racism and misogyny. even before i relocated to NYC from the opposite coast, i was only too well aware of his lack of character, so proximity is no excuse. so believing that trump would do anything other than steal the taxpayers' funds and abuse everyone around him is insane.
2016 gave us an election based on populism. The Democratic Party machine failed to recognize this and therefore failed their young, energized base by manipulating the polls that were leaning toward Sanders. If only they had “read the room” and countered the populist right (Trumpism) with the formidable populist Sanders, what kind of country would we be experiencing now?
If the DNC had been following 538, they would have known Hillary was a particularly weak candidate for the 2016 election. There was vigorous polling throughout early 2015, and in hypothetical matchups between Trump and Hillary, and between Trump and Bernie, month after month, Bernie trounced Trump almost 2:1, while Hillary was about even with Trump.
Then Bernie was sandbagged, and Hillary became the official DNC nominee in the summer of 2015. It did not help that she had continued to take large paychecks from Wall Street, $225,000 for each speech, right up to the week she announced her candidacy. We all saw it, most of us were disgusted.
The roots of all (economic) evil are the massive tax cuts for the wealthy and the corporations, beginning with Reagan - a core violation of Smithian capitalism - continuing with W, and Trump. This enabled the rich to become super-rich and then to start seeding dark money into the political system (including, ahem, SCOTUS, which is SO political).
This bought more wealth and power, e.g., Pharma telling W that they should not have to play by those pesky Smithian rules about the marketplace, and could set prices, resulting in a quintupling of profits at the expense of the American middle class.
Biden can make a practical start by raising taxes substantially on those making over $400,000 a year.
Bernie appeared on a Fox Town Hall and won a standing ovation. He could have beat Trump, but the neo-liberal Dems and their Wall Street backers wanted Hillary, a neo-liberal chicken-hawk who never saw a war she wouldn't vote for and blamed 9/11 on Canada's supposedly laxer security.
Great summary and observations, Robert. If only my Republican hard nosed relatives would expose themselves to your column here! I lose hope!
Thank you, Dr. Reich, for explaining so eloquently what I've thought and said since 2000. I was so excited reading Barack Obama"s the 'Audaciousness of Hope'. I thought, finally, a politician who understands and will make changes. Had it not been for McConnell's determination that no meaningful legislation will pass, and the lack of courage of too many Democrats in Congress, we might have had real changes. But greed and addiction to power won.
It’s a shame (and a threat to our democracy) that most Republicans don’t realize Trump is the very thing he claimed to be fighting against, as well as many other bad things, but I digress.
Thank you for your clarity and conciseness. However you keep skipping the fact that over 44 million of us are in student loan hell. I am a doctor and I am more economically insecure than ever. As Alan Collinge, the head of Student Loan Justice, has stated we would have been better off losing hundreds of thousands in Las Vegas where we would have had bankruptcy protection. Please start bringing this issue to the forefront more.
So insightful! The people were not wrong to say Hillary Clinton was part of the Establishment - so much so that she could manipulate people into illegal behavior during her primary campaign against Bernie. Too bad the Establishment Dems were so blind that they could not see that Bernie would have been a great president, bringing the US into the 21st century, instead of being hurled back into the Dark Ages by Trump and cronies.
I keep a vivid memory of two Trump voters with whom I had a discussion in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. They were nothing like the caricature of hatred-filled cult followers we see today. What stroke me, aside from their personal gentleness, was their total absence of political awareness. They were for Trump with no other justification than he is a big mouth. They did not say it this way but this is what they were expressing. He is a big mouth, so he will put an end to the rigged system in Washington. To my dismay, I could see through these two very decent people how entire populations had been caught under the spell of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Demagogues offer us the opportunity to stop thinking. For many, it can seem a relief. Since the situation is so bad and the solution so far above them, or so it seems, the psychological trap they fall into is to accept the license handed down to them by the dear leader to stop being responsible entirely.
And so the democratic party was rigged against a candidate who had the best chance of beating Trump and we have been paying the price since. As long as the underlying economic anxiety is not addressed by this party, I agree, the conditions exist for the emergence of an authoritarian government.
Best summary of what I agree happened and is yet unaddressed. As odious as the Republicans are, unfortunately the Democrats (which I have always aligned with happily) seem clueless and part of this system. I think Biden gets it but as a politician he cannot act. Unless they wake up, the system may have to fail first in order to recover.
The only way out is to register more democratic voters and run on rebalancing the court and communicating plans to restore what the middle class has lost to the Trump United Fascist Party(TUF)
If Bernie Sanders was up for vote, way more of my family would have showed up to the polls. They said they didn't want either Trump nor Hillary so they didn't vote. They didn't feel either candidate was someone that represent them. Sad but that's how it was.