Hardly Ideal wrote:Also: The Bastard's own supporters are already starting to regret their votes for him.
I'll come back to this in a minute.
Taibbi interviews Bernie Sanders: Where We Go From Here
After the election, you called the anger Trump connected with "justified." When did you first recognize that sense of discontent and alienation was big enough to have the impact it did this past year?
I've seen it for years. I've seen a media, which has basically ignored the declining middle class, that doesn't talk about poverty at all, and has no sense of what is going on in the minds of millions of ordinary Americans. They live in a bubble, talk about their world, worry about who's going to be running 18 years from now for office. Meanwhile, people can't feed their kids. That's something I knew.
Talking about those issues, seeing that they resonated, that did not surprise me. How quickly they resonated did surprise me. How weak the Democratic establishment was, and how removed they were from the needs of ordinary people, that also surprised me.
Here's the thing: Trump won the electoral college (barring any last-minute faithless shenanigans) with a smaller minority of the vote than Clinton had. Most people did not vote for him. And even the people who did? A lot of them weren't crazy about him.
That's the thing about a two-party, first-past-the-post electoral system: the old bit about the lesser of two evils. This election perhaps more than ever.
I think a lot of people here can relate to voting for Clinton despite serious misgivings about her. Well, a lot of Trump supporters feel the same way about him.
And that's a good thing, ultimately. Trump has a core of diehard supporters -- but he's also got a hell of a lot of skeptics. I understand having trouble understanding how anyone could think he was the lesser of two evils -- but ultimately we're almost certainly going to need those people to switch sides if a Democrat is going to win in '20.
(I say "almost" because there are a few cases where a Democrat could win without any Trump voters' support. Substantial increase in turnout among Democratic-friendly demographics, National Popular Vote Compact reaches tipping point, US is hit by pandemic that only affects white people, etc. But realistically? Don't count on any of those things; we're going to need Trump voters to switch sides.)
I overheard a coworker, right after the election; seems like a nice enough lady. She said, sounding dismayed, "Just because I don't like her doesn't mean I like him!" There's hope there. There are people who voted Trump who are extremely skeptical about him but who were just, for whatever reasons, more skeptical about Clinton.
Let's try and be nice to those people. Shouting "What were you thinking?" is a natural instinct, but probably not going to change anybody's mind.
I am not advocating making peace with the bigots. Taibbi/Sanders again:
You talked about giving Trump a chance to earn your support. What did you mean?
There are areas where people like me could work with him: rebuilding the infrastructure, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, re-establishing Glass-Steagall, raising the minimum wage. Those are ideas that we can work on. Now, was he being totally hypocritical and just saying whatever came to his mind that he thought could attract votes? Or does he believe that?
Where there will not be any compromise is in the areas of racism or sexism or xenophobia or Islamophobia. This country has struggled for too many centuries to try to become a less discriminatory society. We've made progress that we should be proud of, and we're not going back to an era of racism and sexism and discrimination. On that there will not be any compromise. But you're really asking, are there areas that we can perhaps work together? If he remains consistent with what he said on the campaign trail, we'll see.
I'm not saying we should make nice with David Duke or the motherfuckers spraypainting swastikas on Adam Yauch's memorial. It should go without saying that fuck those fucking fucks.
But there are people who voted for Trump who are nonetheless very worried about his bigotry, his crassness, his conflicts of interest, etc. And we can, should, work with those people.
And Sanders is laying a trap here: yes, we can even work with Trump; it may make me throw up in my mouth a little to say it, but even he has some good ideas. (The TPP is dead. That's a good thing. I wish it had happened under happier circumstances.) Trump said some populist things that got working-class white people to back him. Sanders is prepared to work with him if he keeps his word -- and he's prepared to pounce on him at every single opportunity every time he breaks it.
To wit, in the Washington Post: Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump
Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States. Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be reevaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America.
Sanders and Warren are in a pretty good place right now: everything they say is getting media coverage. They've got a bully pulpit and they're using it.
Sanders's biggest problem has always been, and continues to be, that while his rhetoric is good, he's light on details and concrete plans. (The "light on details" criticism, of course, never stopped Trump.) He finally drops a hint at the end of that Post article about what he plans to actually do about this:
If United Technologies or any other company wants to keep outsourcing decent-paying American jobs, those companies must pay an outsourcing tax equal to the amount of money they expect to save by moving factories to Mexico or other low-wage countries. They should not receive federal contracts or other forms of corporate welfare. They must pay back all of the tax breaks and other corporate welfare they have received from the federal government. And they must not be allowed to reward their executives with stock options, bonuses or golden parachutes for outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries. I will soon be introducing the Outsourcing Prevention Act, which will address exactly that.
If Donald Trump won’t stand up for America’s working class, we must.
I don't know what the Outsourcing Prevention Act is, but it sounds like it's potentially a pretty good cudgel against the Republicans. Do you want to be a Republican congresscritter who voted in favor of outsourcing? That's gonna make for a swell campaign ad.
Course, we've still got all the same problems with incumbent inertia, plus the post-2010 districting issues. 2018's not a lock by any stretch, let alone 2020. But the working-class wing of the Democratic Party seems to have the floor right now, and if they can keep calling attention to the hypocrisy of the Republican Party claiming to represent the working class, then they've got a shot.