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Dayo F Osibamowo
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The Populist's Guide to 2020: A New Right and New Left are Rising

The Populist's Guide to 2020: A New Right and New Left are Rising

Krystal Ball & Saagar Enjeti (2020)

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Location 10:  "American Carnage." That was how Donald Trump famously described the hollowed-out Heartland in his inaugural speech, adding: "We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind." Pundits gasped and clutched their pearls. How dare he speak the truth about the destruction wrought in our small towns and small cities and in every working-class community.

Location 14: This devastation was not caused by terrorists or a rival nation or an unforgiving Mother Nature, but by our own elected leaders. Politicians in both parties who for decades prioritized profits, GDP, and the interests of their wealthy donors rather than the promises that they routinely made and then ignored, in those all-important de-industrialized swing states.

Location 18: For Democrats, who had passed NAFTA and pushed for TPP and deregulated the banks and let unions wither on the vine, it was much easier to cry "racism!" or "sexism!" or "Russia!" or "Comey!" than to admit that their policies over decades had led directly to this moment.

Location 19: For Republicans, who had spent decades doing whatever the Chamber of Commerce told them to do, it was easier to fixate on the cultural excesses of Democrats than to admit that their own hollow trickle-down libertarian ideology had been completely repudiated when Trump won the Republican nomination.

Location 26: Everyone may have had to think hard about whether organizing our entire society and value system around the god of consumerism had really created the type of nation where we would want to live and raise kids.

Location 65: In Saagar's view, Trump is the current expression of right-wing nationalism, of a party committed to preserving American identity through control of its borders and protecting its families.

Location 66: In Krystal's view, Bernie is the representative of a left-wing class-based movement that could answer Trump's right-wing populism with something new, a Democratic Party that actually delivers for the entire multi-racial working class.

Location 68: In both our views, Biden is the representative of the centrist establishment holding fast to this idea that if they just eliminated the coarse language from our discourse, they could all get back to their bipartisan commitment to wars, soft corruption, and steady grinding of the working class in the name of efficiency.

It's amazing how far you can get when you start in the same place with a shared understanding of reality. It's a hell of a lot further than the shallow, fake civility politics that the forces of the status-quo say you must embrace-'Keep quiet and hold still while they rip you to shreds.'We take the opposite view. Speak up. Make people uncomfortable. Don't let the "experts"convince you that better isn't possible.


Location 140: At the same time, in search of those top-line GDP and stock market numbers that we are told indicate a prosperous society, we passed so-called free trade deals, written by the very corporations that hollowed out our industrial core. As factories and steel mills were moved overseas, towns were left with rotting abandoned husks where the pride of the community used to sit. Men who had watched their fathers and grandfathers earn enough and have enough stability to provide for their families on a single income were left scrambling to survive on minimum wage service jobs at Walmart or Wendy's or taking on informal unstable gig work to piece together a living. Even more devastating than the economic struggle though was the loss of meaning, self-concept and self-worth. Our culture tells men their whole lives that the real measure of a man is the ability to provide and then we stripped them of their ability to do so. Is it any wonder that so many are depressed, addicted, angry?

Location 152: How could it be then that the two of us, with different backgrounds, beliefs, and political identities, find so much overlap on a daily basis? It's not that either of us are shrinking violets. When we disagree with each other, or our guests, we certainly say so. We both view with contempt civility politics that would value being polite to someone's face over uncomfortable truth-telling. This shallow idea of civility is largely weaponized in service of maintaining the disastrous status quo. But more often than not, there's quite a bit of overlap between what we care about and our foundational values.

Location 167: Our entire economy has become increasingly oriented around the special flowers of Richard Florida's so-called "creative class."These are the lucky, mostly college educated, types to whom the entire low-wage service economy caters. The ones who came mostly from big cities or were identified as "special"in their small towns and put on the college track. They are the Pete Buttigiegs of the world whose privilege and particular type of intellect gained them access to the elite world and all the stamps of elite privilege that come with it.

Location 172: The media has struggled to understand the rage and backlash at Mayor Pete among his own generation, but to us it makes complete sense. He is the perfect emblem of a society that would gather all its brightest minds and weaponize them against the working class—all in worship to the god of "efficiency." He represents the type of person who would view their time at McKinsey & Co. as just manipulating spreadsheets with little awareness or care for the human beings whose lives were represented in those numbers.

Location 176: As a nation, we've been chasing the metrics of top-line economic growth, while forgetting that human beings need meaning, worth, and community. A country with a few prosperous super cities and a vast wasteland of hollowed out towns and small cities is not a success.

Is it any wonder that voters are increasingly drawn to anti-establishment candidates who are willing to tell the truth about the bipartisan failures that have devastated our country and who seem willing to actually fight for something different, or at the very least to tell all the smug elites to go to hell?

Location 182: There isn't a region of the world without massive protests erupting predominantly among the working class and often across religious and racial lines. Each nation, of course, has its own individual story and sociopolitical dynamic, but there does seem to be a common thread of backlash against corrupt governments and societies that have funneled resources to the top while the working class struggles.

The story of 2020 is in many ways a story of the way voters and politicians are reacting to this core rot. Will they once again vote for a more radical and revolutionary choice who will center the working class? Or will the elite keepers of power manage to hang on for another few years? In many ways, this is the central question of our moment. Ultimately the future is clear. The old order will die. It is dying before our eyes. The only question is how long before a new order is born.

Why the World Burned in 2019.

Location 198: One of our most insightful regular guests, Matt Taibbi, made a profound and important point about post-Cold War media coverage in his book Hate, Inc. After we lost the unifying ratings generator of the Soviet Union as our great enemy, the media had to find another enemy. The new enemy is one another. Watch FOX News and there is no greater foe than the Democrats who are supposedly destroying the country. Watch MSNBC and CNN and it's, of course, the Republicans who are the true evil. This contempt for those of opposing political views doesn't stop at leadership either, it's extended to everyone who supports the opposing party or their ideology. When your fellow citizens are the threat, is it any wonder that every election feels like an existential threat? Is it any surprise that division and mistrust become the norm?

Don't Let Woke Corporatists Fool You.

Location 254: Multinational corporations realized sometime in the mid 2010s that if they began to parrot and sponsor social justice seminars, that these critical race theorists would in turn not criticize them for shipping U.S. jobs overseas and perpetuating the class divide within our society. In effect, they purchased leftist insurance through their woke capitalism. The alliance between the woke elements of the mainstream media and accumulated capital in American society is a key development as to exactly how we got to where we are right now. The social-justice-obsessed aristocracy within the media, government, and the establishment Democratic party sold a narrative throughout the Obama years that they were pursuing "progress" while simultaneously letting the billionaire class off the hook for internally gutting the country.

Location 263: August 20, 2019. This month, CEOs of the most powerful companies in the United States issued an extraordinary press release through one of their main mouthpieces, seeking to redefine the meaning of what it means to be a corporation. For the first time in history, big business says they no longer believe that the purpose of a corporation is just to deliver maximum profit for its shareholders but to be "truly committed to meeting the needs of all stakeholders" (emphasis added), meaning that businesses, as The New York Times puts it, will "invest in their employees, protect the environment and deal fairly and ethically with their suppliers." Business Roundtable

Location 270: Don't believe your lying eyes, it's a trap. What they really mean is something much more disquieting. The people who signed this document include JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Bank of America, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the CEO of General Motors, and about 200 more like them. In short, these are the people who got us here—they don't particularly care about American borders or American workers, and most of them would and have struck deals with the Chinese government at the expense of you and your family. This press release represents a far graver and more dangerous threat: woke capitalism.

Location 274: These CEOs know that things right now are fundamentally flawed and pose a real threat to their existing condition. This 'soul searching' statement is anodyne, useless, and meant to distract while they continue with the same old schemes. They sponsor woke social justice causes so that we don't ask too many questions about their Chinese deals, how they treat their workers, or what impact they're having in our country. Much of the media gives them a pass for this because they too are beneficiaries of their largesse. Corporate power today rivals, if not exceeds, government power.

Location 282: These CEOs know exactly who will be their best friends in government and that's why they're writing massive checks to the likes of Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and anyone else who they think can subsume and direct the populist wave. Don't let them fool you. Real populism harnesses the concerns of the average worker to leverage the only instrument more powerful than corporations: the power of the people.

Reckoning With The Legacy Of Barack Obama & Joe Biden.

Location 287: The elite media's love affair with Barack Obama precludes them from conducting any critical analysis as to why Donald Trump won the White House. They instead have perpetuated a narrative since his election that Russian President Vladimir Putin, former FBI Director James Comey, some random Facebook ads, and sexism against Hillary Clinton are the real reasons that Trump is President. Former Vice President Joe Biden has internalized this narrative and decided to make it the centerpiece of his campaign. He frequently touts his failed neoliberal economic record on the trail as evidence that he has the competence to hold the highest office in the land, with zero recognition that his role in the last forty years of policymaking is exactly what lead to the conditions where Donald Trump could narrowly best Hillary Clinton.

Location 293: An honest reckoning with the Obama years is nearly impossible to find given how recently it transpired, and there is little political utility in extrapolating a convenient political narrative from misleading surface level analysis.

Location 305: Biden is, of course, behind the 2005 effort to strip bankruptcy protections for millions of Americans—protections they probably could have used when the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008.

Location 312: That barely scratches the surface of just how bad things got. In terms of wealth, the median total wealth for Americans in 2016 was 34 percent of what it was in 2007. And when Obama left office, the average wealth of the bottom 40 percent of Americans was negative 8,900 dollars. Throughout all this time, the everyday costs of life went up, which means in a nutshell: you got screwed.

The Real Dangers of a Biden Presidency.

Location 325: Few things are more depressing for the future of the Democratic Party, the country, and possibly the world, than the persistence of Joe Biden's frontrunner status in the 2020 primary.

The very rot which led to Trump in the United States and other right-wing populist movements around the world was architected in no small part by Joe Biden. And even worse, he still believes in this neo-liberal monstrosity of an agenda!

Location 329: He still supports the bad trade deals and the deregulation and the hollow civility politics and the wars and the bank bailouts. He has been on the wrong side of nearly every major economic issue of the past 30 years yet has zero self-awareness about it. He'd do it all again and he'll tell you so! In a bizarre way, maybe that is what is actually appealing about him. As I often say on Rising, I think he genuinely believes in many of his terrible ideas. This lack of introspection is also quite convenient, though.

Location 334: That's also why he insists beyond all reason that Trump is just an anomaly and, as soon as he's gone, Mitch McConnell and his Senate crew will get right back to working in bipartisan comity with their well-intentioned Democratic colleagues. This delusion keeps Biden from having to admit that he is a major part of the reason that American politics are as screwed up as they are. Just imagine insisting that bipartisan cooperation is imminent when you yourself spent eight years trying and failing to get the Republicans to budge on anything. Biden couldn't even get Republicans to work with him to cut Social Security, something they'd been dying to do for decades!

Location 343: Where will we be after four more years of allowing the rot at the core of America to fester? What cynical and potentially much more ideological and capable demagogue would exploit the opportunity to seize power?

Biden has embraced segregationists, fossil fuel executives and Republican talking points. He comes across as loveable and befuddled at best, angrily entitled at worst.

Location 374: His fellow candidates have basically given up on attacking him. Remember, in the early days, how Cory Booker made a big thing about Biden's embrace of segregationists, even sending the former VP a strongly worded letter? Kamala, who had one of the most memorable debate moments of the cycle with her "that little girl was me" t-shirt-ready-attack-line, which, of course, ultimately backfired on her campaign. These days, everyone's just kind of hanging around waiting for the inevitable, long-awaited implosion of Joe Biden's campaign. But what if it never comes?

Location 378: After all, immediately following those first four early states where Biden is decently positioned comes Super Tuesday, when sixteen jurisdictions hold their primaries. Included in those primaries are a whole lot of southern states, where Biden is very strong: North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia, Alabama, and Oklahoma will all go on Super Tuesday. Not to mention Texas, where Biden right now is averaging around a ten-point lead.

Location 386: Now here's the good news: I do think it is possible that Biden could beat Trump. I don't think he's the strongest candidate by any means, but he's not the worst either. At least he doesn't come off as a condescending elitist who looks down his nose at middle America. When he talks about the grief that has shaped his life, it can be genuinely moving. And at the same time, recent elections in Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana have shown that regardless of who the Democratic nominee is, there is a lot of Democratic energy behind beating Trump.

What really scares me isn't whether or not Biden can beat Trump. It's what he will do if he actually becomes president. Around the world, the globe is melting down in backlash to the neoliberal consensus of which Biden was a key architect and continues to be a firm believer.

Location 393: Look to our own nation, where we've seen wave election after wave election where deep roiling anger rocks the public, and rightfully so. You know the litany of sins: the banking deregulation, bad trade deals, the gutting of everything that makes our communities whole and our futures worth living. Does anyone believe that Joe Biden offers an answer to any of that? Of course not. It's absurd on its face. And what do you think comes next? What do you think comes after four more years of incrementalism and the continued grinding down of the multi-racial working class and continued fattening of the ruling class?

FDR famously wrote during the Great Depression that in order to save the republic it was necessary to be 'fairly radical for a generation.' His New Deal legislation delivered on that vision and helped to build the American middle class. If we offer incrementalism at a moment requiring radicalism, I fear that one day we will long for the Trump era once again.

How Democrats Lost Their Moral Authority & Doomed Impeachment.

Location 407: The media doesn't have the credibility remaining to make a story land the way Woodward and Bernstein did. As I write this, I understated the case against the Democratic tactics. Because not only were the impeachment hearings in the House a wash, but Trump appears to have strengthened his position for reelection and Independents have moved against impeachment.

Location 417: There's nothing that would encourage me more than to watch Democrats make a competent case against Trump. It's not a hard case to make. He pledged to bring coal back. He hasn't. He pledged to bring manufacturing back. While much of the economy roars, manufacturing appears to have entered a recession. He pledged to deliver on health care and fell on his face. He pledged to be different than your standard Chamber of Commerce Republican and still gave away the store to the rich and the well-connected while throwing symbolic scraps to everyone else. Everyone in the country should know that under Trump, nearly 100 of the Fortune 500 companies paid zero dollars in taxes.

Location 421: But making this case requires two things that Democrats aren't willing to do: actually grapple with the appeal of Trump and what it says about their failed neoliberal policies, and prove that they would be different.

Location 423: Just imagine if a fraction of the time devoted to Russiagate and Ukrainegate had instead been spent on increasing Social Security, or a $15 minimum wage, or Medicare-for-All. Not only would this time have been spent engaged on issues Americans actually care about, but they might also have actually won some battles too. A certain level of sustained public pressure is impossible for any politician or administration to resist. Instead, they've chosen to double down on moral indignation of the type that Hillary Clinton tried and failed with in 2016.

Location 440: Remember, the whole point of these hearings is supposed to be to change public opinion. Democrats have been explicit that their strategy is to dramatize and bring to life the allegations against President Trump in a way that lands with regular folks. How long have we been hearing that it wasn't really until the impeachment hearings when the public turned on Nixon, dooming his presidency? This was supposed to be the moment when the tables turned, and Republicans buckled under the weight of overwhelming public pressure in favor of removing the President.

Location 444: The fact that nothing remotely resembling that occurred or is going to occur is not meaningless optics—it actually speaks to the core reason why they are going through all of this. Just consider, The Washington Post is currently selling an illustrated graphic novel version of the Mueller report, based on the deeply held belief that if Trump's Russia and Ukraine exploits could just be dumbed down enough for the poor, stupid public, then finally everyone would share in the outrage over Russian Facebook ads and Ukrainian military aid.

Location 448: Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is hailed as a genius resistance hero for her particular technique of "owning" Trump with a standing ovation, launching a doomed-to-fail impeachment probe, and not even batting an eye when he wants to increase the defense budget or provide more funding for border cruelty. Her brilliant strategy will cause leading Democratic candidates to be taken off the campaign trail right at the height of primary season. Of course, Pelosi's unlikely to be heartbroken to see Bernie or Warren sidelined. We all know what she thinks of their politics.

The reason that no one cares what Democrats have to say about corruption is because Democrats have zero moral authority. No one buys their outrage or believes that they are impartial actors here. After all, this whole Ukraine-gate issue revolves around a potential investigation into the actual soft-corruption of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

Location 468: Just this week, Democratic elites pushed Deval Patrick into the presidential race, a guy who parlayed his position at the DOJ helping to settle a massive racial discrimination settlement with Texaco, into a high paying and prestigious job at the company. As Saagar highlighted recently, Congress' Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal recently presided over a centennial birthday party for AIG, a company that taxpayers bailed out to the tune of $180 billion just a decade ago. Barney Frank, the guy for whom our so-called banking reform bill is named, now sits on the board of a bank!

Location 473: More broadly, these establishment Democrats are the people who worked in concert with Republicans to ship jobs overseas, deregulate banks, crush unions, and allow corporate monopolies to gain control over nearly every aspect of our lives, only to be rewarded with cushy jobs, gala celebrations, and a permanent ticket into the ruling elite. Americans aren't impressed that Trump's behavior is so radically different than say Hillary Clinton's conduct at the State Department, while her family foundation was sucking up massive overseas cash. They certainly don't trust the Democratic establishment to be the arbiters of moral behavior and good government; not when they still can't even bring themselves to acknowledge that Hunter Biden cashing in on Daddy's name is hardly a noble act.

Location 479: the American people understand plenty. It's Democratic leadership that's a little slow on the uptake. Democrats want America to care deeply about these particular presidential norms and guardrails and the rule of law. But when we look around and see that the people who destroyed the economy were never held accountable and in fact are richer than ever; when we see how our elite institutions bent all the rules to protect Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein; when we see Hunter Biden on a crack binge whilst making $50,000 per month on a corporate board, it makes all the moralizing about how no one's above the law ring a little hollow. Especially once you remember that young black and brown men are locked in prison for life for the same offense under rules that Hunter's own father created. I know this argument is likely to fall on deaf ears over at DNC HQ. Perhaps if I put it in graphic novel form, it will be simple enough for the Democratic establishment to finally get it.

Why Democrats Cling to their Russia Obsession.

Location 487: The Democratic establishment and their allies in the media have, at this point, thoroughly beclowned themselves with their Russian obsession. Essentially, they took a story that has real merit, Russian manipulation of social media in an effort to sway our election and the clear openness of the current President's campaign in receiving this help, and have turned it into pure insanity.

Location 490: In order to do so, CNN and MSNBC have brought scores of former spooks and national security state propagandists onto their payrolls who are consistently willing to insinuate that they know more than what they can say publicly, that there is another shoe to drop that will finally lay bare the whole scheme. Thousands of hours of "news coverage" have fixated on Russia paranoia, obsession, and speculation.

Location 498: Meanwhile, Russia is imagined to be behind virtually every nefarious action in American politics. In these people's addled brains, Russia is somehow behind Tulsi Gabbard's presidential candidacy. Facts be damned. It is taken as an article of faith that she will run third party, splitting off enough of the vote to reelect Trump, even as she has said repeatedly that she will not. This insanity was articulated by none other than former Secretary of State and twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Location 507: According to too many #resistance warriors, Putin must be behind any honesty about the core rot of modern America. Because, of course, the first rule of American rot is that you can never speak about American rot. Doing so may trigger change and, lord knows, we can't have that. Now everyone please get back to your regular scheduled programming. Up next we've got some guy who's willing to say Trump was Russia's puppet since the 1960s! Please fixate on that rather than any of the systemic problems which those of us with power helped to create.

Is Trade or Automation More To Blame For Manufacturing Job Loss?

Location 563:  On the other hand, Yang may be correct in saying that automation will be more responsible for the decline in future jobs than trade policy. However, acknowledging trade's role in the past is vital for cementing a new and fairer trade policy for the future benefit of the American worker.

Location 596: Per Senator Warren and Bernie Sanders' version of events, American manufacturing jobs were predominantly lost because of bad trade policy pursued by the United States, while according to Yang, trade policy was a small factor but automation was predominantly responsible for the hollowing out of the American middle class.

Location 598: Yang's case is that since the year 2000, the predominant loss of American manufacturing jobs has been because of automation. This heralds what he and many others have called the 'fourth industrial revolution,' or the arrival of an age where the dominant number of jobs for Americans will be automated out of existence. In order to cope with the dramatic shift in our economy, Yang proposes that a universal basic income of $1,000 a month is necessary to bolster and empower workers. This is an elegant solution if you believe that this is the correct diagnosis of the problem. This may shock you, but I actually think Elizabeth Warren is right.

Bad trade policy is far more responsible for the loss of these four million manufacturing jobs than automation. If Yang's thesis was correct, then as I said before, we would have seen a spike in productivity after the decline in manufacturing jobs in the year 2000. That, however, has not at all materialized in the data. China's entire middle class was built at the direct expense of the American middle class.

How To End Our Addiction Crisis.

Location 640: Addiction is a complex disease impacted by social, environmental, and genetic factors. But it's no accident that as an epidemic it would rear its head when so many in our nation have had the rug pulled out from under them in terms of community and meaning. So many of our towns and small cities have been decimated by automation and corporate-driven trade deals. So many of our families have no choice but to send their kids to the same resource-starved public schools knowing that they will never get what they need to ascend to our exalted professional-managerial class. So many of our young men have no hope of providing a stable income backed by middle-class union jobs with solid benefits that their fathers or grandfathers were able to provide. We've sold our lives and our data to Facebook and Google and Netflix, exchanging actual human connection for the sugar high of a fake community.

Location 666: In Portugal, simple possession of any drug, including heroin and cocaine, is not a criminal offense. They don't send people to jail for being addicts, even if the drug they possess is heroin. Instead, they offer treatment, they offer jobs, they offer methadone and other medically based treatment. Portugal's response to catching someone with a 10-day supply of heroin is to offer them help, not prison. The impact of this change in philosophy has been nearly miraculous. Portugal saw its overdose death rate drop 85 percent since decriminalization. While we lost nearly 70,000 people to opioid overdoses last year alone, Portugal lost only 20 people. To compare apples to apples, since our population is obviously much larger, in Portugal only three people die of overdoses per million. In the US that rate is 185 per million, with numbers even higher regionally. In other words, our century-long experiment with prohibition has utterly and devastatingly failed.

We have been subjected to so much propaganda about the War on Drugs, that it's hard to accept the truth that prohibition has only pushed people into addiction, putting power into the hands of the worst kind of murderous thugs.

Location 682: First of all, if you believe that addiction is a public health issue, why are we putting people in jail when they should be receiving treatment? Keep in mind, heroin was invented by none other than good old Bayer, purveyors of Bayer Aspirin. It was actually originally marketed to soothe babies and children nearly 100 years ago, and when it was widely available over the counter, we were not overrun by a nation of zombie heroin addicts. In fact, there were many stable, job holding middle-class people who had a mild, manageable heroin addiction.

Location 686: We criminalized alcohol, heroin, and other drugs in this country early in the last century. Somehow while we seemed to recognize that locking people up during alcohol prohibition was a massive failure that only enriched gangsters and led to grotesque violence, we've yet to learn that lesson about other drugs.

Location 689: In fact, what we did instead was allow Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family to make billions weaponizing a synthetic opioid, OxyContin. But guess what, when your doctor cuts you off of your Oxy prescription after that back injury and you've become addicted, what happens? Many people start buying heroin. Their heroin dealer has no interest in getting them treatment. In fact, the dealer just wants to push the biggest dose. That's why fentanyl has become so prolific.

Location 692: We drive people into the arms of these merchants of death rather than offering them the help they need. This leads to a downward spiral of increasing addiction and criminality to feed their habit. There are about 500,000 people in this country incarcerated today for non-violent drug offenses, disproportionately, of course, the poor and people of color. Half a million American families have been destroyed. We could have these citizens back and give them the help they need.

Location 695: But even if you don't care about the moral case for decriminalization, remember: if we decriminalized drugs, the Northern Triangle destruction by drug gangs in Honduras and elsewhere would be curtailed. No drug money, no gangs. Nothing could do more to make those countries livable for their citizens, ending the heartbreaking trail of desperate families seeking refuge here. There'd be no narco-gang dollars to destabilize Mexico. We wouldn't be funding the Taliban through their shipments of opium poppy heroin.

We have been attempting to end drug use through prohibition for more than 100 years, and yet here we are, with the worst addiction crisis in our nation's history. It is time to admit this policy has failed. And while full decriminalization may seem radical, what's truly insane is staying the course. So, Senator Sanders, please, follow the lead of Andrew Yang and bring your voice of courage and moral clarity to end the biggest endless war of them all, the War on Drugs. We must not let another 800,000 people die needlessly out of propaganda, fear, and Big Pharma greed.

A McKinsey Presidency Would Be A Hellish Future.

Location 723: Buttigieg should be outraged at the lies that were fed to him as a credentialed member of the neoliberal meritocratic elite. This is a kid who clearly wanted to get involved in public service. He went to Harvard where he majored in history and literature, he won a Rhodes scholarship like former president Bill Clinton, and expressed a love for politics with some short stints on presidential campaigns. But within these elite institutions, they indoctrinate students that their "talents" as a young person are best served at places like McKinsey & Co. So, he went off to that to that company in 2007 to help the likes of Blue Cross Blue Shield in Michigan fire people and to engage in various other soulless compliance gigs. The takeaway from that experience should have been that much of this business is about taking the best and brightest within the United States and putting them to work at extracting as much wealth as they possibly can from the rest of the country. These companies financialize and commoditize, all so that fellow Harvard graduates on Wall Street can gamble with their profits.

Buttigieg says he is proud of his past work, and that he is proud of his past company. When he says here that these companies "serve people and represent their interests," he means serving people that can afford million-dollar contracts and the interests of the rich and powerful coastal elites. Therein lies the problem with Buttigieg's entire candidacy: he fundamentally does not believe that the structure of the American economy is bad. He doesn't think that profit engineering at the expense of American workers is something to be mitigated. That's why billionaires and rich older voters love him, because the economy is working just fine for them, and Buttigieg is here to serve and represent their interests.

Location 755: U.S. corporations' willingness to sell out American citizens in exchange for Chinese cash mirrors American monopolies' tacit cooperation with the Nazi regime before the outbreak of World War II. Concentrated capital shares no national allegiance and will always work to maximize the bottom line, no matter who suffers.

Location 791: It's a bipartisan tale that starts in the 1980s when American corporations saw the rise of a relatively stable China following years of turmoil. China promised American corporations a cheaper place to make their products so they didn't have to pay or provide healthcare to those pesky American citizens. These corporations used their power in the White House, in Congress, and in the media to push a central narrative: that opening China up to economic investment from the West would make our two economies intertwined and therefore create a more democratic society.


Location 813: Trust in the media has plummeted as citizens realize that elite media institutions are more interested in pandering to their respective political bases for profit than in truly informing the public. How else can you explain the stories they hype exhaustively, the stories they ignore, and the consistent spin and manipulation of facts to fit partisan narratives? Their real unstated agenda though is even more insidious than just partisan cheerleading. Their real agenda is covering and advocating for the interests of the bipartisan cosmopolitan elite.

Location 821: You can take it from us. One of us is a former MSNBC anchor who was essentially silenced by the network for daring to ask former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not to run for President. The other was a White House correspondent during the Trump administration and witnessed first-hand how the media downplayed the most important stories of the day in the White House press briefing room that did not fit into the Washington echo chamber. Both of us understand that our corporate media obsessively squabbles over issues which have absolutely no effect on people's daily lives whatsoever to obscure the core rot at the center of American society today. From impeachment to Donald Trump's latest tweet, the corporate media gins up controversy and abandons all objectivity whatsoever to fit their neoliberal pro-establishment worldview.

Location 834: The media's egregious behavior stems from the same problem—oligarchical control. Oligarchs, after all, are by definition a unique few with intersecting corporate and political interests. Increased corporate control of the U.S. news media has turned the industry responsible for covering the powerful into one that is instead their propaganda arm. Nothing better illustrates this problem than Jeff Bezos'ownership of The Washington Post. The world's richest man outright owns the second-most powerful newspaper in the entire country and if you suggest that this is tied in any way whatsoever to that newspaper's coverage, YOU are the conspiracy theorist. The entire media world had a collective meltdown when Bernie Sanders dared suggest that maybe Bezos owning the second-most important media outlet in the country wasn't the healthiest situation for our democracy.

Location 856: Younger Americans have grown up in a particularly devastating age. They've watched the media lie to the American public about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, they watched as they ran cover for the banking industry after the financial crisis, and they watched as they refused to critically cover President Barack Obama when he sold out the working class who voted for him in favor of corporate interests.

Location 863: Younger Americans know more than anyone that the news media is misleading them, and that's why they made a generational collective decision to just turn them off and seek truth elsewhere. The runaway success of our show and so many others on YouTube is a direct indictment of the mainstream media. Millions of Americans have abandoned traditional gatekeepers of information in favor of those who do not bow to the whims of their corporate masters.

A Unified Field Theorem of Media Bias.

Location 945: Without fail, every candidate who has come from outside the Democratic establishment or who has dared to question the Democratic establishment has been smeared, dismissed, or ignored by the media.

Location 953: I've talked quite a bit about existing media bias against Bernie Sanders. In one egregious case, a Washington Post "FactCheck"found that Sanders had accurately cited academic research but managed to give him three Pinocchios anyway. It's almost impressive how they manage to pull this stuff off. And Marianne Williamson, while definitely off the beaten track for a presidential candidate, is also an incredibly accomplished woman, with seven New York Times Bestsellers to her name, and decades of activism under her belt. Perhaps it would be interesting to hear more of her thoughts on national healing and reconciliation, rather than just casting her as a weirdo and mocking her for a tweet about the power of prayer —a lifestyle many, if not most, Americans subscribe to.

Location 958: These candidates occupy different poll positions and have wildly different approaches, styles, and philosophies. Andrew the cheerful prophet of doom, Marianne the spiritual healer, Tulsi the teller of hard-truths about American imperialism, and Bernie the…Bernie. But they have something important in common: they don't fit the mold. They aren't in the club. They defy the rules. Asian techies are supposed to develop the latest AI, not lead the revolution to put humanity first. Democratic women veterans are supposed to burnish the party's hawkish cred, not doggedly pursue diplomacy and engagement while calling out the American war machine. Spirituality is not supposed to be mixed with politics on the left, even though religion is fully weaponized by the right. And with Bernie, well, septuagenarian democratic socialists who are not fashionable in any way are not supposed to be rockstars with the kids or top-polling presidential contenders. Rather than deal with these contradictions—contradictions, by the way, which have clearly fascinated the public, judging by Google and Twitter trends, fundraising numbers, and crowd sizes—it's easier to mock, smear, or ignore.

Location 967: Not only do these candidates not fit the mold, but they also, in their own ways, represent threats to current holders of power. Marianne and Andrew didn't come up through politics, and they owe absolutely nothing to Washington or the Democratic Party figureheads. Tulsi dared to defy the Hillary coronation, so she definitely can't be trusted. Senator Sanders, though, is obviously the ultimate threat to the Washington neoliberal establishment. I recently asked him whether he represented an existential threat to the Democratic Party and he told me point blank: "In some ways I am, and that is that I want to transform the Democratic Party."

Location 971: Sanders matches his critique of the party's corporatism and business as usual approach with an unmatched grassroots army and fundraising base. He has his own base of power that wants nothing to do with a DC cocktail party. When you are a threat to the political establishment, you are inherently a threat to the careers of political journalists who rely on access to that political establishment. There may not be an edict coming down from on high to destroy those candidates who threaten the system, but there are natural defense mechanisms that kick in: strange graphics that just happen to leave you out, "fact-checks" that don't seem to arrive at any facts—coverage that vacillates from total blackout to wild smears.

Candidates who don't conform may be exactly what the country needs, but they are precisely what the media scorns.

Ronan Farrow And Why The Media Covers For the Powerful.

Location 1018: The cost-benefit model of news analysis will always favor taking down the powerless who can't fight back, over the powerful who have the money and the connections to put up a fight.

Location 1025: The whole thing is a sordid stew of elite coddling and cowardice. It's also an extreme parable of how the news process too often works. News isn't judged just on its newsworthiness. It's filtered through a prism of elite solidarity and class solidarity and institutional self-preservation.

Location 1095: New York Times Bias Has Very Real World Implications. As Noam Chomsky so aptly pointed out in his book Manufacturing Consent, people who would report the truth do not get the opportunity to do so because they would never be hired at elite media institutions in the first place.

Location 1117: For those who may not be conservative, just think about the next time that The New York Times gets something obviously wrong about Bernie Sanders or any other progressive. They could care less what you think, so long as they can still get booked on MSNBC, talk to the same party insiders, and protect their status inside elite circles within New York and Washington. The New York Times demonstrates that many of the organizations tasked with exposing those in power have become co-equal branches of the powerful overlord elites intent on pushing this country in a singular direction. What too many of my friends on the right don't understand is that these institutions aren't uniformly left; they're a specific type of Democrat who is the ally of the woke warrior and not necessarily the class warrior.

Location 1123: I want to emphasize again that nobody at The New York Times or The Washington Post ever got a memo telling them to write a story a certain way. But that's not how media bias actually works. Only the people who already subscribe to a certain ideology would ever get hired at these institutions. If you happened to go against the grain, you would never be allowed to work there in the first place.

MSNBC is no friend of the left. Whereas FOX News was explicitly conceived as a sort of news arm of the Republican Party, MSNBC was not. It's simply a profit-driven venture that happened to stumble on a lucrative business model by catering to a more left-leaning audience.

Location 1164: I'd also like to dispel the public perception that MSNBC is on 'team D' in the same way that FOX News is on 'team R.' They're not, and Democrats should not think of them as their allies. Like most corporate entities, MSNBC is a die-hard member of the Green Party—and I'm not talking climate here. Russia conspiracies were great for ratings among the key demographic of empty-nesters on the coasts with too much time on their hands.

Location 1167: This whole obsession and accompanying conspiracy mongering has done more damage to the Democrats' chances of winning back the White House than anything that Trump could have dreamed. Think of the time and journalistic resources that could have been devoted to stories that a broad swath of people might actually care about. Health care, wages, the teacher's movement, whether or not we're going to war with Iran.

Location 1177: Of course, in many ways, Trump really is the crook that we said all along. But by trying to make the spectacular case, Democrats and the media set the bar unimaginably high and made Trump's actual corruption, broken promises, and casual cruelty seem ordinary by comparison.

Location 1180: MSNBC Thinks The Left Needs Them. We Don't. The Trump era has revealed much. One of the things that it has most clarified is just what the ideological bent of the nation's premier "liberal" network actually is. MSNBC, which was accidentally forged into a left-leaning network by opposition to George W. Bush and the Iraq War, has now come full circle, welcoming the very Bush-era neocons it once scorned — complete with former security state torture implementers — into the fold.

Location 1218: NBC News president Andy Lack, who, full disclosure, is the guy who fired me, arrived in 2015 with a mission to ditch the liberal lean of the network. I guess it was uncomfortable for him and the other execs at cocktail parties to be associated with a network where labor unions might be mentioned positively and trade deals negatively. They excised pro-working class voices like Ed Schultz from the network. Ideologically centrist journalists from NBC News were brought in to take over for more left-leaning opinion shows. Executives went on a right-wing hiring spree of Bush-era neocons. This lineup change positioned MSNBC perfectly for their current Trump-era incarnation, where they are essentially a mouthpiece of the national security state, purveyors of the elite-approved critique of Trump, centering around his unseemly personality and disrespect for "norms," and a bastion of the discredited neoliberal establishment.

Location 1225: They have gone all-in on a fundamentally anti-progressive narrative that spends all day every day fixated on excuses for why Hillary lost to the guy they promised would lose (that would be Comey and Russia-gate and Ukrainegate as an extension of Russia-gate). Moreover, they fixate on "Trump is bad"as the end-all-be-all of political analysis. Everything that is going wrong in the country and the world is centered on him and him alone, because to evaluate the underlying circumstances that brought us Trump would be to question the undying wisdom of that very same Democratic elite.

Location 1229: The people who created the underlying conditions that brought us Trump definitely do not want to talk about the underlying conditions that brought us Trump. They have devoted the network to the lionization of Bush-era neocon Republicans and the national security blob including Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, John Brennan, Malcolm Nance, and more.

Location 1239: Guys like Donny Deutsch spend every morning talking about how Trump is the end of the republic, but then proclaim that they would vote for Trump over Bernie. That's without even mentioning the amount of industry-approved right-wing talking points that are regularly rolled out to attack progressive priorities like Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal. MSNBC is not liberal and it's certainly not the left.

Location 1242: There is nothing intellectual or principled or progressive about simply reflexively opposing Trump and worshiping the Republicans who oppose him, all while they refuse to reckon with their own role—from deregulation to zombie Reaganism to the Iraq war—that helped create this mess. The one thing they all have in common—the neoliberals and wealthy executives and Bush neocons—is a vested interest in pretending that everything was fine before Trump and everything will be fine after Trump.

Location 1253: The Media's Working Class Blind Spot. There's one thing you should understand about elite media if you are going to make sense of any of the editorial choices they make, stories they decide to pursue, obsess over, or ignore completely: their product is not meant for the working class. Remember, the news business is a business with a target market. The target market for most elite media and for the advertisers who fund them, is the mostly white, upper middle class. That means all coverage is tailored to their particular interests, needs, and desires. This predilection is exacerbated by the fact that newsrooms are increasingly populated with a monoculture of those who come from relatively privileged backgrounds, attend prestigious schools, and live in a few metro super regions. The end result is that the working class is either ignored completely, caricatured, or demeaned, their lives and concerns virtually ignored.

Location 1262: The consistent misunderstanding and mischaracterization of Trump's support is another perfect example. In 2016, in spite of the massive rallies, flood of small dollar donations, and evident energy around his campaign, the reality of his support didn't penetrate the social circles of elite media journalists so they couldn't believe that it was real. Once he was elected and it became undeniable, rather than grappling with what his election says about the media or the establishment Democratic Party, the instinct has been to either make excuses (Comey! Russia! Facebook!) or to blame the voters (Racist! Sexist! Cultist!). That's not to say that these excuses don't contain a grain of truth or merit, but they've also served as a crutch to let the media and Democrats off the hook for their own failures.

This blanket broad brush painting of Trump supporters has led to continued errors in coverage and in Democratic Party tactics. After all, how can you win people back, when you have no understanding of what motivated them in the first place? How can you win people back, when you harbor active contempt for them?

Location 1305: This false idea of the white working class as racist, brainwashed Trump supporters is convenient for both the media and the Democratic Party. It keeps them from having to ask hard questions about why the white working class would throw their support behind the historic party of plutocrats and a reality show billionaire like Trump. It also keeps them from asking hard questions about why so many Americans don't participate in the political process at all: it's not their fault—it's the "dumb, lazy, racist voters."

Location 1309: That's not to say that racism isn't a real barrier for working-class solidarity. It is. Racism has been cynically exploited for decades by Republicans to hold together their overwhelmingly white coalition. It has also been exploited by Democrats who know that if they can just appear less racist than the GOP, then they won't ever have to deliver material benefits for working-class people of color. But painting the massive, complicated group of people in middle America with a broad brush is offensive, absurd and extraordinarily counterproductive.

Location 1313: Here's the other thing: The Times' shock and confusion also completely exposes how little they understand about what drives voters. The idea that what the white working-class Trump voter really wants is Amy Klobuchar or Pete Buttigieg-style moderation is completely insane—not to mention belied by all the data. The fact of the matter is, the candidates with the most crossover Trump support are the most radical and most anti-establishment: Bernie, Tulsi, and Yang. That little factoid has apparently never registered for the elite media or the Democratic establishment. It doesn't factor into their bullshit "electability analysis" or their debate-night optics chatter about Pistol Pete.

If you really grapple with the fact that 70 percent of Americans are furious with the political establishment, their embrace of more transformational politics should hardly be surprising.

Bloomberg Exposes Oligarchical Control Of The Media.

Location 1335: The more difficult task that confronts us is discovering just how things got this bad. How did we come to a place in this country where our media is a mouthpiece for the powerful instead of a necessary fourth estate of government? The answer is a deeper structural flaw of the American economy which encourages combination within industries of immense importance to our democracy.

Location 1338: Media companies have become intrinsically linked with the powerful corporations that they are supposed to hold to account. The three largest broadcast networks in this country are owned by Comcast, Disney, and Viacom, respectively. The second-most powerful newspaper in America is owned by the world's richest man. The New York Times, which was once relatively independent when financed by advertising revenue, is now beholden to elite subscribers who will tolerate no dissent from their outlook of the world.

How is any media company supposed to fairly cover the issues that affect the American oligarchy when they are directly beholden to it? This applies more so to issues of coverage for the working class of America for whom attention and assistance are most likely to come at the very expense of these oligarchs.

Location 1370: As David Sirota noted on Twitter after Bloomberg's announcement, "Every reporter covering 2020 knows that if they write a story scrutinizing Mike Bloomberg they risk enraging a person who owns a sizable segment of the media job market. It is a tough situation for journalists and not a great dynamic for democracy."

Corporate control of the media has turned our contemporary politics into covering the needs and wants of the most powerful people in this country. Perhaps it's time we think about whether it's appropriate to keep letting them do so.

The Corporate Media Reckons With Their Years of Gaslighting

Location 1397: Anyone with a functioning frontal cortex should snort at the idea that a media organization that bears the name of a Democratic presidential candidate can possibly cover their potential opponent fairly. Bloomberg News let the cat out of the bag in their original statement after the former New York Mayor's candidacy that it will "continue our tradition of not investigating Mike." As I noted at the time, Bloomberg News said the quiet part out loud. They confirmed that when oligarchs own media companies there are massive conflicts of interest. It showed just how hollow so much of the sanctimonious preaching from the Brian Stelter types over at CNN is when they tell us that the people at Bloomberg News, The Washington Post and The New York Times are the fairest people on this earth.


Location 1423: After all, throughout American history, cynical politicians have weaponized race and gender to turn our working class citizens against one another, rendering them powerless. Because a true multi-racial working class coalition would be an unstoppable force, and no donor or multi-national corporation could stop them. The wealthy know quite well that they share class interests regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. Take a look at a Manhattan cocktail party and you'll see plenty of "bipartisanship" which strangely has the same interest.

The truth is that in an era where both parties have decided to center corporate interests, identity has been used to culturally pander to the working class so that you can keep screwing them economically. For those who hold power, it's relatively nonthreatening to embrace a type of change that would only go so far as to change the race or gender of the keepers of the status quo.

Location 1430: Once you start thinking hard about class interests and start asking whether there's really anything so special about those people at the top of the meritocracy, that is ultimately a much more dangerous and potentially transformational view. What really threatens American elites isn't the notion that we need more women or more people of color with their boot on the throat of the working class, the real threat comes when people start asking why the working class should have a boot on their throat at all. Of course, the way each party uses identity politics to placate the working class is different.

Location 1435: Democrats and the left point to the dog whistles, exclusionary rhetoric, and voter suppression policies of the right and say, in effect, "Yes, the minimum wage hasn't been raised in a decade, including much of the time we were in power; yes, we participated in the gutting of welfare and unions and architected mass incarceration, yes, we bailed out our largely white banker friends and let minority home owners pillaged by subprime lenders drown, but you can't vote for those racist, homophobic people, can you? You have no choice but to vote for us."

Location 1439: Republicans and the right continue to hammer home that Hollywood elites and other cultural figures want to "change this country as we know it,"which could be true, but then refuse to change their very own tax and trade policy which does everything to empower the people in our society who most seek to destroy their way of life.

Location 1450: Shallow identity politics is why the mercenary consultant ghouls at McKinsey feel comfortable conducting and publishing research on how good diversity is for business, but probably are not going to be looking into how beneficial unions can be for workers.

Identity politics fundamentally does not offer the United States a path forward through this time of immense social and political upheaval. The logical result of identity politics is endless racial and gender strife, which a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious democracy cannot sustain. This is not to deny the reality of sexism and racism, which are real and deeply rooted. It's only to recognize that in an oppression Olympics, everyone loses. And that the only way to obtain a more equitable society across gender, racial, and religious lines is to start by confronting the corporate and financial power which cuts across all swaths of our society.

White Feminists Melt Down Over AOC's Bernie Endorsement

Location 1503: Let me be clear, I am a feminist. But my aspirations are greater than hoping we can have more women as oil executives and hedge fund managers. As a woman, I support candidates who will create a system that provides dignity for all, rather than just changing the gender ratio of our oppressors.

Location 1537: In his new piece in Jacobin, Karp lays out how the Democratic Party has rejected the politics of class solidarity in favor of embracing the professional elite. The results of this should be abundantly obvious: NAFTA, TPP, allowing union power to decline, banking bailouts, an embrace of woke virtue signaling to keep working-class minorities in the tent while providing nothing of substance in terms of their economic well-being.

Location 1542: As Matt points out, the Democratic Party—the alleged 'party of the people,' has won control of 20 of the wealthiest counties in the country. Every single one. Warren's coalition points to more of that; more sidelining of the working class. More embracing the tastes and priorities of wealthy liberals. More of the white working class identifying with the racist populism of the right. The Sanders coalition alone points the way towards a fundamental realignment of the Democratic Party around the working class.

"An OpenSecrets review of campaign donations found that while Warren was naturally the top recipient among scientists and professors, Sanders led by far among teachers, nurses, servers, bartenders, social workers, retail workers, construction workers, truckers, and drivers. "Of all the money going to 2020 Democrats from servers —one of the lowest-paying jobs in the country —more than half went to Sanders alone. This is just what is required to challenge the power of the ultrarich: a politics that does not treat lower-income voters as a kind of passive supplement for professional liberals, but one that can put the new working class itself at the center of the action."

Location 1557: True leadership means moving the hearts and minds of people to where they ought to be—not telling funders, pundits, and the media what they want to hear.

Warren's 'Pink Scarf' Pledge Is Everything That's Wrong With Her

Location 1569: It just so happens that the working class is not worried about correct pronoun usage or the diversity of Hollywood films, but whether or not they'll be able to afford healthcare or have to ship their kids off to a faraway war.

Location 1596: when you don't have anything to say on a topic, then it almost always just gets colored in by what the establishment wants when you're in power.

Location 1606: Normalcy means a default to the military-industrial complex, to the current system of subsidizing the entire world at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer and, above all else, lack of critical thinking about America's position in the world and how to use its military might to effect a major change.

Kamala Harris's Cynical Identity Politics Ploy

Location 1616: Kamala's gambit, however, only worked so long as she could show some sort of resilience in the polls. Her support evaporated as she equivocated on Medicare-for-All, backtracked on her own attack against Joe Biden on school busing, and repeatedly wavered on where she stood on issues of major importance to the Democratic primary electorate. As the primary electorate saw that she generally stood for nothing, they began to abandon her in droves, to the point where she was behind upstart candidates like Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard in the polls. Harris, of course, did not take the opportunity to take stock of her campaign to decide what issues she would like to make her case with. Instead, the California Senator decided to use the media as a way to disseminate a false and disgusting message: that voters were too racist and sexist to consider her a plausible candidate who could beat Donald Trump.

Location 1628: Kamala wants us to believe that voters who twice elected a black man named Barack Hussein Obama are racist.

Location 1634: A lesson of the 2016 presidential election is that voters need to trust you. They need to trust that you will actually fight for the things that you say you will. When push comes to shove, lobbyists are blowing up your phone, besieging the White House, and they buy off your best friend to make a pitch to you. That's why they took a chance on Donald Trump in 2016, probably one of the least conventionally electable people in our history.

When Will the Establishment Celebrate Tulsi's Diversity?

Location 1695: All day long, every day, we are told by The Times and The Post and CNN and MSNBC and everyone who ever goes on Morning Joe that to win we must appeal to moderate voters. We're told all the time that we should just throw our principles to the wind and back whoever has the "best chance" of beating Donald Trump.

What Cory Booker's Whining Reveals About Democrats

Location 1713: Senator Cory Booker is a lot like Kamala Harris in many ways. He staked his political identity on a few too many profiles in the 2010s that he was the next President Barack Obama. He wrapped himself in the cloak of identity politics, solicited cash from Wall Street billionaires, and touted a similar neoliberal-friendly position from the Senate dais. Unlike Harris, however, Booker's campaign has never really registered amongst voters anywhere. He has consistently lead the bottom of the polls despite early deep pockets and investments on the ground in Iowa. Despite his poor performance relative to anti-establishment candidates like Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, he has been given disproportionate speaking time on the Democratic debate stage and attention from the mainstream media. None of this has helped him.

The electoral failure of the American Left will be economic progressives kowtowing to woke identitarians.

Historic Election of Black AG Conveniently Ignored

Location 1761: In covering the off-year Kentucky statewide elections, I noticed a glaring hypocrisy. Somehow the national media forgot to celebrate the fact that Kentucky elected their first black Attorney General. Now I know very well why I didn't celebrate. The newly elected Attorney General was an aide to Mitch McConnell, whose values and ideology stand in direct opposition to mine. But shouldn't all of the people who lament the success of the "old white men" Biden and Sanders and pretend to be heartbroken when Cory and Kamala and Julián Castro fail in their presidential bids, shouldn't they at least pay some lip service to this historic and trailblazing achievement?

Location 1766: The fact that these identitarians don't celebrate Daniel Cameron reveals that they know just how hollow their commitment to identity politics really is. Slamming a candidate for characteristics they can't control is a simple way to try to dismiss them and preserve the status quo without having to actually deal with that candidate's arguments. On the other hand, elevating a candidate based on their identity can provide a progressive sheen to the status quo. A way to score all your good lefty points without having your own class interests, power structures, or cocktail circuit access threatened. A way to feel good about what a good person you are without actually having to commit to change a system that has allowed you to get yours.

The reckoning with this type of politics is only just beginning on the left as we grapple with the real legacy of the Obama years. It meant something to elect the first black President. I don't want to diminish that. But for the disproportionately black and brown and female working class, it would have meant more to have a President who fought for union rights, who helped middle class homeowners rather than standing by as their net worth was destroyed by criminal banksters, who didn't let corporations write his big Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Location 1786: Perhaps that's because identity politics is a thin gruel to be offered by the Democratic Party establishment, corporatists, and media elites in lieu of actually delivering anything of consequence. The lack of even one mention of Daniel Cameron's election shows you that they are well aware of just how shallow it really is.

Location 1789: I don't want to pretend that breaking race and gender glass ceilings is meaningless. It's not. I loved that the first president my kids knew was a black man. It does make a difference to see people of color and women in leadership roles. But if those people pursue the same racist, classist, elitist, crappy policies of their white brothers and sisters, well, it is not really change we can believe in, is it?

Location 1792: If you're an immigrant getting deported, does it matter to you that the deporter-in-chief is the first African American president? If you're in jail for marijuana possession or because your kids were truant at school, does it make a difference that it's Kamala Harris who gleefully prosecuted you? Aren't you delighted that Kellyanne Conway was the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign?

The truth is so obvious that it's embarrassing to state it. What you do, the policies you advocate for, and the people you help, matters. It matters a lot more than having equal and diverse representation in the advocacy and implementation of racist, anti-working class policies. It was Democrats who put in place the racist 100-to-1 crack sentencing disparity. Thanks, Joe Biden! It was Democrats who proudly destroyed welfare as we know it, Democrats who let the banksters off the hook so they could pillage African American and Hispanic communities with their subprime mortgages of mass destruction.

Location 1799: I could spend the next ten hours in a filibuster of woke Democratic hypocrisy on this issue. Tulsi Gabbard is a woman of color running for president. Why does she get no love from the left? It's because she doesn't step in line for the heterodox pro-war policies that have hijacked the party. If you're a millennial drowning in student debt, do you care that President Platitude Pete-the-millennial is the one who lets you keep drowning in that debt? If you are one of the parents of the 70,000 people per year that die of an overdose, do you care about the race, gender, or sexual orientation of the political coward who continues our racist and inhumane War on Drugs? Woke people need to wake up!

Location 1804: If the Democratic Party wants to win, then they should actually do something for the multi-racial working class instead of just changing the race of the so-called "leader"that runs palliative care for the working people in the giant hospice that both rural and urban America have become. And, by the way, if you don't believe the suffering of the white working class is just as real as that of the black and brown working class because they have "privilege"—people who have watched their jobs shipped overseas and their towns flooded with drugs and their young people sent off to die in war all by a bipartisan consensus —then you are just as heartless as those who would put precious immigrant babies in detention centers. This isn't an oppression Olympics where we get to stand in judgment of who is suffering the most.

If Democrats want to be the party of working people, then they can't pick and choose which people. I want no part of the party centered around the professional-managerial class, throwing a bone of identity politics to the black and brown working class to keep them in the tent. Leave your identity politics at the door, and start evaluating people by the content of their character and their record, and not by some B.S. woke signaling that no one believes anymore—including, I might add, the demographic groups you are supposedly pandering to.

Why Millennial Pete Fell Flat With Millennials

Location 1877: In fact, although they may share a similar age bracket, young people who came of age during the financial crisis and the endless wars and destruction of the middle class want nothing to do with Pete's status quo politics. They really don't care whether he's gay or young or Midwestern. They care that he represents more of the same and that's why a November Quinnipiac poll had him at a mere 2% among voters under 35. It's also worth noting that a November poll of LGBTQ voters by Out Magazine and YouGove found Pete at 4th place among the LGBTQ community as well.7 As you all know, I love diving into the polling cross-tabs and in doing so I found a remarkable and consistent trend. Pete's own age group and sexual orientation may not have much use for him, but there was one demographic that seemed particularly drawn to him: Boomers.

Location 1906: Well, to start with, Boomers love the idea of appealing to young people; they just don't like the revolutionary change politics that come with actually appealing to young people. They think that the way to win millennials is simply by talking about being a millennial. This, of course, is the Mayor Pete way. Forget about devastating climate change, massive debt loads, poverty wages and living in a sixth-floor walk-up closet with four of your friends. Bloomberg News is reporting on a new study that shows how the opioid crisis and decades of endless wars have wreaked havoc on the health of millennials; massive problems requiring systemic change way beyond just beating Trump.

Location 1917: Let me ask you this, Boomer. Do you like the idea of everyone getting health care coverage, as long as it doesn't cost you anything, and you still get to be at the front of the line? Pete's your guy with Medicare for those who want it! Do you like the feeling of doing something about climate without having to actually change your day to day life or reorient your consumerist values? Pete is there to reassure you on his website that: "as big as this crisis is, our ideas and aspirations are big enough to meet it."Do you believe that our biggest problem is our lack of civility, but also spend countless hours a day watching strangers yell at each other on cable news? Then Mayor Pete, who loves to talk about the things that unite us (except when he's laying into Elizabeth Warren or Beto O'Rourke), is the candidate for you.

Location 1923: You see, for Boomer elites, admitting that there are actually real problems within our system means admitting that they screwed stuff up. They're all about "change," as long as it doesn't mean anything will actually change for them. They're all the way in for a good hopeful optimism that says "sure, things aren't perfect, but I'm a McKinsey consultant and a Rhodes scholar, and our dreams are as big as our aspirations, which can be achieved if we just work together towards greater goodness of our unified perfection," etc, etc, etc. Plus, he's gay, so just electing him counts as progress, right? Ummm, yeah. OK, Boomer.

Communities Of Color Reject Identity Tokenism

Location 1933: The establishment types who mouthed words like "center black women" were gob-smacked that women of color had chosen by and large to back Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. A rush of tortured explanations and psychoanalysis was offered to explain this perplexing fact. None bothered to consider that maybe if you really wanted to center black women, you would speak directly to the depressed wages and rampant inequality that have disproportionately harmed women of color. Maybe you'd be willing to upend the system that has robbed so many of their basic dignity. They could not wrap their heads around the fact that the vision and approach of a candidate were more relevant to their lives than the candidate's personal background.

I always want to be clear, there are real forces of racism and sexism and they are deeply important. But when you throw around those words casually, they come to mean nothing. When you insinuate that every voter in the country is racist, you lose all credibility. And most importantly, people are no longer willing to believe that just changing the race or the gender of the people in charge is enough.

Location 1972: The reason Bernie and Biden are leading isn't complicated. They have the highest favorability ratings. They are most trusted on the issues voters care about. They represent two clear ideological poles of the party and have attracted voters who respond to those distinct visions. It's frankly patronizing to ascribe a motive to voters that they have never articulated. It also ignores the tiny inconvenient fact that Barack Obama both won the Democratic nomination and became President of the United States. Please ask a young black Sanders supporter if they are really just supporting Bernie because they believe old white people will like him and tell me what response you get back. Pretty much every white person I see talking on T.V. seems to hate Sanders' guts and believe that he is not "electable," so I'm not sure how you would come to that conclusion in the first place.

Location 1990: I would point out though that the latest Economist/YouGov poll shows the economy, health care, and immigration to be tied for first in issue concerns among Hispanic voters. I know it sounds crazy, so hear me out on this, but maybe—just maybe—Hispanics are supporting Bernie because of his clear stances on those issues, and because he has invested more resources in organizing and communicating authentically within the community than any other campaign. Perhaps they cared more about what he would do for the community than whether or not he happened to be from the community.

At the end of the day, the folks who are pretending to be bereft at Julián's departure don't even actually care about diversity. If they did, they would celebrate Tulsi and they would celebrate Yang and maybe they would even find the idea of the first Jewish president, a son of immigrants, whose family members were killed in the Holocaust, to be an exciting prospect, especially at a time of rising antisemitism. But no, because the truth is, they only care about diversity when it checks the right ideological boxes.


Location 2011: We know what hasn't worked. We know that begging the opposition party to help you absent public pressure isn't going to get the job done. We know that transformational change won't spring instantaneously from one leader, whether that be Barack Obama counting on his personal brilliance or Donald Trump banking on his ability to charm and negotiate. In fact, both the Obama and Trump administrations are filled with cautionary tales and learnings that any would-be-political-revolutionary should heed.

Location 2014: Barack Obama swept into office with an incredible grassroots movement. His campaign was a pioneer in small-dollar fundraising and online organizing. An entire generation was caught up in the excitement and gave money for the first time, volunteered for the first time, believed for the first time. As this grassroots movement was organizing itself in neighborhoods and on social media, a coalition of Wall Street and Silicon Valley donors was also coalescing around the young political phenom, who was raising a record-breaking amount of money from the financial sector.

Location 2018: After Obama won and was inaugurated, rather than relying on and empowering the grassroots movement, he instead turned to Wall Street. Under the leadership of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel—who had himself cashed in over a number of years on Wall Street—Obama's administration was staffed up with finance-friendly types like Timothy Geithner and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. His massive grassroots organizing operation was more or less dismantled. The message was: "Thank you very much, I've got it from here." Rather than rallying the public to pressure lawmakers to pass his initiatives, he placed his faith in his own ability to lecture and cajole them into doing what he wanted.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't work very well, even though he took office with control of the House, a supermajority in the Senate, and a crisis that more than justified transformative action. Rather than fall back on the waves of idealistic young people and African Americans who carried him to office, he more often stabbed them in the back. He refused to demand a public option in healthcare. He repeatedly went to Republicans in search of a Social Security-cutting grand bargain. He failed to help the disproportionately minority homeowners who were losing everything thanks to his Wall Street friends.

Location 2027: With this approach, it should be no surprise that under his watch, Democrats fell out of favor in most of the country. They lost nearly 1,000 state legislative seats, were tossed out of Governor's mansions, lost the House and then the Senate, ultimately ushering in the era of Donald Trump. History is likely to look back at the Obama years as an unbelievable missed opportunity. He had it well within his power to reorient the Democratic Party around the working class, but instead he continued to move it towards the wealthy and the upper middle class. It remains to be seen whether the tide can be turned back.

Location 2032: In his way, Donald Trump has made many of the same mistakes that Obama did. He too was brought to power by the combination of a passionate grassroots movement and a wealthy donor class. As we write this, while risking another potential Middle Eastern war that would enrich defense contractors and devastate the American working class, it could not be more clear who's counsel he has heeded since taking office. Like Obama, he staffed up with Wall Street types like Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin and Stephen Schwarzman. Absurdly, he began his administration with establishment ghouls like Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer in key positions. He has continued holding campaign rallies with his die-hard supporters but he has yet to deliver on some key administration priorities. He has never used the considerable data operation at his fingertips to organize around key campaign promises like immigration, instead relying on a largely cartoonishly incompetent staff that could not even manage to get a question on the census changed.

Location 2043: In Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky writes that: "Action comes from keeping the heat on. No politician can sit on a hot issue if you make it hot enough." That is very much Sanders' belief and the argument that he makes.

Location 2052: Sanders' electability and efficacy in office rests on his ability to stitch together a multi-racial working class coalition. That is the ultimate goal and endgame of his campaign. But as Saagar points out, the fixation on identity and woke cultural signaling that is ascendant on the left, may render Sanders' movement unacceptable to the more culturally conservative and nationalistic portions of the white working class. This cultural mismatch has been a stumbling block for leftist movements in the UK and elsewhere.

Location 2063: What might Obama have accomplished if he hadn't disbanded his movement? What might Trump have done if he had been able to staff his administration with like-minded people and galvanized his adoring fans into action rather than simply asking them to put all their faith in him?

What might Democrats have been able to extract from this administration if they had put a quarter of the energy they spent on Russia and Ukraine into fighting for an increased minimum wage or health care or union rights?

In Kentucky it was Socialism and Class Warfare For the Win!

Location 2075: They also didn't spend their days attacking Bevin's supporters as racist or sexist or stupid or condescendingly chastise them for "voting against their interests." Instead, they relentlessly focused on three core economic issues: healthcare, education, and union rights. They leveraged the energy of a massive teacher's movement in the state and ran a campaign hyper-focused on issues that actually impact people's day to day lives.

Location 2097: Beshear won by running up the margins in the suburbs and urban areas, but there aren't enough of those in Kentucky to get you over the finish line on their own. It was actually coal country that came through and gave Beshear the numbers he needed to pull off the stunning upset. The eastern part of the state is culturally conservative, yes, but is also economically populist, and they were not having it with Bevin's attacks on workers.

Well, I guess it was socialism and class warfare for the win, then! Recent polling of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have shown that Trump is in a position to win the Electoral College again. This, in spite of the fact that the only story the mainstream media writes is that Trump is bad. Democrats should not use this Kentucky victory as an excuse to feel like everything is going fine with their impeachment strategy and national messaging. Instead, they should use it as an opportunity to learn from this "red state" that unexpectedly turned blue on the back of a working-class populist backlash.

My Dire Warning For The American Right

Location 2123: Donald Trump won the White House by signaling a rejection to free-market orthodoxy. Yet if you visit Washington today, the think tanks and professional Republican class continue to operate as if he ran and won because he promised people a tax cut and never spoke once about immigration or trade. That's because Washington subsists solely on the beneficence of Wall Street billionaires and others with a direct financial interest in maintaining a status quo economy that does not work for all Americans.

Free market libertarianism is a cancer that has firmly intertwined itself with corporatism and is embedded firmly within both parties.

Location 2128: As the conservative host of Rising my interest, of course, is in shedding the right of these free-market libertarian forces, by highlighting just how stupid it sounds to the youth and working class of this country when you tell them that the economy has never been better for humans before in history.

Location 2140: But every once in awhile, we need to turn an eye toward our decrepit city in Washington to highlight just how exactly we got to a point where polling indicates that almost half the American public wants to burn our institutions to the ground. Just recently was a prime example, something that our elites didn't even try to hide: the House Ways and Means Committee threw a bipartisan birthday party for insurance company AIG, which was widely attended by staffers across the aisle. Richard Neal, the chairman of the committee and a Democrat, gave remarks at the party. It included snacks and an open bar serving a "centennial smash"signature cocktail. An a cappella group serenaded the attendees to the tune of Pharell's 'Happy'. This is Versailles-1790s-level decadence, and it is a repulsive illustration of the bipartisan corruption that has seeped into our system. Don't forget, AIG is the company that received 190 billion dollars in bailout funds a decade ago, while the rest of the American middle class plummeted to destruction. It's also the same company that paid out 165 million dollars in bonuses to its executives after receiving bailout money and faced absolutely zero repercussions from the Obama administration. Yet that same company which was saved by the United States government was thrown a birthday party in the halls of the United States Congress? It literally doesn't get more corrupt than that. These people are so shameless: they bragged about this party and they allowed it to be reported in Politico because that's just business as usual in our capital city.

Corporatism knows no political party. It has wormed its way into the highest levels of the United States government and has ruled us to our detriment for almost 40 years now. The left has responded to this moment with Democratic Socialism. The right looking at this movement is learning all the wrong lessons. They're flying 'Socialism Sucks' banners all across America without acknowledging the underlying structure of the American system as extraordinarily flawed.

Location 2155: So many on the right label the Millennial generation and the working class as lazy, and give no credence to why exactly we're angry. We watched our money get sent to Wall Street while our student debt exploded and any surplus cash was spent trying to turn the Middle East into a democratic paradise. America voted twice for change agent Barack Obama to try and clean up the system, but he mostly just lectured corporations with an upturned chin and wagging finger while abetting their continued shipment of American jobs to China and Mexico.

That being said, the libertarian streak of the Republican Party will be the electoral and moral death of it. Libertarianism was founded upon the idea that the greatest threat to you and your life is institutionalized power in the form of the government. It's time they understood that the government isn't the only institution that can hold power in our society.

How Theories of Change Separate Bernie from Warren

If you are committed to democratizing political power, then fighting for voting rights for all citizens, even those who are incarcerated, is an important, even vital fight. Think about this: if you can disenfranchise any group of people you don't like simply by trapping them in our mass incarceration system, then you can do anything you want. And make no mistake, that is, in fact, a core part of why so many black and brown and poor men are criminalized. But it's even worse than just having your political power stripped away. Federal prisons are often located in rural red-state America. Those held are counted by the census for purposes of apportioning political power even as they are denied the ability to exercise that power. So their bodies are literally being used to empower Republican politicians with whom they often profoundly disagree and who have profoundly harmed them.

Can a 'Player In The Game' Also Be a Revolutionary?

Location 2294: First of all, if she were to ever become president, the only questions that come to you are of the unsafe, no-win type. But also, when you have to get an "A,"it makes it easy for people to screw with you. Trust me, I've seen it. I've lived it. That need to get an "A"is why she did this whole catastrophically stupid DNA test to avoid admitting that she had screwed up by claiming native heritage. It's why she went to such elaborate and counterproductive lengths to avoid admitting that middle-class taxes will go up under Medicare-for-All. It's why in 2016 she waited until the outcome was clear and then endorsed Hillary Clinton, and it's why despite all her protests to the contrary, she will never be a revolutionary—always just a player in the game.

Bernie Sanders, Cenk Uygur, And The Eventual Downfall of The American Left

I have openly stated many times that the left's Achilles heel is their total cultural overreach amplified by a woke media that seeks to push identity politics in lieu of class politics. Unfortunately for the working class left of the United States, they have unwittingly tied themselves to the worst woke actors, leaving them exposed for a major rejection in the U.S.

Location 2308: While Bernie may be a true class warrior in his heart, he will simply have to bow in incidents like this to the woke identitarian members of his movement. This cultural overreach spells electoral doom for any progressive candidate in the United States, especially in the swing states that were lost to Donald Trump.

Jeremy Corbyn's Loss Foreshadows Doom For The American Left

Location 2364: The electoral death knell of the progressive left will come from its marriage of correct critiques about our economic system with a wholesale embrace of social justice issues, critical race theory, and de facto open borders via a lack of belief in immigration enforcement.

Location 2379: A person you may find familiar, Senator Bernie Sanders, once recognized this very fact only 12 years ago, where he said, "If poverty is increasing, and if wages are going down, I don't know why we need millions of people to be coming into this country as guest workers who will work for lower wages than American workers and drive wages down even lower than they are right now."Bernie has since signed onto an immigration plan which would literally stop immigration enforcement into the U.S., doing exactly what he warned of 12 years ago, except this time the effects of neoliberalism on our economic system are even more pronounced and mass immigration is even more detrimental. Add free healthcare for all these illegal immigrants and you've got yourself an electoral disaster in the making.

Mass immigration, embrace of social justice, and making fun of social conservatism is fundamentally an insult to the many working-class voters that progressive economic policies are designed to help. In each case, they're designed to prioritize somebody else over your own countrymen, designed to disadvantage workers at the expense of whatever group is declared marginalized, and then to demonize the faith that brings light to millions of people.

You Can't Poll-Test Your Way To The Presidency

Location 2431: Of course, Kamala's Medicare-for-All mess has been particularly instructive. You will recall that Kamala wrapped herself around Bernie's Medicare-for-All bill, going so far as to co-sponsor it in the Senate. Not only that, she built a portion of her initial presidential campaign list with Facebook ads expressing her pride in being the first Senator to support Bernie's Medicare-for-All bill. Then, she got some negative polling or consultant advice or donor pushback on this whole crazy notion of getting everyone healthcare. Soon enough, she was telling a room full of donors in the Hamptons that she had "not been comfortable with Bernie's plan,"which she chucked in favor of whatever incomprehensible Medicare-for-the-Justice-Winter plan she's got now.

Location 2441: Kamala's downfall is also a warning to Elizabeth Warren, because she has also made major missteps on the issue that voters consistently tell pollsters is their number one concern. For Warren: first, she's with Bernie, then she says Medicare-for-All is a 'framework,'then she agonizes for weeks over how to avoid saying the words middle-class taxes, finally releasing a "transition plan"that exposed once and for all her fundamental unseriousness on the issue. Unlike Kamala, Warren does actually have a core. At her core, she is a smart and serious technocrat with a passion for consumer protection and banking reform, but rather than embrace her core, she's faltered, trying to be all things to all people. She wants to be the revolutionary, talking about class warfare and a strain of militant unionism that she has frankly never been part of. But she also wants to be the girl-power feminist with her all-female campaign co-chairs and pink Planned Parenthood scarf, and by focusing only on the women who struggled in that labor movement that again she was never really part of. All the while, Warren also wants to be a team player who can position herself as exciting like Bernie, but without being scary. Let me just spoil the ending here and tell you that you can't be a revolutionary who is non-threatening to the establishment. In the end, you will just be unsatisfying to all.

My Fight With A Billionaire And What It Reveals About The American Right

Location 2454: So many of our so-called leaders from Washington to Wall Street to Silicon Valley couldn't care less about the American people; their main concern is often their pocketbook, whether or not that pocketbook is directly tied to authoritarian governments like China. And yet, while selling a lie about 'fiscal responsibility' to a working-class America that works paycheck-to-paycheck—mothers and fathers who probably know much more about being financially responsible and stretching a dollar than those who sit and scoff from their ivory towers—they use power and influence to maneuver the system to benefit them and their interests, often on the backs of the people that they purportedly represent.

Location 2459: I see a vision for a new kind of conservatism: one that puts working families and communities first, ahead of the interests of elite, coastal cities. I see a future that actually respects and champions hard work—one that makes sure families can raise children under one roof with a single income if they choose, with healthcare, and without fear that their jobs will be automated away or shipped overseas as a result of disastrous trade deals. I see a future that values stable, meaningful livelihoods over 'cheap'imported products for a massive consumer base. I see a future that values sovereignty and American values over world-policing and the interests of a few liberal Ivy League graduates at the top.

Location 2464: Much of what I have talked about on the show, and that has frankly resonated with so many from the left to the right, is the need for Republicans to distance themselves from libertarianism.

Location 2467: No, I am not a socialist, but I do believe that our government has a moral responsibility to protect the important institutions that built this country: workers and families. That may take the form of national industrial policy that harnesses the power of American industry, as we did in World War II, while protecting the communities that families across the country grew up in and love. I also believe that while the donors and backroom dealers may not like it, we should have serious conversations about health care and ensure paid family leave.

Yet, libertarians—those with the same kind of thought process as the millionaires and billionaires that often dominate the national conversation, have a stranglehold on D.C. institutions and financial industries.

Location 2500: corporatists in the Republican and Democratic parties operate. They denounce government intervention in markets unless that government intervention is helpful to the sectors that they operate in, like, say, hedge funds.

Clifford's libertarian braying online, coupled with his obvious hypocrisy, tells you the story of the American financial elite over the last many decades. They claim to operate in the free market, and then they take bailouts, handouts, tax breaks, and any other corporate welfare that they can get their grubby hands on, while lobbying tooth-and-nail to ensure that productive enterprises, which actually employ working-class people, have no access to the same resources.

Location 2513: Libertarianism, in practice, is a selective corporate welfare ideology pushed by the financial industry and big business in Washington to justify the myriad of government subsidies and benefits that prop up the very foundations of their businesses. All the new right is asking for is that maybe all that government attention should be given to the working class of this country instead.

Against Crenshaw Conservatism

Location 2518: Donald Trump demonstrated in 2016 that breaking from free-market orthodoxy while defending family values can yield massive electoral dividends. The only problem is that Trump's departure from free-market orthodoxy alienates the very party bosses and donors who have controlled the party for nearly 40 years. The Paul Ryans of the world, the Koch brothers, and innumerable numbers of Wall Street billionaires have undergone a multi-decade effort to make free-market libertarian ideals the unwavering economic position of the GOP. These people did not simply roll over and die when Donald Trump was elected. Instead what they did was don red Make America Great Again hats while spouting the same B.S. ideology that they always have.

Location 2523: Trump, not knowing any better, takes them as his genuine supporters —when in reality they are snakes ready to take the party right back to 2012 after he is gone. No person better exemplifies this trend than GOP star Congressman Dan Crenshaw. Crenshaw is a decorated Navy SEAL, who no doubt has shown grace in the public eye during his spat with SNL star Pete Davidson. The problem, however, is that Crenshaw is a through and through economic libertarian in his speech.

Location 2530: As I've said here on the show many times before, my greatest fear for the GOP after Trump is a bunch of people chanting 'Drain the Swamp!' with MAGA hats on while actually pushing zombie Reagan ideology with a Trumpian flair. That fear was realized earlier this weekend when GOP rising star Congressman Dan Crenshaw Tweeted, "In 2020, remember this: Republicans are the party of Uber. Democrats are the party of taxi cab unions. Own your own labor, work where you want and how you want, and embrace innovation. That's conservatism." I was stunned to be reading those words in the year 2019, from someone who purports to represent the Trump agenda. Did I die and wake up in 2014? Is Paul Ryan still Speaker; are we doing makers-versus-takers again

Location 2538: 'Crenshaw Conservatism' will doom the GOP to major losses in future elections, and more importantly, it betrays the very reason why so many untold millions were willing to give Donald Trump a chance at the Oval Office in the first place. Let's ignore the fact that Crenshaw is holding up a company that loses billions of dollars a year as the face of American conservatism, and go a little bit deeper.

We understood 100 years ago that corporate power has as much, if not more, control over the everyday lives of American citizens than the government. That's why we stepped in to provide protections codified in law and we took actions to preserve competition in our marketplace.

Location 2557: For many years, 'Crenshaw Conservatives' told us that neoliberal free trade policy, corporate tax cuts, bank bailouts, and celebrating companies like Uber were how you both preserve, protect, and expand the everyday quality of life for Americans. We know how it all worked out—the hollowing out of the American middle class, skyrocketing costs for needs of American life, crippling debt, declining birth rates, declining life expectancy, a historic opioid epidemic, and record-high suicide rates.

The GOP's singular focus should be to orient all domestic and foreign policy towards a single goal: easing the ability to make enough money and have reasonable enough costs to start a bountiful family in the place of your choosing. If they forget that, they'll never win back power, no matter how many corporate checks they cash.

The Populist's Guide to Governing

Location 2616: Because the one thing that brings establishment Democrats and Republicans together is their commitment to defeating anyone with their own working-class base of support.

"What that tells me is that if the government does respond to the needs of working people, they will come out and participate." A simple statement, but one at such odds with the suppression, manipulation, caricature, and derision that working people are typically subjected to.

Location 2628: You know what, at the end of the day, the one percent is very powerful. No denying that. The 99 percent when they're organized and prepared to stand up and fight, they are far more powerful."

Location 2634: Obviously the federal government is a different deal than Burlington, Vermont. There are way more corrupt lawmakers, lobbyists, and donors sucking at the government teat. There is an entire national media arrayed against you just looking for damaging leaks and to spin stories to destroy you in every way possible. But you've also got a lot more citizens available to have your back and new modes of communicating to circumvent the elite media, something Sanders has very deliberately cultivated.


The media, the professional class, and the establishment of both parties refuse to grapple with the reality that Americans face. They do not know what it is like to work incredibly hard all day and then attend a class they can barely afford at night, wondering if they will have to choose between rent or a meal. They know nothing of what it's like struggling to find daycare for your kids because you or your partner can't stay home to raise your children, or forgo a doctor's appointment and grit your teeth in pain because you simply don't have the funds. We cannot live in a society where a huge segment of the population is a blown tire away from bankruptcy.

Location 2657: We've attempted to outline for you how the American economy is fundamentally not structured for the success of its working class, how the mass media acts more as a propaganda tool of the powerful rather than as a societal check, how identity politics is cynically used by elites to keep workers from claiming their destiny, and offered you two important visions for how to build a more equitable future for this country.

Location 2660: These aren't partisan beliefs; they're a set of truths about our democracy, so you can understand the choices we have and paths we face. The reality for the working class is not an accident, it's a deliberate design by the professional-managerial class in Washington who want workers to serve as cogs in an engineered system that places no value on family or community.

The problem at the core of our society is not necessarily "left"or "right,"it's that the center shared by those in the Republican and Democratic parties is rotten to its core, and abetted by the most powerful people in the United States.

Location 2669: A Jacobin profile of our show recently wrote that watching it is like "you just woke up a decade into some mass political realignment, in which the Bloombergians, the Paul Ryans, the Clintonites, and even the Obamicans have all been swept into the dustbin of history, leaving only two poles standing: Bernie Sanders and Steve Bannon."

Location 2671: That is our vision for the future. Two parties united in the belief that the working class of this country has been screwed for too long and squabbling instead over how to improve their lot in life. If there is a bipartisan consensus in Washington, let it not be on war, let it not be predicated on the idea that financial markets are better off when they're unregulated—let it instead be that the current state of our society is unacceptable.

Location 2674: Krystal is fighting for a Democratic Party that reclaims its roots as the party of the people. A party that would discard the extreme capitalist thinking which says that you are only worthy of dignity if you live in a certain zip code, were born into privilege, or happen to have a brain that excels in ways valued by "the market."In a wealthy country, the good life shouldn't be for a lucky few. The current massive inequality, depression, and loss of meaning isn't sustainable or good for anyone. She wants a Democratic Party that rips power from the hands of the elites and distributes it to the working class men and women who bleed and die in unjust wars, and have been shut out of the economic fruits of their own labor.

Location 2680: Saagar demands a new kind of conservatism: one that puts working families and communities first, ahead of the interests of elite, coastal cities. A future that actually respects and champions hard work—one that makes sure families can raise children under one roof with a single income if they choose, with healthcare, and without fear that their jobs will be automated away or shipped overseas as a result of disastrous trade deals. A future that values stable, meaningful livelihoods over 'cheap' imported products for a massive consumer base and a future that values sovereignty and American values over world-policing and the interests of a few liberal Ivy League graduates at the top. This conservatism would have the single, fundamental, uniting goal that every American deserves prosperity in a place of their choosing.

At the end of the day, the ideas that animate us are quite simple, and center around a singular idea. The American families, workers, and communities which built this country still matter, they deserve a voice, and they are the future.