I was a passionate Hillary Clinton supporter, but I have come to think that Bernie Sanders was very right about one very important thing: the fight for big ideas. Let Congress sort out if they can be turned into law later, the way to win is to rally people around ideas. Let’s talk about what WE think is important, not what il Duce tweets.
Here’s just a few of the pocketbook issues we should be advocating for, loudly:
– National health care
– Free college and student debt forgiveness
– Massive infrastructure plan
– Marshall plan for US K-12 STEM education
– Aggressive action on guns
– Climate change
– Tax fairness
There are a lot of deeply dysfunctional things in this country that need to be addressed immediately. That’s the short list. Take a lesson from Trump. He pounds away at twenty different things a month, keeping issues his base cares about in the national conversation. I wish Obama had done that, but I also wish he had seen himself as the leader of a movement, not a party, the way Trump does.
We need a movement of big ideas, and a vision for the future worth fighting for. We need to sweep up those who don’t vote and make them passionate. We need so many votes that voter suppression won’t work. Half of the people in the country don’t vote. If we changed that even a little bit, it would be a revolution. They do not yet have enough of a reason to do so.
REASON does not vote. Men don’t die for reasonableness or incrementalism. We are living in post-history now – none of the pre-cable, pre-internet, post-literate realpolitik that worked for the “Camelot” (intellectual) Democrats in the past will work anymore. That’s another reason Trump won. He doesn’t know history. He doesn’t care what happened in the past, he only cares about punching buttons and getting people stirred up. It worked. I’m stirred up, and so is everyone else.
We need progressive leaders to step up now and address us directly, and not on MSNBC. Where is Obama? Where is Elizabeth Warren? Where are our 25,000 person rallies? Bernie’s supporters are everywhere. Perhaps they can lead. We are desperate here.
This is an extraordinary moment. We can take the mantle of populism back if we fight from the high ground. But who will lead us there?
Right now, our truth tellers are all late night talk show hosts. I’m not even kidding. That’s what it’s come to. Millionaires voting to cut taxes? It should be a joke.