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Reich writes: "Donald Trump, Fox News, and Republicans in Congress label proposals they disagree with 'fringe,' 'radical,' or 'socialist.'"

Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)


The "Center" of American Politics Is on the Left

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Website

23 June 19

 

onald Trump, Fox News, and Republicans in Congress label proposals they disagree with “fringe,” “radical,” or “socialist.”  Well, let’s see where the American people actually stand:

On the economy,76 percent of Americans favor higher taxes on the super-rich, including over half of registered Republicans. Over 60 percent favor a wealth tax on fortunes of $50 million or more. Even Fox News polls confirm these trends.

What about health care? Well, 70 percent want Medicare for All, which most define as Medicare for anyone who wants it.  60 percent of Republicans support allowing anyone under 65 to buy into Medicare.

92 percent want lower prescription drug prices. Over 70 percent think we should be able to buy drugs imported from Canada.

On family issues, more than 80 percent  of Americans want paid maternity leave. 79  percent of voters want more affordable child care. And that includes 80 percent of Republicans.

60 percent of Americans support free college tuition for those who meet income requirements.

62% think climate change is man-made and needs addressing.

84 percent think money has too much influence in politics. 77 percent support limits on campaign spending. And that includes 71 percent of Republicans.

I could go on. 

So why do the powerful call these policy ideas “fringe,” or “radical,” or “socialist?” 

Money. Many of these initiatives would cost them – requiring either higher taxes on the rich (many could be achieved by repealing the giant Trump tax cut for the wealthy and corporations), or regulations that might cut into their corporate profits. 

So you can bet that as these proposals become even more popular, the powerful are going to intensify their attacks.

But just remember: the “center” is not halfway between what most Americans want and what big corporations, Wall Street, and the super-wealthy want.

The “center” is what the vast majority of Americans want.  

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+32 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-23 12:09
Yes, what Reich says has always been true. The majority of Americans are more to the left than the corporate/billi onaire owned media ever let on. The problem is that the oligarchs have all the power. They control both political parties and they make sure that only lackeys are elected to public office. Once in a while there is a mistake, as in the case of Trump.

The problem is how can the majority of Americans enact their agenda. So far, they have never figured this out. We have a pretty good chance with the election of Sanders. He will be mostly checkmated by republicans in congress, the media, and the powerful Deep State. But he can do some good.
 
 
+5 # economagic 2019-06-23 20:40
Gotta agree with you on that on again.

Gotta point out also that this situation did not begin with the fall of Rome, but some 3,000 years earlier in the early Bronze Age, especially after the horse-mounted raiders from central Asia (the area we now call "the Stans") with their very omnipotent and vengeful sky god swooped down on the mostly pastoral and agricultural peoples of the Fertile Crescent. Ever since then the Greater Badasses (the kings) and the priests (the earthly representatives of the sky god who kept the kings up to date on what the sky god demanded) have bamboozled most of the populace and killed the ones who asked too many questions.

A couple of hundred years ago a few upstarts figured out how to leverage the new knowledge of the alchemists and the natural philosophers to enrich themselves, just in time to take the place of the kings and some of the priests as the people quit asking questions and turned the tables.

It's time We the People quit asking questions and turn the tables on those upstarts, who have treated themselves like kings and Us the People like serfs. Read the infamous "Powell Memo" and turn it on its head.
 
 
-9 # chapdrum 2019-06-23 17:25
If only this was true but, OBVIOUSLY, professor, it is not.
 
 
+7 # margpark 2019-06-23 20:25
With medicare and tricare I rarely have a big bill to pay. So you might say I am on the feds for health care. I truly support this for everyone. my husband spent 20 years in the Navy and though he died when I was much younger that is where Tricare for Life comes in. I am so fortunate in that regard. I am now 82 and seem to be fairly healthy. Nothing has been diagnosed to run up huge bills. My 51 year old daughter succumbed to lung cancer and lord love us I didn't have to see that bill. She was married for three or four years to a guy with good insurance. (I have no idea if residual bills are impacting him.) But my poor daughter was in ICU for about two weeks before she died. So bills must have been awful.
 
 
+4 # Citizen Mike 2019-06-23 21:25
I have a collection of historical film documentaries that I have shown under the title Today's Left Was Yesterday's Center. Included are some accounts of the history of the labor movement and some speeches by FDR's VP, Henry Wallace. The moderate left of social democracy, as exemplified by the labor unions and FDR's New Deal, were shoved aside when the cold war began. Since then, the US has had no left at all in practical terms, and the ideas of social democracy that have been applied in Europe with admirable results are only beginning to gain traction here.
 
 
-1 # DongiC 2019-06-24 09:38
The American people are much more radical and socialistic than their representatives in Congress. The material for a blue wave is forming and if the Progressives nominate suitable candidates, I feel they will be swept into office at both the state and federal levels. A new philosophy is forming: "promote the general welfare" means all the citizenry not just a white, male upper crust minority. Political reform is speeding down the track, it is a great time to be alive!
 
 
0 # chapdrum 2019-06-24 17:06
I don't see that myself, although wish it were so. It's bad enough that the Republicans still possess so much historical popularity, let alone having the Democratic machine block candidates like Sanders (they'll get to Warren too, if she emerges as the front-runner).
 
 
+1 # Wise woman 2019-06-24 10:48
I'm so sorry for your loss Marg. Right now I'm dealing with BCBS who doesnt want to cover my medical bills. I can only envision some 20 something upstart who wants to impress the supervisor with her "vast knowledge" of medica! issues and makes arbitrary decisions based on that. Of course I'm appealing but sick of injured people shouldn't have to go through this nonsense. They have enough to deal with as is. Medicare for all must happen. The medical establishment has raped the people of this country for far too long!!
 
 
+4 # Art947 2019-06-24 13:33
Unfortunately, we allow the oligarchs to get away with this because we provide them with anonymity. It is time to start publishing the names of the corporations and their "leaders" who support these policies. This includes the CEOs, COOs, CFOs, etc. and even the members of their Boards. If they were called out in the public square for their reprehensible support of fascist policies, then they might be made uncomfortable enough to change.
 
 
+3 # chapdrum 2019-06-25 14:18
While we're doing that, we might consider the (even more unlikely) effort to eliminate the corporation (per se) from all elections. Period.
 

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